SEIZURES AND ASTHMA BOTH CURED WITH ONE HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE
Filed under Clinical Cases
Epilepsy, for centuries, has been a dreaded disease. Its hallmark is that it strikes without warning rendering the victim temporarily helpless. Epilepsy is a generic term used to define a family of seizure disorders. A seizure is a disturbance of the electrical activity of the brain. Usually it is brief. A person with recurrent seizures is said to have epilepsy. In all seizures, from very mild to the extreme ‘grand mal’ type, all the customary control that the cerebral cortex normally exerts is suddenly suspended. Bundles of neurons fire uncontrollably causing lack of awareness and involuntary movements. These out of control movements convulse the victim causing him to shake, tremble or spasm sometimes slowly, usually rapidly and violently.
Bella, age two years nine months, was brought in by her grandmother, Mildred, who said her seizures began when she was three weeks of age. The first two were of the grand mal type with opisthotonous and loss of consciousness. Opisthotonous is when the convulsion causes a violent spasm, arching the back. At the same time the arms extend violently, the wrists flex, and the feet bend at the ankles forcing the toes down. She was prescribed phenobarbital which did not stop the seizures. After those first two grand mal seizures, the seizures changed: the head extended backward, the eyes rolled up and backwards, the lips protruded. “She pouches them out,” were Mildred’s words. Sometimes she lost consciousness. If she was standing, the head extended backwards and she often fell back, unconscious. These were occurring every two to three days though yesterday she had had two and had already had one the morning I saw her.
When the seizures first started, Bella was given phenobarbital for a brief period, but Mildred decided against further pharmaceuticals and Bella had never been medicated since. I asked Mildred why she was so strongly opposed to drugs. Seizures can be worrisome if not terrifying and even the anti drug crowd usually permit one or more anti-seizure medicines.
“I won’t allow it,” she said. “I don’t believe in drugs.” Her unswerving point of view had resulted in more than one medical doctor calling Child Protective Services of the State of Texas. From the conventional doctor’s point of view Mildred’s actions were unreasoning, unethical and very possibly injurious to Bella’s health and well-being. Mildred got investigated twice and twice prevailed. Bella was permitted to stay with her grandmother.
So Mildred brought Bella to me in a drug free state which meant that any symptoms I uncovered were a natural product of her illness. In “homeospeak” we would say the Vital Force, the electromagnetic field within and without the physical body, was not in a state of balance and harmony but instead was disordered producing the abnormal electrical activity in the brain which In turn was producing the seizures. When a patient is not taking pharmaceuticals, which is unusual, the symptoms produced by the illness are reliable. When a patient is taking a pharmaceutical we can never be sure if a symptom is drug induced or produced by the illness.
Back to Bella. Her seizures when I first saw her were as described above but in the past month there had been a change. Now they were followed by sleepiness. During a seizure, said Mildred, Bella’s breathing would stop for a few seconds and her face would go either pale or gray. The lips became dark blue or purple. There was also blueness around the mouth.
I asked about Bella’s parents. Her father, a Mexican-American, was in jail for drunk driving. Her Caucasian mother, who lived in the same house with Mildred and Bella, was so depressed that she showed little or no interest in her daughter. Mildred, by default, was Bella’s real mother.
I needed more clues. I wanted to know about Bella’s birth. She was born vaginally. I wanted to know was the cord around her neck? It was not. “But she was gasping for breath and she was very cold,” recounted Mildred. “Almost blue. The doctors gave her oxygen and warmed her up and placed her in intensive care for three days.
The cyanosis at birth, not a good omen, interested me. Could she have received too little oxygen in those first moments possibly damaging the brain, setting the stage for seizures?
I then learned Bella’s fingertips and nail beds turned blue during her seizures. So the color blue signifying cyanosis was an ongoing symptom that began at birth.
Bella had another problem: asthma. It was diagnosed when she was one though before then doctors spoke vaguely of “breathing difficulties.” Despite the grandmother’s dislike of anti-epileptic drugs she allowed Bella to use a breathing machine with albuterol, a common inhaled medicine for asthma.
“She will start coughing and wheezing,” said Mildred, “and if I don’t’ get her on the breathing machine right away her lips and face, especially the lips, will go blue. Also her fingertips.”
Again, the blueness. Bella reacted swiftly to a decrease in oxygen by becoming cyanotic whether with asthma or with a seizure.
There was something else quite strange. Since the day she was born if she were placed on her back she would stop breathing. Even now, when she was on her back, a rattling sound occurred as she breathed. This strange symptom is quite inexplicable, physiologically. But the inexplicable is what makes homeopathic diagnosis interesting. The homeopath looks in his many books of symptoms to see if it has been observed before. A homeopath cannot claim to understand the strange symptom based on his knowledge of physiology, BUT HE CAN ACCEPT IT. He can also wonder if, during some proving somewhere, another person had trouble breathing when lying on his back.
I asked about her disposition and learned she was a mostly happy child and quite intelligent. She had potty trained herself early and had learned her ABC’s from her older sister.
I inquired about foods and learned she craved sour pickles. She often ate three or four three-inch pickles a day. “She’d eat more if I let her,” said Mildred.
Bella’s symptoms were starting to make sense. In the rubric, “Respiration difficult, in newborns,” there are only two medicines and one of them is Antimonium tartaricum which also is known in its pathogenesis to have bluish lips, rattling respiration, sleepiness with bronchial inflammation and a strong desire for sour foods. So I had a pretty good match in Antimonium tartaricum. Were there possibly other symptoms that Bella had that I had no good way of inquiring about?
To see, I opened the Materia Medica by William Boericke, M.D. to Antimonium tartaricum. Boericke wrote that Antimonium tartaricum has “incessant quivering of the chin… ”
“Did you ever notice any quivering with Bella?” I asked. “Yes, before she has a seizure, her chin often quivers,” said Mildred, “and sometimes before a severe asthma attack.” Bingo! I had an unusual confirmatory symptom. What I had done was to inquire about a symptom that I had not observed nor had the grandmother volunteered. But a quivering chin can occur in patients who need Antimonium tartaricum. By reading Boericke’s Materia Medica I was able to find that out, ask about it and confirm that she needed Antimonium tartaricum.
Antimonium tartaricum is also known to produce sleepiness. So I asked about that. “Well, yes,” said Mildred. “She can be sitting at a table and suddenly nod off.”
What about the fact she could not breathe well lying on her back? I looked up “Asthmatic respiration worse lying on the back”; “Difficult respiration lying on the back,” and “Respiration rattling, worse lying on the back” and in none of those three rubrics does Antimonium tartaricum appear. No matter. The totality of the symptoms clearly pointed to Antimonium tartaricum and it is the totality of symptoms that Samuel Hahnemann said was all important. In the seventh paragraph of his seminal work, Organon of Medicine, Hahnemann wrote: “…the totality of the symptoms must be the principal, indeed the only, thing the physician has to take note of in every case of disease and to remove by means of his art, in order that the disease shall be cured and transformed into health.”
Bella received Antimonium tartaricum 30c, a single dose. (A 30c potency means the medicine has been diluted thirty times. See below for the math.)
A chat by telephone with Mildred six weeks later revealed that Bella had one more seizure that occurred a day after Antimonium tartaricum and none since. Also, two days after Antimonium tartaricum, her asthma ceased.
“Before you treated her,” said Mildred, “she was sleepy often during the day. Now she is full of life and active.”
No seizures. No asthma. Perfectly healthy. Pickle consumption down to one a day.
She remains perfectly well.
What is so interesting about Bella’s case is that one homeopathic medicine, Antimonium tartaricum, could remove the apparently unrelated conditions of seizures and asthma AT THE SAME TIME. And do so in a dilution of 1/1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. Yes, that is a fraction containing thirty zeros! Conventional or allopathic medicine can never reconcile that a seizure disorder and a respiratory disorder, in this case asthma, could possibly be related. After all, there are neurologists and pulmonologists and, apparently, never the twain shall meet.
If an event like the disappearance of seizures and asthma can occur simultaneously, and it most certainly did occur in Bella, then we must rethink medicine and we must rethink the way the body functions.
The Vital Force
To me, it is clear there has to be a subtle energetic field within and without the perceivable body and this field strongly influences the physical body. We homeopaths call this energetic field the Vital Force. It can be influenced in two major ways.
- By all manner of illness.
- By homeopathic medicines.
In the first instance, an illness, be it trauma, a virus, a bacteria, a fungus or a genetic disorder, disturbs the Vital Force. Once disturbed the Vital Force produces symptoms. These symptoms can be in the the mind, in the emotions, and in any part of the physical body.
In the second instance, homeopathic medicines also influence the Vital Force. When ingested by a healthy person they produce symptoms that were not present before taking the medicine. This is known as a proving.
When the Vital Force has been disturbed or disordered by an illness, the correct homeopathic medicine, i.e., that which most closely corresponds in its proving symptoms to the symptoms of the illness, will remove the disorder, restoring harmony to the Vital Force. The Vital Force, now more coherent and unified, in turn causes the biochemistry and physiology to become normal and the illness disappears.
This concept is not easy to grasp but I will return to it in other articles.