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Brisbane Homeopath - my husband's case

Hi David Kempson,
A couple months back, you agreed to take my husband's case (in a post titled 'Wound Won't Heal'). Here it is:

Basic info: 34 year old male, very thin, pale skin

Health Problems
1. Insomnia: I think I have always slept poorly. In high school my mother was concerned about my frequently coming home from school and taking a nap. Up until I graduated college and got my current job that requires I wake up at 6:00 I could supplement my poor sleep with naps during the day. I did not really consider it a problem at the time but now that I have to wake up early it really drags me down. During the night I rarely have long stretches of sleep, perhaps only 1.5-2 hours at a time. I will then wake up and usually fall back asleep within a few minutes after adjusting my sleeping position. In addition, I very (very) often wake up between 3 and 4 AM and at that point have a difficult time falling back asleep. Often I will not fall asleep until just before the alarm goes off (maybe 20 minutes before). I can easily stay in bed for 12 hours on the weekends and still wake up feeling tired. Both my parents have sleep issues. My mother sleeps probably 5-6 hours in a night. Though she does not complain about tiredness so maybe that is normal for her and not actually a problem. My father, however, is I believe similar to me. He goes to bed very early and has often commented that he is the type of person that needs 12 hours of sleep. I used to think it was funny when I was growing up the he would be in bed at 7 PM. Now I think I understand why.

2. Eczema: Like many of my current problems, eczema started for me when I was between 18 and 22. In this case the first time I remember getting a patch I believe I was about 21. That was on my arm. Since then I have had patches on my face (around my eyes or on my forehead), in my arm pits (common), on my shoulder, on the back of my neck and on my arms. I feel like the places I am most likely to get patches are those that see a lot of rubbing/friction from my clothes or my pillow (for those on my face). I cannot remember ever having eczema on my lower body. Just remembered that it is worse during the winter. I have also have been taking baths lately for a thrombosed hemorrhoid and that has made my eczema go crazy. I don’t know if it is a result of the hot water or if it is from the chlorine (we have a filter on the shower head but not the spout) or a combination of both. I have been trying witch hazel lately on one spot as an experiment and that seems to be helping.

3. Sinus Problems: My sinus problems started right around the same time as the eczema (a bit after I believe). At the time I worked at a pizza restaurant so I would say at least half my diet consisted of (free) pizza. Actually, now that I am thinking about it I did have sinus problems before but not really all that severe. I had the occasional sinus infection for which I would get antibiotics. However, working at the pizza place I think was the catalyst for my severe problems. If you have ever worked in a pizza place you know that the air is filled with flour and cornmeal from slapping out the dough. I think that breathing in the dust for 40+ hours a week it began to clog my sinuses. The problem became apparent when I was driving down from the mountains and the pressure change caused severe shooting pains through my head. Over the next year and a half I went through multiple courses of antibiotics and attempts to clear my sinuses (through the nose) but eventually I had surgery to clear them. However, that only made the problem worse. After several more months (with my sinuses more clogged than ever) I had to have another surgery in which the doctor drilled holes from inside my mouth into my frontal sinus cavity and removed the infected tissue and built up “material”. That surgery helped with the problems caused by the first surgery but my sinus problems have never really gone away. Since that time I have had a continuous cycle of minor infection, although I stopped taking antibiotics for these infections about 10 years ago. However, after my son was born (2 years ago) things got much worse. The lack of sleep/rest caused a bad infection that would not go away. After about 8 months of this I started the GAPS diet (which is a grain-free, starch-fee diet) and over the period of a few months the infection went away. I believe my sinuses are a bit better overall but they are still very sensitive to amount of sleep, irritants and the food I am eating.

4. Hemorrhoids: This problem started about 10 or so years ago. At first they were minor, causing a bit of streaking during a BM but over the years they have gotten worse. I began to have severe problems with them about 5 years ago (after getting a job where I sit all day at a computer). Since then I have had numerous thrombosed. I have recently taken to standing as much as possible at work but that is only a minor help. I think it may be possible that this has helped with any external hemorrhoids but may make internal worse. I treat with hot baths, cream and cal. flor. homeopathy tablets. I have to sit so much for work (or be stationary) and I am thin so I think that is causing them to get worse over time.

5. Cold hands and feet: I don’t know what to say about this. I am not sure if it is even relevant. Once the weather turns cold I am cold all the time, especially my feet and somewhat my hands.

6. Facial Cyst: This is a new one. I got an ingrown hair on my (right lower) jaw about 8 months ago that formed a cyst(?) under the skin. I could not ever get much of the hair out and because the opening on the skin would not heal it was constantly infected. In January I went ahead and had my doctor remove the cyst which had grown to about the size of a large pea. The incision has never completely healed though. On one end the tissue is still red and tender. I feel it is likely that a hair grew into the scar and has never come out.

7. Muscle Cramps: I cannot remember when this started exactly but I think it was around the time my sinus problem got really bad. As with everything else it has gotten worse over time. At first I would get minor cramping in the bottoms of my feet and toes. Over time it has spread to the point where any hard contraction of a muscle can cause a very painful cramp. However, the most likely muscles to cramp are in my feet and toes, my trapezius and my gluts. I am usually ok if I am in a normal position but if my body is twisted at all or if I have to move rapidly I have a higher chance of cramping. I have gotten better since starting GAPS but if I am not strict with my diet then the cramping increases.

8. Testicular Cyst: This first started when I was 19 (along with the varicoceles) on the left side. The cyst was about the size of a pea and painful. So much so that bumping it in any way or sometimes even twisting while moving the wrong way would cause a shot of pain. About 9 years ago I had the cyst drained and while it is not completely gone it is smaller and less painful. I have also developed a small one on the right testicle but while it is sensitive it is not terrible.

9. Varicocele: This started at the same time as the cyst. I have a bunch of enlarged blood vessels on the left side that were for a very long time sensitive to heat. I used to have to ice during hot days to get some relief but over the last year or so the sensitivity had diminished. I think it may have gotten a bit better since doing GAPS. I am hopeful the summer will be less bad. I am sure that the varicocele and hemorrhoids are related since they are in the same region. I am thin and I sit a lot (and have for a while) which is aggravating the underlying cause I am sure.

10. Low sweat: Again I think this started probably about the time as everything else but definitely at the same time as my muscle cramps. I am very prone to overheating which limits my ability to exercise and makes the summer here miserable. If I am outside in the heat it is easy for me to get nauseous from overheating. Strangely though if I am outside doing say yard work I will sweat a small amount but if I were to do the same type of physical work inside an air conditioned space I will overheat. Also, were I to be simply sitting outside in the same heat I likely would not sweat much and would overheat. Again I think GAPS has helped a bit but not much. If I do try to work out I have to use a spray bottle of water to keep cool enough but even then I have to be careful. I recently found out that my dad has a similar lack of sweat. I don’t know a lot about his problem but I do know it has been an issue for him for several decades. Keeping well hydrated helps but does not solve the problem. Eating fermented foods also seems to help but it has to be before I do physical activity but not too soon and not long before or I get nauseous (too soon before) or it doesn’t help (not soon enough before).

11. Dry skin: I don’t know that this is a separate problem or if it should be part of the eczema section. Maybe it just has to do with living in the desert. I am not sure but my skin is very dry. Without lotion I am itchy all over but especially my back. My knuckles can crack during the winter if I am not careful. I have a very dry scalp as well.

General Information
I am the youngest of three children. I had good relationships with my brother and sister though not especially close. My family in general is not particularly close. I was an introverted child around strangers and in unfamiliar settings. I would say this translated later into a dislike of public speaking (I am not especially bothered by that now).

I am also a private person in that I don’t share personal thoughts/information about myself with just anyone (my mom does) but I don’t have any issue sharing with my wife or friends these days. I would say that in my early college years I did not do well in romantic relationships.

I did not have a very good role model to go by as my parents do not have a particularly good marriage. However, once I started my degree in psychology I had to do counseling as part of a course requirement and was able to move on from the bad example my parents set.

I have a very good/open relationship with my wife. I don’t crave attention and prefer small groups of friends to large gatherings. I would say that part of that is because I am a bit sensitive to noise and smells especially if I am very tired.

My parents were very strict and dictated most decisions up to even my late college years. I would say that has caused me to be very deliberate in my decision making process. I like to have a plan. Part of that is also that my health issues make me reluctant to do thing spur of the moment. To some degree I have to prepare myself for large projects around the house that require physical labor. I would say I am slow to commit to a project but once started I keep going until it is done.

I don’t have many (non-health) problems these days. A bit of stress from work from time to time or lack of sleep which can make me grouchy but it does not usually linger. I don’t hold grudges.

Any problems I have at home usually get talked out and generally resolved. Maybe not the same day but they don’t linger for months or years. I am proud of the relationship I have with my wife and the decisions we have made together for our family. Seeing my parent’s relationship and how it affected me and still affects my sister and brother I want to work hard to have a loving environment for my children. I would like to have a close relationship with my children.

Do you need any more information?
 
  Sarah3NN on 2012-03-31
This is just a forum. Assume posts are not from medical professionals.
bump
 
Sarah3NN 8 years ago
Ok I will look over this for you tomorrow.
 
brisbanehomoeopath 8 years ago
Sorry for the delay. I got distracted by some other cases.

I am on this now.
 
brisbanehomoeopath 8 years ago
Alright there are a few questions I need to ask.

The important thing to do when presenting a case for a homoeopath, is not to spend too much time on telling the story of how the complaint came about. What helps me to find the remedy, is understanding the actual experience of having the complaint - so homoeopathy is all about the What not the Why.

Can you please describe the insomnia when it happens, what happens, what wakes you, what keeps you awake, what makes it worse, what makes it better.

Can you do the same for the skin symptoms - is there any sensation in the skin, what do the eruptions look like, plus all the previous questions if possible.

Repeat that for the sinus problems, the haemorrhoids, cysts, cramping, varicocele.

You have given lots of information, but not enough to draw a clear picture of your state of health. It just takes a bit of time to learn how to do it the homoeopathic way.
 
brisbanehomoeopath 8 years ago
Oh and in terms of your mental and emotional state, positive traits are not at all useful to me. I need to understand where you have problems, where you struggle, where you get stuck or go around in circles (or however it feels to you). If you feel that there is something that you would like to tell me that is too private for a forum like this, you can go to my profile and use the email address there to send that information. Try to keep as much as possible on this thread though, as I can access this website anywhere I go.
 
brisbanehomoeopath 8 years ago
Round 2
1. Insomnia: I wake up frequently during the night but usually only enough to switch positions. Between 3 and 4:30 in the morning I will become fully awake. If I can avoid thinking about what I have to do that day it is possible to fall back asleep but that is rare. Often I will fall asleep 20 minutes before my alarm goes off at 6 AM. If I am cold I will wake much more often. If I am hot I have a harder time falling asleep.
2. Eczema: Usually starts as small hives (one or two in a ¼ diameter area; hives are 1-1.5mm diameter) that itch a lot. If they are irritated the spot will get worse and grow and become dry, itchy and red. Heat makes it worse. Rubbing makes it worse. Chemicals make it worse. Worse in winter. Worse at night. Witch hazel helps. Cortizone cream helps.
3. Sinus Problems: Starts as yellowish mucus at first but turns to green and thick over time.
Causes pain in cheeks, forehead and behind eye. Worse on left usually. Worse is very dry windy weather. Worse with dirt and dust in the air. Worse in the morning after I wake up. Worse with less sleep. Better with some moisture in air. Better if I use a netty pot when the sinuses are mostly clear but will get worse otherwise. I suppose that would be worse with a lot of moisture.
4. Hemorrhoids: Sharp pain during BM with burning after. Hemorrhoids are tender with sharp pain if thrombosed. Worse if I sit a lot. Better with heat (hot bath).
5. Cold hands and feet: Occurs in winter. Once I get cold it is hard to warm up. Warm drinks help. Hot shower helps.
6. Facial Cyst: The cyst was red, tender, swollen. Heat helped. Pressure helped.
7. Muscle Cramps: Cramp will last 10-20 seconds but the spot will ache like it is on the verge of cramping again for 15-20 minutes. Worse in the summer or if I am not well hydrated. Worse if the muscle gets compressed by say leaning against a hard surface.
8. Testicular Cyst: Cyst is tender and very sensitive to pressure. Pressure/bumping causes a sharp, shooting pain. Better with cold and worse with heat.
9. Varicocele: Causes an aching hot pain. Much worse with heat. Better with cold. Worse with a lot of walking or similar activity. Worse after sexual activity.
10. Low sweat: Sunshine helps. Better if hydrated.
11. Dry skin: Skin is dry and itchy and feels tights without lotion or oil. Worse in winter and in dry hot air.
Mental state
I am not sure what to say here. I thought I was being helpful before =). Let’s see: Motivation can be a problem for me and when I get working on something I don’t like to be interrupted. I can be critical of myself and others. I try not to be but it happens. If symptoms get worse I can get a bit depressed at first. I get pretty grouchy/angry/critical when I am tired or in pain. I tend to cope by avoiding people if I can. Being quiet and still can help. I internalize more than act out. A normal progression when I have symptoms or get sick would be: annoyance, depression/self-pity, irritability/desire to be alone (quiet), stoic acceptance.
I hope that helps.
 
Sarah3NN 8 years ago
That is much better. When we have a disease, which in homoeopathy refers to the misalignment of the vital energy (life force), it filters down into every aspect of us, with the most sensitive areas being affected most strongly. This means that any negative characteristic will help point to understanding that misalignment. Homoeopathic prescribing works on a Principle of Peculiarity, which means we want the rare, strange and individual symptoms from the patient.

There are a couple more questions buried in this post.

Ok so we have insomnia from planning the coming day. The insomnia is worse after 3am, and worse for both the cold and the heat.

The eruptions are dry, red, with itching that is aggravated by heat, friction, winter, and at night.

Can you tell me what happens at night regarding your skin symptoms?

We have thick, yellow or green mucous.

We have head pain that is worse for dry wind, worse dust, worse on waking, worse loss of sleep.

The haemorrhoid symptoms are quite typical - usually they are worse for sitting on them and worse for passing stool. We do have sharp and burning as qualities and better for heat, which would be considered peculiar.

Cysts are naturally red, swollen and tender. The better for heat quality might be helpful especially since it applies to the haemorrhoids as well, another 'swelling'.

When do the cramps happen during the day or night?

Another swelling/cyst is present in the testicles - there is definitely a theme here. Worse for pressure or bumping is normal. Sharpness is present again with Shooting as a new quality. Interestingly this local symptom is worse for heat but better for cold. I think that as General symptoms Worse for Heat and for Cold is probably applicable.

The varicocele is yet again another swelling or enlargement of tissue. This definitely is a general condition for you manifesting in multiple locations.

Aching is a typical symptom for varicoceles, but we have heat as well. Better for cold would be considered normal when heat is involved. Worse after sexual activity is fairly much expected too, and walking obviously will affect something in that area (bumping/moving it).

Ok let me look over all this and see what I can see.

David
 
brisbanehomoeopath 8 years ago
Q.Can you tell me what happens at night regarding your skin symptoms?
A. They seem to itch more as the day progresses but can be especially bothersome while sleeping. Maybe just from the friction throughout the day and from tossing and turning? I may just be noticing them more b/c I am less likely to be distracted mentally.

Q.When do the cramps happen during the day or night?
A. Cramps can happen at anytime of day. Worst in feet, traps and gluts. I will say that I have had spontaneous cramps that wake me while sleeping but that is rare. Usually I have to be actively working a muscle in some way.
 
Sarah3NN 8 years ago
This looks a lot like Nux-vomica, which is the exact remedy I have just prescribed for your son.

Since you are getting the 200c for him, I would take a single dose yourself.
 
brisbanehomoeopath 8 years ago
My husband took Nux v before, in 30x potency. That was a few months back, before I knew about doing the split dose. He took a few pellets before bed each night, and then would take more if he woke in the middle of the night. That would help him go back to sleep rather than laying awake for hours. But then after a few days of taking it each night, he got an aggravation (lots of nauseousness, so he ended up antidoting with one dose of ign 30x). That was also before I knew that lower potencies cause more aggravations.

So, should he still take 200c once we receive it? And in the meantime, should he take the 30x we have (with a split dose this time)?
 
Sarah3NN 8 years ago
30x is way too low a potency, but it is promising that even like that it helped. Low potencies are more likely to aggravate than higher ones, especially when the patient needs a higher potency. This can actually cause patients to remember particular remedies as being bad for them, when it is exactly the opposite (or it is for the wrong reason at least). Each potency of a remedy is like a new remedy in many ways.

The other reason it probably harmed him, is because dry pillules were being taken, which also makes the remedy less effective over time.

As with your son, don't confuse things with 30x. Just get 200c as soon as possible.

Low potencies are fine when called for. You will find that poorly trained practitioners tend to use them more often, or even exclusively, because when the prescripton is not very exact they will have broad palliative effects (which eventually become suppression and harm the patient even more).
 
brisbanehomoeopath 8 years ago
Thank you for taking the time to explain this!

I ordered the 200c and in the meantime sounds like we all need some bourbon before bed. (Ha, ha, just kidding. The only alcohol in our house is the vodka I bought for making the dosing bottles!)

Should I toss out the Nat Mur 1m in the dosing bottle, and will I need to use separate dosing bottles for my husband and son with the Nux V?
 
Sarah3NN 8 years ago
Yes sterilize and reuse that bottle. Boil it for 5 minutes, and wash the dropper out with the boiling water as well. Don't boil the dropper (lol)!

Now the idea of using the same bottle is more problematic. For the first dose it will not be a problem. After that the time they take their doses may differ, so the bottle will be hit a different number of times for each of them.

It may or may not make much difference to them. One of them might be getting a dose+4 hits when the other is only getting dose+2. If they are sensitive enough it could be problematic.
 
brisbanehomoeopath 8 years ago
Okay, I'll just make a dosing bottle for each of them (and dump the old Cham bottle since it is a few months old anyway). I didn't know to boil the bottle, so hopefully there was no ill effect from me just washing them previously with lots of soapy water and flushing them out lots and lots. Once again, thank you for all of your help!

I'm hopeful that someday we may all sleep well! And (gasp) maybe my husband could even move back into our bedroom eventually once the baby starts sleeping better. Right now, the three of us in one room is just asking for trouble since all three of us sleep poorly. Meanwhile, my daughter sleeps in the room with me and the baby and never is bothered at all. At least one person in the house is getting sleep :)

I'll let you know when we get the Nux v. Good night (or day for you in the southern hemisphere).
 
Sarah3NN 8 years ago
Oh, one other thing I just thought of: my husband has been using aconite 6c for a thrombosed hemorrhoid this week (otherwise, he couldn't even bear to sit down). He has seen a great deal of improvement over the week, but not fully done healing yet. I assume he will need to discontinue this before he takes the Nux v. Does he need to make sure he's not taking it for some period of time until the Nux v arrives ( for instance, should he wait a few days between his last dose of aconite and his first dose of Nux v)? And should he wait to take the Nux until he is no longer bothered by the thrombosed hemorrhoid?
 
Sarah3NN 8 years ago
Yes he cannot take two remedies at once. He is not Aconite, I can tell that easily. So the remedy is suppressing the haemorhoid. This will make things much worse for him so he is better off stopping it regardless.

Continuing to treat superficially like that may make him incurable, and at the very least will magnify his suffering if the Nux-v has to re-establish the haemorrhoid to cure it. Aggravation increases in proportion to the amount of suppression in the case, both current and historically.
 
brisbanehomoeopath 8 years ago
Okay, he'll discontinue the aconite right away. Do we need to antidote the aconite?

I did not realize there was any harm in treating a problem that just cropped up as an acute problem (although this is clearly part of the chronic issue, but I thought there was no harm in treating the local problem this week). This was the first time we have used aconite for him.

I am continually amazed at how subtle the art of homeopathy is, and how little I know! Thank you for educating me once again. It does make me wonder if I should be self-prescribing anything at all for my family, and maybe I shouldn't. I have had some good luck with treating minor things like colds and stomach flus (based on The Family Guide to Homeopathy and a materia medica), but I guess I need to pay attention and not treat anything that could be part of the chronic conditions.
[message edited by Sarah3NN on Sun, 08 Apr 2012 03:25:16 BST]
 
Sarah3NN 8 years ago
No antidoting just means giving the right remedy, based on the symptoms. Proper prescribing automatically 'antidotes' which is just another word for 'cure'.

Treating a problem locally is considered to a serious issue in homoeopathy. It is discouraged by classical homoeopaths, but loved by the psuedohomoeopaths who will suppress over and over while telling the patient they are getting better.

Self prescribing for acutes is fine, but you still should know the basics of dosage, what symptoms to use, how to judge reactions. There are alot of homoeopathic first aid courses around, so perhaps find one of those. Some of them can even be done online. Check with me before you enrol though lol, the pseudohomoeopaths also love to run their own versions of those courses.

Although over time you might pick up enough from me to feel more confident with it.
 
brisbanehomoeopath 8 years ago
Okay, that makes sense about antidoting.

Thanks again for helping me understand more about how homeopathy works. It is amazing how much misinformation is out there, and so nice to have someone who's opinion I trust (that being you, of course). From what I can tell in your explanations, treating acutes is fine, but I need to be especially aware of symptoms that seem acute but may be part of the overall chronic condition. For instance, my daughter tends to get coughs and colds fairly often, and I am pretty sure she is a Pulsatilla type (although I will probably need your help to determine that for sure at some point); so if I treat her colds with other remedies besides Puls am I potentially doing harm if the colds/coughs are part of the overall Puls disposition?

I will definitely be looking into one of the first aid courses you described. Have you heard of Joette Calabrese? I was thinking of taking her course (she will be releasing it in the next few months).
 
Sarah3NN 8 years ago
I don't know much about her. According to her website she is a classical homoeopath, and emphasises the need to treat the whole person, so that is promising.
 
brisbanehomoeopath 8 years ago
Look it is hard to say what any treatment you use will do. The danger in not treating underlying causes, is that by suppressing the main vent for the disease (the symptoms) you actually allow it to 'back up' so to speak - you drive the flow of it back inwards.

Now in many cases, acutes are real acutes - they have no internal cause but are entirely dependent on external issues. These conditions can be palliated without any real concern, since you are not blocking anything that is trying to get out.

However it can be hard to know when a person has a true acute or they are just getting a flare up of their chronic state. When someone gets the 'same' flu over and over - well that is probably a reflection of their internal disease, and constantly treating the superficial symptoms will make them worse.

In a true acute, the symptoms completely change. They move into a different state, with new modalities and symptoms and even feelings and thoughts. These are the situations that you can treat with great success, if you know the remedies. Even first aid treatment requires knowledge of materia medica and some basic philosophy. Once you understand what you are looking for, actually it becomes quite simply to do first aid sucessfully.
 
brisbanehomoeopath 8 years ago
That all makes sense. I'll keep learning to be able to better tell what are the true acutes versus flare-ups of chronic issues. Thank you!
 
Sarah3NN 8 years ago
My husband took his first dose of nux v 200c two nights ago.

Night 1: He slept better than normal; only woke up 2-3 times and one of those was because he woke up cold at and had inexplicably taken his shirt halfway off while asleep (one arm was totally out of the shirt). He also did not lie awake for hours like he typically does.

Night 2: He slept worse than usual, waking more frequently than normal (woke every 1 to 1.5 hours). At round 3-4am, woke and stayed awake for ~an hour.
 
Sarah3NN 8 years ago
Aggravation starts within the first 3 days, so that is what has happened.

First response to a remedy can be a temporary neutralization of the current state, as the remedy takes over the reigns so to speak. This doesn't mean anything about the suitability of the remedy.

Aggravation is probably a good sign though.
 
brisbanehomoeopath 8 years ago
Nights 3 and 4: My husband is definitely waking more frequently than normal, about every 1.5 hours throughout the night. He is also starting to wake much earlier. The last 3 nights, he has awoken about 1.5 hours after going to bed, and usually he does not wake during the first part of the night. BUT, he has noted that he is also going back to sleep easier than usual, rather than lying awake for hours at a time.

His sinuses are also giving him problems right now. He did think they were already a bit off before he took the nux, but they have been getting steadily worse over the last few days (which could also be contributing to the night waking). The sinus issues could be coincidence, though, since it has also been rather windy with blowing dust here, and that always makes his sinuses worse.

I'll update again in a day or two.
 
Sarah3NN 8 years ago

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