Homeopathy in Africa: Part 4

Case One:

A 40 year old woman came two months ago with bleeding from the rectum and vagina. It is worse when she has general body pains and has been happening for 10 years. She said the bleeding used to be profuse but not connected to the menses. The blood can be both bright and dark, with clots at times. She said the bleeding from the rectum comes in clots and is more profuse. When it comes it can last two weeks, whereas the bleeding in the vagina lasts only 3 days. She has piles in the rectum. The bleeding is worse when she gets a severe backache which she does before her period each month. She said it is a bursting pain. The bleeding gets worse every two months, lasts about two weeks and after the bleeding, the pile disappears. She can also have a pain in the rectum like a knife, cutting. It can feel hot in the rectum and she can have an odor like rotten meat, which is worse when the blood is dark. She gets dizziness and severe headaches, which can be throbbing and her vision gets blurred, which is worse at night and she can fall down. Her menses can be irregular now and she only had it three times in the last year. Her appetite is low and she is losing weight. This is worse in the last 3 months. Her appetite is worse in the last month since her brother died. It also got worse in the past when her mother died. She prefers the cold, rainy season. Her character is such that she is quick tempered. She says she doesn’t hold onto her feelings. She likes to be alone as she doesn’t like to speak with lots of people as they will talk about what she says inaccurately. When feeling stress, she will go on her own to cry. Her only worry is her sickness. She has 3 living children who are living at home. They have finished their education and she is waiting to see what they will do. She used to have a yellow leucorrheal discharge a while ago with an odor like spoilt milk. Her stool is that she goes every 3-4 days, and it is often like sheepdung. She has to strain to go. She urinates 4-8 times a night and gets a pain if she can’t go immediately.

This case was very difficult to take. It was hard to get her to be precise with her symptoms, which is compounded by the translation issues. She came across as angry, embittered and generally unhappy. In many situations here I study the face of people and attempt to understand them by the impressions given by their face. This lady was not a happy camper. I was not clear exactly where all the bleeding came from, but I focused mainly on the idea of the piles, the bleeding, the knife like pains, her basic nature and the demeanor she gave off by her facial expressions. Based on that, it seemed clear that I had to give Nitric acid. I didn’t really bother to repertorize her symptoms although no doubt Nitric acid would have come up even though she likes the colder weather. (However, in Ghana, that doesn’t really mean much). So Nitric acid LM 1 was given.

One month later, she returned saying that for 5 days after the remedy, her pains increased in the rectum. After that the pains got much better and are still better now. She said she had tingling in the palms and soles which is also better. Her menses came 3 days after she took the remedy but the back pain didn’t come. Her appetite is better and her urination is much better, only going one time in the night. She had some old pains in the urethra return but they are now also better. That was it. A good case of an aggravation and then amelioration on all levels. So, I gave her a dose of Nitric acid 30c in water. In the next three months, Nitric acid was given a couple of times and she remained much better.

Notes: This is a classic example of taking a more comprehensive case in needing to find the exact remedy. The combination of mental and physical symptoms in a case always gives more confidence in finding the best possible remedy. In this case Nitric acid was strongly indicated. The mental picture of this remedy often sees a person who is irritable, dissatisfied and complaining, a prickly nature, at times embittered by the apparent injustices of life and who will complain and fight for what they want.

Case Two:

A 35 year old man came saying he had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. He told us he went to a doctor at a computer hospital who took a sample of hair and gave him this diagnosis. He was then given some small white tablets (making us suspect they were homeopathic remedies) which he took. This was originally one year ago. He subsequently went to the regular hospital and had an x-ray which was negative. However, he still believes he has a brain tumor.

The 1st symptom he had was a sensation of heat all the body and palpitations, which he felt in his veins. He felt as if worms were crawling over the body, like fleas inside his body. Every week now he has headaches, and takes painkillers. The pain is throbbing and is felt more in the occiput. He says he can’t read or concentrate with it and can have blurred vision. He said he can’t think that clearly a lot of the time, and feels confused in his mind. He says he can have palpitations with the headache. He has had no particular medical history. Maybe a little malaria but he wasn’t sure.

He said he’s not quick tempered, is patient and generous. He has had a nephew and cousin die around 5 months ago. He wasn’t working for a while but now has a job. He is not married as he doesn’t have the money to do so. Both his parents died before he was 12 and he lived with an uncle. He sleeps well and he has one nightmare of being chased and people wanting to put him in a pit. He wakes up with it. It doesn’t happen that often. He says that along with the fleas feeling on the body, he gets movement in the muscles, which I confirmed to be twitching.

Analysis

: this was all we could get in the case. He was difficult to get information from. He seemed very passive and he kept repeating the question, as if he didn’t get the question. It was hard to get him to really say much or to know what he was thinking. The most important thing was his willingness to accept the diagnosis of brain tumor even though an x-ray showed nothing.

H seemed weak mentally. It was hard to know what he thought and he couldn’t explain himself easily. He said his concentration is difficult and it’s hard to think in general. The other physical symptoms were not that characteristic except for the feelings on the skin.

Symptoms/Rubrics chosen:

Mind, concentration difficult.

Mind, confusion, headache during.

Skin, formication.

Generalities, twitching.

Mind, answering, repeats the question first.

Mind, impressionable.

Notes: From this analysis, it seems clear that the remedy Zincum metallicum is needed. It has the easy impressionability with the weakness of the mind. It is found in the keynote, confusion during headache and also in repeating the question before answering. It is suited for people easily suppressed by life, their constitution is not that strong and they are affected by their situation too much. It is one of the big remedies for twitching and is strongly indicated when formication (like ants crawling) is found on the skin.

 

He was told that it was “unlikely” that he had a brain tumor, but time will tell when the remedy works. Ideally he will drop this idea on his own. In situations like this, it is not good to insist that his delusion is wrong. It needs to happen for himself.

Case Three:

A 39 year old man came with intense itching of the testes that began 2 years ago. It then spread to the whole body, including his head. Blisters form when scratching and scratching in general aggravates, especially on the head. Yellowish water comes out from blisters when scratching. It is worse in the open air and when he undresses. It is also worse at night and when in sunshine. The area of skin affected can turn blackish after scratching.

Three years ago, he thought he was “jujud” (like a spell put on him) by workers. He had chills and threw up food. It lasted three weeks. Then the skin thing began a few months later. He has been to many hospitals but no better. It now begins in the head and moves to his back and other parts. He has had some depression due to the death of his children. The last one died 8 years ago. The grief lasted a long time. Another child died 2 years before that. Both were miscarriages. They weren’t born yet but died at birth. He has two living children, one with each of his two wives.

The only medical history he had was a history of gonorrhea before he was married. He had pains with urinating and some discharge. He was given medicine for it.

Mentally he says he is quick tempered. He said when people don’t do thing right, he

doesn’t forget easily.

Notes:This is not a detailed case. There was not a lot of information go on. However, there are some characteristic features.The area of skin affected is important here, the scrotum and genitalia area. Ideally a remedy that has this area of affinity would be good. The yellow watery liquid from the vesicles (blisters) is also somewhat characteristic. Mentally, I didn’t take the idea of being “jujud” that seriously. Many people here believe in this. It is part of the culture and therefore less characteristic. However, the depression is significant. Although the loss of two children at birth is indeed a traumatic event, in Africa it is not uncommon and many parents experience the loss of one or more of their children. It is mostly accepted and part of a broader fatalistic attitude toward life. His long term depression therefore does seem significant. The other mental symptom is that he does not forget easily when people do things that are not right. The other major event is his history of gonorrhea.

Symptoms/Rubrics chosen:

Mind, ailments, from grief.

Male, eruptions/itching scrotum; itching scrotum.

Skin, eruptions, vesicular, watery; yellow.

Mind, dwells on past disagreeable occurrences.

Generalities, gonorrhea suppressed.

Based on this repertorization and analysis, the clearest remedy is Natrum sulphuricum. It is found in the skin rubrics well as the mind symptoms and of course is found in the history of gonorrhea.

Natrum sulphuricum is made from Sodium sulphate, more commonly known as Glauber’s salt. In homeopathy it is often used for people who suffer from grief and loss but who keep it to themselves and who try to have more of a down to earth practical unemotional expression in their dealings. However, they tend to suffer more inside. It is also a great remedy for the chronic effects of head injuries, especially if it leads to serious depression.

Case Four:

A 28 year old woman came in complaining of pain in the right eye and which has pus coming out in the morning. It has been reddish in the last 6 weeks. She was told by one hospital she had an injury in the eye and was given drops but the problem has continued. She gets lachrymation in the right eye and said it feels like there is sand in the eye. The pain is constant and she has difficulty sleeping at night. It can wake her up and then it’s painful to close the eye again. She has more photophobia, both for sunlight and artificial light. She also has itching on eye and says at times it feels as if she has a hair on the eye.

She said that the symptoms began with a general body pain. She had malaria with chills and then the pain in the eye came on. The malaria has been an ongoing chronic problem since she had typhoid 15 years before. Since then she has had frequent bouts of fever, every 2-3 months.

So now we have a better picture with more of an etiology. We need a remedy that covers chronic malaria as well as the eye symptoms. Two of the main remedies indicated are Cedron and Natrum muriaticum. However, the eye symptoms of Cedron tend to be more acute and stitching in nature. Natrum muriaticum strongly has the sensation of sand in the eye and the photophobia. Also, it is one of the main remedies for symptoms that stem from malaria and where there is a strong periodicity of the attacks. It is also one of the main remedies to consider when headaches in general stem from malaria.

So Natrum mur 30c daily in liquid was given, for at least one week.

Notes: This is a sample of cases taken while working in Ghana. As exampled, a fairly conventional approach is used, the main challenge being when knowing when enough information has been gleaned to prescribe upon. A few keynotes are often enough, combined with some accurate observations of the person’s body and face and other more general information of a person’s situation. Essentially it is not that much different to our experience in more developed countries although the amount of data available forces us to prescribe on less information at times. But as the saying goes, Less is more and it can be a very useful experience to prescribe in this way and a reminder that homeopathy does not always have to be that complex and how homeopathy can be very well suited to the needs of Africans.

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