UNEXPECTED PHOSPHORUS REACTION IN AN OPERATIVE CASE

 [Read before I.H.A., Bureau of Surgery, June 8, 1935.].

V.T. CARR, M.D.

In a family of five children, two boys and three girls, one brother is a patient in an insane hospital, the other brother had ill health until he received medical treatment for an appendicular abscess. A sister, tall, slender and delicate in make-up died at the age of twenty-one years of an undiagnosed cause. The second sister is very obese, suggestive of endocrine disorder. The youngest of the children, the third sister, is our subject for consideration. The father was asocial and a seclusive type of individual. Previous to his death he was very irritable and abusive to the members of his family. The counsellor and guide of this family was a kind and patient mother who was seldom sick with only minor ailments.

The youngest sister was manifestly the most healthy in this family. The only event of any consequence in her history occurred at the age of seven years when she was given a severe blow in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen. Recovering from the acute effects of this injury there was apparently no permanent damage. It bears only questionable significance on our case.

Following her marriage, she gave birth to a boy who was rachitic. He improved constitutionally after his gastro- intestinal upsets were corrected.

The mother, 23 years of age, was now pregnant six months and complained of feeling tired with loss of appetite. Rest in bed was advised. In the course of a few days the appetite returned. On regaining her strength she was attempting to leave the bed, when she was suddenly seized by a sharp pain in the lower right abdomen. This was followed by a fainting with nausea almost to vomiting.

Gradually the symptom picture presenting was: increasing sense of weakness; apprehensiveness with fear of something going to happen and oversensitiveness to noise. There were periods of apathy and a dejected mood with weeping.

Cold food and drinks were desired. She was chilly if she did not have more clothing than ordinarily. Her flesh was always known to be easily made black and blue. A rapid mass-formation, with extreme tenderness, presented itself at the site of the acute pain – the initial symptom. The greatest relief was derived from lying on the left side. The leucocyte count was 12,000 and temperature 99.6, pulse 90. Phosphorus 1M was prescribed.

On the following morning nearly all the symptoms were gone and the patient more cheerful. But with the cell count now 13,500, it was doubtful that all was well. Another cell count was made six hours later and showed a still greater increase in the number of the leucocytes. Also the rigidity of mass was more tense.

At this stage of the case by consultation an operation was considered imperative and that to be made at the earliest possible moment.

A local surgeon with many years of experience and with the assistance of his son-in-law, a recent graduate of the Western Reserve Medical School, was engaged to perform the operation. Now in examining the case in the light of the symptoms, it was unanimously agreed that there was an abscessed appendix. Prognosis was not any too hopeful, being complicated by pregnancy. The remark was made that the sooner the operative procedure could be completed, the better were the chances for favorable results.

A normal appendix was found lying against the back wall. This was after half of the intestines were forced out by reason of intra-abdominal pressure by a gravid uterus and a dermoid cyst of the right ovary. The cyst was near the size of a large grapefruit, twisted on its pedicle and it was deeply discolored. The operation was seriously delayed because of the disintegration and friability of the tissues. For two hours and fifteen minutes we witnessed a nice demonstration of surgical skill.

Surgical science and skill was not to be unmatched by medical science and art. The commonly looked-for surgical shock with nausea and vomiting failed to appear. So thoroughly and completely the effects of Phosphorus sustained the life energies in their normal balance of power that the patient was ready to return home on the tenth day following the operation.

NORWICH, CONN.

DISCUSSION.

DR. DIXON: I believe it is true that the proper homoeopathic treatment preceding operations does a wonderful thing for the patient. I get many cases that are really operative cases, because some folks still dont believe in surgery; sometimes they get away from me, usually because I am attending a medical meeting or going fishing, and the surgeon is called in.

A recent cases is worthy of comment. I dont believe it should have been operated on. A woman forty-two years old, who had had a well defined fibroid, perhaps for three or four years back, that was well established, and her well being was well established and the tumor was giving no trouble.

Two months ago, while I was out of town, through interfering and really concerned neighbors and relatives, the case was whisked off to the hospital. They removed a fibroid tumor, of course, and it has been the marvel of the neighbors and the relatives and friends what a complete and what a quick recovery this woman has made, and I am egotistical enough to think that perhaps good homoeopathic prescribing is to blame for that.

I could give you other instances that have occurred in my own practice, to back this up. We all have these things and I think it is a valuable addition to the success of operations that have to be done. If we werent so hurried for time, I should like to give you a whole list of them.

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