I was called on to visit a Mrs. D., aged 40, who had come some forty miles to place herself under my care for the treatment of an obstinate and grave inflammation to both eyes, supposed to have arisen from cold, and which had hitherto resisted all attempts at cure. The inflammation was severe, and the eyes so extremely sensitive that any examination beyond a mere glance was out of the question, and I hesitated somewhat to assume the responsibility of the case. Without delay she was placed under the use of such remedies as seemed indicated by the ascertained totality of symptoms, the names of which, writing from memory, cannot now be recalled.
This treatment continued about three weeks, the only beneficial result obtained being a slight mitigation of the symptoms. Not satisfied with so poor a return, and diligently searching for some cause for this partial success, I conceived that the history of the case might not have fully reached me. So I sat down for a patient inquiry, from which was gathered that Mrs. D., with her husband, emigrated from the city of London some years before this and had purchased a piece of land on our Northern Railroad contiguous to a marsh, the proximity of which induced recurring attacks of intermittent fever, for which Quinine had been freely and often taken, with the usual effect of at length “breaking the chills,” as it is termed, and, as our patient supposed, of curing the disease. Unfortunately, when the ague ceased its chill, etc., the eyes, which had hitherto been sound, became greatly inflamed, and so persistent and severe that at times total loss of vision seemed imminent.
My inference from this statement was that the intermittent fever had not been cured by the Quinine, but suppressed, and so thrown back into the system to concentrate its baneful effects in another form, which I conceived to be this affection of the eyes. Should these deductions be correct, it was further premised that no improvement in the eyes was possible unless the restraining and suppressive action of the Quinine on the primary disease could be antidoted ; and if this were predicable, the intermittent might return. Actuated by these thoughts, and the presence of nausea as a prominent but hitherto unrecognized symptom, I gave Ipecac 30, four times daily, during several days, when, to my surprise and delight, one morning about 9 o’clock a very decided chill set in more severe than any which the patient had yet experienced, followed by intense fever and subsequent perspiration.
The next day was an intermission, succeeded on the third day by a renewal of all the symptoms, time etc., of the first I had then a clear tertian, beginning at 9 A. M., from which, and other symptoms now forgotten, there remained no reasonable ground for rejecting Nat. mur. as the remedy. It was accordingly administered in the 30th potency four times daily for a while, an after three paroxysms, occupying nine days, the disease ceased to return, being, as the sequel showed, completely cured ; and, to my great delight, the Natrum had acted so beneficially that nothing else was required, and I shortly had the pleasure of sending my patient home, cured of both the malarial fever and the terrible effect on the eyes of its having been suppressed. (John Hall).
This case shows, first, the danger of the favorable treatment of malarial fever with the inevitable Quinine of the old school ; second, that the history of the case is very important ; third, that the indicated remedy may restore the disease suppressed and so pave the way for the administration of the curative remedy, which, if it had been administered at the beginning, would have easily cured the case at once.
Carroll Dunham once cured a very obstinate case of chronic disease by restoring an eczema of the scalp, which had been suppressed by an ointment years before with Mezereum 200, the history of the original disease corresponding with that remedy.
I have myself often done similar work, and we all know of the necessity of keeping in mind the anti-psoric, sycotic and syphilitic complications which call for their appropriate remedies.
A case from the clinic of Dr. Nash