Immediate fulfillment needed: a case of Kola
Woman, 31 years old, single. Editor for a daily newspaper. Two older brothers.
Observation: speech abrupt and intense, husky voice. She appears tough, impenetrable. She was referred to me by her psychotherapist.
Her main complaint: irregular and problematic menses, twice in 6 months, with metrorrhagia.
She was on the pill for 10 years, since 17 years old.
"Since the age of 17, I have my period once every six months; they’re heavy with lower abdomen cramps, which make me bend in half. Three or four years ago, I tried to go off the pill, which resulted in acne and irregular menses… I got scared. I got pregnant, then had an abortion."
Since then, whenever she tries to go back on the pill, she has metrorrhagia and if she stops it, it makes no difference; she experiences the same symptoms. She is extremely sleepy during her menses. Two weeks ago, she went off the pill again. Last month she experienced metrorrhagia throughout the cycle.
One day before menses and during the first two days, she gets headaches and must go to lie down.
Dullness, dim headache that can grow into a sharp pain, which do not last long. Then, it is back to dullness and dim headache, with difficulty opening the eyes.
She cannot listen when people talk to her, and feels heavy.
She is unable to wake up. She would prefer to sleep endlessly, and is unable to open her eyes.
Eating ameliorates; “Eating always helps when I'm unwell.”
Even outside the menses, there are days when she finds it difficult to wake up, especially after drinking alcohol (beer or whisky).
Hypoglycemia: she is not supposed to eat sugar. If she does there are dips: dim vision, hunger attacks, headache, faintness. If she refrains from sugar and consumes more complex carbohydrates, she feels much better.
She lives with her parents, which is an additional pressure factor. She left home at 18 but is now back home for a year, because of being penniless; “I’ll pack in seconds and move to an apartment.”
She tries to complete her degree. She tries to work a lot, five days a week at a demanding job, to cover her debts, so she can leave her parents' house.
She enjoys drinking, and likes to meet friends for a drink or two.
She enjoys sports: volleyball, tennis and squash, saying that they are good for her.
She likes to read science fiction books.
Likes changes. At work, every day there is something new. There is a new paper every morning and that's it! There is no continuity, every day is a new day!
Likes travelling: something new for your eyes, constantly.
Maybe I should move to work as a tour guide?
Fears? Loneliness, “which means estrangement from self, I am not there.”
From getting carried away by the waves of the sea, the depth.
Spiders, as a child.
Recurring dream: flying
Dreams of buildings: going into a building and then "where am I supposed to go?"
Dreams of toilets seats: where am I supposed to go? To the Ladies or the Gents?
Dream of Madonna: twice, made love to Madonna in the dream…
Observation: as she goes on, I get more and more sleepy although the time is midday.
“I have difficulty to remain loyal to what I really feel and not let intruding thoughts enter and cause confusion.”
Any intruding thoughts?
“Self-criticism, that I am doing something which is not good. I am not good at my job.
Lots of people believe in me but I think that I'm not good at what I'm doing (goes on at length about what she is not good at).
“I have difficulty identifying what I really feel. As though I live in numbness, confusion…what do I feel regarding things. For example, with a partner, for a year I was not sure what I felt towards him.
“When in a conversation, I am half there, half not there. I start sharing things about myself , people whom I don’t really want to share with. I find myself blabbing away, saying the things I don’t want to share. I get lost. I am not appreciated as I should be.”
Desires: frozen yoghurt, apricot, plums, watermelon, British breakfast, butter and cream, lemons.
Aversions: soft-centered chocolates, strawberry and cucumber: "There is nothing in it." Honey. Hard-boiled eggs.
Aggravation: oranges (heartburn), pureed potatoes (diarrhea)
"In the past, there was no real connection between us in the family. We use to share the same clothes and listen to the same music but we weren't talking to each other (tears). We used to come for the Sabbath dinner, sit and each one read his newspaper. But today we hug and kiss each other. There was a lot of ice there, I was the one to melt it (she went through a lengthy psychotherapy treatment).
"My father phoned me for the first time to ask how I was, when I was 27.
"With the self-criticism I feel anger, entangled, not permitted to move.
"After drinking beer, I’m less timid.
"I don't want people to see me, so they know how I feel. I wouldn't watch movies at home with my parents present so they will not see my emotional reaction, my eyes, while watching the movie."
EO: What if they would notice?
“It'll be embarrassing. My mother looks at me and it feels like she is picking at me. She wants to control, not to listen, and I have to protect myself from the intrusion.
"I had four partners, and lived with each one of them. One lived in a tent near the Jordan River, one was traveling the world. The third one is the only one I loved.
"There was a time I was interested in Shamanism – Carlos Castaneda, etc. This is over now."
- Hormonal axis disturbed : metrorrhagia, irregular menses, bleeding while on the pill.
- Metabolic issues: hypoglycemia, intolerance to sugar
- Extreme sleepiness, drowsiness (during menses)
- Alcohol: desire and amel; eating amel.
- Numbness and confusion as to what she really feels.
- Feeling disempowered
- My observation is that while listening to her story I could hardly keep my eyes open. She made me very sleepy.
I always try to see what comes up in the repertory. In the choice of rubrics I shall seek the symptoms which seems most authentic in the person's disposition and (if there are) the SRP in the case.
The overpowering sleep, the amelioration by eating and the desire for alcohol are at the base of her general disposition. The dreams, being phenomenon emerging from the unconscious, are authentic information devoid of interpretation; there is no need for affinity to the person's life story. On the contrary, if we look for such affinities we are likely to choose the dreams that "suit" our biased interpretations. Desire for travelling is a clear desire, and it echoes her constant desire for renewal.
A quick look at the repertory shows Kola right at the top, and a cross-referencing with a comment Vega Rozenberg made about drug remedies – how they can send you to sleep – as well as some comments from a seminar by Louis Klein, sent me to Michal Yakir's book “Table of Plants - Wondrous Order”, in order to get a final confirmation for the 4th column location and its relationship to this remedy.
Some of the comments I picked up from Lou Klein:
- Seeking and redeeming empowerment while being/feeling disempowered
- Kola (and other Malvales) are for those who like video games: you play, retry again every time afresh; full of ideas and plans but none materialize.
That reminded me of what she said about her job at the daily newspaper: "There is a new paper every morning and that's it! There is no continuity; every day is a new day!"
From other Kola cases I saw in the past few years, I could see that they are capricious and impatient, they want a result immediately or they move on to another plan.
She is a busy computer programmer, has a one year old IVF baby, and now wants to get pregnant again. She has, however, no menses and want to get pregnant immediately. After three months and a discussion with her gynecologist, she goes for another IVF.
On her first follow up, she said: "An urge that has to be immediately fulfilled."
From Michal Yakir's book:
- Disturbance of sugar metabolism
- Food is like a drug. Must have something sweet.
- Disappointment from a father/male figure.
- Could be aggressive in a manly way.
- Feels disempowered, that everything will fail.
- Soon loses interest and ambition
- Tendency to addiction, alcohol, drugs; anything that gives him sense of escape from reality.” (Based on B. Schuster proving).
Malavales: fear of animals and insects, especially the "inferior, darker" ones.
Prescription: Kola 6C daily
Tremendous improvement. No metrorrhagia, menses after 25 days, no PMS. She does not need to stay in bed, and can go to work regularly.
Was ill last week: 2 days of high fever ending in diarrhea. She had not had high fever since the age of 23. Kola resumed regular menses.
“I’m still stuck at my parents' home. I am still in psychotherapy, but planning to end that treatment. As soon as a thought comes (leaving, going away) I have to do it immediately. "Go away now!" (with a previous much- loved boyfriend). An urge that has to be immediately fulfilled.”
She decided to go back on the pill, and decided to reduce her workload.
Prescription: Kola 9C daily
Changing to Kola 9C was stormy, was full of energy.
“With the pill, my menses came before the due time and the bleeding was heavy, so I decided to stop the pill again but don't like the idea of having acne again. Also I’m having sex and don't want any surprises. During my menses, I can go to work, I don’t have to collapse in bed for 3 days.
“I’ve moved out of my parents' house into my own place in the countryside. I have more time for myself; maybe it's because my mother is not around. I am more open, I have more trust in myself. I’ve ended psychotherapy.
“It’s much nicer at work; I’m beginning to enjoy work. I was so full of self-criticism. I’m not so ‘mad’ now at work and realize that people are more understanding, and my work comes out fine.
“I’ve completed my degree requirements. I manage so much better. If I want something, it comes out good.”
Prescription: Kola 12C daily
“My last menses were a week ago; there is no PMS and none of the familiar manifestations.
I was promoted at work, I have more responsibilities. If I would have studied more seriously in that field, I could develop much more. I enjoy the position of managing and organizing but I’am not familiar enough with the material, and it does not interest me so much. There is some pressure towards the evening when the deadline approches and the material has to go down to the press but by the next day no one remembers what you did anyway. It disappears. I am not clever enough to understand the content. I have difficulties understanding what I read at work so I have learned to ask questions.
“I would have liked to work with teens.”
“The liveliness, the innovation, each one stands out with what he is, they haven't learned to filter yet.
“As for my social life, I go out to the pub sometimes with a girlfriend. I'm not looking around. I'm not feeling pressured.
“My mental state has been much better in the past few months. I manage to deal much better with more and more things. Last night, for example, I had a date with a man and I felt my self-confidence much increased.
“Also at work lately, I understand the material and others understand me, too.
“My best days now are the first days of the menses.”
Prescription: Kola 15C daily
“Last 2 menses were alright, on time, no metrorrhagia.
“I’m having a quiet time where I live, closer to nature.
“I’m working less and managing better.
“I want to end the treatment, I think I'm fine.”
She took the remedy for a few more months and stopped about 5 months ago. All the symptoms are back.
“I’m exhausted during PMS, and then, during menses, I am at my best. My heart is clear, my head is clear, everything seems right.
“I’m back on the pill. Bleeding begins a week before it should and then lasts a more few days after it should have stopped. When I was under homeopathic treatment it was clear cut: there was time for menses and no bleeding in between. This improvement lasted for a while but now it has stopped.
“Also, my sugar levels go crazy: they can jump high and go deep down a few times during the one day.”
Observation: talks very fast.
“I left the countryside and moved to the city, to the slum area, where there are many foreign workers. I prefer these people, they are more human.
“I'm not suffering at work.
“I do what I can and my boss says that I have a better understanding than my collegues.
“With my parents, they do not believe in me; they don't think that I am responsible enough to make decisions for myself. I have to maintain the contact but not get too excited, which means no estrangement but very little contact.”
Prescription: Kola 9C Daily
“No more metrorrhagia. Now during menses: slight headache, heaviness around the forehead and eye.
“I met someone who lives in another country; he came here for do some research. He asked me if I want to come and live with him abroad. This is something different. I haven't felt like this for 10 years. This is a busy time but good time. My whole life has changed… things are suddenly happening. I have changed so much. Before I would shut down and think "I don't have any energy for this…" and now it's different and so much nicer.
“With my parents things have changed: my approach to my mother is easier and simpler and my father phoned me four times this week. They are conservative, so it’s better that they know as little as possible about my life.
Observation :looking softer and rounder, feels less rough.
Prescription: Kola 12C daily
11.7.12 (by email)
“Less weakness during menses. Can manage sugar levels better as long as I stay off sugar.
My boyfriend went back to his country. Every time I talk with him, I'm more in love… this hasn’t happened for so many years.”
Prescription: Kola 15C daily
20/11/12 (by email)
“Just to let you know that I moved to live with my boyfriend in his country. Everything is fine with me. I am well.”
Photos: Wikimedia Commons
Sogno di Santa Orsola by Carlo Naya; public domain
Cola acuminata; M.A.P. Accardo Filho
Keywords: PMS, irregular menses, metrorrhagia, acne, overpowering sleepiness, hypoglycemia, numbness, confusion, desire to travel