June 2015

An unusual case of a well-kown remedy

by Vicki Mathison

Eight-year-old girl with bowel complaints  

First consultation May 2009

Nicole’s grandmother had contacted me one week before the appointment was made.

I am including her comments as Nicole was adamant on her arrival for the consultation that she did not want her mother or grandmother to be with her in the room.

The grandmother told me that Nicole had been having bowel incontinence for three years – at least four times daily and with no warning sign. This had begun when Nicole was five years old, coinciding with the birth of her brother and the separation of her parents.

The tentative medical diagnosis was Celiac disease and Nicole was put on a gluten free diet for one year. This made absolutely no difference to her condition.

Nicole bounced into the clinic, telling her mother and grandmother that she did not want them in the room. They agreed to return in an hour’s time.

She presented as a tall willowy child with broad and high forehead, and an open, friendly face.

She was offered the choice of chair: swivel saddle stool or Swiss Ball; she chose the ball, rolling it as close as she could to my chair. I had the immediate image of a pixie child perched on a large pearl! 

Vicki Mathison (VM): Why have you come to see me?

Nicole (N): “I have tummy aches and (in a whisper) accidents sometimes.”

She then bounced about for a few seconds and commented on one of the paintings in the clinic.

I told her about one of my miniature horses, Brie, who often has accidents. She appeared very relieved to hear this and she said she would have a talk to Brie after the consult and tell her it was OK.

V: Tell me about your tummy aches?

N: “They are like a pinching thing and I’m really sore when I run.”

On further questioning: the pains are mostly right sided, though sometimes both sides, pinching or stinging. Better for lying on back and from drinking water. Better for having something cold on the belly.  She wants to be in the fresh air even when feeling sick.

She then bounced off to look at another painting and told me she loved the sparkly bits in it.

V: Tell me about food, likes, dislikes and if any foods makes you worse or better.

N: “I ‘love’ shellfish but I can’t eat them because it makes me worse.”

V: Tummy or accidents?

N: “Both”.

She loves fruit, ice-cream. Honey is too sweet but she loves lollies. Kiwi fruit makes her back and mouth sting. Loves milk and likes eggs a lot.

V: Tell me more about the kiwi fruit…

N: “Sometimes, when I eat them and melon, it’s like a huge piece of ice sliding down my spine and it vibrates.”

Nicole talked about the gluten free diet and said it didn’t work at all. She whispered that if she eats a lot she has more accidents. A dairy free diet had also not helped her.

V: Do you remember when your tummy aches and accidents started?

N: “When I went to school and Mike went away – what sort of paint is used in “that” painting?”

At this point, I decided to follow the “art” lead she had been offering me from the start!

N: “I ‘love’ Art – it’s my favourite – and maths, but I don’t like writing stories because it takes too long.”

V: Do you like chalk?” 

N: “I ‘love’ chalk – I love working with chalk but I can’t hold it with my fingers – I have to use a piece of material or something.”

V: Why can’t you hold chalk?

N: “It makes my back vibrate – like pushing dots in my back. It makes my teeth go funny – they feel like they are moving, like they are stinging or something.”

V: Do you use other things to draw or paint with?

N: “No – I do like paint and pastels but I really ‘love’ chalk.”

V: Tell me about chool and school friends?

It appears she has several close friends and also spends a lot of time with her five cousins. She is afraid of the Headmaster as he can be ‘mean’. She said she was afraid that she might do something naughty but didn’t know what that might be – then he would be angry.

V: Is there anyone else like that in your life?

She immediately started talking about a sculpture on the desk.

V: Is there anything else that makes you fearful?

N: “Horses galloping, ghosts”.

V: Tell me more about ghosts. 

She sometimes hears them screaming outside at night. Sometimes, they are in her dreams.

V: Dreams?

N: “I dream sometimes of my friends, but it’s not them, it is their voices.”

V: What are they doing in the dream?

N: “They are gathering and talking.”

V: About?

N: “Me, I think. I don’t know what they would be saying about me.”

Whenever we went down a line of questioning that seemed to make her anxious, she would bounce on the Swiss ball, look at the ceiling or redirect the conversation to art.

V: What is the worst thing about having accidents?

N: “It would be worst if my friends found out. They would tell each other and talk about me.”

V: What do you think they would say?

N: “That I am a baby and they would watch me all the time…”

V: Do you remember when Matt (brother) was a baby – when he was born?

She said she did and was sad because she wanted a sister and Mike was not talking to her much.

V: Tell me about Mike, is he not your father?

She never sees him and doesn’t know where he is (bouncing and looking at ceiling).

V: Is there anything else that makes you feel sad?

N: “I sometimes feel angry and sometimes sad about having accidents, sad because my friends would tell.”

It was very clear throughout the consult that either Nicole had learnt extremely efficient ways of avoiding talking about her feelings from the past or that her grandmother’s emphasis on the events coinciding with the onset of the celiac disease was not felt by Nicole to the same extent. I decided to respect her unwillingness to talk about this time in her life.

The rest of the consultation was taken up with talking about her horse, art, and her cousins. It was interesting that she said her favourite things to do are playing horses, reading horse books and painting horses but that she does not spend much time with her own pony; she never rides him. On asking about that, she said he might buck her off or gallop.

She also mentioned that she got a lot of abscesses in her ears.

Prescription: Calcium carbonicum 30C once daily for three days

Before repertorising Nicole’s case, I was already tempted to give her Calcium carbonicum, based on her love for and unusual physical reaction to chalk.

She certainly did not come across as the archetypal Calcium carbonicum child - in fact pretty much the other end of the spectrum.  As the case unfolded, however, beneath the Phosphorus-like surface, several Calcium carbonicum characteristics were emerging:

- Sees ghosts, spirits, spectres on closing eyes

- Fear, phobia of her condition being observed

- Embarrassment

- Pinching pain internally

- Involuntary stool

- Desires oysters – shellfish aggravates

Follow up

By the third day, there was a significant change in her energy levels, and for the first time in three years, she had full control over her bowels. Over the next month, her self --esteem and courage increased considerably and she began riding her horse. Nicole had a relapse after about one month – maybe due to a meeting with her father. Calcim carbonicum 200C was given once daily for two days, and she was back on track. Nicole is now a confident, exuberant fourteen-year-old with no reoccurrence of her original problems.

Photos: Shutterstock
Young girl on a fitball; Maryna Kulchystka
Drawing with chalk; racorn
Ghost girl; Tom Tom


Keywords: bowel incontinence celiac disease, gluten free, chalk, art, ghosts, tummy aches, pinching pain
Remedies: Calcium carbonicum


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Sudhir Patil
Posts: 1
Reply #1 on : Mon July 06, 2015, 09:27:11
Simple but nice case.