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knees." For this want of power in the lower extremities it is highly probable that Aconite will not be found in practice to be the most useful remedy, and that it will require the help of others, such as Arnica, Belladonna, Laurocerasus, Secale cornutum, &c.
Certainly in rickety, badly-nourished children, and in the weakness of the extremities, as old age approaches, Aconite would be a bad crutch to lean upon; but doubtless there are other conditions resembling the above, and secondary or consecutive to certain morbid states, in which Aconite may be tried with good effect; and the sentence which follows in the text will afford us a fair example of such primary affections as may lead to or be accompanied by marked and distressing debility in the lower extremities. Such pains as are designated drawing or tearing may at least be set down in the category of rheumatic. Class 5th of pains gives in its picture fifteen shades or varieties of such aches, such differentiation marking the various sensations complained of. My conclusion is this: that our drug would be a reliable agent in the primary and secondary states of rheumatic or arthritic disorder.
"Soreness of the thighs when touching them. Cold creeping on the inner side of lower extremities, and drawing, tearing pain in the knee-joint. Tension in the patella, hindering walking. Aching pain in the patella and tendo Achillis; aching, gnawing pain in the patella. Stitches in the left knee. Icy coldness of the knees, alternating with shooting stitches."
The first sentence describes a simile of a very common affection, viz. rheumatism of the skin. The second is analogous to the miserable numbness and lameness felt on the outer side of the extremity in the first onslaught of "cold sciatica," and both of these have their similes also in the Aconite working; and, briefly, the remaining sentences have their disease-reflections most distinctly defined in different stages or degrees of rheumatic distempers.
"Sensation as if the hamstrings were shorter than usual. Pain in the calves as after a cramp. The feet heavy as lead. The toes of the right foot go to sleep while walking. Hot pricking in the toes at night."
These pathogenesies are so like those which have preceded that it is not necessary to do much more than record them. In natural disease as dispart from medicinal disease, the doubles of the above have been over and over again noticed by every physician of experience, and one would have thought that the wonderful correspondence which may be noticed between drug pathogenesies in general and actual diseases, would long ere this have convinced all men of the truth of our law of similia similibus.
Looking at the last sentence from a pathological point of view we may read amongst other things congestions of tendinous sheaths and bursae, and perhaps myalgy from vascular engorgements, and different sensations in the feet characterised by more or less perversion of nervous power.
That Aconite has the capacity in an eminent degree of causing anaesthesia in the organism has been amply proved by experiment, and that it would antagonise such a state of things when caused by natural disease no person, no physician who has escaped from the trammels of prejudice, can possibly entertain the shadow of a doubt.
Sleep. "He feels drowsy, heavy in the limbs, even during a walk, especially in the afternoon and after a meal; frequent yawning and stretching of the limbsi" .
I believe that this drug has some direct influence in procuring sleep, and that its modus operandi renders it infinitely preferable to Opium, but it is to be remembered that its soporific effect is most commonly connected with or rather is the result of its bland and blessed operation in soothing and allaying pains originating from an inflammatory cause. The action of this drug upon the capillary circulation generally is something marvellous, and the rapidity with which it takes effect is not less so. The local effects mentioned in the text are all in keeping with the central torpor, and the passage reads as if the prover was under the full influence of the drug.
Jt is not out of place here to remark how invaluable is Aconite in all cases of an apoplectic character in which extreme drowsiness is a prominent symptom; indeed in the incipient stages of such a grave malady Aconite should be trusted to in preference to Opium. If there is marked somnolency and therewith a full energetic beat of the heart, with throbbing of the carotid and temporal arteries, then indeed we may place the greatest reliance in the working of Aconite.
(To be continued.)
CASE OF COLIC SIMULATING- PAINTER'S COLIC, WITH OPISTHOTONOS AND OTHER CASES.
By Dr. E. C. Holland.
(Read before the British Homoeopathic Society.)
On the 26th of February, 1862, 1 received a very urgent telegram from Mr. Reed, requesting me to come, by first train, to King's Lynn to see a patient in consultation with him. On arriving at Lynn, Mr. Reed met me at the station and detailed to me the particulars of the patient's case, which were dreadful enough; but very far short of the actual condition in which I found the patient. He had been ill two days, suffering from the most frightful abdominal spasms. The abdomen was as hard as a stone, not very tympanitic, but the recti muscles drawn up into knots, nearly as large as my fist. There had been no alvine evacuation for two days, and no urine had been passed for eighteen hours. The countenance was expressive of the greatest anxiety, and the face and forehead bedewed with a cold clammy perspiration; pulse very feeble, but not particularly quick. When the spasms came on, which was about every three minutes, vomiting of a blackish, grumous fluid took place, attended wi^h deadly faintness, Sometimes the body would become so arched backwards as to form a semicircle, and so sudden and violent was the action as almost to throw him from his bed. The patient was lying flat on his back with extended legs; and pressure with the hand flat imparted some amount of relief, but this was very transient. Mr. Reed has been most unremitting in his attention to the case, and had adopted every means that would present themselves to the most experienced and judicious physician. Copious enemata had been used, with the effect of only bringing away one or two small lumps, which were very hard and of a greyish colour, but no relief to the pain followed. Fomentations had been applied, but were unavailing in imparting any degree of relief. Aconite, Belladonna, Nux, Cocculus, Colocynth, and Mercurius corrosivus and Opium, which had been given in succession, were equally useless so far as diminishing the acuteness of the patient's sufferings were concerned. Never did I witness snch extreme agony in any case, and such was the horror aud distress of the father of the patient, that he begged us "for God's sake" to relieve his son by any means, even "if it put him out of the world." After a most scrutinising inquiry as to whether he might have drank cider made on a lead press, whether there had been any painting going on on the premises, or whether any of the water pipes were corroded, and he might have been drinking water impregnated with lead, we could not arrive at a satisfactory solution of the cause of this exaggerated state of symptoms so closely allied to lead poisoning, though many symptoms were wanting to complete the picture. In Devonshire I had met with three such cases, clearly traceable to cider impregnated with lead, all of which terminated fatally.
It was exceedingly difficult to form a correct pathological diagnosis; but whatever might have been the cause, Mr. Reed and I considered it very desirable in the first place to introduce a catheter and evacuate the bladder. The catheter was used, but there was no urine.
Then as to the treatment. It was of no use to go over the same ground which Mr. Reed had so fully carried out, and the only medicine whose symptoms produced an analogue of our patient's case appeared to me to be Lead. I happened to have some Acetate of Lead 3X in my case, and we administered a dose at once and mixed some more to be taken in teaspoon doses every ten minutes if the symptoms were urgent. At the same time I explained to the young man's father that it would be advisable for Mr. Heed to leave the house and not see the patient for three or four hours, as, in his intense anxiety to relieve his suffering, he might be induced to fly from one medicine to another, and that, consequently, none would have a fair trial. It was with difficulty that I could get Mr. Reed to assent to this plan, as the patient's father was one of the most influential men in Lynn; and the allopathic doctors, with their usual generosity, were bruiting all over the town that the patient was allowed to die without anything being done for him. However, I prevailed at last, and just as I was leaving the house a message came to us that the patient was suffering much more severely than he had done at all. We determined, notwithstanding, to continue the medicine, and I took my leave and returned home, dreading what report might reach me in the morning as to the condition of my patient. To my surprise and intense delight, on reaching my house, I found a telegram in these words: "Thank God! my son has had no pain since you left; particulars by post."
It appears that, after the exacerbation of suffering soon after taking the first dose of the medicine, he fell asleep and slept for many hours. On waking, the bowels were copiously relieved of immense quantities of the same scybalous formations; the bladder acted well and on the following day he left his bed 'feeling quite well, and his recovery of strength was rapid. I have never been able to satisfy my mind as to the real pathological condition that this case exhibited; and after a perusal of the details which I have given (too lengthy I fear) I must leave it to some wiser heads than mine, many of which are to be found amongst the members of the British Homoeopathic Society, to determine.
VOL. XXXII, NO. CXXVII. JANUARY, 1874. F