BY J. COMPTON BURNETT, M.D.
MR. — a private gentleman, married, and one who had always led a healthful life, but too great a traveler, came under my observation early in the year 1882, in a very weak condition. He had had slight hemiplegia of the right side, and still showed some symptoms of paralysis, e.g., weakness of right arm, occasional dragging of the legs, loss of memory, impaired vision and loss of power generally.
His effective virility was extinct, and had been so for two or three years, and naturally this did not tend to raise his spirits. I treated him for a few months with but slight benefit, when one day he complained of a frontal headache that at once reminded me of the Thuja headache. I gave him Thuja occidentalis 30 (4 in 24) and within a few days he remarked a very notable improvement, feeling better than he had for a three years. Getting this report at his next visit, I feel to questioning him about vaccinations, which I had previously not done; and what was the answer?.
Feb. 24th, 1883. How many times have you been vaccinated?”.
“I have been vaccinated six or seven times.”.
“Did it take every time?”.
And from closing questioning I satisfied myself that this gentleman had been six time unsuccessfully vaccinated, and this suggested to me that he was really suffering from that vaccinal blight which I have ventured to call vaccinosis.
Patient had received only four doses of Thuja 30 in the early part of January 1883, just to cure his headache, and which resulted, in a hypopubic resurrection of great importance; and the headache having simultaneously left him, he then took the constitutional remedy I had prescribed, viz., Titanium, and continued it till a few days ago. I had instructed him to take the Thuja only for a few days, till his headache disappeared.
Now, thought I, we will saturate him with Thuja and extinguish the vaccinosis; so I gave him this prescription: Rx Tc Thuja Occidentalis … iv. to take four drops in water night and morning, and report in a month.
The result was quite satisfactory, and he became, in his wifes words – “quite a different man”; all paralytic symptoms having disappeared, and the old headache had not returned at the end o 1883, when I last saw him.
Loss of virile power is frequently a result of vaccination and when the local debility is due to this cause it is really wonderful how the case is altered by a few doses of Thuja.
CASE OF SPINAL IRRITATION.
MISS —-, aet. 29, came under my care in November, 1882, complaining of owning a spine. She had been under the best physicians and surgeons of London. Had derived a little benefit from many, most, she thought from the movement cure, under Dr. Roth of Wimpole Street. She also alleged that mesmeric passes had eased her a good deal.
Her symptoms were legion; she was bent forward, could scarcely walk, her spine very tender and painful; twitchings; pain all down the back; and chilliness, worse at night. Her liver was decidedly enlarged and there was pain in the right side. This hepatic disturbance was righted by Chelidonium majus I; five drops in water, twice a day. Then, on December 19th, I gave her cedron I, which certainly eased the cephalalgia and chilliness a good deal, and it was therefore continued till February 9th, 1883, when I went into her case a little more carefully as to its anamnesis. She had been vaccinated four times successfully, once it did not take.
Rx Thuja occidentalis 30.
March 8th. Patient exclaimed “that is capital stuff; I am very much better; my coldness is gone; I am so much stronger altogether”.
March 31st. Back “wonderfully better”.
She needed several other remedies, but practically her cure was effected by Thuja.
On May 17th she had Thuja 100, and soon afterwards began to play at lawn-tennis.
On June 12th she reported herself thus – “I have not been so well for three or four years; I feel strong, and can do anything”. .
I do not know whether any one will admit that this was a case of vaccinosis; certain it is that she had been vaccinated five times and was very ill, practically an invalid, till I gave her Thuja, and then she mended and is now well and comparatively vigorous.
CASE OF SCRIVENERS CRAMP; CEPHALALGIA, AND ENLARGED.
MISS. —, aet. 29, a city clerk, came under my observation on May 7th, 1883, complaining of much epigastric beating, pain in left side, great chilliness, and writers cramp of right side. An examination showed an enlargement of the spleen, and a swelling of the left ovary of about the size of a hens egg. Her breath is heavy, and she gets giddiness. She has frontal headache of a severe kind almost every day for a long time.
Rx Ceanothi Americani I. Five drops, in water, three times a day.
May 30th. side is much better; the chilliness is better; the feet warmer; the beating less.
Rep. et. Cup. acid I.
July 30th. Side nearly well; paining every alternate day or so. Pain in the back no better; giddiness better. Complains especially of the severe frontal headache, and the cramps in the right arm are so severe that she has had to give up office work. .
Has been vaccinated three times, but the last time it did not take.
Rx Tc. Thuja occidentalis 30, night and morning.
August 16th. Headache and writers cramp well. She returns to work.
November 16th. Continues at office work with comfort; no return of either headaches or cramps. Continues under treatment or ovarian tumour, and gets Silica 6.
The hydrogenoid constitution of von Grauvogl was here well pronounced, and what I call vaccinosis was implanted on it. The action of Thuja was most marked, prompt and durable. Questioned on November 16th as to which medicine cured the headache and the cramps, she instantly said it was the powders (i.e., the Thuja).
ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT AND HEMIPARESIS.
MISS —-, aet. 16, was brought to me on May 16th, 1883. This was her state: roof of mouth very much arched; left side of face drawn to the left so that her mouth is awry. She speaks very badly; cannot articulate properly; and is very deaf. Has always been so. Has a Polypus in left nostril; the tonsils are enormously hypertrophied; breathes very loudly. Left mamma smaller than right; left side of thorax generally smaller than right. Tongue is cracked; pain in left side for years: frontal headache for a twelve month. Menses normal, having begun six months ago. She was vaccinated at the age of three months; it did not take, and so she was done a second time in both arms, when it took fairly well.
Patient is the child of healthy parents and there did not appear to be anything to account for the extraordinary backwardness. I reasoned that the child had evidently been blighted by the vaccination, for she did not readily take (the organism resisted), and then did take (organism overcome).
Rx Thuja occidentalis 30. Two drops daily for four weeks.
Now note the sequel, not forgetting that the childs condition had been, as described, nearly all her life.
June 13th. On this day her mother brought her and reported – this is the note in my case book: “on the whole very much better; can certainly articulate better!! and the head and face are not so one sided, and she hears better!”.
Both parents were agreed that the changes had been wrought since the medicine had been taken. The father is an unusually gifted professional man, and the mother an educated lady.
July 11th. Headache well; side pain better; and the whole state is better. Considering the vaccinial blight removed I gave Ceanothus americanus 1 five drops, in water, night and morning, for two months. I gave this because the spleen was enlarged, and I thought its specific influence on the left side generally might be beneficial. I was not disappointed, but very much gratified to see that the left side of the thorax began to grow, and also the left mamma. The little play of the imagination here as to the left sidedness of the action of Ceanothus was fruitful.
September 7th. The increased dullness on percussion in the left hypochondrium having disappeared, and the left side having been manifestly bettered, and that considerably, I reverted to the Thuja, and this time gave it in the hundredth centesimal dilution.
October 7th. Under this date I read in my case book – “side remains well, but she seems to have suffered a good deal generally while taking the Thuja 100. She articulates decidedly better, speaks now so that I can understand her, and her hearing is greatly improved.” She remains under treatment, and will receive other constitutional remedies, but the influence of the Thuja upon her has been most marked and remarkable. I have myself no doubt that the childs condition of hemiparesis arose from the vaccinial blight, i.e. from vaccinosis, she being originally delicate, particularly her nervous system.
NEURALGIA OF EYES OF NINE YEARS STANDING.
MISS —, aet.20, came to me on January 18th, 1883, with various ills. The constipation for which I had treated her had been cured by Nux 30 and Sulph. 30, but the fluor albus was no better. “But then”, said she, “there is the neuralgia in my eyes, which I have had for nine years, nothing has ever touched that.” The neuralgia complained of was worse in the morning and at the menstrual period.
Thuja 30 (4 in 24). One at night.
I saw her no more till December the 8th, 1883, when she came complaining of too frequent and too profuse menstruation.
“What about the neuralgia?”.
“Oh! that is cured; I have not had it since those powders”.
Was this a case of vaccinosis?.
Patient had been twice vaccinated, and the second time was when she was 15 years old, when it did not take. I do not feel so sure that this was a case of vaccinosis, because the patient was re-vaccinated unsuccessfully after this neuralgia began, and besides, her mother died of epithelioma, so it may have been merely a case of sycosis Hahnemanii. The only certain thing about it is that the neuralgia had lasted nine years, and disappeared after the giving of the Thuja.
I have treated a certain number of other cases, with varied disease symptoms, on the hypothesis that I was dealing with vaccinosis, and often with results little short of startling, but I hardly think it would serve any useful purpose to multiply examples.
The foregoing observations embody and exemplify all that is essential of what I have observed and thought on the subject; if other physicians will follow on the same lines the reward will be theirs and mine; and if they will not, then the reward still is mine in this that I have cured very obstinate cases of disease by reckoning with vaccinosis as a clinical fact, and as a man I could not do less than lay what I believe I know on the subject before the world. It remains for others to judge whether the work was worth doing.
Although I had fully intended citing no more cases of vaccinosis and its cure by Thuja, still the following very recent observation is really too telling to be left out.