It Was a Pulsatilla Day
Some days, for no particular reason, the forces of the universe converge, and destiny writes meaning. I would not know anything about that, but this was an interesting day, and I wanted to share some of the events with you.
Last Friday (it is now Monday after my hasty weekend escape), a telephone message was left by a lady I had no memory of. It was a request for more of those “crystals” she had some time ago. Her problem (which was all gone) had returned just last week, and she began taking the crystals again, which again took it away, but she was running out (only 3 left) and wanted more.
Shirley’s file said she had been to the clinic twice in 2007. I had given her Pulsatilla 30C (once daily). Her complaints included the following: chronic cough as long as she can remember (worse when lying down in the evening); abdominal bloating in the evening, night, and morning since her esophageal fundoplication (2003); and explosive stools (2006).
Shirley was 62 years old at the time. Her medical history showed a hysterectomy (1988), gallbladder removal (2002), and esophageal fundoplication(2003). Her menses had been quite clotted.
She was sensitive to the heat of the sun and could tolerate the hot sun for only 10 to 20 minutes. I noted that she weeped a few times during the intake.
The case itself was scant and, except for the last 2 points, without any characteristic value. I prescribed based on one striking general symptom and one objective symptom.
The result and the speed of the result were indeed striking. She returned 3 weeks later, saying that all complaints had quickly improved and, although not entirely gone, were much better.
Her message to me that Friday afternoon also included the comment that she had improved again after the first dose. So, even after all this time, she was sensitive to the Pulsatilla 30C.
At 2 pm, I saw Clare—a very pregnant Clare. She was 20 weeks along. I had first seen her 4 years ago for severe panic attacks. She had traveled to a Caribbean island and suddenly found the heat of the sun intolerable. She was out on the beach and was overcome with a panic that she needed to get back to the room, where it was cool. On her return to Canada, the panic followed and plagued her life. Clare represented a good case for Pulsatilla; I prescribed a 6C (1 pellet once) because her panic was easily triggered. I was concerned about her sensitivity.
Even on the Pulsatilla 6C, she did not aggravate for 2 weeks! What struck me about the episode was that she readily accepted my explanation that the body was highlighting what it would attempt to heal, much like a word processor will highlight any text before changing it. Not only was this accepted, but it seemed to really make the aggravated panic bearable for her. Of course, then I recalled that Pulsatilla is very much ameliorated by consolation.
Over the years, Clare has used Pulsatilla (now up to a CM) for most of her ailments, both physical and emotional, but she hit a bit of a wall recently. Her sister had experienced a myocardial infarction during an endoscopy and is in coma. Of course, Clare is devastated. She notes that the remedy seems to help but not enough, and the help is brief.
The only new observation is that her appetite is increased, but when she goes to find something to eat, she cannot decide what it is she craves. This symptom is found in the repertory under “generalities food desires indistinct,” where Pulsatilla is in the highest grade. For Clare, it seems that the system still wants Pulsatilla, but the degree of strain to the vitality makes it necessary to up the potency.
My last patient of the day was Valery. I had not seen her for about 8 years.
She originally was seen for rosacea and various cysts and lumps on her eyelid. There were also sinus issues, lower limb pains, and a general tiredness with dullness. Valery had a history of hysterectomy and episodes of panic.
Not being very bright, I opened her file and saw that, yes, all those years ago I had given her Pulsatilla. I blurted out to my preceptor, “Today is just a Pulsatilla day.”
Valery immediately rang back, “Don’t you dare give me that poison; that was the worst few days of my life. I swore I would never come back here. I was beside myself for days. I wanted to crawl out of my skin, and nothing improved afterward. I came back now because you were absolutely right telling me to get off the dairy product. It quickly relieved the rosacea and the eruptions around my eye.” The medical record indicated that I had given 1 dose of Pulsatilla 30 (1 teaspoon) diluted in 1 cup of water.
Well, that sure put me in my place! The presenting complaint today was a herpetic eruption on the chin. It was recurrent, and what was striking was that it would recur under stress and within 5 minutes of being exposed to the sun. In fact, she had had a chinstrap made to wear to protect the area if she was in the sun.
Even I knew it was time to more carefully resculpt this case. It seems that these lesions had first appeared on the chin at age 18 years, right after her father’s funeral. They especially recur now if she encounters disappointment in her personal life. Two years ago, after her sister’s death, the frequency of eruption climbed even higher. It is there most of the time now. Valery does indeed dwell on the past and has a strong fear of poverty. She weeps easily and usually prefers to be alone when crying. I gave her Natrum muriaticum; this time, I was more respectful of her unique sensitivity and prescribed 6C (diluted in 6 glasses and 1 drop of the final glass as a dose).
I had given a very wrong remedy years ago to a supersensitive lady. These last facts, including the herpetic eruption, had not been mentioned then, leaving the remainder of the case looking like Pulsatilla.
Yes, it was a Pulsatilla day. But today I have already prescribed Lachesis twice!
Joe Kellerstein, DC, ND Joe Kellerstein, DC, ND graduated as a chiropractor in 1980 and as an ND in 1984. He graduated with a specialty in homeopathy from the Canadian Academy for Homeopathy, and subsequently lectured there for two years. He also lectured in homeopathy for several years at CCNM; for eight years at the Toronto School of Homeopathic Medicine; and for two years at the British Institute for Homeopathy. Dr. Kellerstein’s mission is the exploration of natural medicine in a holistic context, especially homeopathy and facilitating the experience of healing in clients. Dr. Kellerstein is presently teaching a post-grad course in Hahnemannian prescribing with Dr. Andre Saine. Its mission is to promote excellence in the basics of homeopathic prescribing; case taking; repertory; Organon as applied to real-life practice; and case analysis skills via modeling the masters. The course runs for three years; distance learning is available. Students can preceptor in Dr. Kellerstein’s clinic, and mentoring is available.