A Case Of Neuropathy

Words: Dr Robert KALADISH

December was mild for a Toronto winter, but the steel grey skies were familiar. Janey, my receptionist, handed me the intake form indicative of a new patient waiting to begin our 2-hour initial visit. On reviewing the form and seeing the reason for the visit to be a peripheral neuropathy with tremor, I felt a sinking sensation take me over. Typically, these cases give the homeopath few guiding symptoms, or offering hope of a good reaction. I noted that an exertion tremor had preceded the onset of the numbness and loss of positional sense by five years.

I heard the thud of crutches on the carpeting preceding the awkward, forced cadence of steps and I meet James. At 50, he’s certainly a large, impressive man with neatly trimmed beard and glasses. Pleasant, but brief and succinct, in speech, we began the work.

What he complained of most was extreme burning and cramping in both feet. Briefly Neurontin had given relief, but it required large doses and the help had since waned. Burning on the lateral edges of the feet was unvarying [a symptom without variation, i.e., modalities might indicate a poor prognosis]. Having been a physically strong man, the loss of strength and easy tiring while walking a mall was unnerving. There is painful and constant sense of walking on a stone. The past year he noticed a need to block the side view on being a passenger in a car. It makes him nauseous.

Headaches for four years. They have a sudden onset. There is a pressing outward sensation behind the eyes which lasts about 40 minutes and gradually goes. Vertigo, or dizziness, accompanies. Worse noise, light and motion. Frequency is one or more times per week.

There is a previous history of:

  • At least three episodes of epididymitis [inflammation of the epididymis, a tube near the testicles that stores and carries sperm]
  • Psoriatic lesions below the knees [childhood] ‘cured’ by tar-based creams
  • Allergy shots two times per week until age nine
  • Annual bouts of winter bronchitis.

This gentleman was quiet, but co-operative. I continued to press questions hoping for a decisive indicator and finally — aggravation [worse] from excess heat. He absolutely cannot be in a hot tub. His body feels as if it is unable to dissipate heat.

  • Jerking, during sleep is frequent and intense
  • Perspiration on falling asleep, every night
  • Physical exam. Observations of the mouth reveal fissures of the tongue, especially edges
  • Extremities [limbs]: jerking, during sleep
  • Perspiration: begins during sleep
  • Extremities: pain, with burning in feet and sole
  • Mouth is cracked; the tongue is fissured
  • Vertigo; closing the eyes relieves dizziness.

I think of the homeopathic Sulphur as the leading remedy. His strong heat sensitivity confirms. The past history of potentially suppressive treatment of skin eruptions also lends weight to the prescription. Sulphur 6C daily was given. Within four days, various changes were noted; they gradually progressed. By March, the burning was gone completely in both feet. Balance is 30 per cent improved. Headaches are completely gone. Epididymitis briefly returned and went [this had been severe five years ago]. Come May, James confidently walks into my consultation on his own two feet — no hardware. His numbness is yet not gone, but his strength and co-ordination are much improved. Not bad for a little dose of what sceptics call ’nothing.’

This case taught me the value of seeing the patient, and not just the pathology. Without digging for that particular symptom relating to James’ intolerance to heat, I would have been lost. The genius of Dr Samuel Hahnemann, MD, the founder of homeopathy, was to see in chronic diseases the importance of all the heightened sensitivities of the patient, including those not directly related to pathology. The general symptoms of the patient, when marked have great guiding, or corroborative, value. This is also the best part, because homeopathy offers many possible doors to a safe, effective cure.

Dr ROBERT KALADISH, MD, practices homeopathy in New Hampshire, US. This case is ©Dr Robert Kaladish.

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