Author: Anne Wirtz
Naphtalinum, case 3
by Anne Wirtz
Woman born in 1950.
First consultation July '00
She has had health problems since the birth of her daughter in '87. Her main complaint now is a chronic sinusitis since '90 and from that time she has been given antibiotics 3 times every winter. In '93 she had surgical treatment and the problem cleared up somewhat. In May '99 it got worse again after an exhausting bike-trip in dusty weather and had antibiotics again with very little results. The pain is like dry stitches in the forehead expanding to the throat and under the ear, which extends to the root of the nose. It affects her hearing and she is very sensitive to noise. She takes flixonase (corticosteroid) twice a day. The pain changes place all the time in her head. Sometimes there is some discharge, but scanty and tough. She took fluimicil for a long time. She had cystitis many times and has never had any allergic reactions.
About the birth of her daughter:
The labor was very difficult and she ended up with symphysiolysis and a prolapse of the bladder which they operated on some months later. In addition she was given a lot of antibiotics as prophylaxis (!), and furadantine for 6 weeks. She was not able to nurse the baby.
She was a healthy child but several times had accidents resulting in broken bones. (She still looks quite fragile to me.) She only rarely had colds.
'90? " At that time my daughter went to kindergarten and I had a persistent cold. I didn't feel well at all. The BSE was heightened, but nothing else was abnormal. They punctured and flushed my sinuses a few times; the doctor was a brute, but the next specialist was less of a bully".
She works as freelance restorer of old textiles which she likes, thus cannot keep on being sick all the time; she needs to bring in money. She likes to paint and studied History of Art. Her partner is a painter. Their relationship is not easy. She had two miscarriages before the birth of her daughter and right after this her husband was operated on for a slipped intervertebral disc and needed care too. She takes responsibility for their child and work (income) very seriously; it takes all her energy. Her husband is not much help. Last month she wanted to celebrate her 50th birthday. There was a lot of stress, deadlines in her job and a big organization for the party. Then she got ill.
She likes it to be nice and well organized. "I am not a perfectionist, but I don't know how to be laid-back about things. I have always been serious, being the 2nd of 6 children, very religious, always praying for everybody. I take my tasks seriously. My mother was a dominant woman who could burst out in a rage, so I was careful not to bother her. My partner is like her. He is difficult, but he can be nice too. I have to watch out... He keeps his eye on me, it doesn't feel not free and he tends to join in rather dominantly. I used to be very introverted and afraid to be emotional. Now I have to be careful if I am too angry as after some time I shout and throw things. Sometimes it helps. I have to take care. My daughter does as she likes anyhow. Some years ago we had a very difficult time in the relationship, but after living together for 16 years we married last year. In fact the relationship has always been difficult. He had the feeling that he was not accepted by my family and tried to force me to support him against them. I don't like to choose one or the other party - I am cautious. I used to be afraid to say how I felt and my husband seems to have a therapeutic effect on me after all."
"Dry air from central heating, for example, worsens the sinusitis, but the weather doesn’t have much of an effect. I have used sleeping pills since the birth of my daughter almost every night. My belly can be distended; stool daily but sometimes hard and small. My abdomen has felt heavy lately. My periods are quite regular. In '98 I had a thrombosis in my leg and stopped the Pill at that time. I took marcoumar for 6 months."
Desires? "Sweets, salty things, fruits, vegetables. Not too much meat: it should be very clean. I like fish better." Energy? Not much. ‘My head is tired.’ Likes to sleep long. Not very thirsty, but drinks as much as she can because it is healthy. "Urination can be very watery if I don't feel well." Likes the weather not too hot, some wind is okay, also the winter if there’s a cloudless sky. Doesn't like the rain. Can feel anxious in situations with many people.
I gave her Staphysagria LM1
(Family: Ranunculaceae. Theme: Feeling alone in the world, needs help and support
Stage 12; strong need for control, overdoing.)
2nd consultation - Sept.'00
Right after the remedy she had a sick feeling in her whole head. They were doing a house restoration in France. It was very dusty and her condition got worse. Her ears blocked and there was a buzzing sound with a very tired head. She still has a very sensitive head, but it changes from good to bad and the other way around. She has some watery nasal discharge. If the head is bad then she is chilly with oversensitive skin all over her body, like goose pimples, with frequent urination. Rubbing and warmth ameliorates. "After all I have the feeling that mentally my energy is a bit better; the feeling of weakness is less."
I gave her Pothos foetidus 200 K
(Family: Araceae. No self esteem, need for confirmation. Desire Sex. Delusion; does not belong to the family, dd. Oxal.
Stage 16; Feeling excluded)
3rd consultation - Oct.'00
The medical examination showed polyps in the nasal cavity, like before the operation in '93. She takes otrivin and flixonase spray, and has started acupuncture. "I feel miserable. My head is tired and heavy and it is burning painfully behind the nose. No smell. Picking my nose doesn't help, the fullness is too deep. My sleep is worse. Fresh air feels better and dry aggravates. My concentration is bad. I cannot work now, so there is no income, which is a pain! You should have a mother like that who has headaches all the time or is resting in bed. It is not nice for them!" The 1st week after Pothos it was better, but later there was no positive effect any more. Dreams? "Looking for solutions or that I am angry at my husband. I don't want any quarrels, but he has a difficult temperament and takes things out on us. Something small can start a choleric outburst." Cough dry, itchy, worse on lying. The toenails are brittle, but not the fingernails.
I gave her Teucrium marum 200 K
(Family: Lamiaceae. Theme: aknowledgement, ambition, bottling up
Stage 11; conserve, protect, maintain)
We kept in touch weekly. Her condition was changeable. Nothing to be happy about!!!
4th consultation - Nov.'00
The feeling of a sick mass in her sinuses is not ameliorated. She keeps going on with difficulty and is tired. She cannot tolerate smoke at all. The allergy test is negative. Whole situation: NO CHANGE!! She says "I am a doubter. I cannot choose in daily life, I prefer well-known situations, I like to stay at home. I don't like exotic situations; these makes me feel uncertain." Next week she will have an operation to take the polyps out again.
I gave her Sticta pulmonaria 200K anyway.
(Family: Lichenes. Theme: people who work hard and do not need much for themselves. Stage;??)
5th consultation - Feb.'01
For the last week she has had rectal prolapse from straining at stool. " I felt it during my shower. At first I thought it was cancer, but it wasn't. Since the operation in Nov.'00 my stool is very changeable. After one week I got nauseous and sick. Especially since Christmas-time I have been poorly: tired, diarrhea, nauseous, abdominal cramps. I took ciproxin from the GP. After that I got a headache, then a cold again with sticky discharge. It started with sneezing, green discharge and then heavy headache with the feeling of a tight elastic band around the head.
Today? Vertigo, concentration problems with a warm stiff neck. "I cannot focus on TV or computer. I have the feeling that I might fall. Lying is best. If I am going from cold to warm it feels as if my head dries out immediately and my nose is blocked. The heavy tired feeling in my head is very prominent. I don't like all these complaints. I just go on as much as possible. My health condition makes me very despondent. My work is very quiet at the moment, no contracts, and this makes me anxious too. I try to let it go but it is difficult really. My work is always stressful, but if I feel well it is nice, it needs lengthy concentration so I may not make any mistakes."
I gave her Cadmium Metallicum 200 K
(Silverseries; Stage 12)
6th consultation - March '01
"For some time I felt reasonably okay, but unstable. Since last Sunday I’ve been worse again.
Heavy headache, pressing pain and rotten feeling, prickling behind the nose and sneezing with the feeling as if the fullness is coming back. There are problems in the relationship. He thinks that I don't share enough, that I withdraw too fast. I know he is right but I forget about it. I am focusing on my daughter, she is not happy. I am worried about her; she is my responsibility. I am very sorry to have such fights. He bears grudges endlessly and feels unhappy. I know this as a quicksand feeling like the time after the birth of my daughter, his operation for the slipped intervertebral disc and me handicapped by the symphysiolysis, tendinitis and bladder condition. I couldn't handle all this and withdrew if he started to complain.
I don't know how to live a healthy life. Maybe we do things wrong and thus cause our poor health! I feel jealous of healthy people. I want to raise my child in a healthy environment. It is difficult for me to find stability between my original culture of well-to-do bourgeois people and his big middle-class countryside family. I don't know where I am, what am I part of, what do I have to choose? If I choose one I cannot choose the other one."
At this time I realize that her main problem is that she has the feeling that she feels rootless!!!. And with conviction I gave her Naphtalinum 200 K
(For the basic information about Naphtalinum, see the first case in the July edition).
7th consultation - May '01
She forgot the appointment because she was feeling very well, but rushed to the clinic as soon as she realized her mistake. She looks much better indeed. Her condition got better all the time. She starts to say that her bowel is much better, less distended. "They want to operate on me for the prolapse, but I don't want it yet, I am busy doing exercises to strengthen the muscles."
Headache? "Only from time to time, it can come on suddenly, but doesn't stay. The nose is free. My sleep is better, I sleep longer than before and I do not take Sleeping pills every night. I feel fit. No worries about work. Emotionally not yet stable. Sometimes I am a bit down on waking, but when up I am okay. I am concerned about my daughter: she feels quite alone at school as she has been rejected, which makes her feel insecure. I quarrel with my husband about our finances. I am more aware and respecting my boundaries much better, I just tell him what I have to say. My concentration is much better, but I need some time to get started in the morning. The neck is all right. No problems with vertigo. I feel a lot better in general.
I gave her some Naphtalinum 200 K just in case.
She went abroad for 7 weeks and at the end of Aug.'01 I talked to her on the phone. She feels well. The first days after her arrival abroad she was quite tired, but soon fit again. The same after she came back home. She repeated the remedy twice during these months, and apart from the prolaps, which didn't get any worse, she feels fine.
So here we see clearly that changes take time for the Naphtalinum patients to feel rooted.
PS. About the themes for the Plant families and Stages (through Jan Scholten and colleagues);
I filled it in before publishing this article because at the time of the treatment I was not aware of the Family-and Stage-thinking.
After all I thought it remarkable how recognizable the themes in the case.
Anne Wirtz - Amsterdam - NL
Keywords: naphtalinum, chronic sinusitis, ixonase, prophylaxis, Staphysagria, Pothos foetidus, Teucrium marum, Sticta pulmonaria, Cadmium Metallicum