2012 December

A romantic dreamer: a case of Rosa damascena

by Anne Wirtz

In 2001, a male patient, born in 1972, came to me because of his allergies, which prevented him from living freely. His respiratory organs in particular were the focus of his health problems. At home, the cat and dust aggravated his symptoms, as well as beer: his nose would block after drinking it.
As a child, he had pneumonia twice, and from his 3rd to 7th year ,he was given a lot of antibiotics. From his 8th year, he was put on a diet and given some homeopathic complex remedies. He started doing sports and after that he had some good years.
He started smoking at 19 and from then on he again started coughing and had bronchitis with several courses of antibiotics. The catarrh became chronic. At 23, he stopped smoking and since then everything became worse; his complaints continued non-stop! "My nose is always blocked, it drains my energy." Sleep was alright lately, but falling asleep was difficult and he was seldom fit in the morning. He is a slow starter.
He was doing hospital practice as a student nurse. He had previously finished his environmental studies, but kept looking for something more interesting because the practice disappointed him, so he chose nursing. His father happened to be psychiatric nurse and he found in the end that he had the same interest.
He said about himself: “I am an idealist, a dreamer. I like the green environmental idea, but it still needs to be structured." He played guitar in a band with friends, wrote songs and they 'perform a bit'. "I try to plan my life. I am not attracted to the city, it’s too busy. Too many sounds disturb me, the hustle and bustle, the traffic, the sirens, etc. To be outside of town is a relief."
He lived alone and that was fine for him. He had some brief relationships with women and was deeply in love a few times, but suffered disappointments. "Since then, I became more careful." At the time of his first real love, he was 21 and she was only 16. They went ahead slowly and carefully, but then, she was assaulted and had some family problems. She broke the relationship off. "I wanted to be there for her and I did my best, but a few months later, she went off with one of my close friends."
"I am not open when hurt, not even to myself. I do not want to feel it, I just suppress it. It is part of our family culture that a man keeps his feelings to himself!
“I am an only child. My mother shows her emotions. I have loving parents and they are there for me. My dad is quite closed; he doesn't express his opinions and easily feels threatened. It is as if he feels a kind of competition with me. He does love me, I know, but our contact is difficult although he wants it, too. With Mum, the communication is easier. Both find each other quite timid and they support one another unconditionally, which is very nice. Mum would like him to open up more, but he doesn't. They never go out. I recognize in myself the same characteristic: timidity. My mother suffered some brain damage as a child. She was dyslexic and a slow thinker; they called her stupid. She had a difficult childhood, including emigration. She was always totally there for me, and I felt supported.
"As a child, in my own neighbourhood, I could be a leader or play alone. At school, I was timid, a very good student, but outside the group. They bullied me, it hurt a lot. Dad advised me to ignore it, but it got to me and I became even more timid. In high school, I started to play the guitar, which people liked. I like going to the pub, if it’s not too crowded. At the age of about 18, I used to follow my friends readily. In my university years, I started to blossom and became more courageous. I had romantic experiences and wrote songs about 'broken love', about nature and my own longings about romantic love. If my love didn't work out, I became cynical and I don't like that."

Sinus problems: “Flying in an airplane causes painful pressure in the ears, especially when my nose is blocked. My sense of smell is totally gone since last year, which annoys me a lot. Histamine-cortisol spray briefly relieved it."
Digestion: Stool was a little soft before exams. He desires rice, has been vegetarian for six months because of the better suitability for his own health and the environment. He is thirsty with a dry mouth in the evening and night and needs to drink water. Doing sports suits him well, running alleviates the nasal obstruction.
Climate: He prefers warm, not too humid nor too hot. Perspires more than others from heat or exercise.
Dreams: About work, friends, musical heroes, music. “Life is more concrete nowadays because of my work in the hospital. I miss the release of the dreamy creativity. I like to work in my parents’ garden and see the free growth and blossoming of nature." He liked quality in connection with people and communication on the emotional level. He liked to travel and have a little adventure.

The overall idea in this case is the romantic quality and sensitiveness; his openness, giving me the feeling of a sweet child who trusted me totally to solve his problem. The love theme as an essence (esp. partner-love) is known from the flower Rosaceae family, as Jan Scholten has found. The romantic love theme colours this case. Jan says that this belongs to Rosa damascena: the special theme of romantic, ideal, courtly love.
I looked in the Materia Medica (Murphy), and found the remedy listed under the allergic symptoms, especially in the sinus and ear area. So, I gave him Rosa damascena MK in a solution (bottle) to be taken when he felt the need. I try to help my patients to develop a feeling for the rhythm of taking the remedy.

Four weeks later: the nose opened up a bit, his voice has become better. He had some fever in the second week. The aggravation from cat hair diminished by 50%. Beer, which used to worsen his condition, did not affect him as much as before. His work gives him stress: "I don't like to ask for help too quickly, it is a big responsibility. One must not make mistakes and I am inexperienced." His interest was to work with the mentally disabled. He felt quite tired. It was difficult to make the right choice and after he had made one. he began to hesitate.
Advice: continue remedy
Ten weeks later: "I have positive news! My back pains are totally gone (I didn't know he had them!), and my energy is remarkably better. My smell gets better all the time, slowly but surely, though not yet 100%." The nose is still blocked from time to time. The reaction to beer is still there, but only briefly. "I feel more peaceful, stress doesn't touch me so much anymore, I get over it; I am growing up." What did he think about a relationship? "Not yet, it used to be a question of life and death, but not anymore. I feel much more self-confident!" He had some red itchy eruption at the margin of his pubic hair, but it does not really bother him. He drinks lots of water in the evening.
Advice: continue remedy
Eighteen weeks later: he felt fine. The nose was not totally free yet but his sense of smell was still improving; no allergic reactions to the cat. He felt strong and flexible. The eruption was still there, but was no problem. In his training, he was not studying psychiatry and enjoying it. “That is why I started these studies." He was enjoying being creative, playing music and writing songs. "I want to know why I do things.”
Advice: continue remedy
Six and a half months later: "My smell has totally returned, and with the many different odours, a whole spectrum of memories have come up." He could easily breathe through his nose and his sinuses felt free. There was more intensity to his music and he felt more energetic to do the things he likes. "I realized that I use to have romantic fantasies, with myself as a big hero lauded by the people or as a victim earning their sympathy, but not receiving it. Then, I fell into a melancholic mood. I see now that it is unreal, not from this earth. Since last year, I have been keeping notes of all kinds of feelings which came up frequently. I recognize the tendency to romanticism, but I don't value it so much anymore. I feel more empowered this past half year. There is so much more peace in my head. I feel that my life is rich and I feel connected and more aware of my feelings. My attitude is positive."
Physicals: No problems.
Advice: continue as before.
Seven and a half months later:
His nose was giving some problems again. He felt a bit restless and had less energy. His smell had diminished again.

Prescription: Rosa damascena 10 MK, in solution

Nine months later: he felt very well. He discovered that taking too much of the remedy doesn't feel good, so he takes it in moderation. He was in love and had an affair, but she broke it off after some weeks. It was disappointing, but not a matter of life and death like it would have been in the past.
His sense of smell is perfect, "better than other people’s!" When I asked him if I could use his case for publication as an example of Rosa damascene, he was excited.
I recently met him in the street and he is still feeling very well.

Some say love it is a river that drowns the tender reed.

Some say love it is a razor that leaves a soul to bleed.

Some say love it is a hunger and an ever-aching need.

I say love it is a flower and you its only seed.

It's the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance.

It's the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance.

It's the one who can't be taken who cannot seem to give.

It's the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live.

When the night has been too lonely and the road has been too long,

And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,

Then remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snow,

Lies the seed that with the sun's love in the spring becomes the ROSE.


Photos: Wikimedia Commons

Courtly love; God Speed!; Edmund Leighton
Rosa damascena; Rosa “York and Lancaster”; A.Barra


Categories: Cases
Keywords: romantic love, disappointments in love, idealist, dreamer, allergies
Remedies: Rosa damascena


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