Can You Scratch That?

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

1. David first came to consult in June of 1989. The presenting complaint was a severe eczema of the fingers. He had had it “forever”.

It was between the digits and on the dorsum.The evolution of each cycle was typical. It began as clear fluid filled vesicles which appeared with a vicious itch. He would scratch to bleeding during sleep.

The vesicles then proceed to the drying phase. This was the most uncomfortable.The skin would flake then crack and bleed.

He was warm, thirsty and impatient.

There was a low energy period between 2 and 3 in the afternoon.

He slept on the left side and enjoyed the room being colder.(as you can see there is no rocket science so far).

There was a long history of cancer on the mothers side of the family which imbued a rather strong anxiety about this possibility.

The repertory is interesting on this location of eruption.To find eruption between the fingers you must consult the rubric eruption hands-between fingers. Sulphur(the indicated remedy here) has especially the characterisitic eruption between the middle and ring fingers(not applicable here but a point worth noting).

Rx Sul. 30 once per day. Instructions to stop at any sign of aggravation.

At the one month mark he reports much improvement initially.While on vacation the skin was great(not typical for him). On returning to work there was a quick relapse.

While most of us cringe at the news of relapse it actually offers us a window into the crucial sensitivities of this person regarding this illness.

Some questioning readily revealed that David’s work as a tool and dye maker also involved the extensive exposure of his hands to many chemicals-on a daily basis. This was unavoidable.
After laying bare this issue and discussing the timeline of skin irritation versus this long time job David gained insight into the relation between certain chemicals and his exzema.He had developed hypersensitivity over time and it was now obvious.

I increased the Posology to twice a day hoping to match the aggression of sensitivity and exposure with the aggression of Posology.

It didn’t work. The problem raged on. Sul 200-no response. It was not until I ascended to the heights of a 10m that we got a response and a good one. No aggravation after the single dose and a nice stable virtually complete improvement for several months before redose was needed.

This patient began to sail smoothly. The years went by-the hands went into solvent and the doses stayed stable at one to three times annually.

By 2002 we increased potency to a 1mm which was repeated in 2004 and 2006.

I believe that without the hygienic impediment curing this sensitivity would have proceeded far more quickly but the case has teaching value in that this person was able to move toward a cure despite the daily obstacle.

2.This is a more recent case.In fact I just learned of the outcome.It was the end of January. I was heavily invested in the post xmas blues. Just a few more days and there would be the blue healing waters of an all inclusive by the Carribbean. An emergency call came in from India.This was not the time(that’s always the time).

The call was from a lovely ,intuitive patient who teaches meditation had lead a retreat to a resort by the Ocean in India. She had stayed in a not so great place to sleep and woke in the morning with what seemed to her to be massive bug bites on her palms.Horribly itchy blister like eruptions. Pam slept with her hands under the pillow and figured that’s how they got her. She called on the way to see a dermatologist to see what might be done in a first aid way. I was totally at a loss and asked tha she call back after the dermatologist. I am certainly no skin doctor and even less so over the phone.

Not very long after we spoke again.The blisters were now very red and very itchy in fact driving her quite wild.The MD had diagnosed erythema multiforme and piled on the antihistamines and steroids.Pam got them but didn’t want to use them.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch,(her arms) the eruptions were proceeding upward and now she was scared.Just what I wanted with visions of palm trees dancing in my head. One sip of caffeine and I was back in the present. Pam said there just no relief—I decided to challenge the statement.”no relief-none at all-not all day or night?” Then she dropped the cookies.”Well that’s not quite true—I was so desperate I ran into the Ocean and did get some good relief while I was in there—but it came right back after”.

Now in the repertory the only remedy listed for sea bathing amel. is Med. Generally I also include remedies amel. by sea air.

I asked if there any cravings and yes the answer was SALT. Now don’t get ahead of me. The next question was how bright was the sun-Painfully strong. I gave a single dose of Nat Mur 200 and call me in the morning.

Hope always burns bright. Yes, I wanted a slam dunk before going. I got a slam.
Next morning she said the problem was worse more itching and further up the arm.Why me,Lord?(quite Homer Simpson). BUT for some reason I don’t mind it as much. Thank you Hahnemann. The Organon(you remember-the book you read to put yourself to sleep)tells us this might be a good sign. I passed along the message but said thaif the improvement did not set in with 2 days to use the whole pharmacy.Well Pam called this morning and said it wasn’t even one day when it just vanished. I think I deserve lunch.