A 30 year old woman developed Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) followed by Lyme Disease (LD) for which she was treated with partial success with antibiotics. She came to me as she had started to relapse.
RMSF is caused by a bacterium called Rickettsia rickettsii that is carried by an infected tick. Symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, headache and lack of appetite. Often there is a rash, abdominal and joint pains and diarrhea. Treatment is usually with the antibiotic doxycycline.
LD is also caused by a bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, and it, too, is transmitted by the bite of an infected tick. It causes fever, headache, fatigue and a skin rash. It can progress into a debilitating disease affecting the joints, heart and nervous system. It is especially well-known for its arthritic symptoms. It, too, is treated with antibiotics.
Antibiotic treatment can be successful especially if started early in either disease. Unfortunately, in many cases of both RMSF and LD, antibiotics fail and the patients suffer terribly with the diseases disabling them.
To a conventional doctor the diagnosis and treatment of both illnesses is fairly straightforward. For the homeopath, however, the journey of the disease is always different from one patient to the other.
My patient remembered waking up one day in the summer of 2007 with burning spots, one on the abdomen, one on the upper inner thigh and a third along the bra line. She thought it was ringworm. Later, much later, she reasoned, they must have been caused by a tick bite. More about that later.
After a month the lesions went away but soon after she had her third ectopic pregnancy (when the sperm fertilizes the egg in the fallopian tube) and surgery was performed the end of October, 2007. After the surgery she experienced low energy and trouble sleeping. She was waking unrefreshed. She had been a most active person and volleyball was her passion. By the spring and summer of 2008 volleyball was exhausting her. Any exercise resulted in fatigue lasting two days.
She noticed fullness in the ears and “a ticking sound in the ears when I swallowed.” If ice was dropped into a glass the noise was unbearable yet she could not hear someone close when they spoke. Her muscles began to twitch especially on the left side of the body. Facial acne followed with large pustules on the face and neck. There were two episodes of sudden dizziness and nausea with sweating in August, 2008. She lost feeling in the right arm and eventually was unable to move her right hand. In the summer of that year she developed balance problems. On rising from sitting she felt dizzy, as though she were falling to the left. She was bumping into walls and dropping things. It became difficult to find the right word when speaking.
She was diagnosed with the acute form of RMSF in October, 2008. She recalled the skin lesions in the summer of 2007 and reasoned they must have been caused by a tick bite. But she could not understand how she could test positive for the acute form of RMSF fifteen months later. The test was repeated and was positive again. A few weeks later she tested positive for LD. It is uncommon to have both diseases at the same time. She was placed on doxycycline for several months and did improve.
In January, 2009 she had another failed pregnancy, this one a miscarriage.
After stopping the antibiotics, she gradually began to relapse. It was then she sought out homeopathic treatment.
“All my symptoms are starting to come back,” she said at our first meeting. “The twitching, the clicking in the ears, the fullness in the ears, the decreased hearing, irritability and lower energy-it’s all coming back.”
I now knew her diagnoses-the RMSF and LD-and I knew the particular symptoms that were bothering her. BUT THAT INFORMATION IS NOT ENOUGH FOR A HOMEOPATH TO PRESCRIBE ON. We need to know details about the person. I noticed she spoke rapidly and energetically. Her husband helped. “She is very active,” he said. “Focused. Very athletic. Definitely not a couch potato. She used to play volleyball all the time.”
In school she did poorly on tests and her academic record was not great. Her thing was sports. Besides volleyball, she did track.
She was punctual. “I like to be five minutes early,” she said.
She had struggled with depression since she was married in 2003. She came from a large family and in marriage she was alone a lot since her husband was away often. Also, they moved five times in four years.
I asked how she was when depressed. “I would just lay around,” she said. “Not much motivation.” She mentioned how much she had enjoyed being around people before her marriage.
She then brought up a curious trait. “I tell the truth.”
“What do you mean you tell the truth?” I asked.
“Well my sister lives with us. We found out she was using drugs. I confronted her about it and told her she needed to tell my parents and she did.”
She continued telling me that she had always been a “goody two-shoes” and “a black and white kind of person.”
By this time I suspected she might need the homeopathic medicine, Sepia so-knowing the symptoms Sepia women often have with their menses-I asked about them.
“I have to sit on the toilet, sometimes for hours, because I feel everything is going to fall out.”
Now, this is a confirmatory symptom of Sepia-this bearing down sensation during menses.
I asked about her housekeeping. “When I was depressed the house would become a wreck, she said.” Then I’d get up and clean the whole house in two hours.”
“I bet you cleaned to music,” I said.
“Yes. How did you know?”
I knew because that is typical of Sepia women. In fact, they are always better with activity and vigorous exercise. Often they love to dance and if they can’t dance they will boogie around the house when cleaning.
She mentioned how before these two illnesses she often used to run six miles effortlessly.
Sepia people love activity, the more vigorous the better. If they do not do sports they work hard and fast. They tend to be honest (witness how she confronted her sister about her drug use.) And she had the strong bearing-down sensation during the period.
One other Sepia trait: they often become indifferent, even hostile, to loved ones. I asked her how she treated her husband. “When I was depressed I told him, ‘I don’t like you. I don’t want to be married to you.’”
I was satisfied she needed Sepia and gave her a dose.
During the follow up visit she was ecstatic. “I’m doing a thousand times better,” she said. “I feel I’m a completely different person. I told my husband I felt genuinely happy for the first time in years.”
“My female parts aren’t as heavy as they used to be. Every time I had a period it felt heavy down there-my uterus and lower intestines. Also my thighs felt heavy. Not now.”
She had resumed running and it was not tiring her. Also, she was getting on much better with her husband. She even overheard him say to a friend, “She’s a completely different person.”
Her acne, however, was considerably worse.
In homeopathy, it is important to know what is happening on the road to cure. We like to see old symptoms return and acne was an old symptom. Also we like to see less important organs and structures being affected as the more important ones improve. As the acne was far less crucial to her health than the symptoms she had had earlier with the RMSF and LD I assured her that everything was in order.
Does this mean that Sepia will cure all cases of RMSF and LD? Not at all. Sepia will only cure when the patient has the characteristic symptoms of Sepia. Another person with either RMSF or LD will need a different medicine. Homeopathy is very different from conventional medicine in this regard. We focus on the innate symptoms of the person which are often particular to him or her. By “innate” I mean those traits that an individual comes into this world with. They shine forth consistently throughout the life. Sepia would not be indicated in a lazy, slothful person who moved slowly through life. ALWAYS WE TRY TO MATCH THE HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE WITH THE PATIENT’S CHARACTERISTIC SYMPTOMS.
Written by Homeopathic Doctor Karl Robinson, MD, owner of http://homeopathyyes.com/.
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