Don’t tell me, let me guess. You’re all thinking, “Elaine! Where was Tidbits last month? The ezine just wasn’t the same without it!” I know, I know. In 4 years, I’ve never missed a single episode of Tidbits–until last month, and here’s the reason why:
The Flu From Hell!
Until a month ago, I had been rolling my eyes at all the reports of how deadly the flu was this year; after all, I had gotten it, it lasted 4 days and I wasn’t even bed-ridden. Shana had it and it lasted only one day, thanks to Gelsemium. Thinking we had put the flu behind us, I was a little perplexed when on Tuesday, March 13th, Shana called me an hour after I dropped her off, crying, saying she needed to come home. I thought the whole thing was bizarre. “Wait for me at Sabrina’s, Shana,” I said. She said she’d be there “…as soon as I find water.” When I got there, I gave her Pulsatilla right away and thought that would be the end of it. On the way to the car she kept complaining of how cold it was. When we got into the car she was shivering. I gave her Arsenicum and said, “You know, it’s really not that cold.” Thinking it would all be over soon—whatever it was—we drove home. I can’t remember when I realized that this “thing” wasn’t going to go away soon at all! Just then, I got an email from “Wonder Woman”!
Tuesday, March 13th, 3:20 pm
“Wonder Boy” is sick!
Shana is sick too! She had to come home early today, she was shivering in the car, I tried the usual chilly remedies but not much to show for it.
Wonder Boy is feeling cold too but wants to drink cold drinks. He is tired and just lying down with his hands tucked in under the blanket (after taking a shower). He feels a fish-bone sensation in his throat.
Hepar sulph has a fish-bone sensation, but they wouldn’t be wanting cold drinks. They’re worse for cold.
He insisted on having ice coffee.
What? Is he a coffee drinker? He’s only 12!
He has bright yellow mucus.
That often means Kali bich.
Please help, Doc. He missed school on Monday and is looking really unwell now. His feet are cold and rest of his body is warm, especially his face. I think things got worse after the shower. Temperature is going up, it’s 103 F. now. I only have Kali bich 30C. Sorry to bother you, I hope Shana feels well soon.
So do I, thanks!
He is feeling very chilly, fish-bone sensation still there, has covered himself completely. Fever up to 104 now. Kali bich didn’t help. Gave him Hepar 200C an hour ago. Suddenly he is very irritated and getting angry even if we change his cold strip on his forehead.
What? Cold strip? Ice coffee? This will be a shock to his system! It’s allopathy just as sure as if you had given Tylenol or Advil and will make his fever spike! [“rebound”] No wonder his fever is so high.
He is irritated and feeling very hot now. Removed blanket and clothes. Just 30 minutes ago he was cold!
I wonder if you need a zapping dose of Hepar? Hepar can be very irritable and angry. Maybe the 200C was too strong? Have you tried Belladonna? Sorry I’m not much help, Shana has a fever too and I have to stay with her.
Sorry, I was just worried because his temperature rose very high suddenly after the cold coffee. In India, my parents used to apply wet clothes soaked in ice water when we were sick.
Shall I try Belladonna or Bryonia, Doc? He did drink one or two glasses of water in the last 3 hours.
Belladonna is thirstless. Bryonia has a terrible headache. I’m not seeing either one of them, especially if he has hot feet. Hot feet make me think of Sulphur. Now Shana is up, gotta run.
Really sorry to be bothering you. How is Shana now?
I think she has the flu. I just gave her Sulphur because her legs and feet are hot. Hands too. Belladonna would have hot head, cold hands and feet.
Please get some rest, Doc; I will try to sleep too.
Wednesday, March 14th, 9 pm
Hope Shana is feeling better now. Wonder Boy’s fever has reduced but he is still dull, still has throat pain with fish bone sensation when swallows, still coughing. I gave Belladonna 200C this evening because his fever was high. Didn’t help. He wants to go to the ER.
Wonder Woman, I’m having just as much trouble with Shana. If Wonder Boy wants to go to the ER, feel free to take him. I’m not going to be able to help you much right now. Do you have Oscillococcinum or Influenzinum?
Yes, but not Influenzinum. Should I give Oscillo? So confusing and worrying. He feels very hot sometimes and very cold at other times.
Same with Shana!
His legs are hurting too.
So are Shana’s!
His body is burning hot now.
So is Shana’s!
OMG! Both have similar symptoms! I wonder what is in the air? Many of my friends’ kids are on antibiotics.
Well, forget it, it won’t help them! This is a virus. Antibiotics are useless against viruses!
What about Mercurius? Don’t they go from hot to cold and back again?
Good thinking. Shana’s not sweating or salivating, though. Her fever is dry but with thirst. You want to give Belladonna but Belladonna is thirstless.
Is Shana getting high fever in the evening and better in the morning, Doc?
Yes. She didn’t seem too bad during the day. I was able to go out to buy food, but then, by dinner time, she didn’t want to eat and seemed to be getting worse. This morning she thought she could go back to work. Oscillo worked amazingly for me! Every time I felt like I was catching what Shana had, I took a dose of Oscillococcinum and within an hour I was normal again! Maybe we should be taking that in advance of flu season to protect ourselves from getting it.
I’m all for that idea!
What about Carbo veg? It has evening fever, desire for coffee and cold drinks!
Oh, OK. I gave him Oscillococcinum a few hours back, he was very grumpy, said “No one likes me at work,” must have been dreaming, yelled at me, had tears and looked very upset, sad.
Shana was crying yesterday too. I thought she just needed Pulsatilla!
I will give Carbo veg if Oscillo doesn’t work. He has high fever again, coughing a lot…
So is Shana.
…breathing loud… Should I get him checked by a physician? I’m worried about pneumonia.
If it makes you feel better. I wouldn’t. We have remedies for pneumonia too. But you have to do what you think is best.
Thursday, March 15th, 10:30 am
Hi Doc, he seems better this morning, coughing constantly though. Last night was bad, hope he will be better today. How is Shana, did Oscillococcinum help her?
No, but Carbo veg did!!!!! She’s fine now! I think I owe it all to our conversation last night. I was amazed at how many things the 2 kids had in common, especially fever in the evening, so I looked that up and saw Carbo veg there! Well the thing is, Shana has been doing a lot of burping, which I would normally associate with Carbo veg, but since I don’t think of Carbo veg in fever, I ignored it! But then I saw it listed under “Fever, evening” so I looked it up in the materia medica and I saw it has the same look as Belladonna only with thirst!!! So, in the middle of the night, I gave Shana Carbo veg. 30C and she woke up fine this morning! And I know she’s better because she ate something! Plus, her headache’s gone and leg pains too! She’s watching TV now, yesterday she hardly watched at all, just slept. I was very worried about her because she seemed very weak and losing weight from not eating in 2 days. Today she’s got her energy and appetite back. If you hadn’t told me about Wonder Boy’s symptoms last night, I’m sure I would never have looked up Carbo veg! Wow!
Oh wow! I am so glad she is feeling much bettter, thank God! Wonder Boy doesn’t have a fever now but is coughing continuously. I will try Carbo veg. Hope it helps him as well. I just made a remedy out of his yellow phlegm too.
[See “How To Make Your Own Remedy”]
I was very surprised to see “desires coffee” listed under Carbo veg., I didn’t expect to see that at all. Of course, it has the alternating between hot and cold which Shana had too. I tried Mercurius because of that but it didn’t work. I had already tried Arsenicum and Gelsemium because of the chilliness but they didn’t work either. I was at my wit’s end!
Wonder Boy coughs on the least movement, should I try Bryonia?
You might as well. I tried it with Shana because she had a headache–didn’t work.
I tried Carbo veg but the fever is back again! Wonder Husband is getting very upset with me!
Friday, March 16th, 8:30 am
Well, guess what? Shana relapsed too! The chills, followed by fever, came back right on schedule! Looks like she’ll miss work again!
OMG! What’s happening this time, Doc? I’m scared!
You haven’t tried Phosphorus yet, our main remedy for dry coughs, he desires cold drinks.
But yesterday he wanted hot tea.
Oh. It would be hard to give Phosphorus for that.
Today he wants cold coffee.
Ice coffee again?????
Right now his whole body is hot to the touch but feet are cold. But usually feet also get hot as fever increases more. His head and neck are warm to touch but his hands and feet are cold.
It should be Belladonna, but noooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What did you give Shana?
Phosphorus because of the constant coughing. She seems to be coughing less. She’s trying to sleep now.
I am so tired Doc, with no sleep for nights and not seeing any results.
Same here! Last night was a disaster!
Saturday, March 17th, 3:00 pm
Wonder Woman, good news! Last night, fever returned as usual though the chills seemed less extreme; nonetheless, she was as hot as ever by the middle of the night, just like an oven! I tried Aconite thinking the etiology might be ailments from cold dry winds. (It’s March, after all.) But nothing happened. Out of desperation, I decided to try Belladonna, and I say out of desperation because I could swear I tried it before! But who knows, maybe I used the wrong potency. Anyway, I gave her Belladonna 1M and this morning she’s all better! I’m not kidding! I saw it work last night when she got up on her own to go to the bathroom without any help! Of course, now I have a headache! Maybe I need Cocculus. This flu was a monster. I thought it would never end!
What great news, I’m so relieved, Doc!
Sunday, March 18th 10:00 am
P.S. Guess what? Shana relapsed! No, I am not kidding! The chills came back at 8 pm as usual and at 10 pm came the fever. Repeating Belladonna didn’t help. Now she’s taking Carbo veg because of what I think are gas pains. She seems in better spirits but hey, we are really up against the wall now! If she doesn’t go to work tomorrow, she’s going to need a doctor’s note, and we don’t have a doctor! Counting down… one day to go.
For six days this had gone on, six days! Twice I had declared her well, only to have her relapse! I was running out of time, I had to think! Find a characteristic symptom! What was the most characteristic symptom in the case? The periodicity! Chills at 8 pm, like clockwork! So peculiar! I looked it up: chills at 8 pm. What was there? Not much, nothing in bold, maybe 3 remedies in italics. Hepar sulph. It didn’t help Wonder Boy and he at least had the fishbone sensation in the throat and it still didn’t work! So I wasn’t going to bother with that. What else. Elaps? Sorry, I can’t go there! What else? Coffea. Coffea???? What the heck???? OMG! Coffee was all we talked about! Ice coffee, demanding coffee! “He’s demanding coffee!” He’s only 12 years old!!!! What was this, a sign? Was he trying to tell us something? Was this a message? I immediately gave Shana Coffea 30C–and then we waited. We waited for 8 pm. Will we get past 8 pm with no chills? Will we? Will we….???????? That is the question!! YES! YES!!!!!! We did it!!!! We did it!!!! OK, not so fast. We have to get past 10 pm with no FEVER. Will we make it, will we make it….???? YES!!!! YES!!!! It’s broken! The spell is broken! The Wicked Witch is dead!
Shana went to work the next day–she HAD to as I explained earlier (and so did Wonder Boy return to school on Monday)– both a little wobbly, a little shaky… I said, “Shana, here’s your Gelsemium 30C. If you start to feel wobbly or shaky, take a dose of this.” She took two doses that day.
I asked Shana about her day. She said there was a fire drill. Everyone had to go outside to the parking lot where, of course, there were cars. Shana bumped into one of them and hurt her leg. I looked and thought I saw some swelling. I gave her Arnica 200C, and guess what? BAM! The flu was over, I mean gone!
It was Arnica all along! Ordinary, everyday Arnica!!!!!!
Why do I say that? Two seconds later, Shana was full of energy and back in front of her computer where she hadn’t sat in a week, it was like the whole week never happened!
We never looked back! She never relapsed again!
I actually had a clue to this remedy but ignored it! She said at one point, “I can’t get comfortable.”
“Does the bed feel too hard?” I asked? She thought for a minute. “Yes.”
Two remedies come to mind for that. One is Arnica and the other is the one I gave, Pyrogen. I thought it made more sense in a fever. It didn’t work. After that, I forgot all about Arnica.
But you might say, “Elaine, you said that the most characteristic symptom in the case was periodicity–chills at 8 pm!” Well, first of all, I was surprised to discover that Arnica was in bold for Chills and in bold for High Fever! But you know what else Arnica goes for? Symmetry! Yes, “symmetry”! Like, if you had acne, your distribution of eruptions would be the same on the left cheek as the right cheek–your cheeks would be mirror images of each other, that’s Arnica. Now, if you have a fever and chills that come on at the same time each day, then isn’t day-2 a “mirror image” of day-1? Think about it! Maybe Arnica should be added to the periodicity rubric! But that was it, this flu from hell was an Arnica flu all along, imagine that! My first Arnica flu ever!
But I know what you’re thinking, what about Coffea? Coffea was amazing, but it didn’t boost her energy, she had to take Gelsemium with her to work and needed two doses to give her the strength to get through the day; but as soon as I gave Arnica (which IS listed as a flu remedy, by the way), all her energy came back! She was herself again as if the whole thing never happened!
But yes, Coffea played a crucial role; it saved the day; without it, how long would Shana have continued to relapse? How long would this evil flu have gone on? Would she have lost her job? It wasn’t the perfect remedy, but it was a life-saver!
Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.
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