Clearing up the Picture: Keeping the Most Characterizing Symptoms in the Forefront
Joe Kellerstein, DC, ND
Jane was brought into the teaching clinic by her mom, who was a veteran of that same clinic. Once every 3 weeks I see patients there, and the cases are televised to students in an adjacent class. In this way, the students can see the initials and follow-ups, and we can discuss the results at length as a group. This is a fantastic teaching tool that allows homeopathic students to see that it really does work (assuming I don’t mess up). How often in our schools are students simply asked to take on faith that a treatment or idea really “works”? I feel that a solid internship needs to breed confidence in the system of medicine used through the experience of repeated success.
At any rate … to the case at hand.
Jane had been menstruating for about 6 weeks and was, as might be expected, weakened due to anemia. Her menses had been irregular since an ovarian cyst had burst more than 6 months ago, but this time her menses would not stop.
Jane was not the only one with a complaint: Jane’s mom says that Jane is a “holy terror.” She has been very easily annoyed and would display this anger without reservation. Yelling is no problem for her, which reportedly is unusual behavior. Normally Jane is very close to her mother and they get along beautifully. Mom reports that everything the family mentions provokes this irritability and a high-volume retort. Lately, Jane has become quite picky about everything she does and everything that’s done for her.
- Jane is getting abdominal pains after milk, and explosive diarrhea following.
- There is quite an increase in the desire for cheese; less so for chocolate.
- She has felt laziness.
- In general, she is much chillier than usual and always wants to be covered with blankets. During the daytime, the hands are felt especially cold. At night it is more the feet.
After taking a case, one usually gets a sense if something is still missing. After all, every story has its own symmetry. Jane said there was nothing else to say, but something inside me still said I needed more. I left the consult room and went on pilgrimage to the expert – mom. I was informed that about two months prior to this visit there was trouble with Jane’s girlfriends.
Once I asked Jane about any such trouble, there came a gush of tears and feelings of abandonment. I asked about the onset of this menses. It took only a moment of reflection and Jane said that indeed the trouble with her friends had transpired just prior to the onset of this protracted menses.
Okay, I got an etiology and felt like a great detective … So what! No clear remedy image yet. We have this intense irritability, chilliness and prolonged menses. No bells are ringing.
Hahnemann tells us to always hold in the forefront the most characterizing symptoms. Easy for him to say. What are they here?
Mom tells us that normally Jane is a “honey” and great to get along with. This irritability, therefore, is what we should consider first. What strikes me about this mood is the yelling. That could be something. Further, the irritability happened with the onset of this menses. Now we have something to look at in a repertorization – holding this peculiar symptom – one that is not only new and intense, but also a mental symptom and therefore of the highest value.
In Rubric 1, I arranged the symptoms in order of most characteristic on top. If I insist on viewing only those remedies that have the most important symptoms (see Rubric 2), it focuses the view.
Nux looks kind of promising. It is irritable and chilly and fussy and… craves cheese. Sounds great! But, wait a minute. The etiology is being abandoned. That sounds less like Nux and more like Pulsatilla. Nux is not in the rubric Forsaken: MIND; FORSAKEN feeling (K49, SI-546, G39)(Delusions; alone, feels–deserted, feels–disgraced, feels–enemy–family; does not belong to her own)(Estranged)(Helplessness)(Weeping; tendency; goes off alone and weeps as if he had no friends)(86): allox., alum., anac., androc., ang., anh., arg-n., arist-cl., ars., asar., Aur., bamb-a., bar-c., calc., calc-s., camph., cand-a., cann-i., cann-s., carb-an., carb-v., carc., chin., chin-b., choc., coca, cortico., cycl., dros., gels., germ., hell., hura, hydrog., hyosin., ip., kali-br., kali-c., keroso., lac-d., lac-h., lach., lact., lam., lap-c-b., lap-gr-m., lap-mar-c., laur., lil-t., lith-c., lyc., lyss., m-aust., mag-c., mag-m., Meny., merc., nat-c., nat-m., nit-ac., op., ozone, pall., pip-m., pip-n., plat., plb., psil., Psor., Puls., rhus-t., sabin., sac-alb., sanic., sars., sec., sep., sil., spig., stram., sulph., tab., trio., valer., verat., wye.
But, Nux is in the rubric Ailments from scorn (rejection): MIND; AILMENTS from; scorn, being scorned (K78, SI-22, G62)(25): acon., alum., aur., bell., Bry., Cham., coff., coloc., ferr., hyos., ip., lac-c., lyc., mag-m., nat-m., Nux-v., olnd., par., phos., plat., sep., staph., stront-c., sulph., verat.
The patient was rejected, but her response was a sense of being abandoned, so that is more forsaken.
The thermal profile is quite clear. She is very chilly, which goes more to Nux. We must keep in mind, though, that chilliness is to be expected in a case of anemia that is increasing, and has the weakness. Also knowing the surprising information that Pulsatilla is known to shriek with anger (whew!), I gave Puls 200 –one pellet, once.
The report was that by the same evening mood was normalized, and within a couple of days the menses stopped. All is well.
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.