Page images
PDF
EPUB

treatment would be attended with more than temporary relief. He was 40 years of age, and had for many years been the subject of biliary derangement. I found him exceedingly depressed in spirits; his complexion very sallow; tongue greatly loaded; constant eructation; great sensitiveness on pressure over the liver and stomach; bowels very constipated; violent palpitation, and extreme irregularity of the heart's action; constant desire to sigh, to relieve the feeling of oppression of the right side; appetite entirely gone. I prescribed six doses of Bryonia 2X, a drop night and morning, and then Argent, nit. 3X, one drop three times a day, and requested him to come again in three weeks.

On the 8th of April I received a most satisfactory letter in which he says, " It gives me great pleasure to inform you that since T began your treatment a most marked improvement has taken place in my general condition, and I have not felt so well for many years."

My patient attended the May meetings in London the following month, and every one who knew him congratulated him on his energy, and the visible improvement in his health. His cousin—the ex-president of the College of Physicians—was amazed at his improvement, and, patting him on the back, said, " You did quite right to try homoeopathy, as our system had failed; those gentlemen have opened our eyes to many important matters in the treatment of disease."

Discussion on Dr. E. C. Holland's paper.

Dr. Edwaed Blake, whilst thanking Dr. Holland for a capital paper, could not quite comprehend the recti abdominales being spasmodically contracted in opisthotonos; was it not a case of emprosthotonos? Dr. Blake had seen opisthotonos result from the passage of renal calculus. The bladder case, No. 1, seemed to him an instance of gonorrhoea repressed by the treatment, or by mistimed, active, astringent injections. In support of this view he drew the attention of the meeting to the significant fact of improvement setting in after the reproduction of the discharge. Such remedies as Atropine, Colocynih, Hamamelis and Thuja, aided by the use of the hot hip bath, would have occurred to his mind. In connection with the prostate case, Dr. Blake would mention that in the instance of a certain aged dignitary in the Church, who suffered sadly from an enlarged and irritable prostate, he had afforded great relief by Nux 3X internally combined with the use of cacoa-butter suppositories containing \ gr. of Strychnia. When the symptoms of irritation had passed away a long course of Baryta carbonica was prescribed. This drug exerts a specific influence on the hypertrophied prostate with the advantage of toning the degenerated cardiac wall so commonly complicating these cases. Dr. Blake thought Argentum an admirable remedy most undeservedly neglected. Remedies are useful in proportion to the sharpness of the lines which bound their action. The peculiar value of silver and its salts lies in the fact that their sphere of operation is so well defined. Dr. Clotar Muller has said that the heart and stomach are the chief points d'attaque of Argentum. If to these be added the spinal cord his generalisation may be freely endorsed. Dr. Blake had to thank his friend Mr. Clifton, of Northampton, for drawing his attention to the value of this drug in certain forms of headache. Mr. Clifton employed it with success in the frontal headache of business men. Dr. Blake had found it of good service in the headaches and dyspepsia? which are induced by mental agitation, nursing the sick, &c. He had found it of value, too, in the after effects of sunstroke. Graves, of Dublin, who struck empirically on so many pieces of pure homoeopathy, was in the habit of administering \ gr. of the Nitrate every two or three hours for congestive hysterical headache. He adds, " I have found it invaluable not only in the headaches of hysterical young women but in those of men, particularly the habitual stomach headache, to which delicate and literary men are so subject." Dr. Blake did not think that these were true "stomach headaches," but instances of cerebral dyspepsia. The headache of Argentum is dull, pressive, persistent, and it encircles the calvarium like a wreath. The tongue has a silvery coating more- dense than the transparent white of Arsenic, not as cream-like as that of Tartar emetic.

Dr. Abthpr Clifton, in the case of abscess of prostate, has seen Baryta given by Dr. Sharp with great success.

Dr. Wyld said the first of Dr. Holland's cases seems to him to have been one of spasm from hard scybala and from incarcerated flatus, or possibly of intussusception. Acetate of Lead under any of these circumstances was an excellent medicine to select.

Mr. Engall said that amongst the medicines which he had found most useful was one which was not mentioned in the remedies employed in the cases of inflammation of the bladder narrated, and this was Liquor potasses. The first case in which he tried it was that of a lady, and was a most intense one; pus as indicated by the microscope was secreted in great abundance, and such was the irritable state of the bladder that the patient was constantly trying to urinate. In this case, finding his own efforts unavailing, he consulted Dr. Kidd, who passed a catheter, as stone was feared to exist. This was not found to be the case, and, therefore, he advised an increase of the Cantharis. This resulted in blood being mixed with the pus, so this was discontinued and other medicines and means used, but these failing he tried the Liquor potasses in five-drop doses. In a short time improvement took place, and she made an excellent recovery, and has continued well ever since. In another case, when our usual remedies had failed, the Liquor potasses was of the greatest use, although in this case it was not until the dose had been considerably increased to ten or fifteen drops that the beneficial action of the medicine took place. At the present time a patient who had been under various treatments for an irritation at the orifice of the urethra (for which he had been sounded, fearing stone in the bladder) reports himself as much better. Another case he might mention of practical importance. This was one of tenesmus of the bladder in which the ordinary means failed, but the patient at last took a dose of Castor oil, and after the passage of a large quantity of faeces the tenesmus ceased.

Dr. Bayes said that it was always a great disadvantage to be obliged to discuss a paper in the absence of the writer, since there are many points which the writer alone can elucidate. He, however, knew some of the particulars of two of the cases related, having heard them related by Dr. Holland more than once, and having also heard Dr. Reed, of Lynn, mention the first case. The case was one of either colic or of intussusception, and it is very possible, from the sudden relief experienced after a terrible accession of pain, that Dr. Hamilton may be right in suggesting that the relief experienced was from the sudden yielding of theobstruction, but that relief followed so shortly after the administration of the Plumbum that we may fairly infer that the Plumbum had a decided influence in obviating the spasm. The patient was a young man who had certainly suffered for many hours before Dr. Holland was summoned, and many more hours must have elapsed before he could reach the patient; many medicines and all the usual adjunctive means had been used by a skilful practitioner before Dr. Holland's arrival, but no good result appeared until the administration of the Plumbum. Dr. Holland's remarks as to the desirability of avoiding too active anxiety for the instantaneous action of remedies and the consequent too frequent change of medicines in the face of acute disease are well worth attention. Time is an element in the cure of all disease, and the rapid changing from one medicine to another often frustrates all curative intention. Dr. Bayes had also seen the old clergyman whose case was detailed by Dr. Holland, His heart had been sympathetically disturbed in its action by stomach difficulties. Allopathic diagnosis had been at fault, and Dr. Holland's more accurate diagnosis had enabled him to cure a disease readily which had been wrongly pronounced incurable.

NOTES ON RE-VACCINATION.
By Charles H. Blackley, M.R.C.S. Eng.

(Eead before the British Homoeopathic Society.)

In the years 1864 and 1865, in consequence of the presence of smallpox in the neighbourhood of Manchester, I had occasion to re-vaccinate a number of children and adults; and again in the epidemic of 1871 a much larger number were re-vaccinated by me. In the first period from 60 to 80 patients passed through my hands, and in the latter period from 250 to 300. These varied in age from six years up to eighty, and were, as a matter of course, in different conditions of health and of very varied constitutions.

In ordinary vaccinations I had often noticed a marked difference in the action of lymph of the same kind and quantity, and it occurred to me that it might be useful to ascertain the cause of the different amount of irritation produced in different cases. It seemed to me quite possible for this to be due either to an extra degree of susceptibitity, to the extent of surface laid bare, to the quantity of lymph applied, or to all of these combined.

In private practice the number operated upon at one time is rarely large enough to enable us to make experimental observations from which we can draw trustworthy conclusions; and indeed in the present state of opinion upon the subject of vaccination anything which has the appearance of pure experiment on children would in most instances be strenuously objected to, however harmless it might be. A good opportunity, however, for making observations upon re-vaccinated patients did occur in 1864 and 1865, and although at the time these were commenced I had no expectation of being able to make other observations by way of comparison, if such an opportunity did occur, it seemed to me quite possible to determine whether the degree of susceptibility varied in different years in the subjects re-vaccinated. It also seemed possible to ascertain the relative number of those operated upon, in whom the susceptibility to the action of lymph was perfectly exhausted by a previous vaccination.

Although the two periods named have furnished as favorable an opportunity as may perhaps ever occur for making such inquiries as those I have indicated, I do not know that I can answer any of the questions suggested in as complete and satisfactory a manner as I should wish.

I have, however, thought it worth while to record my experience on these and other points connected with revaccination, so as to be able to compare notes with some of my colleagues.

At different times several methods of preserving lymph were tried, namely, by keeping it in capillary tubes, on slips of glass, on ivory points, and lastly on slips of paper. The capillary tubes, in which the lymph was kept moist, proved with me wasteful and uncertain; and from the experience obtained on these occasions I do not think moist lymph keeps as well as dry lymph. From the circumstance also that in using this there is always a small portion left in the tube which no ordinary force can drive out, it is a wasteful method of using lymph. For ordinary use I prefer the ivory points, and have found that when Jthese are quickly and carefully dried, if they are tightly corked up in a small glass tube and excluded from the light, the lymph will often be found to be active at the end of four months.

The paper alluded to above was used to enable me to determine, with some slight approach to accuracy, the relative quantity of lymph applied in those cases I wished to have under observation. A strip of highly glazed thick cream-wove note-paper, two lines wide, was charged with lymph on one surface by being drawn across a vaccine vesicle after the lymph had been made to flow by puncturing

« PreviousContinue »