Not Much to Go On
Joseph Kellerstein, DC, ND
Doris is coming up to her 90th birthday and doing it in style. I don’t mean that in the economic sense. She is present, poised, and sociable. An elegant lady, but in no way ostentatious.
She particularly wanted to see someone practicing homoeopathy because she was raised with it and also knew it to be helpful without the dual possibility of harm.
There was a mix-up at the front desk. Doris had booked the visit complaining of back pain. Because I am a chiropractor as well, she was booked into a more brief time-slot.
Patient Case & History
I was asked Doris what we most needed to discuss.
She had been going to the local clinic for years now for steroid injections to manage “dreadful pain in the legs.” Last August they said “no more injections” – the spinal stenosis had become too bad.
“The pain goes across my butt – it’s ‘on fire.’” Here she motions across the sacrum and gingerly touches the area, indicating to me that it is very sensitive to touch as well.
There was a pressure felt in the urethra. Sharp neuralgic pains in the hamstrings.
“In 1962, I picked a boy up from the floor. The next day I could not sit or lie down. I stood the rest of that day, leaning against the wall. By 2010, it had really advanced… perhaps after dancing a lot. The pain is especially in the hamstrings. It’s bad when I sit, and a bit better as I walk.”
The pain had been especially troublesome in a particular spot on the hamstring muscle. She repeatedly pointed toward it.
Time was important, and Doris could not find any other descriptors or complaints. I decided to reschedule her in a more appropriate time-slot, but wanted to give her a remedy in the meantime, hoping for some relief for her.
There was no anxiety or restlessness visible to me (Arsenicum), no need for warmth or continual stretch or motion (Rhus tox). Sepia, Belladonna, Agaricus, Lycopodium… there were no indicators for or against. I decided to settle back, ignore the time limitation, and wait for more indicators.
“Say more about all of this, please.”
The response was interesting to me: “All of this makes me lose confidence in myself.”
I nibbled at this bait.
Prescription: Lycopodium 30C, 2 pellets once daily. Review in 2 weeks.
First Follow-up, 2 Weeks Later
“I have done well, I think, for the last 2 weeks, until today, that is. Now the pain is back, especially on the left in that 1 spot in the hamstring.”
Prescription: Increase potency: Lycopodium 200C, 2 pellets once daily. Follow up in 2 weeks.
“Not good. Lying is OK. Sitting is awful. I find I must stand to eat. The pain is screaming, constant and hard. The worst of it is in that 1 nasty spot still. Now it’s not over the sacrum; the burning and sensitivity is not as troublesome, but is in the upper lateral hamstring.”
Doris will wake at night from the pains and be drenched in sweat over the face, forehead, and neck.
I decide that the Lycopodium was only a simile and that all sensitivity to it has been lost. I need a new direction. The case was probably deficient. At this point, I only know the modalities and the feature of a pain in a spot – not enough.
It was then that I defaulted back to 2010 (when Doris’ pain had advanced) and asked if anything else happened in her life around then.
Doris told me yes, that her husband had died. He was the love of her life. Her attitude was there was nothing more to say about it. Her love was gone. She could cry every day but does not.
The fact that until now she had not mentioned this, despite being asked, reinforced the characteristic nature of this silent grief. Now I was dealing with: 1) silent grief; and 2) pain in spots.
The case suddenly took form and seemed like Ignatia.
Prescription: Ignatia 30C, 2 pellets BID. Review in 2 weeks.
Phone Call, 5 Days Later
“I took the Ignatia, and after 3 days I noticed all the pain was gone. Previously I could hardly stand to shower. I am thinking that I am alone far too much and need to get out more. There is still some residual leg pain, but not nearly enough to keep me from doing anything.”
She describes this as a miracle.
I find it fascinating that the language of the system will guide the physician, even if we do not immediately know where.
Joseph 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 2 years. He also lectured in homeopathy for several years at CCNM; for 8 years at the Toronto School of Homeopathic Medicine; and for 2 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 patients.