This first case took more than a week to be resolved. It involves the unpleasant experience of diarrhea. All of the children needed different remedies, but probably the same pathogen caused the diarrhea.
A mother of 4 children called me the other day. After returning from a trip, 3 out of 4 children are stricken by diarrhea with vomiting. These symptoms occur during the night so the parents can’t sleep and laundry is piling up and the house reeks of vomit. First the mother took all four children to the hospital to have their stool examined for vermin. Nothing was found so the mom had no choice but to drag out her homeopathy books and look for a remedy. (She could have also called me, but I was out then.)
In the past, this mother had studies with me: a 6 hour emergency medicine class and about 4 hours of tutoring. With so little training, numerous times she found the correct remedy for her children.
So on the third day, she found a remedy that decreased the frequency of diarrhea. I sighed, if she had looked for the remedy in the beginning, from the first day her life would have been much better.
I wondered why she was not giving the remedy that she had found during the day. It turned out that she wanted to stop the diarrhea so she gave the remedy when only at night when the children had diarrhea. But they are pale during the day and not able to play. So they are sick day and night. The remedy is not for only the diarrhea. It is for the child whose worst symptom is diarrhea. During the day, the children want to defecate and vomit, but they cannot. That was a symptom that I used to find the remedy. From the mother’s point of view, the diarrhea was the most troublesome symptom. Other symptoms were similar to the symptoms of an ordinary cold or flu.
I also have some regrets. In my acute care class, I told her that for a mild cold, don’t use remedies. Obviously, continuous diarrhea and vomiting is much worse than a mild cold. I should have more quickly seen the mother’s misunderstanding. I have to admit that this is the way that both mothers and homeopaths learn to manage cases,
After the children were better and we could talk more calmly, I began to understand the mother’s misunderstandings. Let me cover the way that we think about these problems below. If the remedy caused an severe aggravation (which is very uncommon), then the remedy should not be repeated. This is common sense in both acute and chronic treatment. However, in everyday practice the decision to repeat a remedy that causes a slight aggravation is actually complex. In chronic treatment, if the aggravation is mild and other improvements are being made by the remedy, then we usually repeat the remedy despite the aggravations. Actually there are many other considerations that can’t be covered here.
However, in an acute case of diarrhea, there is no problem in repeating the remedy. If the remedy does not bring the expected results, we change the remedy. If the symptoms change, then we change the remedy to match the new symptoms.
In the end, this mother worked with me and she was able to cure 2 of her children with no medications. The remedy that worked for the other children did not work for her daughter. Talking on the phone, she gave me a detailed report of her daughter’s symptoms. They were different from her sons. The daughter improved and then her symptoms changed. So she called again and I suggested another remedy. For the boys who were still suffering from one bout of diarrhea in the evening, she repeated the remedy that she had chosen herself. She did this during the day when the children were not suffering from diarrhea yet.
The two older boys did not get well with the remedies chosen by the mother. I later learned that 2 year old was asking to eat again right after a meal. His symptoms got worse. Thinking the mother had access to only her 50 remedy box, I suggested a remedy from that box. It did not work. Then I found out that she had access to more remedies. So, I told her the remedy that she really needed (I was away from home so I could not send her a remedy). I began recovering the next night.
The older boy was still having loose stools. I used the complement of his constitutional remedy. That is, the similar remedy. The constitutional remedy did not have diarrhea as its main component. I looked up “follows well after” in The Complete Repertory. One of those remedies was very close to the boy’s personality, it had his main symptoms from past problems and diarrhea was a keynote. It worked immediately.
This mother is also my student. She has bought the necessary reference books and knows how to use them. However, if you are not yet so comfortable with homeopathy, it is essential to own a box of 35-50 remedies. With this box, you can easily call me and I will help you to find the right remedy.
I was very grateful that she had this basic training. That is, both her ability to report symptoms and her observations were highly skilled. Nevertheless, during this long healing ordeal, we both had a lot to learn.