Client was an elderly woman, that I had seen several times over 5 years for a variety of issues, the main one for her was very stubborn seborrhoeic dermatitis on the scalp, which she referred to as dandruff.Calc carb had reduced the burning but increased the amount of skin flaking from the scalp. I had tried Calc-fluor, Arsensicum, Gallium, and Sepia with little success. Sepia had produced a slight improvement but little overall change. She returned to see me after some years.SUMMARY OF CASE NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS:The patient is very talkative, loquaciousTalks about herself as another person at timesShe complains a lot about her husband, about his disability and how it has restricted her life, and she worries constantly about him.She talks a LOT, going from story to story, complaint to complaint, complains about the behavior of other people, although she always comes back to her complaints about her husband.*When he is not here, I can do what I want, on my own, when I want**I would like more time to do what I want**Our whole married life has been based around his food intolerances**I can’t do things because he can’t do things*She will diverge from one story into another with barely a breath is taken.I was born with a stricture in the esophagus, feels like a lump in the throat.*If food gets stuck, I will choke. I have an aversion to swallowing anything if it is big*Must cut up my food into small pieces, so it doesn’t get stuck. Some food won’t dissolve. My food had to be strained when I was young. I had to vomit up food if the pieces were too large. I was very underweight as a child because of this.*She is still very thin, very gangly, boney**I was born with webs in-between my toes **I always wanted to travel. My husband always limited me. I would have loved to be a travel agent. I enjoy travelling around the world. Too difficult carrying my husband around*She will diverge into stories of people who had done things to her, to her family, about an oil company that was against them, being stolen from, ripped off, various intrigues that put her and her family at a disadvantage.Arthritis of the hands, caused by lots of gardening and landscaping. Use of cortisone injections to manage, but it has continued to worsen. May need to wear a brace.*Holds up her hands to show me. The hands are so badly affected she cannot fully open her fingers without great effort and pain. Even then they will not open more than half-way. They appear like claws*I cannot open jars, they have no strength, it is a nightmare. I cannot turn taps, or do many things. My husband has to do many things for me. Aching pain is worse for cold. My hands are weak, they just can’t do things.Words she uses frequently in regards to her main complaint: GRIP OR LACK OF GRIP, STRENGTH OR WEAKNESS, LACK OF POWER.Free association of GRIP: DOG’S TEETH, CAT’S CLAWS, LEASH, PRY JAWS OPEN, HANGING ON WITH CLAWS, GRIPPING ON TO A TREE,She also has problems with her teeth. Lots of decay, holes in the teeth, eventually had them removed and replaced with false teeth.*The dentures don’t GRIP very well*Her tendency to diverge into story after story was annoying to me – until I realized that she was revealing the Kingdom – Loquacious, Animated, Lively and constantly in conflict with other people, Persecuted, made Outcasts – these were qualities of the Animal Kingdom(and thus I suppose the partial improvements on Calc and Sepia)Loquacity, jumping from story to story, is the keynote of a well-known Animal remedy of course – Lachesis. I didn’t feel happy with this choice though.When one remains centered around the pathology, around the complaint itself, in this case, arthritis, it also brings up Strength and Weakness which puts one at a disadvantage and makes one dependent, which are Animal themes.The other things which stood out to me were the odd collection of physical complaints.I have reduced this case significantly for the sake of brevity, trying to focus on what aspects lead me to the Kingdom, the Group, the Remedy. This use of the Sensation method will undoubtedly be controversial.
Firstly, her arthritic hands that resembled claws. There was a great deal of energy around this complaint, as evidenced by her repeating language and animal imagery. I had read in Dr. Sankaran’s work and in Jonathan Shore’s book on Bird remedies, that Claw gestures was something practitioners noticed in patients needing these remedies.
I went back to that book read it again. He writes 3 very relevant points about the Water Birds in particular (the animals themselves).
1. Lump or plug in the throat, food gets stuck easily, water birds must be careful what they swallow or they will choke
2. Webbed feet
3. Teeth feel weak or soften, fall out
It occurred to me that the Non-human part of this case, the source language (the description by the patient of the material source of her remedy) is in the physical structure of the patient’s body. This was a new idea for myself, one that I had not seen discussed much. It was a very big jump in understanding for myself.
Which water-bird though? If I am to select a Bird remedy, the issue should be about Freedom. The patient never uses that exact work, but one could see her description of the problem of Lack of Freedom. What does she complain most about? Her husband’s chronic illness has limited her ability to travel, to do what she wants, to eat what she wants – in other words, her freedom.
Which water bird needs Freedom to do what they want, or suffers from the loss of freedom to go where they want? Looking through the provings and clinical cases in Shore’s book, It seemed to me that the Blue Heron – ARDEA HERODIAS – suited this particular issue. Very specifically Blue Heron is mentioned as being vulnerable to the threat of swallowing something too large and choking.
Main theme is Detachment and Independence
Need the freedom to go their own way
Protect their own ideas about how to do things
Disregard others’ ideas of them
Prescription made = Ard-he 1M, a single dose (1 drop in 100mls of water, 1 tsp)