Mrs. H. S. came to me 2-12-’07 with the following symptoms which I will give in her own language:
“I am so nervous; am afraid I shall kill some of my people, as I go all to pieces and can’t control myself. Thinking about ki lling, I dream of killing my little girl. If I do not get better soon I shall commit murder. Every afternoon I have pain over my eyes as if burned. Can’t read at night, as there are sharp pains going through my eyes; if I persist in reading dark points appear on the page so I cannot see the print. Hungry most of the time; in morning when I awaken there is burning pain in my stomach which grows worse until I get up, when it goes away. Always have to take pills to move my bowels; before they move there is a sharp cutting pain in the rectum and many times the bowels come out while at stool. If I drink beer will have piles for two or three days. My menses have been too often since my last child, three years ago, and for a week before I am sick have whites each morning, which are much worse walking. There is not much flow, and it only lasts two or three days and smells sour as vinegar. Can’t sew for past month, as there are stitching pains in the back of my neck when bending my head forward. Feet cold as ice every afternoon and cramps in my calves keep me awake nearly all night. Do not shop, as I feel so badly when I have to stand long.”
Fear of killing people. – [Absin], Ars. a., Nux v. , Rhus t. , Sulph.
Dreams of committing murder. – Rhus t. , Sulph.
Burning pains over the eyes, worse afternoon. – Sulph.
Sharp shooting pains at night, on reading. – Phyto. , Sulph.
Followed by dark points. – Con. , Sulph.
Burning pains in stomach on waking, better rising. – Sulph.
Cutting pain in rectum before stool., – Asar. , Sep. , Sulph.
Prolapsus recti during stool. – Ign. , Lyc. , Podo. , Rhus t. , Sulph.
Leucorrhoea mornings, worse walking. – Nat. m. , Bov. , Sarsa. , Sep. , Sulph.
Menses scanty, short duration. – Amm. c. , Lach. , Puls. , Sulph.
Menses smell sour. – Carbo v. , Sulph.
Stitching pain in neck from bending head forward. – Sulph.
Feet cold afternoon. – Nux v. , Sulph.
Cramps in calves while in bed. – Ars. a., Caust. , Ign. , Sulph.
Worse standing – Con. , Cycl., Lil. t. , Puls. , Sep. , Sulph. , Valer.
Here we see that Sulphur covers each symptom, but with a good knowledge of the arrangement of the repertory it took me some time to work it out. Now to demonstrate how much more rapidly we can arrive at the same results by working from the generals to particulars, we will start with a general rubric:
Menses scanty, short duration. – We find the following nineteen remedies that have this symptom in the first and second grades: Alum. , Am. c. , Asaf. , Bar. c. , Cocc. , Con. , Dulc. , Graph. , Lach. , Mang. , Merc. , Nat. m. , Nux v. , Phos. , Plat. , Puls. , Sepia. , Sulph. , Thuj.
Now among this group of nineteen remedies will be found one which will cover the totality of our case. If we were to give a remedy upon this one symptom alone we might give any one of the above, for they all have this condition in a high degree; but if we did not give the right one we should not cure the case. We must individualize our case [still] further, so we will use another general.
Worse standing. – In consulting the repertory we find that of the first nineteen there are only the following seven which have the symptom in the first and second grade: Con. , Cocc. , Phos. , Plat. , Puls. , Sepia. , Sulph.
But [still] we have seven remedies, any one of which may be the remedy so far, and we must individualize [still] further by another symptom. We will take the general, better in open air. Here we find that we have only four remedies of our previous group which will have this symptom in the first and second grade – Con. , Phos. , Puls. , Sulph.
We have now worked our list down to four remedies and we will individualize again by taking another general, fear of committing murder. This gives us Sulphur , the only remedy which covers all of the symptoms we have taken so far. Now if the logic of our reasoning be correct, if the technique of selection be without a flaw, Sulphur must be the mathematically correct remedy, and reference to the pathogenesis of the remedy shows that Sulphur not only covers these four symptoms we have used, but it also contains all the other particular and common symptoms of the case. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so we will turn to our record and we find the patient was discharged 7-7’07; that all symptoms had disappeared, bowels move naturally. Says never felt better in her life.