When Amanda first came to see me, she was 4 years old. Her mother was looking for “gentle reliable health care”. Amanda had just had her first fever and had thrown up once in the night. Suddenly, she was expressing fears, which she had not had before. Until this point, her only complaint was the odd cold and a red pimply eruption around her mouth, particularly the right side, which emerged after her DPT shots. She has had no vaccination since then. She tells her mum “it’s milk that triggers it.”
She is a striking child with large blue eyes that seem to look right inside me. She possesses the calm wisdom of someone much older than 4. She comes with her younger sister, who adores her and whom she ‘manages’ like a little mother. In many respects, her relationship with her parents seems to be one of an equal, like another adult in the family.
Her mother said she always has to be the leader in play. Other children hand her that power. She is very loquacious and precocious in her speech and understanding. She is not interested in anyone who does not want to interact with her.
In the mornings, she has been saying she is glad the night is over “because I don’t have to see Spiderman and Batman” (they have no television). She says there are only good guys around in the daytime and bad guys at night, who are trying to get her in her dreams. She also comments that she is glad her guardian angel is protecting her.
She once was bitten on the face by a dog and then hugged the dog, unperturbed.
She walks under horses. Now, though, I notice that as she plays with the animals in my toy basket, she puts aside the frilled lizard, snow tiger and panther, saying they are ‘scary’ animals.
Her mother said she was nonplussed when they had to slaughter their first chickens.
Prior to her conception, her father’s only sister was killed in a mountain climbing accident. The siblings had been particularly close, the children of much older immigrant parents, growing up on a farm and sharing an interest in protecting the environment.
Her aunt had struggled with anorexia and suicidal urges during her teens, finally resolving these issues and coming into a good phase of her life just before her death.
Amanda talks about her frequently, with uncanny understanding of her life, things unspoken by anyone in the family. Amanda is extremely close to her father.
She told me, she sometimes has dreams of flying.
I felt that Amanda needed an ‘old’ remedy, one we normally do not think of for children.
Her wisdom, poise, maturity, and confidence all pointed in this direction. I thought of a bird remedy, in that I see her bridging both worlds in her connection with her dead aunt. The remedy that struck me was Haliaeetus leucocephalus, (bald eagle) There were few physicals to prescribe on. The eruptions around her mouth are indicated in the remedy.
FOLLOW - UPS
Seven weeks later, her mother says she has been completely healthy since taking the remedy. She had a touch of diarrhea one day, when others in the family had full-on stomach flu. The night fears and bad dreams have gone.
One issue remaining, according to her mother, is that she has been showing a materialistic streak, very disturbing to her ‘alternative’ parents! She has become interested in Barbie dolls and has been dressing up in her aunt’s old dresses and high heels when she visits her grandma. Most significantly, while her mum and I are talking, she draws a perfect picture of a bald eagle and hands it to me! I did not tell any of them what her remedy was.
Two years later, her mother calls me, saying Amanda is very sick. She has been lying on the couch for 4 days. She has been feverish and delirious, talking in her sleep for the last three nights. She is aching all over and has a dry fever. Her mother repeated Haliaeetus leucocephalus 1M, but it seemed to make no difference.
Up to this point, I have not seen Amanda for a follow up, since
there has been no need. Her family now
lives communally and there are often stomach flus, colds and coughs going
around their community. Each time, her mum has given her a dose of Haliaeetus and she has immediately
bounced back, while the other members often take several days to recover. I
felt that this time, after 2 years of a bird remedy, Amanda needed a nosode to
help with this acute episode and I gave her
Tuberculinum aviare 30c. Both sides of her family have strong tubercular traits: an affinity
to chest infections and asthma, lots of moving and travelling, seasonal
allergies and allergies to cats, early myopia (her mother), strong musical and
artistic sensibilities, and are lovers of
the outdoors. I choseTuberculinum aviare since
it comes from a bird.
Within 24 hours, she is completely back to normal.
Another two years pass… Amanda comes in for another follow-up. Her mother has suffered two miscarriages, during which time Amanda has taken responsibility for caring for her. In one instance, she walked to the other side of a campground (unnoticed by her parents) to ask the other campers to turn their music down because her mother needed quiet.
Her mother says, she is now needing a lot of attention. She is having meltdowns from frustration. She is very focussed on being an artist; last year, her focus was on being a dancer. She is commanding a lot of attention and needs to be at the centre of it. She wishes her parents would play more and not work so hard. She wants them to do crafts with her.
She does not want to be alone at night. She needs a lot of time with her dad. As soon as he arrives home from work, her mum says, he is immediately under “Amanda domination”. She needs lots of time at home alone to do her art work and to have down time.
Changes in her family life (work stress for her parents, her mother’s miscarriages, new people in the community, now spending one day per week at a home learner’s centre) has unbalanced her somewhat. A dose of Haliaeetus leucocephalus 10 M brings her back into balance. She is back to being her happy self, not afraid to be alone at night.
She is still the leader in the family, but is not having emotional meltdowns.
Amanda and her sister have come down with high fevers, bright red cheeks, and deep wet rattling coughs. Repeating Haliaeetus does not help, so I have her repeat Tuberculinum Aviare 30c and again, all is resolved quickly.
Six months later… another acute. This time, neither of the previous remedies helps. A stomach flu is going around their community; the other children are fine after 24 hours, except one boy who has diarrhea for 6 days. Amanda has been playing but not eating much. She has had major bouts of diarrhea after eating. She is pale and lethargic and has broken out in a red rash, like tiny insect bites. She has never been this sick before and she is frightened by it. She is drinking small amounts of water (sips!). It seemed clear from all her symptoms (and a syphilitic edge to her history) that she needed Arsenicum album. She responded to a dose of 30c within half an hour, asking for food, which she managed to keep down.
She had a good night’s sleep, no more diarrhea, and woke in the
morning - no rash, no stomach ache, pink cheeked and asking to play!
I shared this case because I thought it was wonderful to see one basic remedy acting as a constitutional ‘balancer’ over the course of several years, with the intermittent use of a nosode during intense acutes.
Does the need for Arsenicum album mean the next nosode may be Syphilinum? Was it simply the ‘epidemic’ remedy? Some of the other children took it early on and recovered quickly. Perhaps, it heralds the need for Syphilinum for Amanda at some point in the future.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Bald eagle; William H.Majoros
Keywords: bridging both worlds, wisdom, poise, maturity, confidence,
Remedies: Arsenicum album, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Tuberculinum avis