DEEP FULMINATING ABSCESSES IN DIFFICULT CHRONIC CASES

JULIA M. GREEN, M.D.

 

The work of the homoeopathic prescriber surely is vulnerable and imperfect. Who of us does not long to apply homoeopathic principle more successfully and know more and better materia medica?.

Say what we like about the adverse influence of present-day living and thinking; about the consequences of inheritance and environment, the fact stares us in the face that, outside of such extenuating circumstances behind one might hide, there are a great many mistakes due to ignorance, faulty reasoning, careless prescribing, etc. Whether or not there are other reasons for partial failure in deep, slow chronic case constitutes the reason for thinking aloud in these pages.

Many are the pitfalls in the cure of chronic cases. Each prescriber may develop a group of his own, or perhaps several fall into the same pit.

One of my pits is deep chronic abscesses would form in subcutaneous tissues but under tough tendons and fascia where, instead of the speedy pointing and discharging, we would like to see, the suppuration had the chance to spread widely and burrow deeply.

The patient would run a septic temperature and settle down into a do-nothing state. Then it would take the surgeons knife. or long drawn out zigzag prescribing to put such a patient on the curative road again. It looks to me like downright ignorance of materia medica that leads a patient into such snags. The principles look all right, up to this suppurative stage. The question arises, does surgery, as the quickest way out, spoil such a case more or less permanently?

Probably not if it has progressed according to principle to such a superficial stage. Of course it would if used while there was organic tissue change or functional disturbance of spirit, mind, nervous system. In these cases, however, such deep expressions of illness have vanished, the sight of surface suppuration is welcomed as another sign of returning health. And then there appears no outlet for the imprisoned pus which proceeds to spread until it make one fear septicemia.

Plenty of pus forms, for when released by the knife it flows forth abundantly. But healing is too slow, and from the bottom of the abscess outward to make the prescriber feel satisfied with himself. The final result is better health for the patient, a permanent result, for so far I have not seen such a process repeated in the same patient.

To take only four examples:

I. Miss L.E.D. age 16.

Never strong; hard to pull her through her first year.

Ambition great but nervous energy lacking. Tendency to faintness.

Lack vital heat; hands and feet clammy.

One cold after another; tonsillitis frequently; high fever.

Appetite small and fickle.

Skin pasty; facial acne; gums spongy; teeth poor.

Menses irregular, scanty.

Illness in questions: Pharyngitis and tonsillitis; after one week hard swelling right cervical gland large as walnut the fourth day, then larger, harder and swelling extending to chin and to eye.

At one time slight softness and yellow color at one point, then harder again.

Jaws stiff so could hardly swallow.

Finally surgery after three weeks and great quantity of pus liberated from deep in neck behind muscles and tendons.

Then slow recovery.

General health much better since although three times more superficial abscesses in different parts which did open naturally.

Able. now, eight years later, to keep a position and work steadily.

Colds infrequent and throat only slightly affected.

II. A.N. M. 12 years.

Left lobar pneumonia with unusually high fever and great prostration.

Progressed fairly well and partly resolved when suddenly septic fever and pain low left chest with return of grunting respiration. Pain extending over whole left chest and no sounds to be heard there.

Went on for nearly four weeks when called in surgical help.

Aspiration showed plenty of pus.

Resection of rib allowed great quantity of pus to escape from deep in pleura.

Drainage used; recovery good; back in school in six weeks.

This girl had never been strong, had had pneumonia before, was subject to colds and sore throats, would not eat properly. Been in fine health ever since, this illness six years ago.

III. R.L.W. 10 years.

Tiny, puny, pale, stooped, frequent headache, tires very easily; wants nothing but sweets to eat; used to eat dirt and other strange things; nocturnal enuresis.

Illness in question:

Severe pain right ankle with hard swelling to twice the size and great tenderness over both malleoli.

Septic temperature and pulse.

Redness extending up to calf of leg and no sign of “pointing” anywhere.

Family demanded surgery after six days. Several openings made in foot and ankle; suppuration lasting long time; drainage for several weeks; limping about for months.

But general health much better in the three years since; eating better; more normal emotionally and mentally.

IV. J.C. 10 years.

Convulsions in babyhood.

Asthma since 1 1/2 years old, attacks severe.

Tendency to chronic eczema.

Frequent colds with fever.

High fever on slight provocation.

Teeth need much dentistry.

Grew away from all these troubles, so fever not so high, colds fewer and lighter; asthma gone for many months at a time-when suddenly developed deep abscesses in right temple and three places

in highs, each one spreading beneath surface instead of coming to it.

Accompanied by septic temperature and weakness.

Two of these opened after three and a half weeks and supposed all trouble over when two more developed and same process over again.

However, the boy seems better now after four months than for several years.

A discussion of this subject would be most welcome.

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