K. Chatterji, M. D., Chinsurah, Bengal, India.
On the 14th of April, afternoon, last year, Babu S.C.M. came to me with his grandson K., a beautiful, flabby, picturesque child of two years. He told me that the boy had been suffering for two or three days from a heat towards the latter part of the day with an uneasiness with his bowels constipated, slightly hot head, poor appetite, and subsidence of heat towards midnight. I examined the patient and found his grandfather true to his statements. On my inquiry if he had any thirst, he replied he had but not so marked. It was then Indian summer as one may easily conjecture from above date. And under the circumstances I prescribed three powders of bry. Alb. This was continued for four days, up to the seventh inst. With gradual decline of symptoms, to perfect relief.
On the 24th of May he again appeared with the boy and his said complaints except that he had a flushed face and a little more heat of the head this time. I prescribed Bell. 6, three powders. This prescription was repeated on the next day. On the twenty-sixth inst. The grandpapa of the boy told that he had had the temperature of the boy several times on the previous day and found it 99 degrees in the afternoon, the heat existed till 9 P.M. and then subsided with slight perspiration; he did not pass any stool for two days and he was used to do so every two or three days and he had been in the habit of passing a hard, large stool till the attack of fever. I felt his liver and found no other derangement except a slight pain under pressure. I prescribed Lycop. 12 (four powders). And on report of partial relief on the day following, repeated the same on the day and continued it till the twenty-eighth inst. to perfect relief.
On the 2d of May the patient again appeared with his old complaint and this time complained of much thirst and I took recourse to Bry. 12 (3 powders). This was repeated till. The fourth inst. Then I prescribed a dose of Sulph. 6, on the fifth inst. On the next day fever appeared at about 4 P.M. with higher temperature. This led me to think of Lycop. Again and I prescribed it in the twelfth potency on the sixth inst. That day the grandfather of the boy told me that the boy was growing weaker and asked what might be the cause of the frequency of attack. I told him that was due to slight derangement of liver-function. The word, liver-derangement terrified the man to the extreme and he told me that he dreaded the disease very much for he had lost his first five issues by that bloody disease, and requested me to have another experienced man for consultation. At this I suggested one residing at French Chandernagare. The said homoepath was called in on the 7th of May. His diagnosis was cutting of molar teeth to all probability and the liver-derangement was concomitant thing and instructed me to prescribe Calc. c. 200 every third day and have the patient sponged with tepid ware every other day. I did the same that day. But owing to difference of diagnosis the patient left me and was kept under his treatment.
On the August 13, the boy again appeared with his father. His father told me that the boy was under the treatment of the French-Chandernagare man for a month or so. As he found no good with him the patient was transferred to the hand of an eminent physician of Uttarpara, a place about eighteen miles off from this place. The father was familiar to the said physician for his service in the High Court of Calcutta and the physician’s son’s service with him. He took his boy to him. That physician told the father that though the boy seemed to have no apparent liver-complaint, yet there was some defect in the liver that caused recurrent attack of fever. He tried the patient for a month with no better results. The fever appeared and reappeared after an interval of four, five or seven days. That day the patient indicating Bryonia symptoms I prescribed that medicine and repeated it on the day after. On the 15th of August I prescribed a dose of Sulphur 6. And on the day following Lycopodium symptoms having developed I prescribed it in the 200th potency. The patient continued well from the day after.
On the 1st of October the father again appeared with the boy and informed me that the patient continued well for five days after the prescription of the last dose. After that he was attacked with high fever and so he was left under allopathic treatment. He was under that treatment for a week. After recovery he was kept under the treatment of a Kaviraj (one dealing in indigenous plants). In spite of his best attempts and his prescribing medicines till the previous day a relapse took place towards evening. During my discourse with the father I received a very good hint from him about the boy’s illness. That being, the boy salivates very much but whenever that salivation lacks he had an attack, and he continued well when salivation continued uninter ruptedly. This led me to think and examine if there were any Mercurial symptoms, I had but a few. And superstitious or routinist whatever I may be called – I prescribed a dose of Merc. S. 30 the patient was left undisturbed till the fourth inst. And on the 5th of October I prescribed a dose of Acid Nitr. 12 as I found no change as the result of Merc. The case continued as before till the eighth inst. During the period of treating the boy one thing struck my mind that if I could break the condition of constipated bowels and convert the hard stool into a diarrheic one – as the stool always remained one hard stool passed after an interval of a day or two – then there might be a perfect relief of the slight fever, as indicated by thermometer to be a point or two above or below 99 degrees.
It was the time when I was translating Kent’s “Lectures on Materia Medica” into Bengali and this was the day that I finished translation of Aloe. The portal-stasis and flushing of heat described therein led me to think, might not the patient be an Aloe case? Might not the liver complaint be a portal stasis and the fever I was treating of a dashing of heat as described in Aloe? The more I thought the more I believed that to be an aloe case. On the 9th of October as the patient came I questioned and questioned the father to see if I might have symptoms to corroborate to the symptoms of Aloe.
I took a retrospect of the past. And as its result I got the symptoms that the boy was in the habit of passing ball-like, slightly offensive stools covered with mucus, that he was used to pass of fensive gas at night and that he was used to do so even then, that he had occasionally an attack of diarrhoea of a semi-liquid blackish stool with lumps in it, and that he passed stool involuntarily. This was especially at night and about once in a month. The boy spoiled bed clothes by this diarrhoea. Under these facts I prescribed a powder of Aloe 200. This was on the ninth day of October. On the eleventh inst. the report was that he had an attack of diarrhoea of offensive blackish semi-liquid stoll with lumps, and lumps of mucus, passed two stools involuntarily on bed from previous night. I dismissed him instructing to wait. In the next morning the report was that he had no fever on the previous afternoon, the stool continued same except a yellowish thit. I told him to see me next morning. The report on that day was considerable change of stool to a yellow one except the existence of slightly offensive blackish lumps, and no attack of heat. That day I prescribed another dose of Aloe 200. And on favorable reports repeated the same on the 18th of October and 1st of November. On the 15th of November I prescribed the final dose. Since this day the patient has had no further attack of fever or diarrhoea or constipation, that he has been passing one natural stool daily. But the most striking thing is – the salivation that gave much trouble so diminished as to be called a cessation and this has caused no disturbance in the economy whatsoever.