Cases Illustrating Repertory Work.
Mrs. C. F., 35 years, record contains the following symptoms:
Mind. – Thinks of nothing but death. Homesick and worries about home whenever away. Cross and irritable. Memory very poor. Forgetful, which is very troublesome. Company makes her nervous; does not want to stay and visit with frieds when they come to call or spend the evening. Imagines there are persons in the room. Difficult to concentrate her thoughts on any one thing long enough to complete it.
Head. – Headache most of the time, severe pressure at base of skull. Pain in right side of head extending down to neck. Aggravation from warmth of bed; from mental exertion. Amelioration from lying. Itching of scalp with much dandruff, with falling of hair. Vertigo in hot room and when rising from seat.
Stomach. – Hungry all the time, but a little satisfies. Much belching of tasteless gas. Desires sweets which disagree.
Abdomen. – Sensitive to pressure of clothing. Much rumbling of flatus with pressure both up and down.
Urination. – Profuse, pale and alkaline. Sometimes burning in bladder after urination.
Menses. – Profuse. Irregular. Dark, with dark clots. Very much depressed and inclined to be tearful before menses. Leucorrhoea profuse for a few days after menses – excoriates.
Sleep. – Good but unrefreshing. Wakens tired and exhausted. Very sleepy after dinner (at night). Dreams frightful, usually of drowning.
General Aggravation and Amelioration. – Better in open air. Worse from pressure of clothes about abdomen and throat. Very sensitive to noise.
Mentals. – Imagines Phantoms, etc. (page 27.) – Ambr., Apis, Argentum m., Arsenicum, BELL., Carbo vegetabilis, Causticum, Crot. h., Hepar, Hyoscyamus, LACH., Lycopodium, Mercurius, Natrum mur., Opium, Phosphorus, Sambucus, Stramonium, Thuja, Sulph., Zincum met.
Sensitive to Noise (page 79) – Apis, Arsenicum, BELL., Carbo vegetabilis, Causticum, LACH., Lycopodium, Mercurius, Natrum mur., Opium, Phosphorus, Zincum met.
Aversion to Company (page 12) – Belladonna, Lachesis, Lycopodium, Natrum mur.
Physical Generals – Amelioration from Open Air (page 1307) – Lachesis, Lycopodium, Natrum mur.
Menses Dark (page 723) – Lachesis, Lycopodium
Menses Irregular (page 724) – Lachesis, Lycopodium
Menses Dark Clotted (page 722) – Lycopodium
Therefore, if our analysis has been correct, Lycopodium should cover this case in its entirety, and consulting our Materia Medica we find not only the general symptoms of the case that we have used in our analysis but all the others which are recorded in the record of the case. Therefore, we know that this remedy is the simillimum to the case, and if administered carefully will cure.
The second case that I will give will show you how not to use the repertory. This method of trying to find a remedy which will cover every symptom of the patient is the one most of you try to use and it is one that is discouraging not only from the fact that it takes so much time, but as well as the fact that many times the repertory will not give the particular rubric for which you may be looking. I selected this case for the reason that each of the symptoms can be found in the repertory and that one remedy covers them all.
Case 2. – Mrs. H. S. came to me 2-12-’07 with the following symptoms which I will give in her own language:
“I am so nervous; am afraid I shall kill some of my people, as I go all to pieces and can’t control myself. Thinking about killing, I dream of killing my little girl. If I do not get better soon I shall commit murder. Every afternoon I have pain over my eyes as if burned. Can’t read at night, as there are sharp pains going through my eyes; if I persist in reading dark points appear on the page so I cannot see the print. Hungry most of the time; in morning when I awaken there is burning pain in my stomach which grows worse until I get up, when it goes away. Always have to take pills to move my bowels; before they move there is a sharp cutting pain in the rectum and many times the bowels come out while at stool. If I drink beer will have piles for two or three days. My menses have been too often since my last child, three years ago, and for a week before I am sick have whites each morning, which are much worse walking. There is not much flow, and it only lasts two or three days and smells sour as vinegar. Can’t sew for past month, as there are stitching pains in the back of my neck when bending my head forward. Feet cold as ice every afternoon and cramps in my calves keep me awake nearly all night. Do not shop, as I feel so badly when I have to stank long.”
Fear of killing people. – Abis, Arsenicum a., Nux v., Rhus t., Sulphur
Dreams of committing murder. – Rhus t., Sulphur
Burning pains over the eyes, worse afternoon. – Sulph.
Sharp shooting pains at night, on reading. – Phyto., Sulphur
Followed by dark points. – Conium, Sulphur
Burning pains in stomach on waking, better rising. – Sulph.
Cutting pain in rectum before stool., – Asarum europaeum, Sepia, Sulphur
Prolapsus recti during stool. – Ignatia, Lycopodium, Podophyllum, Rhus t., Sulphur
Leucorrhoea mornings, worse walking. – Natrum mur., Bovista, Sarsa., Sepia, Sulph.
Menses scanty, short duration. – Ammonium c., Lachesis, Pulsatilla, Sulphur
Menses smell sour. – Carbo vegetabilis, Sulphur
Stitching pain in neck from bending head forward. – Sulph.
Feet cold afternoon. – Nux v., Sulphur
Cramps in calves while in bed. – Arsenicum a., Causticum, Ignatia, Sulphur
Worse standing – Conium, Cyclamen, Lilium t., Pulsatilla, Sepia, Sulphur, Valer.
Here we see that Sulphur covers each symptom, but with a good knowledge of the arrangement of the repertory it took me some time to work it out. Now to demonstrate how much more rapidly we can arrive at the same results by working from the generals to particulars, we will start with a general rubric:
Menses scanty, short duration. – We find the following nineteen remedies that have this symptom in the first and second grades: Alumina, Amc., Asafoetida, Barayta carbonica, Cocc., Conium, Dulcamara, Graphites, Lachesis, Mang., Mercurius, Natrum mur., Nux v., Phosphorus, Platina, Pulsatilla, Sepia., Sulphur, Thuja
Now among this group of nineteen remedies will be found one which will cover the totality of our case. If we were to give a remedy upon this one symptom alone we might give any one of the above, for they all have this condition in a high degree; but if we did not give the right one we should not cure the case. We must individualize our case still further, so we will use another general.
Worse standing. – In consulting the repertory we find that of the first nineteen there are only the following seven which have the symptom in the first and second grade: Conium, Cocc., Phosphorus, Platina, Pulsatilla, Sepia., Sulph. But still we have seven remedies, any one of which may be the remedy so far, and we must individualize still further by another symptom. We will take the general, better in open air. Here we find that we have only four remedies of our previous group which will have this symptom in the first and second grade – Conium, Phosphorus, Pulsatilla, Sulphur
We have now worked our list down to four remedies and we will individualize again by taking another general, fear of committing murder. This gives us Sulphur, the only remedy which covers all of the symptoms we have taken so far. Now if the logic of our reasoning be correct, if the technique of selection be without a flaw, Sulphur must be the mathematically correct remedy, and reference to the pathogenesis of the remedy shows that Sulphur not only covers these four symptoms we have used, but it also contains all the other particular and common symptoms of the case. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so we will turn to our record and we find the patient was discharged 7-7’07; that all symptoms had disappeared, bowels move naturally. Says never felt better in her life.