A Case of Mental Abrasion

Dr K Abdul Gafar
I try to convince myself that I am a homoeopath of some years experience. But time and over again I have wondered at the quickness and promptness of cure brought in by homoeopathic medicines!

The only requirement is that the selection should be the similimum. And that is not an easy task, all these years have taught me if nothing else! I would like to record and exclaim each such case so that the magnanimity of the system gets the acclamation it truly deserve and it also serve the purpose of motivating more homoeopaths, especially skeptical youngsters in believing themselves and the system. Even though each and every case should be a unique experience for a good doctor the following case is one particularly fascinated me.

The case is of some years old. The news came one day that a man in the neighbourhood of my clinic had a very tragic death. The captain of a small ship, he fell down in to the freezing waters of the Mediterranean Sea. He was instantly drowned even though the crew succeeded in fishing out the body after some time. He left behind his wife and six children -five of them girls- here. I was concerned because the whole family consulted me for their health problems and used only homoeopathic medicines for the same. Even on one or two occasions when I was not much sure of the diagnosis they refused my advice to consult another system and the condition improved with our medicines after all.

The next day after the incident I got a call from the house. It was his eldest daughter. The youngest kid a girl of about ten years on that time, she said, is much affected by the tragedy and is now behaving strangely.

“What you meant by being strange?” I asked her.
“She is in a state of shock and lies there semiconscious. Occasionally she will wake from the slumber and start weeping”.
“But that’s not what worrying us,” she continued, “she is talking in a complete incoherent manner and some times she even smiles and laughs when she wakes up. Only to return to more sleep. She has also not taken anything solid or liquid to her mouth since the event.”

She said it would be difficult for the patient to be brought to the clinic nor will it be practical for her to come, as the body of her father is not yet brought in. So I told her to send in some one so that I can give some medications.

Contemplating the case I tried to differentiate between Aconite and Ignatia, as the case is obviously one of shock and grief. Also I know the child well and she hasn’t shown any signs of an instable mind so far. Naturally a mild lovable child she also got the petting of the entire family being the youngest one. Besides, her father was particularly fond of her from my previous experiences. The family is of strong social bonding but the individual members including her elder sisters are all vulnerable to anxiety.

Eventually I dispensed a dose of Ignatia 1M to be taken immediately and asked to report the next day. I feared more problems when the body is brought in. But the process is only getting underway to untangle the diplomatic threads so that it is transported to India.

The next day the phone rang even before I reached the clinic. It was her sister herself and there was an edge to her voice when she asked if I could come to the house within no time. There was a man already waiting outside the clinic to take me with him to the house. Not revealing my anxiety I tried to get more out of her. But she insisted that I should come there and see it myself.

The house was only a short distance from my clinic. So I set out on foot armed with only the stethoscope and a torch. All the way along weighing Aconite again (the initial period is over but the cause and shock is still there, isn’t it?) and Nat. mur (the chronic of Ignatia and obviously the best choice, even though I was a bit unsure about the use of it in such an acute stage).

There was a crowd of people in and around the house on the assumption that the body may be brought in on that day. I was immediately escorted to a room with more people than it can accommodate. The patient was supposed to be somewhere within that crowd. Fortunately all of them trickled out of the room on my arrival and I remained with the sister I talked to earlier, her next younger brother and the patient who was lying on a coat on one side. She appeared to be sleeping peacefully on her back.

“She is not sleeping,” said the sister as she bent over to wake her up.
I stopped her and told to tell me more.

“This is her state for the last two days. She seems to be sleeping but wakes up with the slightest touch. Not actually into a state of wakefulness. But to a seemingly imaginable world. She tries to say something but we cannot make out much except that she sees something going away and tries to catch it. She is getting deeper and deeper into it so that now she even does not recognize her mother or any of us. She weeps and occasionally laughs. But did not eat or drink anything till this time.”

It was obvious that the child is very weak by the observation itself. The shock as well as the deprivation of nutrition for the last forty eight hours had done it. Her face was pale but peaceful. Breathing within normal limits, not stertorous. Her position was also of a normal quiet resting, and there was no other reason to think that she is not having a good exhausted sleep.

Now, softly calling her name I started to wake her up. And she opened her eyes wide with the first touch of my hands on her shoulder. And looked directly at me, but it took a few more seconds for me to see that she is looking through me. Even as I started to ask some casual preliminary questions the drama started. She smiled, a beautiful full smile. She was about to say something in the enthusiastic and eager way when one meets a dear one in a crowd, when all of a sudden her attitude changed. Her face clouded and lips trembled. A long string of words came out of her mouth of which only this much I can make out. “…there it goes…..stop.. oh, please stop………going……… oh… no… nooo…… gone…………..!!” Her words continued as a gurgle and an open weep with tears rolling down both sides of her cheeks.

What happened next defies even my belief in all these. She tried to rise from the coat as if to catch whatever is that she sees. It was not an ordinary attempt to rise from a lying posture by bending one’s legs and tilting the upper torso. But she tried to rise as a whole! It was like that her body is one of weightless material and she can fly up. Spreading her hands and eyes fixed to some far away object she started to elevate her body as a whole! And believe me or not her whole body was raised from the coat an inch or two into the air!! But could not do further, she fell down to the coat again sobbing and shaking all over uncontrollably. During the entire act she did not show any signs of the presence of all of us in the room. Gradually her weeping diminished and she returned to her slumber.

Any ideas about Materia medica vanished from my mind as I tried to remain calm and conceal my utter astonishment. Nevertheless I completed my examination and found nothing else from her except that her pulse is a bit quick and very feeble. Her other vital signs were within normal limits, but she failed to recognize me or any others in the room. I did not either try further on that as the examination itself triggered a second attack of levitation. This time, prepared beforehand I got the chance to study it more closely and it was a true levitation even if only for an inch or two into the air!

“Why don’t you take her to a good psychiatrist?” I asked the sister as I was escorted back into the outside world through the maze of people. “It will be very difficult under the present circumstances. We are sure that you can give us some medicines so that she may get well,” was her all too familiar and anticipated reply.

Assuring myself that no grave danger will occur to her by another twenty four hours I agreed to dispense some medicines thinking that it will buy some time for them till the spiritual rites for the deceased are over and eventually the child can be transferred to a psychiatrist.
Still with no idea of a treatment plan I walked back to my clinic. On the way the good God sent me flying the medicine I needed! Yes, she was trying to fly and did manage to do it a bit even! Dr. Kent explained that a stool would stand even on a single leg if it is strong and wide enough. Here there being no time to examine the strength of it I clinged to the medicine as there was only that one leg left!

In the clinic I prepared two doses of a very minute quantity of the drug, of which I have 50M and CM potency and I choose the higher one, as a dose and instructed to be given her one dose immediately and one the next morning. Giving particular emphasis on that if she is not showing any signs of improvement by morning the next day she be transferred to the care of a good psychiatrist. I also gave the name of a good friend of mine in whose hands I thought she would definitely be not deteriorating.

The case was gone for good to the little child, I thought as no news was heard about it for the next two months. I always paused in front of the house every time I cross it on my bike on the way to clinic for the next couple of weeks. That much was the impression it left on me. I could not see anybody out side the house on each occasion. The whole house was changed with the death of the family head, and they may still be in mourning.

Her second sister came to me with her small child for a bout of fever after about two months. After completing the examinations and giving her medications, being as casual as possible I enquired about her youngest sis. The following was her reply.

“Oh she is well and doing fine now. We always thought about coming to you to tell about it. But you know these household engagements and all. After giving the first dose of medicine you gave us on that day she went into a long sleep. It was a real deep sleep so that we could not wake her up for giving her some drinks even as the night approached. She woke up the next morning very week and drank some rice porridge. She ate her normal food in the afternoon itself and never again shown such bizarre behaviour after that. She is still very sad about her father, and her eyes well up when anybody mentions his name. You know what, she is sitting there outside in your waiting area now. She said she won’t enter inside because she is ashamed of herself!”

The Medicine was ‘Cannabis indica’

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