BY C. WESSELHOEFT., M. D., DORCHESTER, MASS.
Mr. W., a wealthy farmer of this neighborhood, came to me on the 23d of April, 1860, saying that he had been told that my medicine “was good for bilious headache,” having relieved a friend of his, on the strength of which fact, he wanted “some of the same stuff to cure his bilious headache.” For sometime I nearly gave up the hope of eliciting any proper information from the man, who persisted in the assertion that he was bilious, and did not see why I wanted to know more, supposing it the simplest thing under the sun for me to hand him a “a parcel of stuff good for biliousness.” At length I gained the following history from this indurated specimen of allopathic conservatism, on whom old school physicians had repeatedly tried their skill without success.
The patient was at that time 60 years old, measuring six feet in height, of straight athletic frame, with blue eyes, a broad full chest and stentorian voice. He labored on his farm from morning till night, and could endure more fatigue than many a younger man, except when his headache came on, besides which he never had any sickness. This headache had troubled him ever since he was six years old, appearing every eight or ten days. The pain habitually began toward evening in the back of his head, at first dull and gradually concentrating with an acute boring sensation behind the left ear, apparently at the juncture of the temporal, parietal and occipital bones. When the boring pain reached its height, generally toward morning, vomiting of food and slime supervened, accompanied by stitches in the chest, which, lasting for some hours, generally ended the attack, whereupon ho felt sleepy and exhausted. Sound sleep and quiet through the rest of the day restored him to his normal condition. In all other respects the man was perfectly well. His diet was nutritious and his habits regular. As far as I could ascertain he used no liquor, but indulged in, a number of poor cigars daily, took coffee in the morning and tea at night.
I could give my friend but little encouragement in a complaint of such long duration; but finding him in earnest, I concluded to satisfy him by prescribing something. I gave Lachesis30, four doses in globules, one dose to be taken every other day, followed by Sacch. lact. to last him some time. I purposely made no change in his diet.
May 6th. The patient came to report that he had had no headache at all since beginning with the medicine, of which he wanted an unlimited supply. I gave him a number of Sacch lact powders.
17th. Patient reported that he had a short attack of headache, but without any nausea or vomiting, and that he had been able to work during the attack.
July 30th. Up to this date the patient had not reported to me. I was much pleased and astonished to find him quite enthusiastic on account of the improvement in his health. Since taking the first set of powders he had no vomiting at all, and feels that his headache has changed its character entirely, coming in the morning instead of the evening at intervals of two or three weeks, and lasting only through the forenoon without interfering with his work, the exercise of which makes him feel better; while formerly he was obliged to keep in bed and rest for nearly twenty-four hours before he could attend to his business again.
October 6th, December 29th, 1860, and March 31st, 1861. I repeated Lachesis, the patient having experienced a slight aggravation of his complaint at each of these dates.
September 11th, 1861. I made the following memorandum: Patient had no headache nor vomiting all summer, until yesterday (September 10th), when he was obliged to Stand in the water up to his knees for three hours while getting in his salt hay from the marsh, exerting himself in an unusual degree for a man of his age; whereupon he had an attack of the old pain and vomiting during the night. Though Rhus and Calcarea were strongly indicated, I gave one dose of Lachesis.
November 2d. Patient reports that since the day he last called, he had suffered repeatedly from headache coming on at night and lasting till morning; but vomiting occurred only two or three times for the last two months. Prescribed Lachesis200 (Lehrmann’s preparation) one dose.
March 11th, 1862. The patient came to say that he felt considerably better; that he still had occasional returns of pain of a dull rheumatic kind, but that the real sick headache had not returned since taking the last medicine. The result of the treatment was quite satisfactory, since he had not expected so much benefit. In his own words he considered himself “two-thirds cured.” The attacks of pain now occurred only at long intervals, sometimes not for several months, when he would be troubled for a few days with slight occipital pain in the morning, lasting until after breakfast, when it left him well all the rest of the day. Prescribed Nux vom200 in two doses, to be taken for two successive nights, which was the last medicine I gave him.
September 9th, 1863. I called on Mr. L. to enquire it any change had taken place. He says he had no sick headache at all since he took the last medicine. As he grows older, he cannot endure the exposure of his occupation as well as formerly. Making hay on the salt marshes late in the season, and driving an open wagon in all weathers, produces occasional rheumatic pains in his joints, particularly the elbows after pitching off heavy loads of hay. Sometimes these pains extend to the back of his head, where he feels them mostly in the morning, but leaving him entirely after break-fast, when he begins active work.
Reference: The AmericanHomeopathic Review: BY C. WESSELHOEFT., M. D., DORCHESTER, MASS.