EVELINE B. LYLE, M.D.
The request has come from several readers of The Recorder for cases showing the correct evaluation of symptoms with the method of repertorizing in order to chose the similimum. The importance of this question to new students of homoeopathy, as well as to many older homoeopaths, is very vital, for the future (as well as the present) of homoeopathy depends on the choice of the proper remedy. Therefore each month of the coming year a case will be presented for study and analysis.
The case this month will be analyzed, symptoms ranked, rubrics given, and the remedy chosen. Beginning with February the case will be given one month and the analysis the following month. It is suggested that the case be worked out and that the student definitely commit himself by writing down the remedy before the correct working out of the case is printed.
Success in choosing the remedy depends on two things a carefully taken case, and the proper ranking or evaluation of the symptoms. In this series for the beginner the Kent method will be used. The books suggested are Kents Repertory,m 3rd edition (either of the other editions may be used); a few good materia medicas including Kents which gives the personality of the drug in a most convincing manner; and repertory sheets which will be obtained at a reasonable price from the American Foundation for Homoeopathy. If these are not used take typewriter paper and rule in columns with space left between remedies for additions in alphabetical order (see illustration in this article).
It is suggested that you reread carefully the Study Course in Homoeopathy by Dr. Elizabeth Wright Hubbard in The Recorder for May, June and July 1930. These articles give the method of taking the case, an outline for the same on pages 336-339, the evaluation of symptoms, and repertorizing.
For a brief reminder the symptoms are ranked in the following order, the metals being highest in value as most indicative of the patient, followed by the physical generals as indicative of the tendencies of the body as a whole.
1. Mental symptoms. See Recorder for May 1930, p. 339.
a. The will symptoms. See Recorder for sub-headings.
b. The understanding: delusions, hallucinations, delirium, mental confusion, etc.
c. The intellect: memory, concentration, mistakes in writing and speaking.
2. Physical generals. See Recorder for May 1930, pp. 338-339.
a. Sexual conditions and menses, etc.
c. Food desires and aversions.
d. Aggravations and ameliorations of whole body by time, seasons, temperature, air, weather, climate, etc.
See Recorder for May 1930, pp. 336-338 (II, e, 1-14).
e. Sleep, kind.
f. General type, restlessness, weakness, prostration, chill, fever, etc.
g. Objective symptoms applying to whole body. 3. Particulars.
a. Strange, rare and peculiar.
b. Modalities of particular. See Recorder for May 1930, pp. 336-338.
After the chief mental, general and peculiar symptoms have been run through it will be found that only a few remedies are coming through frequently. From this point on only these remedies need be considered. When the list has narrowed down to five or six take the materia medica and read each remedy through carefully to find out which is most similar to the particular patient. Certain rubrics which run large in the Repertory may be used for eliminative purposes, such as hot or cold blooded, worse in wet weather, etc. The knowledge of synonyms will be found most useful.
The value of the different remedies under the rubrics in the Kent Repertory is as follows: Black type highest, value 3; italics second, value 2; small ordinary roman type lowest, value 1. It is to be remembered that no technical method is perfect. The master choose the remedy because he knows the remedies as definite personalities, and when he sees the patient and hears the story he sees the remedy. Often this is subconsciously done. To achieve such a name, master prescriber, one can begin with this method about to be illustrated. By applying the correctly chosen remedy in case after case and watching the results the subconscious is being supplied with intuition and the brain with knowledge. Read materia medica over and over and over and at last you will have achieved the goal. As a starter these cases are offered for your study.
Mrs. F., age 49. The symptoms are as follows: Has a constant headache which is worse lying down. The pain is in the occiput and there is a sense of pressure. Dizziness and dimness of vision. Dyspnoea on ascending stairs and when leaning back ward. Recently sighs much. Sleep good but tired in the morning. Wants to sleep all the time, worse after eating. Hungry but easily satisfied. No thirst. Considerable flatus. Very restless. Sadness from music. Memory poor. Speech stuttering recently. Concentration difficult. Imagines she sees things running across the floor, mice, insects, etc. Thinks of nothing but death. Homesick whenever visiting. Irritable and cross. Sensitive to noise. Desires company. Better in open air, must have it. Very sensitive to tight collars. Urination frequent, copious, worse when on feet. Menses irregular; delayed sometimes 2 or 3 months ; flow copious; duration 3 to 4 days; discharge very dark; strong odor; excoriating during latter part of period.
Analysis of the Case.
Pick out all the mental symptoms and arrange in a column. Do the same with the generals indicative of the patient as a whole, and with any important particulars especially peculiar to the patient. Under each arrange the modalities if given. It is not necessary to use every symptom, take those most marked. This is much easier to do if you really see the patient. Good prescribers should be able to pick the remedy on about three or four symptoms.
It is often better to take the general rubric at the head of the rubric rather than one which seems to more definitely fit the exact wording of the patient, for the latter may be limited to a few remedies and in using it important remedies may be omitted. It is also often necessary to combine rubrics to get all of a symptom. If so, and a remedy is found in each but of different value, use the highest value given, or if you wish to be more exact add and divide by the number of times it appears.
The symptoms chosen by the doctor who presented this case as most indicative of his patient are:.
4. Imaginations, mice, insect, etc.,, running over floor. See Mind, Delusions, main rubric, p. 20.
1. Desires company. Mind, Company, desire for, p. 12.
3. Sensitive to noise. Mind, Sensitive. noise to p. 79.
2. Sadness from music. Mind, Sensitive, music to, p. 78.
6. Open air ameliorates, must have it. Generalities, Air, desire for, p. 1343.
5. Restless, Mind, Restlessness, p. 72.
7. Menses, irregular, 2 to 3 months. Genitalia, Female, Menses, irregular,late, p. 727.
8. Menses copious. Genitalia, Female, Menses, copious, p. 725.
9. Menses dark. Genitalia, Female, Menses dark, p. 726.
10. Menses acrid. Genitalia, Female, Menses acrid, p. 724.
11. Tight collars aggravate. Generalities, Clothing, intolerance of, p. 1348.
The rubrics for these symptoms are charted on sheets with the remedies arranged alphabetically. To save space only those coming through highest are printed here. Beginning with the 7th symptom only those remedies have been recorded which are coming through most often. When the symptoms are all repertorized and charted, count up the numerical value of the most prominent ones and make it the numerator of a friction, the denominator of which is the number of times the symptom appeared in the rubrics. For example Apis adds to 15 and appears 9 times. The fraction, then, is 15/9. Arrange the five or six highest in order of numerical value. If any remedy does not have the characteristics of the patient in itself it need not be considered.
Symptoms. Desires company. Page 12. Sensitive to music, 78. Sensitive to noise, 79. Delusions (animals), 20. Restlessness, 72. Desires open air, 1343. Menses late, 727. Menses copious, 725. Menses dark, 726. Menses acrid, 724. Tight clothing.
The four highest ranking symptoms are:
This case has not the chief ear mark of Lachesis worse after sleep or wakens into an aggravation, for it wishes to sleep all the time which it would not do if sleep were followed by an aggravation. Neither is it the Puls. type, although that would not rule the remedy out. Looking back over the other symptoms there are two very characteristics of Lyc., hungry but easily satisfied, and sleepy after eating. After reading through the materia medica, particularly Kents, I think you will agree that Lycopodium, particularly Kents, I think you will agree that Lycopodium, is the similimum. It was given in the 10M potency.
According to Hahnemann, life is bestowed upon the human economy by a power sui generis, appropriately named by him, the vital force. This agency starts with life itself, in the original protoplasm, influencing the development of the living tissues governing and regulating all the physiological phenomena, and watching over the preservation of the individual till death. There has no better theory advanced of the influences governing the human system; and to those who dispute it, the onus probendi, in regard to any hostile theory, belongs to them.
If this vital force be distilled in its harmonious guidance of the function of the body, by some external impression, mental, miasmatic, climatic, or other, the processes of nature are modified and disease appears. The vital power is immaterial or dynamic in nature, like all natural forces, and can only be affected by similar immaterial or dynamic agents. AEtiological factors, consequently, operate and influence this power through their virtuality. These disturbances of the vital force manifest themselves different individuals, depending upon the peculiarities or original weaknesses of the patient.-PROSPER BENDER, M.D. 1895.
As disease is of dynamic origin and dynamic in its nature, how should it be treated unless by a similar agent0a dynamic force?-J.T. TEMPLE, M.D., 1868.