Author’s Note: I had trouble keeping this article within our editorial limits, so to save words, I have put in brackets, and in bold, those rubrics and references which, in retrospect, reflect both the case and the remedy this patient is doing well on. I used the most recent edition of Reference Works as my source. All non-identified rubrics are from Roger van Zandvoort’s Complete Repertory and/or Complete Dynamics.
I have been treating Zack, who is now 6, for three and a half years. He is a beautiful child with a head of dark curls and deep brown eyes with long lashes. When he smiles, he lights up the room. He is a very serious child (Seriousness) with a precocious and extensive vocabulary, but with some speech issues (for which he is seeing a speech therapist).
In our first appointment, though, what struck me were a pout and a frown, and a look of disapproval (Discontent with everything: Discontent with others). While I spoke with his mother, he restlessly roamed, accompanied by his father, up and down the hallway and in and out of the other clinic rooms. At home, his mother says, he would sit quietly, playing with his toys and reading books (Sit, desires to. Herrick: Calm). He LOVES music (Anger: music >). He had no interest in interacting with me and treated me as an “outsider” (Censorious; Suspicious; Delusions: outsider).
Zack’s presenting problem was serious digestive difficulties – resembling, I thought, early ulcerative colitis. He was very hungry but could only safely eat six foods. From the least indiscretion, he was in great pain (Stomach pain, immediately after eating). As a baby, he was colicky. He spat up every feed and arched his back. In fact, his mother nursed him in that position! When he (or his mum) ate a food he was sensitive to, he suffered terrible cramping pains (Rectum and abdomen: pains cramping); he would be up much of the night, in pain (Rectum: urging, at night; Mind: Tossing about in sleep) and his stool became very loose and mucousy, and contained occult blood. His anus turned bright red and alternately burned and itched.
He reacted to his first set of vaccines with a high fever and 48 hours of lethargy, so his parents stopped giving vaccines after that.
Teething came early and with great pain (Mouth: sensitive, gums) and more intestinal distress.
His mum had eating disorders as a young person; these dissipated when she met Zack’s father, who enjoyed making delicious meals for her and coaxing her to eat. Since food is a central part of their extended family life, Zack’s condition has been particularly distressing to his parents. He was a very hungry child and they had difficulty finding enough food for him to eat (Herrick: Stomach, appetite increased). His mother said “we want him to feel he is part of a larger food culture.” Digestive disorders, though, also run through his father’s family, so they cook most of their own food since several members are sensitive to especially meat and fish which has been frozen and is not fresh (I thought this was an interesting “animal” characteristic - the need for fresh meat and fish. Food issues: Lacs).
During the pregnancy, the parents were told that Zack had a “spot on his heart” – which proved to be nothing and when they talked with their pediatrician about his food intolerances, his explanation was that “he has a gene.”
His mother has suffered bouts of acute pancreatitis since she was in her early 20’s and is chronically low in iron, as is Zack She has had numerous plugged mammary ducts, since nursing him, which always cleared up if she gave herself Sulphur (Krista Heron says that Massimo Mangialavori has treated several cases of pancreatitis with the remedy that has benefitted Zack).
The first remedy I prescribed for Zack was Iodum, using a Jan Scholten analysis: his parents are very Silver series (artists, writers) and I felt he, too, expressed an artistic temperament. Iodum has a strong connection with immigration (all his grandparents are European immigrants) and with food. His restlessness, discontent, and intense hunger all fit the Iodum profile.
He did well on this remedy for a few months, and it has remained one we have gone back to for acute complaints - ear aches, coughs, difficult behaviour. In other situations, he has also responded well to Sulphur Iodatum (later on, I changed to Ferrum Sulphuricum. There is a strong “Stage 8” aspect to his personality. He is a FORCE, orders people around, and likes to control his environment. I switched to the Ferrum, also because of his chronic anaemia).
After being on Iodatum and Sulphur Iodatum for a few months, though, I felt he needed a nosode. Things were moving - amazingly, his parents felt - but not enough for me, notably on the digestive front. He had expanded his foods, but still had bouts of colitis. I first tried Tuberculinum bovinum; cows’ milk remained the most allergenic food for him. This remedy did nothing for him at all.
I then went on to Johneinum (a nosode made from a kind of animal tuberculosis - Louis Klein has proved this remedy and has a chapter on it in his book, which I highly recommend, Miasms and Nosodes: Volume 1). The effect of this nosode was dramatic. After taking it in different potencies periodically over the course of 9 months, Zack’s colitis has basically disappeared
Once Zack was able to eat most foods, and was no longer so dependent on his mother for nourishment, she felt it was time to wean him. She and her husband were keen to have another baby. This, though, was an agonizing decision both for her and for Zack and they would have long discussions about it. Normally, I would use the remedies Lac Humanum or Lac Maternum to aid the weaning process. In this case, though, there was a different quality. Zack and his mother were, in their connection to their close extended family, part of a pack. Zack’s real name, too, means “wolf” and his mother refers to him as her “little wolfie”. So, I prescribed Lac Lupinum. It worked well in helping both mother and son let go of this link with each other.
Two years later, his mother contacted me again with problems that were responding to neither Ferrum Sulpuricum nor Sulphur Iodatum.
Zack was having violent temper tantrums, up to 5 times a day. They were triggered in a flash, usually by being told “no” or if suddenly confronted with some change in plan (Anger; Anxiety, sudden; Argumentative; Quarrelsome with his family – Herrick).
As well, he said he was constantly losing things, at home (and at school) - as often as 5 times a day. He not only lost his own possessions, but those of his parents as well (Herrick: Confusion, disorganization, losing things; Dreams: losing her purse; losing her wallet; Walks off and leaves her purchases behind).
He is very affected by anything related to the extended family. Recently, his grandfather had heart problems, which upset him to a greater degree than I normally see in children. Also, he will sleep poorly for days after the departure of family members who have stayed with them.
Zack was having some social trouble at school as well. He was feeling excluded. He wanted to be the leader, to direct the play and also to be on a level with the strongest members of the class. When this was not recognized, his teacher said that Zack stood off, alone, outside the group, looking sad (Delusions: excluded, victim. Herrick: Paranoid about what people say, righteous. Herrick and others - general issues related to the “pack”).
He told his parents that he desperately wanted to eat dairy products, ice cream in particular, from cows and not from goats (Generalities: Food; Desires creamy things).
He asked his mother if he could have a sibling. She was surprised at this, since this is not something he often talks about. When she asked why, he replied “then I could sneak into the bed when you and papa and the baby are all sleeping, crawl under the covers and steal some mama’s milk” (Dreams: of stealing). She said he had never lost his love for her milk and still talked fondly of his nursing days (Lacs, generally; Mind: Sentimental).
When I asked his mother’s permission to write about Zack’s case, she added these comments:
“We have noticed a total absence of the former temper tantrums and a return of personality elements we recall from when Zack was much younger. As I said to you before, the last 2 years or so Zack’s temper was increasingly becoming a daily issue. Instead [now] Zack will often be overcome with sobs or weeping. What I have noticed is that a look comes over his face that is exactly the same expression he started to have when he was 19 months old. It is a look of extreme emotional pain and suffering, expressing feelings of being unloved and abandoned. With me, Zack will manage to stay present but with his dad, he will run away into a corner, or a closet, or close the door of a room.”
(Herrick: Weeping, tearful mood. Whimpering. Delusions: outsider, excluded. Oversensitive.
Lacs generally - forsaken).
(Heron: orientation - moon - closer to the mother. More suspicious of men).
Zack is doing well on Lac Lupinum. He is working backwards through his issues – and this time, I will stay with the remedy until he no longer needs it. I believe I should have done so 2 years ago and, perhaps, from the beginning. However, I do think that the Johneinum may have been needed as a nosode, in any eventuality. I think, also in hindsight, that Zack shows signs, at this point in his life, of needing an animal remedy rather than mineral remedies. A mineral remedy (such as one of the ones already given), though, may re-emerge at some point in Zack’s future.
On working on this article, and especially upon seeing the pancreatitis connection, I plan to also offer this remedy to his mother.
The case continues...
Pat Deacon, lives in Ottawa, Canada. She has practices there, as well as in Montreal, and in Vancouver. Website: www.patdeacon.com
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Grey wolf; Gunnar Ries
Keywords: ulcerative colitis, colic, teething problems, food intolerance, pancreatitis, quarrelsome, disorganisation, excluded, stealing, temper tantrums, forsaken
Remedies: Ferrum sulphuricum, Iodum, Lac lupinum, Sulphur iodatum, Tuberculinum bovinum Kent