11 June 2010

Being An Unprejudiced Observer

“Did you see that thin tall guy? He seems to be a typical Natrum mur, isn’t it?,” one of my colleagues started a usual debate with one of his quick-bites. “But he also can be a Phosphoric acid, a Silica, or for that matter a Phosphorus…” said the other listener. “Impossible! Just see his mannerisms and facial expressions. If he enters my clinic, I will take his entire case-history only if Natrum mur fails to cure him.”

Don’t we hear such words of confidence around us? You may call it an ‘intuitive prescribing’ or ‘snap-shot prescribing’ or anything, but we often come across homeopaths trying to hit the bull’s eye from as far as possible. Since based on natural laws, homeopathy does not fail to surprise us and makes us re-evaluate the case for a more thoughtful prescription. Unless we learn from our deeds, we will never grow as professionals, but every time we do so, we are one step closer to becoming an unprejudiced observer. Believe me, it’s a tough job. Even after 10 years of practice, an acute case can also make you aware of your prejudices. I would like to share a case with you, which did exactly that.

Mrs. S, came with complaints of chilliness with body-ache, that had started four days back. This was followed by a high grade fever with marked chilliness starting from the feet. Surprisingly, there was marked knee pain only during fever, with severe burning in both eyes. She was running 103’F fever when she visited my clinic. On examination, there was an irregular distribution of heat with palms and soles hotter than the rest of the body.

Remedies started coming to my mind and it made me more and more confused. I started thinking of ARSENIC and EUPATORIUM and WHAT NOT!! I had a case in front of me with many characteristic concomitants, and thus was in apprehension of whether I would be able to give full justice to them by prescribing a simillimum. The confusion was mounting and I was unable to come to a prescription with assurance. At this moment I thought of referring to the repertory on my PC. Boenninghausen was a clear choice looking at the characteristic concomitants.

I searched for the rubrics and clicked for the result. Here is what I got to my surprise:

PETROLEUM ???

I had not used this remedy except for treating dry cracked skin or motion sickness. The patient was running a high grade fever. There was no trace of my “FAVOURITE REMEDIES” in the repertorization result. It put me into a totally different dilemma. My understanding about Petroleum did not assure me about giving relief from a high grade fever, but the repertory was confident to indicate this remedy to me.

To be really frank, I thought of taking a chance and prescribing PETROLEUM 200. But before that, I referred back to my materia medica text on petroleum and discovered that Petroleum does have symptoms of fever and those other indications. So the repertory guided me to the materia medica and I decided to prescribe Petroleum. To my disbelief, the lady called within 3 hours to announce 80% amelioration of all her symptoms. She recovered totally within a day.

Petroleum for a fever? I had just tried to follow the available TOTALITY and followed the direction it showed me. Dr Kent came to my rescue in this state of “want of reason”. He says in his lesser writings (Pg 213-214), “. . . We have asserted, as our belief, that the only true guide for a prescription is the totality of the symptoms and the proven drug. Let us not, then, prescribe upon any other basis; it cannot be homoeopathic nor wise to do so.” I had just experienced it! That’s the reason we call these stalwarts MASTERS.

A lesson well learnt and my prejudices and favoritism towards remedies exposed. It was another step taken towards becoming an unprejudiced observer.

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