The Need for Balance
Joseph Kellerstein, ND, DC
Treating children with learning difficulties presents unique difficulties: Children usually are not good reporters; and parents describe the problem, but often are mired in the mindset of psychometrists and ADD terminology. In these instances, careful questioning and the observation of objective symptomatology are vital. The pathologies involved are not well defined or understood. NDs must encourage exploration of many possible areas of study, from food sensitivity to mercury toxicity, while steadily applying homeopathic prescribing. The results are occasionally startling, but most often are incremental over the years.
Marie first presented in May ’98. She was three years old and had a history of many runny noses and unwellness. Presently she had a confirmed bladder infection. Her diapers smelled bad. Moods were very erratic. She could move from happiness to screaming in a heartbeat. There was an increased thirst for juice. Fever was present (39.6C/103.3F), and she was quite lethargic. The beginnings of this episode seemed to be a chill after swimming followed by lots of itchiness of the chest area.
I was most impressed by the speed and intensity of mood change. Really, nothing else was very notable except for the general tendency toward runny noses. This made me think of Tuberculinum. I gave a 1m, which was repeated two days later.
The result later was described as “transformative.” There was a resolution of the bladder issue and general energy was up very quickly. This remedy was occasionally given during illness without consulting me and reportedly resulted in good effect over the next several years.
The next time I saw Marie was July 2001. She presented with a cough since visiting a smoky bowling alley. The cough is annoying, and occurs especially at bedtime. She might hold her breath to avoid the cough.
In general, school had been challenging for Marie. She did not absorb a lot, and had a hard time with multiple verbal directions. She is passive, shy and loves to sing. She is quite cautious but loveable and often curious, wanting information about the moods of others. There is a desire to stay out of trouble and avoid criticism. In fact, speaking sharply with her will lead to tears. Her taste in food runs to the bland – crackers, noodles and very low thirst. There is a definite fear of men. Rx: Pulsatilla 200D,one dose.
The result was quite an aggravation for approximately two weeks. The cough improved, but the emotions especially were volatile. Subsequent to this, improvements were noted in several areas: Memory, writing skills and attentional skills seemed better.
Pulsatilla proved useful in increasing potency (up to cm) over the next years. She remained quiet, shy and ”good.” Marie was easily swept up in emotion; very sensitive to admonition; affectionate but always shy with men. In June 04 the report from her parents was that: ”last Friday she did her math assignment alone. There is a keener sense of reason … she is talking about metaphors and even playing cards well.”
In December 2004, things took a slight turn. ”She is very obstinate … there is a very itchy rash on the chest … she is singing in her sleep … there is a scum that reforms on the teeth, even soon after brushing” (and apparently causing horrible breath).
Now, this is interesting. We have a mental symptom much more prominent than ever before – one that is not highly characteristic of Puls. The scum on the teeth is found under the rubric Teeth-Sordes. And is there a remedy in all this that will sing in sleep and have itching skin eruptions? Sulph. 200D was given.
Sulphur made a decided shift in the picture. All of the aforementioned symptoms resolved, and with them, some of the mental cloud lifted further. There seemed to be no further obvious complaint, so the parents simply self administered the remedy whenever they felt Marie’s attentional issues resurfacing. This continued until this August, when they started to feel as if there was some ”spark” after a dose, but no lasting effect. They found themselves wanting to repeat the remedy weekly and so made another appointment.
In the office, the lovely 12-year-old sat mostly silent and seemingly timid. What struck me was the stooped posture she assumed. The parents agreed that she was quite a procrastinator. Her timidity with men, although present, was not nearly an issue. I prescribed Sulphur 10m and secured a firm promise to review the case in three weeks.
Management is a huge issue in treatment. It is important to not foster a dependence on the physician, but – in this case, for example – the Sulphur 200 probably lost its peak effectiveness within eight months of the original prescription, and some highly important time was lost due to complacency (and cancelled appointments).
Joe Kellerstein, DC, ND graduated as a chiropractor in 1980 and as a naturopathic physician 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. Kellerstein’s mission is the exploration of natural medicine in a holistic context, especially homeopathy and facilitating the experience of healing in clients.