Let’s have a nightcap

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Jonathan carries himself well. Well that is to say he sure turns the heads of my receptionist. This 6 foot 4 inch basketball player has been attending for about 8 months and his case has a number of important teaching points.

John has been hosting a nasty chronic cough for about one year. He describes it as a chest cough. It is attended by a lot of tightness in the region of the sternum. His voice ultimately becomes hoarse and weak and creaking. With the cough there is a shortness of breath. The cough is aggravated by talking and made better from having a drink of water. This aggravation from talking is an issue in particular because that’s how his living is earned. Jonathan is a lecturer at a local university. Oddly enough there is no cough while sleeping.

In the last several months there has been the development of a frontal sinus pressure. It is of course felt especially in the forehead. He describes it as the kind of pain that makes you want to close your eyes to get relief from the pressure. There has also been expectoration of a small amount of green mucus on occasion.
The last three to four years John has experienced the need to wake every one to two hours to urinate.

Really nothing more to report…oh yes, I did dredge up something about this athlete needing to wear socks in bed at night because his feet were cold.

This is all going on in a medium of perceived high stress. A very full schedule with lots of hurry. When the stress reaches a critical mass there comes a time where John will be unable to return to sleep after one of the awakenings. This will create a cycle of fatigue, tension and poor overall sense of health.

We started with Calcarea 200. The results seemed good.After the first day there was a 20% improvement in the frequency of cough.It became even more clear that the prime aggravation was talking.Within one week there was no further improvement. I decided up the potency to Calc 10m,one dose.Again an improvement now we are at 50%. At the one month mark there is no more cough.There is however an intimation of respiratory problem one time only where some transient shortness of breath wakes him from sleep. I am tempted but desist from prescribing.

Two months later there is increased workload and some anticipation regarding work projects. Sleep becomes more restless. There is that difficult waking and yes the return of an occasional cough. I advise the 10m as needed as soon as this syndrome rears its ugly head. The report is that the remedy seems to take it away immediately. The next few months see consistent work challenge and I hold course with repeating as needed based on the recurrence of even a slightly restless sleep or the return of one or two good coughs. Repetition seems to be needed about once per 3 to 5 days. I also ask that John take careful note of the transition times when there seems as if the need for a dose is coming on. The feedback is that when the remedy is working well there is a sense that there is dreaming and the big point is the ease of returning to sleep.

Another two months pass and although the cough and the sleep are controlled the frequent waking is getting worse yet reaching a frequency often of 3-4 times per night.

Because the response to the remedy is so reliable I am hesitant to change that.It therefore feels as if there is a hygienic error aggravating. Here I ask that the patient note the especially bad nights and note what has been consumed the previous 24 hours especially and compare to see if there are any patterns.

John has just left the office. He reports quickly noting that the infrequent consumption of wine seemed to be our culprit. It also had quite an extended aggravation. Stopping the wine has decreased the waking to 1 or 2 times. The overall quality of sleep is again improved and interestingly stopped the need for any repetition of the remedy!

So what are the important points here? For one he responds to the remedy in a clear perceptible way. So the dynamic distortion is alleviated. Then the patient’s sensitivities stand out in relief so that when they reach a critical intensity there is a relapse and we must respect that communication from the system by redosing. There is no religious time frame to wait out we respond to the communications of the system once we feel we comprehend. Lastly when the remedy is in order it is easier sometimes to see that other interfering lifestyle factors(wine) have a clear and direct bearing on symptoms. Yep-a nice neat package!