My son, Daniel, was five years old when he became frighteningly ill with septicemia. This is his story.
He was spending a week with his father, Simon, who called me one morning to say that a graze on Daniel’s elbow had become inflamed and he wondered whether he should give him anything. All I could ascertain was that a small scab (from a graze) had a little surface redness around it and that Daniel was complaining that it hurt. I told Simon to give him Hepar sulph 6C every 2-3 hours and thought no more about it.
At mid-day I picked up a message on my answering machine from Simon saying that the site of inflammation had increased in size and that he was beginning to feel a bit concerned but he had to go shopping and would call on his return.
an elbow the size of a grapefruit
At 3.30 p.m. he rang to say that they were back and Daniel was apparently quite ill. His elbow was very swollen and bright red. A red streak ran from the graze up to his armpit which was sore to the touch. He was now feverish and asleep. He had even asked to go to sleep—nothing short of a miracle in the life of my young son who has rarely to this day admitted to ever feeling tired. This in itself was a cause for concern. I started to panic. A friend of Simon’s, a nurse, who happened to be visiting at the time, diagnosed septicemia and wanted to take Daniel to the Emergency Room immediately. She had sponged him down for the fever and applied a salt water poultice to his elbow. I asked Simon to bring Daniel to me immediately.
He arrived at 4.30 p.m. with the following (bold type!) symptoms: a hugely swollen elbow (the size of a large grapefruit) which was hard, red, shiny and painful; a red streak from elbow to armpit; painfully swollen swollen glands in his armpit, groin, abdomen and neck; fever (103°F) with no perspiration; thirstlessness (normal for Daniel whether sick or well); restlessness with a strange sort of delirium—Daniel was very talkative, he was babbling about this and that, jumping from one subject to another. This in itself was most unusual—it was hard to get a decent conversation out of him normally.
At 5.00 p.m. I gave him a single dose of Belladonna 10M. It fitted his totality of symptoms perfectly. Or so it seemed. The delirium, septicemia, thirstlessness with fever, dry heat, swollen glands, red streak and restlessness.
At 6.00 p.m. he was no better and was getting steadily and rapidly worse. His fever was rising and he would feel hot with it (and kick off the covers) and then a few minutes later would feel chilled (when he would pull the covers back over himself again). His pulse was slow and steady. He was now complaining of bad head pain. He got out of bed to urinate and started to cry immediately because his head hurt so much. He sat down and carried on crying. He lay down and stopped crying but started shaking (not violently) and moaning. I carried him to the bathroom so he could pee.
clear thinking in an emergency
Now I was beginning to feel really worried. How far should I go? It was Friday night and I tried to find another homeopath to talk his case through with. I was not going to risk the life of my son for homeopathy but I made a decision to give him one more remedy. I knew that my feelings of panic were affecting my ability to think clearly. Clear thinking is an essential ingredient for successful emergency prescribing. I managed to reach a more experienced colleague and we spent half an hour on and off the phone, in and out of books. We settled on the following strong symptoms: septicemia; sudden effects; red streak; delirium; fever with shaking; heat alternating with chills; slow pulse (with fever); restlessness; head pain, worse standing.
We both settled on Pyrogenium , even though there was absolutely no offensiveness whatsover i.e. no smelly breath, sweat, discharges etc. He did have the characteristic slow pulse with high fever ( Pyrogenium can also have the reverse i.e. low grade fever with fast pulse), and this is also a remedy that is useful in septicemias where the indicated remedy does not act. At this time it was a comfort to me that we had arrived at the same remedy.
At 7.00 p.m. I gave him Pyrogenium 10M and said to myself “OK kiddo, you got fifteen minutes to get better, fifteen minutes before I dial 999,” (the UK equivalent of 911!)
Before the first tablet had dissolved in his mouth he sat up and spoke normally. It was as if he’d leapt back into the world of health. I repeated the Pyrogenium every 5 minutes for 6 doses (and no more were given). At 7.30 p.m. i.e. by the sixth dose, the shaking had stopped completely and the fever was down to 101.5°F. “I feel brilliant,” he said. Amazingly and almost unbelievably. The elbow was as swollen and the red streak unchanged. He asked for some fruit, a story and then went to sleep. It was 8.00 p.m.
I sat up with him until the red streak started to break up which happened around 1.00 a.m., by which time his fever had dropped to 100°F. He was sleeping peacefully and the swelling around the elbow had finally started to reduce. I went to bed.
just a tiny bit of redness remained
At 8.00 a.m. the following day he came into my bed for his morning cuddle feeling fine, chirpy and very hungry. His temperature was normal. Every single symptom of the septicemia was gone except for a tiny bit of redness around the site of the graze on his elbow.
I marveled at this and went to my books to study Pyrogenium again. That is when I came across a strange, rare and peculiar symptom (of the remedy and of Daniel’s illness) that I had completely missed the night before. His fever had been high and accompanied by thirstlessness. However, when he had stood up to urinate I noticed by didn’t “see” that his urine was clear and odorless … because he was screaming from the pain in his head. Normally his urine is fairly smelly and it should have been even darker and smellier. If you go to Phatak’s Materia Medica you will find the following words “urine, clear like water.” That described it exactly.
Simon and I tried to work out what had happened the day before he got sick and he suddenly remembered that Daniel had picked up a dead animal in the park. He must have scratched his elbow (the graze) before he washed his hands. How fitting (and not surprising at all!) that the remedy that had cured him was made from the same, or rather a similar, substance that caused his dis-ease: rotten meat. Pyrogenium is made from beef which has been chopped, mixed with water and left in the sun for two weeks to rot.
I learned a lot from this case which came to me only in my second year in practice:
It is possible to treat life-threatening â€˜acutes’ brilliantly with homeopathy. It’s all well and good to read about cases where other homeopaths have succeeded, but to experience it at first hand is awesome.
It is difficult but possible to treat those close to you but it is necessary to call on skilled help when panic sets in, or when you know you have reached your limits.
We need to be trained to overcome fear and panic in emergencies so that we can observe and prescribe with confidence.
We need a good training in both homeopathy and a thorough knowledge of pathology (medical sciences) to be able to handle serious situations with at least some degree of confidence (and competence).
Twenty-four hours after the first dose of Pyrogenium 10M we went night fishing with a friend. As we sat by the lake with the sun setting and as I let the quietness settle in my soul I reflected on what would have happened had we been involved in a hospital visit. Daniel would have lived to tell the tale and I would have been extremely grateful but it would have been an unpleasant and possibly lengthy experience involving strong medication and invasive procedures.S
What a blessing that homeopathy had saved our day. I thanked God, homeopathy, my guardians, my homeopathic friends, teachers and colleagues and anyone who cared to listen!
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