A Case of Gallic Acid

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Felice is a 45-year-old single lawyer. He presents as a very distinguished gentleman and speaks in a very calm tone of voice as if he were controlling his diaphragm. He moves his legs and fingers nervously even though he sits almost immobile during the entire visit. He is very thin and wears thick glasses. His canine teeth are clearly eroded from an old habit of grinding his teeth. He spontaneously reports:

"This is not my first homeopathic experience. I have already had some treatments in Germany from one of your col!e who uses some type of electrical machine. They made me spend a lot of money and in the end they told me I would nave to naye a dental specialist they knew make me a very expensive dental protection device. Then I went to one of your female colleagues who practices unicist homeopathy and she treated me for almost two years with Tuberculinum only resolving my insomnia problem, which, by the way, did not bother me that much. I have always only slept very litIle and I felt fine but your colleague kept insisting that this was a grave problem. After taking Tuberculinurn 100M I even sleep six hours each night but I keep grinding my teeth and I cannot stand the dental device, which was suggested to me by the dentist. I am wearing my teeth out by now and I do not know what to do."

I ask for details about his grinding:

"Actually I think that stress has something to do with it because when I am more tense I notice that in the morning my jaw hurts more. But I have been doing this since I was a little fellow and I just have not resolved it yet. My mother says that she would wake up from the noise that my teeth were making and now this is also affecting my private life. Those who sleep next to me tell me that I make noises."

I ask him if he is married:

"No, and I have no companions." Felice notices my strange look: "This is something I really do not feel comfortable talking about because I think people really do not understand. I live alone but I have a cleaning lady that used to live in our house when I was little and she is still with me. She also sleeps in my room. I have heard all sorts of incredible conjecture about this. I even stopped going to the analyst because I was having trouble with him about this very thing. I am very strongly attached to this lady and she loves me like a brother but that's it. We also take care of each other. Sometimes I take her with me on vacation and when she doesnt join me I feel very lonely."

I ask for clarification:

"I go to Brazil for vacation or to eastern countries where I am able to combine useful and fun activities together. There it is very easy to find somebody who will stay with you and who will help you not spend enormous amounts of money during your vacation."

I ask him what keeps him from sleeping alone:

"I think I have only slept alone ten times in my life and then I fell asleep only with the aid of sleeping pills. My parents even took me to a neuropsychiatrist for children. He was not able to do anything but fill me up with tranquilizers. I cannot be alone, even in my office. My secretary works on the other side of a thick window so this way she cannot hear the noise. I have to be able to see somebody."

I notice he is really holding back from being more precise so I ask him if he remembers anything from his dreams:

"I would like to not talk about my nightmares. I have spoken about them so many times during counseling sessions that I really do not want to talk about them any more; also because your colleague really bugged me with this emphasis on dreams. But if it is helpful to you, I can tell you that I often dream about a monstrous woman with whom I have incredible experiences but often I ejaculate blood instead of sperm and I wake up exhausted. Please do not ask me to go on any further."

For the first time I notice that Felice is uncomfortable and there is a slight tendency to stutter. I ask him if he remembers some early childhood disease:

"Besides what I have already told you, I was also under treatment for stuttering, but without good results. I had decided to resolve the problem also because everybody was telling me that I would have never been able to do my work with that type of problem. I was treated by a Swiss speech therapist that cured me by making me sing. I am a criminal attorney and I have to be able to speak well.

When I was small I had Tuberculosis, my mother had it as well and perhaps I got it from her. I have always had a weakness in the lungs."

I ask him if he remembers any other remedies my colleague had prescribed:

"The last time she saw me she told me she wanted to TRY (he highly emphasizes the verb) another remedy that ended in -- onium but I cannot allow others to play games with my life. It would have been more honest for her to tell me she could not do anything for me. Do you think you can do something?"

I answer that I can surely do something but that this doesn't mean that I can resolve his problems:

"I liked the joke but I really do not have problems except the grinding."

I respond that, legally speaking, in a certain sense, I could even agree with him. To his request for an explanation, I respond that it is not the lawyer's problem to know why his client has landed in court he just needs to get him off.

Felice gets upset and tells me that I have no right to tell him this stuff and that it is not his job to know more. A small discussion ensues and in the end I am satisfied to have been able to observe him without too many controls.

Felice, a little upset:

"The truth is that my life is a bit strange but I really cannot imagine it any other way."

I help him see that the need to be in therapy proves that perhaps he is really not that happy with the way he is living:

"I have achieved a decent balance. I work a lot and I am happy. I have nice vacations and I have the women I want."

I help him notice "the women I want":"

So, what do you want from me to cure me of this grinding?"

I tell him I simply need him to be available; to think that grinding is only a very superficial aspect of a series of much more complex problems. I ask him if he has other problems:

"Ever since I was a little boy I have been constipated but it is somewhat related to laziness in that I do not like to waste time in the bathroom and then my feces are hard and it is a hassle to eliminate them and I do not have time for it. After I go to the bathroom, I do not feel well and I have to lay down a bit. It always happens like this and I feel weak afterwards."

I ask about his sleep:

"Sleeping is a matter of a very short time and it is interrupted by many awakenings during which I have to get out of bed. I jump out like a spring, as if somebody kicked me out of bed."

I ask him about his relationship to religion:

"I practiced Buddhism for a while but it really did nothing for me. I felt uncomfortable just like when I feel I have to get out of bed and I get up. I also have the habit of cussing when I am alone."

I ask for further clarification:

"I like to cuss and I like to invent new cuss words. I really like people from Tuscany because I think that deep down inside cussing is a form of prayer-the prayer of the unwanted. Perhaps this is a reason I chose to be a criminal attorney. I like the idea of helping those type of people."

I ask about his relationship with animals:

"I have none. I am terrified by dogs. Some make my skin crawl even if I am fascinated by their look. It can be fierce or gentle." Trying to put together all of the facts, nothing appears to be clear. From the lack of characteristic symptoms (and this is shown later on) to the lack of symptoms for the remedy in the available modalities. I am beginning to feel as if I were in front of a patient with some Solanaceae symptoms. Remembering some previous Solanaceae cases, which had Gallicum Acidum symptoms, I decide to give him 10Mk Gallicum Acidum. A few days later I receive a phone call from Felice who tells me he has a very powerful diarrhea with a colliquativo characteristic but it doesn't hit me that the patient is declaring he is not feeling tired after his bowel movement.

After almost seven days of diarrhea, I have him take the same remedy again, somewhat diluted, and after a few more events, the diarrhea stops. Following this, the grinding resumes almost more bothersome than before, so much so that it leaves a pain which lasts during the early hours of the morning. Almost two months later, Felice stops grinding and only after these symptoms improve, does he decide to be seen again:

"I am really happy because I have finally stopped ruining my teeth. If this continues this is a real success. But I have not returned for this. I wanted to tell you that you were right because I have stopped having bad dreams ever since I stopped grinding and I do not think it is chance. Anyway, I think that this does not lie in your field of expertise in which case I have decided to go back into therapy and I wanted some advice from you on an analyst."

I tell Felice I am happy he has made this decision but that I also think it would be appropriate to continue the homeopathic treatment, which I feel, is only in its early phases. Felice does not understand:

"Last time you made such a big deal about needing to have my head examined and now you are telling me I have to also do homeopathic therapy."

I help Felice notice I did not have any intention of forcing him to start up with a good therapist and that the two therapies are not contradictory but actually could be complementary. I inform him, furthermore, that I expect some other symptoms to appear which will need homeopathic treatment. Felice appears to be convinced. I ask him how his religious search is going:

"You know, I have actually noticed a decrease of interest in this area? I noticed this because I was almost sure you would ask me and actually my desire to cuss has actually disappeared."

I ask him how his intestine is doing:

"Excellent. I am regular every day with normal feces and I no longer feel that tiredness that I had before."

I recommend an analyst to the patient and we agree that we should meet if any other disturbances occur.

As the early cold season arrives, Felice calls to tell me he has a very high fever and a very bad bronchitis for which he is being treated by his attending physician. I am able to convince the patient to not take antibiotics and I prescribe 10M Gallicum Acidum diluted. The remedy does not work immediately and after three days of still having a fever, I advise that he prepare a mixture of 200, 1M, 10M of Gallicurn Acidum in water. In a few hours the fever disappears. Felice is feeling better but he starts to have quite a large production of mucus that lasts for more than a month. It is hard for me to convince the patient to refrain from other therapies, but I think I had warned him about the mucous and that probably helped in making it possible for me to only have to give him placebos. I see Felice six months later at my request:

"I am glad about the way things are going now. I no longer have the problems for which I was seeing you and I am only under the treatment of my analyst. I am happy with what I am doing, also because last time I didn't last more than a few weeks. Now I am doing fine and I feel as if I am doing interesting work. I do not know where it will lead but I am not worried about it now."

"I have almost stopped dreaming and I am able to even sleep well by myself. I have also changed offices and I work with other colleagues and it does not bother me if I do not see anybody on the other side of the wall. I have taken fewer vacations because I have been very busy at work but the few I did take I took in the mountains. I am going through an interesting personally intimate period of time and I am no longer interested in screwing around with women."

Two years have gone by since. I see Felice regularly. He wanted me to see the lady that lives with him and also eventually his girlfriend. The patient so far has only consulted with me over the phone in terms of his own problems but the analyst who is taking care of him tells me that he is doing good work and that he is resolving many of his problems. I repeated the remedy once in awhile as the cold season came in and for a few uneventful cold episodes and Gallicum Acidum is working just fine.

The American Homeopath.

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By Massimo Mangialavori

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