April 2015

Tongue-tied since birth: a case of Rana catesbeiana

by Doug Brown

In August of 2012, I was asked by a Haitian-American friend to treat her twelve years old son for excessive shyness. He isolates in his room, and has no friends. Billy (name has been changed), she said, refuses to speak.

She provided additional background information before I met with Billy. When she was three months pregnant, she was involved in a very bad car accident. She believes that “her father-in-law had it in for me, wanted to get me out of the way so that my husband could marry somebody else.” She didn’t gain much weight, and birth was by C-section due to placenta previa.

As an infant, Billy was always hungry. He was breastfed for less than a year, and ate everything he was given. He always finished his bottle really fast.

Significant developmental delays occurred with regards to vocalizing and speech. At around two years old, he began acting out, crying, and having “fits”. His mother was told that he was acting out of frustration at not being able to vocalize his needs. Because of learning challenges, he was given an individualized learning plan.

Billy had trouble relating to other kids. He did not know how to communicate with them. So, he would just throw stuff at them or just cry. In addition to his speaking problems, he had difficulty eating without bringing foods through his nose.

Another significant developmental delay was in the area of toilet training. He only became independent in this regard at the age of eleven. His mother believes he has a fear of touching himself.

Billy snores during sleep. His mother adds that he as a fear of bugs, ants, bees, butterflies, roaches, even the smallest little fly.

He was born tongue-tied, and had a frenulectomy one year prior to our visit.  He doesn’t talk to his teachers unless it’s absolutely necessary. When he does speak, his mother says, it’s in a very low tone. “I am always asking him to repeat what he says because I never hear what he says when he talks”. She then shared a story: “When Billy and his sister both had braces put in at the same time last month, his sister came home screaming in pain. She was loud and intolerable because she was crying so much. But Billy never said anything. If I asked Billy if he was hurting, he would say 'no' or 'a little bit'.  After a few days, when their father came home, he took a look inside Billy’s mouth, and it seems that the braces had created a lot of ulceration to his gums and cheeks. The point is, if we didn’t look inside Billy’s mouth, he would never have told us that he was hurting.”

I asked Billy’s mother about his relationships with other children. She replied that his classmates loved him because he’s “quiet”. “Now, Billy does like to tell me about love triangles in his classroom….which boy likes which girl…but he’ll never talk about who he likes… I would like for Billy to learn how to smile, imitate a ‘hello’ in the school hallways with his classmates or teachers, look people in the eye when he talks to them, initiate a conversation when he sits with a group of friends, project his voice when he talks, not to be afraid to be silly or sound silly in front of people, sit up straight at the school dinner table (when he eats at a table, he looks as if he’s ready to go hide under the table).”

Billy wants to participate in his school’s “Speech Meet” (a very competitive speech competition), but he can’t even talk. “I had to unregister him out of that activity.”

His mother continued: “Billy has been in the school choir for two years now and he has never opened his mouth to sing even one song at performances. It is so bad that other parents always come to ask me ‘What’s wrong with Billy? Isn’t he happy to be in the choir?’ And the truth is that he asked me to register him in the Choir club. When I threaten to remove him from the choir, he gets sad and cries!”

Billy craves coffee, and is averse to tomatoes and pickles. He is quite thirsty.

I interviewed Billy over Skype, which was less than ideal, especially considering how impaired his speech was. My strategy was to simply lead as little as possible, and see where Billy would take me.

Initial Interview, 9 August 2012

He said: “I like to write my own stories. Sometimes, I like video games and I draw. I love my dogs. Sometimes, I like to hang out with my friends when I have the time. I play the piano. I’m leaving. I played basketball for my school, so I kind of like basketball. I’m good with a soccer ball. I like art. I like to play on my computer. I like the Hunger Games. There’s a TV show, NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service). I like to call my friends, text with them.
“I really like the Harry Potter series. I like to play video games with my sister. I would like to be a movie director, writing stories and movies. Sometimes, I like a bike ride. And I like motorcycles. I like to watch t.v. I go to (name of a private school).  I like that school. It’s cool. I have a lot of friends. I like flag football, to play with my friends. I like paintball. I like to read books and comics. I like to go off, out with my family. I like comedy. Play Station 3.”

Doug Brown (DB): What don’t you like?
Billy (B): “When people fight. When friends argue. When the dogs dig a hole and get out I get upset, but we find them. When my big sister drives. I always hope she drives carefully. I worry about her.
“When I had surgery, that made me uncomfortable. I wasn’t that scared, but a little scared. Something might go wrong. But nothing went wrong.”

DB: What did you most like about the Hunger Games?
B: “Only one came out and survived. I liked the action. It attracts the viewer’s attention.
“I like swimming with the manatees. Once I freaked out.. the swimming pool seemed bottomless. I might drown. When the dog got hurt, I worried. What would happen next?
“I dream of friends. Of myself in a t.v. show. I dream I can do anything. I dream of my best friend. He might not come back, I don’t know. I might be upset, but it was his choice. I won’t be mad at him. A little bit sad. He’s not my only best friend.
“If you’re nice to them, they’re nice to you. They’re funny.
“When friends fight, I tell them to ‘work it out’. I get anxious. What would happen next?”

DB: Tell me about life in your family.
B: “The hardest is when my sisters fight. Sometimes I fight, but not always. I would like to speak back…”

DB: Worst thing?
B: “If I speak loudly people tell me to “shush”. Some of my friends are trouble-makers. They speak out of turn. They don’t get detention, they might get expelled. I might lose a friend.”

Understanding and disposition

Billy spoke much more than I expected. There were often long pauses between his utterances, but patient, expectant waiting usually elicited further responses. There were frequent non-sequiturs in his spontaneous speech, which gave a random feel to his behavior.

After this consult, I gave Billy Magnesium iodatum 1M, because of his aggravation from quarrels, his isolation, and his large appetite. Iodum, as series 5 (Silver series) halogen, would help to cover the issue of speech. In retrospect, there is much that this remedy doesn’t cover, and the reasoning behind choosing “Ailments from quarrels” as a focus for the case is questionable.

October 16, 2012

Billy says: “My sister got in a car crash. Making sure she was alright. At first, I was curious if she got hurt. A guy tricked her on getting her money.
“Next Monday is when report cards come out. My math grades went up, but then down. I’m getting a ‘C’. School is getting harder. If I don’t handle 6th grade, 7th grade will be even harder.
“I’m frustrated. Learning to deal with it. I’m curious about the 2nd quarter. I love to play the piano some times. I have a piano lesson each Wednesday. There’s this cop called (unintelligible). On Friday, we’re going to my aunt’s wedding. I’m planning on being a movie director or going into the air force.
“I like this book called Maximum Ride. Seven angel kids going on an adventure. The series was pretty good. I like the Avengers (movie). Each character has his own movie. It’s well put-together. Getting all the actors to do their parts.”

DB: Tell me about going into the Air Force?
B: “Flying planes, flying fighter planes. Transporting people back and forth. Serving the USA. I’m reading “Confessions of a Murder Suspect”. He’s accused of a crime he didn’t commit.”

DB: Tell me about situations you don’t like?
B:“When we’re about to get a test back. Getting report cards. When we put the dogs out. Sometimes, they dig holes.”

DB: What is it about the holes you don’t like?
B: “Sometimes, snakes or frogs can get in the house or the yard.”

DB: Tell me about frogs?
B: “Frogs are uncomfortable (he becomes animated for the first time). They can jump all over the place. They really freak me out! They’re gross. My mother sprinkled something all over to kill all the frogs.”

DB: Gross?
B: “They carry diseases. You have to wash you hands.”

DB: Anything good about frogs?
B: “They eat bugs.”

DB: Can you tell me a dream?
B: “A dog was able to talk. It was funny. A tower was falling. I was on top. I had to jump off, or get to the bottom as quickly as I can. I got to safety, or I would have gone splat.”

DB: What’s the grossest animal in the whole world?
B: “A lizard. It squirms, crawls. When you cut off its tail, it still moves. Lizards regenerate new tails. No one’s used to seeing cut off limbs moving around.”

DB: What’s grosser, a lizard or a frog?
B: “Frogs are grosser. Lizards are kind of cool.”

Understanding the Case

In this interview, the jumping around, random nature of his speech was even more pronounced. In his first sentences, referring to his sister’s car crash, a victim-aggressor theme emerged: “A guy tricked her on getting her money.” Recall that in the mother’s history of pregnancy, the significant even was a serious car accident motivated, in her view, by the father-in-law’s desire for his son to be rid of her.

Given that the main issue for Billy seems to be his ability to speak, the reader may wonder why I did not stay with a remedy from the Periodic Table’s fifth series, the Silver series. Billy’s surprising ability to vocalize during our interviews revealed that the issue was not his ability to speak per se, but his feelings about speaking up in various social contexts. As he said towards the end of his first consult: “If I speak loudly people tell me to “shush”. Some of my friends are trouble-makers. They speak out of turn. They don’t get detention, they might get expelled. I might lose a friend.”

Billy’s intense fear and reaction to frogs was the most singular, peculiar, and strange symptom. I considered this aspect of the natural behavior of frogs: there is a dominant male frog (very vocal) and a less passive male type, who comes in a territory and sits next to the dominant male, and waits for the other to vacate.

Then, I considered the nature of his speech. He jumps around in an unpredictable manner… much the same way frogs do as part of their survival strategy. Also, considering his mother’s descriptions of his behavior (isolating), much of what he said is patently untrue. So, there is an element of deception, which is characteristic of remedies from reptiles, and probably amphibians. This became flagrant when I asked him which animal he considered most gross… lizards or frogs. He seemed to reflexively say lizards at first, but then switched his answer to frogs. Finally, his dream of a dog talking, pointed once again to the centrality of the animal kingdom, and the issue of whether or not it is possible or ok to speak.

Prescription: as I was not able to locate any source for homeopathic bullfrog, I asked his mother to write Rana catesbeiana 1M, to place a glass of 4 oz water over the message, and to leave the water exposed to the writing for at least one hour before giving Billy one tablespoon.


Two weeks later: Billy appeared happier. His speech was more spontaneous and less random and jumpy. He described a few happy dreams. His mother reported that he was more playful, making more jokes. More significantly, he was isolating less. To his family’s surprise, he danced at a family wedding. His mother said “this is a big turnaround for Billy.”

Six weeks later, on December 11th: we met again over Skype. Once again, Billy seemed happy. When I asked him what had most stressed him since we last spoke, he talked about having to present a report to his social studies class. “I was shy, but I did it. I did a good job. I felt relief!”

“Would you say you’re still pretty shy?” I asked.

“I overcame it pretty much”, Billy replied.

I spoke to his mother. She affirmed that Billy has been making a lot of progress. He gets moody at times, but it passes. “He’s opened up more than ever. He socializes more, is more open, and talks more.” In an email she wrote: “I have been quite excited about Billy's progress recently. He really seems to have come out of the shadows. He is laughing out loud more. He jokes around with his sisters and tries to make fun of them (in a good way). Right now, every time Billy says something funny we burst out laughing because we are so not used to hear him say anything at all! He and his sister have been singing popular tunes in his room all afternoon today, he was on his phone talking to his friend today, and he's looking forward to Christmas and his birthday soon. I feel good about Billy’s progress.”

February 12th 2013: “I’m talking a lot. It feels good….I’m hanging out with girls. I had two dreams. In the first dream, I was in this car on a bridge. There was traffic. I wasn’t in control of myself, of what I was doing. There was confusion. In the second dream, me and my class went to this camp near an airport. I went to this building to get my bag. It was the same place as in the other dream. But this time, I felt in control. I was calm.”

DB: How do you feel about frogs?
B: “I don’t see them much. I’m not freaked out about them.”

February 16, 2015: more than two years after treatment, I sent a short email to Billy’s mother, asking how he was doing. She writes: “Billy is doing AMAZINGLY well. Thanks for all your help - you did a lot for him.”

Further reflections on Rana catesbeiana

As this prescription was made before any trituration or proving of the substance was made (that I am aware of), it is very interesting to compare the case with Roland Guenther’s trituration also published in this issue. The theme of sexuality, so prominent in the trituration, was present but more hidden in the boy’s case. Of course, given that the patient was a mere twelve years old must be considered. Yet, the mother made a point of saying that in spite of the scarcity of his words, he enjoyed talking about “love triangles in his classroom”. After treatment, he forthrightly says he is enjoying hanging out with girls.

Roland describes a shameless, coldness, a desire to penetrate without empathy. While this also was not obvious in the case, Billy’s enjoyment of stories about murder, assassination, and a kind of clinical curiosity about his sister’s accident hints at these qualities. The word “curious” came up several times, and it’s chilling to consider how frogs are so often used in science classrooms as students’ first objects of dissection, which begins with pithing, the technique of immobilizing and killing an animal by inserting a rod or needle into the base of the brain.

Further correspondences between Roland’s trituration and this case include the presence of lizards and snakes, and the movement of jumping and leaping.

Shutterstock: Little boy reading under the cover; simona pilolla 2
Wikimedia Commons: Lithobates catesbeianus; Buchanan Bill; Public domain

Categories: Cases
Keywords: excessive shyness, isolation, speech difficulties, developmental delays, fear of frogs and bugs, bullfrog
Remedies: Rana catesbeiana


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Michael Leger
Posts: 7
Noetic remedies
Reply #4 on : Sat April 04, 2015, 15:49:16
I have experimented with remedies written on paper: used to charge water and used 'directly', direct administration by applying the paper to the skin, held in a pocket, etc. I tried them on myself for a chronic condition as well as several acutes and have used them with family members and friends for the same conditions. I also attended a school where they were a regular part of recommended practice and had some contact with a community on the north side of Chicago that regularly used them.

Using them personally, when charged into water, I could feel the presence of the various remedies. They nudged the acutes but had no discernible action on the chronic. I noticed no effect from paper placed in pocket but was able to barely detect the presence of a remedy when applied to my skin. Several family members had similar results. However, several family members did see some results for acute conditions from both methods.

The school had students and graduates who primarily use this method. They were reporting very good results with their usage, including using them on animals. The Chicago community also reported similar results.

My opinion at this point is that there are a group of people for whom this method will work. From what I can tell, there is some overlap here between the percent of the population that is able to be hypnotized and those that aren't; hypnotiz-able being the ones for whom a noetic remedy will work most of the time.

I also think that there are a group of practitioners for whom this method will work. From observation, some practitioners have a resonance for this particular method. Those that do get better results.

There are also ways of testing the quality of remedies that can apply. I use dowsing. This method has been used for (at least) several hundred years in Europe to test the quality of things like sausage, wine, cheese, etc. I do not know if this is current practice. Paper remedies tend to top out around 25% on a scale of 100%. They seem to be an outline or low resolution version of the remedy. This might be enough to get the job done.
Doug Brown
Posts: 7
Frog vs. Toad; Noetic Remedies
Reply #3 on : Fri April 03, 2015, 05:11:11
Frog vs. Toad: Bufo is known for its childish, simple mind. It has the rubrics “foolish behavior”, “imbecility”, “laughing easily”, “weakness of memory”. It is a state where higher reasoning is no longer possible, with a keynote of desiring solitude to practice masturbation. In this case, however, we can see that there is sharpness of mind. The energy seems to be “jumping” rather than “hopping”. There is ambition (for example to join the debating team), and a high degree of social awareness.
Reliability of Noetic Remedies. After four years of use, my “inner jury” is still deliberating as to whether there is a difference in effect between Noetic and Hahnemannian remedies. Most of the time I can see no difference. Sometimes the Noetic effects are gentler. There does seem to be less of a risk of aggravation. One patient who took a Noetic dose first, followed by the Hahnemanian remedy subsequently said she noticed a definite boost in the positive effect from taking the actual granules.
I have come to take the complete absence of any effect from a Noetic remedy as sufficient evidence that either the remedy or potency is wrong. I have never had a case where the Hahnemannian remedy worked where the Noetic remedy did not.
I would be very happy to hear of colleagues’ experience with this form of giving a remedy, either positive or negative.
Irina Firuti
Posts: 7
Reply #2 on : Thu April 02, 2015, 20:07:08
1. Why not Bufo rana, as it already exists? 2. Is this method of the glass of water as reliable as the use of standard remedies?!
Posts: 7
rana catesbeiana case
Reply #1 on : Thu April 02, 2015, 10:48:41
Wonderful case