Mr. W., a wealthy farmer of this neighborhood, came to me on the 23d of April, 1860, saying that he had been told that my medicine “was good for bilious headache,” having relieved a friend of his, on the strength of which fact, he wanted “some of the same stuff to cure his bilious headache.” For sometime I nearly gave up the hope of eliciting any proper information from the man, who persisted in the assertion that he was bilious, and did not see why I wanted to know more, supposing it the simplest thing under the sun for me to hand him a “a parcel of stuff good for biliousness.” At length I gained the following history from this indurated specimen of allopathic conservatism, on whom old school physicians had repeatedly tried their skill without success.
The patient was at that time 60 years old, measuring six feet in height, of straight athletic frame, with blue eyes, a broad full chest and stentorian voice. He labored on his farm from morning till night, and could endure more fatigue than many a younger man, except when his headache came on, besides which he never had any sickness. This headache had troubled him ever since he was six years old, appearing every eight or ten days. The pain habitually began toward evening in the back of his head, at first dull and gradually concentrating with an acute boring sensation behind the left ear, apparently at the juncture of the temporal, parietal and occipital bones. When the boring pain reached its height, generally toward morning, vomiting of food and slime supervened, accompanied by stitches in the chest, which, lasting for some hours, generally ended the attack, whereupon ho felt sleepy and exhausted. Sound sleep and quiet through the rest of the day restored him to his normal condition. In all other respects the man was perfectly well. His diet was nutritious and his habits regular. As far as I could ascertain he used no liquor, but indulged in, a number of poor cigars daily, took coffee in the morning and tea at night.
I could give my friend but little encouragement in a complaint of such long duration; but finding him in earnest, I concluded to satisfy him by prescribing something. I gave Lachesis30, four doses in globules, one dose to be taken every other day, followed by Sacch. lact. to last him some time. I purposely made no change in his diet.
May 6th. The patient came to report that he had had no headache at all since beginning with the medicine, of which he wanted an unlimited supply. I gave him a number of Sacch lact powders.