S. R. Geiser, M.D., Cincinnati, o.
Was it a cure, a coincidence or an accident? A woman 63 years of age was brought to the Bethesda Hospital ward in February, 1915, suffering from agonizing pains of an unusually severe type of tic douloureux; having been afflicted for upwards of three years. She had been through many kinds of courses of treatment, and scientific tests in several of our best hospitals. She had practically gone through the “group method” of examination and treatments. All her remaining teeth were sacrificed, her tonsils removed, and a nerve excised by a local surgeon of prominence. In fact attention had been given to all the organs in the body; all reflex errors had been corrected. Elimination and diet had been looked after. In other words, practically all had been done for her relief except the administration of a carefully selected homoeopathic remedy.
As a last resort, without much promise of likely relief, owing to her low vitality, emaciated and anemic condition, the removal of the Gasserian ganglion was suggested, but not resorted to.
While Sir Victor Horsley’s experience with 200 cases, and a mortality under 5 per cent., characterizes the results as “surely satisfactory enough,” and the operation and the greatly improved methods in Gasserian ganglion and sensory root operations perfected by American surgeons in late years are wonderful, and commendable, the remedy selected according to the law of similars in this case was milder, safer and permanent, and without a blemish to the patient.
The agony of the woman was so intense that she disturbed the other patients in the ward which embarrassed her greatly, and she asked to be taken to her home, after a week at the hospital. She lived in the Mill-Creek Valley, among the numerous factories and in the flood district. Her environment was anything but conducive to recovery. Her husband was a drinking man and their financials condition pitiful. When she left the hospital I offered to treat her gratis. I visited her a few times and then her little grand-daughter kept me informed as to her condition. I was very anxious to make an attempt, at least, to mitigate her suffering.
An effort to swallow, speak, or show her tongue, would bring on intense, agonizing, jerky, spasmodic pains, which could only be partially relieved by hypodermics of one half grain doses of code in. These, however, were only given while at the hospital, not after she went home. The severe pains would come on very quickly over the left eye, and infra-orbital region into the cheek bones, involving the left ear and infra-maxillaries. The pains were darting and at times of an intense boring nature. She was never free from pain, though acute exacerbation’s would manifest themselves suddenly, when the saliva would run from open mouth. After severe paroxysms of pain there would be twitching of the facial muscles and numbness. Warmth seemed to aggravate her condition. Quiet in a dark room gave some relief.
In addition to the facial disorder there was intolerable itching of the skin of the entire body, worse in bed.
The different branches of the trigeminus and the gasserian ganglion were evidently the seat of intense inflammation. The resection of the nerve caused that side of the face to become partially wasted and incapacitated. Exposure, overwork and depressing influences were likely the causative factors of her illness, and under existing circumstances the injunction of Hahnemann “to remove the cause” could not be followed, and hence there was nothing open but to rely upon the prescription or send the poor woman to the Home for Incurables, which had been contemplated.
The nature of the pain, the parts involved, the time and conditions which ameliorated and aggravated her trouble were suggestive of a remedy that had often relieved similar cases, though not so severe in character (Mezereum). The selected remedy was given in the third decimal dilution, every one, two, three, or four hours, according to the severity of the pain for one week, when there was some improvement. I then gave her a placebo for one week, when the pains returned nearly as severely as before. I repeated the prescription in the same dosage and intervals when a decided improvement was apparent at the end of the week.
I now prescribed the 6x dilution instead of the 3x, giving one or two doses per day according to degree of suffering. When she was comfortable I advised her to take no medicine. She thus continued for three or four months, her condition improved steadily, the attacks came on less frequently and less severely, when she herself came to the office for an occasional prescription. At the end of six months she had gained twenty-five pounds, was attending to her household duties, cooking, washing and ironing, and greatly improved also in appearance. After that she would occasionally call or send her granddaughter, and leave a small sealed envelope containing two dollars. She is now enjoying as good health as the average individual at 68 years.
Late in the seventies or early in the eighties, I myself took of this drug at regular intervals in sufficient dosage to produce some symptoms similar to those related in this case; not so severe, however. No one knew of this except Dr. T. P. Wilson, then editor of the Medical Advance. He asked me for some data relative to the results and some clinical case reports for publication. For various reasons I did not comply with his wishes.
You all are now justified in asking: “How are you proving that the result in the related case is a cure?” I cannot prove by mathematical precision that the cure was a result of scientific prescribing. If by a combined method of injecting vaccine of devitalized Klebs-Loeffler bacilli and antitoxin, one hundred consecutive cases of diphtheria recover, we have just and logical reasons to believe that the treatment was effectual, but we cannot prove, however, by scientific methods equivalent to mathematical precision that the results were cures. While the results may not be demonstrable according to the exact sciences, they may be truths just the same whether demonstrable or not. As medicine is not a fixed science, it is a matter of impossibility to prove scientifically the results of our administrations.