CASE STUDY FOR CROHN’S DISEASE CASE 1
(The early 40’s)
MC: CROHN’S DISEASE
• Gallbladder stones
• Tubercular peritonitis
Pierre: Please, tell me as much as you can about your Crohn’s disease.
“I developed a fistula on the scar of the surgery when I was in college. That was bad. Now, two years ago, the Crohn’s started to act up again. I started acupuncture treatment, which did not give me any relief. I went to see a nutritionist, that didn’t help and after that, I saw a homeopath who gave me Phosphorus LM1 up to LM6 without any long-lasting effects. He then changed the remedy to Arsenicum album LM1-2 but I still didn’t get any relief. Now, I am taking medication but it only relieves a little bit and the Crohn’s must be getting worse because I feel like I am going into a relapse.”
OK, please tell me as much about the Crohn’s as you can.
“I don’t think I tolerate stress very well. I was fine after the peritonitis until I was 33 or 34 years old. I was hospitalized again at 39 because of another abdominal fistula. At 41, I was hospitalized again for the fistula in the same location as before. My liver enzymes were constantly up and down, that’s all I know.”
Tell about your symptoms, please.
“My symptoms are loss of appetite, losing weight, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, bloatedness, blood in the stool, feeling lethargic and sleeping a lot. I have developed a fear of surgery and I am certain there must be a way to heal this area.”
How does the Crohn’s affect you, please?
“I think I am an overachiever and the Crohn’s gets in the way. It’s an obstacle and I get really panicked because of it. I just hope this is not going to lead to surgery. It brings me back to when I was 17 years old feeling like I let people down. I feel like someone gives me an opportunity to not do something when I am sick and I don’t like that. There is a block here and I don’t like it because I want to do what I want to do, so I ignore the pain but then I get sick even more.”
Tell me about letting people down, please.
“I don’t want people around when I am sick. “Just leave me alone.” I get skinny and I don’t like it. I see it as being sick; I don’t see it as glamorous. I would love to do things, especially travel. I always want to be on the move and get a step up. Sales is stressful and it is not good for me but it gives me an opportunity to shine, then the Crohn’s stops me and that feels like a crutch.”
Could you please tell me a little more about the feeling of a crutch, please?
“Everything else is not important. All the focus is on me getting better. I want to be surrounded by things that make me feel better, happy and make me laugh. I don’t want to have to put on a show for anything or anybody.”
Tell me the opposite feeling of that, please.
“It is the opposite of happy. It is knots in the stomach. I don’t feel confident I feel self-guarded. I don’t want to show anything. I let as little as possible out. I don’t tell people about my fears and I fake being happy so that people don’t worry. It feels like I let somebody down or that I don’t live up to the standards. I feel totally empty and I think I’ll make it up to you. When I get like this it seems as if I am not living up to what I promised. I am always happy-go-lucky but now I can’t go 110. I can’t deliver in relationship, job etc. I bend over with cramps and I get stiff with pain. I don’t want people to see me on my low. I’m not giggly, I don’t laugh, I am not happy, that’s all.”
Please don’t stop talking, you are doing great. Continue to describe that state.
“I don’t want to let something make me feel sad or angry. It is an empty feeling, I’m not laughing anymore. I can lash out in these moments. I hate people who are miserable. I get pain in my stomach. When I was younger my brother passed away and I thought that no one or anything can make me feel so bad.”
Tell more about feeling empty, please.
“Empty means may be I should start a business but I am unproductive. Everybody has to do something. What have you done lately? I want to feel productive, otherwise I feel empty. Empty is the center of me. I am not strong and I can just break like this (motion as if she were breaking a stick). I can’t do any of what I said before because I am weak and could break at any moment.”
Pix liquida 30C.
Pierre: How have you been, please?
“So far so good. I have not had any intense pain on the right side. I am still taking Prednisone and Imuran but at a lower dose. I am also sleeping much better. The stress level is the same and I am able to handle it pretty well, even when things get chaotic. I don’t feel any cramping in the stomach. The empty feeling I talked about is also not as strong.”
What else can you tell me about the way you feel?
“I saw a black cat in my dream. I dreamt about my cat being sick, skinny and curled up in a ball. I just saw the back of his head and it was little. He lost a lot of weight and I felt sorry for this thing. It seemed almost as though it wanted to be like that. It was not eating right. I felt it was helpless and I just watched it. I can see myself in the same position as the cat and then it went away. When I saw it like that I felt I wanted to ask questions: ‘What is it that you want to tell me?’ and I felt somewhat cool but friendly.”
Pierre: Are you as well as you were last month?
“I have stopped Prednisone completely after speaking with my doctor. I was only taking 2.5mg anyway. I am still taking Imuran 100mg. I can handle things in everyday life much better. Now, with hindsight, I see there has been a big difference, I am able to put things in perspective. I am sleeping better. Sleep is so sweet. I am feeling good so the last thing I think I am concerned with is being down. Productivity is very important to me and now that I feel good, it is really great to see good results. The cramping in the stomach is still much better and I didn’t have any PMS symptoms.”
Cynthia was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the early age of 13 years old.
She had surgery at 16 years old and had to stay in the hospital for 1 year for recovery because she was not healing.
It is common for people who come to see a homeopath to have seen a plethora of alternative practitioners before. This is especially true for the “2nd wave” people I discussed in Chapter 1.
She was given the homeopathic remedy Phophorus because she seems very outgoing and very chatty. In the broadest terms possible, these qualities might be indications for that remedy. The mistake here is that the homeopath didn’t look at the disorder but rather looked at the personality. That is a big mistake.
At the moment of her first visit, she is taking a steroid-based medication.
Understanding the person’s disorder on a very deep level is crucial. Previous remedies were not effective because while they matched some qualities of the case they didn’t match the core characteristics in the inner state. It is easy to give a remedy but it is not easy to give the correct one. Each case presents many different aspects and each one needs to be understood at its lowest common denominator. They need to be understood at the root that ties all complaints together. Only then can the proper remedy be given.
All the symptoms she is listing are common in Crohn’s disease. They are good to know yet for the purpose of recommending a homeopathic remedy they are not very useful to find the best most accurate, individualized remedy.
There are a lot of leads here to ask a question: “overachiever, obstacle, panicked, back to 17, opportunity, blocked…” Any of these could probably tell us more. I chose the theme of “letting people down” because it seems attached to her youth. Generally, when people trace back to a young age the mind is less adulterated than it is later in life and the answers to my questions are much easier to express.
When she says, “I don’t want to have to put on a show,” this makes me think of what she says about sales: “It gives me an opportunity to shine.” It seems very show- or performance-like. The skill of the homeopath is not to lead the person down a certain path, but rather to remain centered and unprejudiced as to the direction of the case and to listen. This is the key. Thank heavens I didn’t lead because the remedy was not at all part of the performance type of remedies we have.
There comes a point when people need to use their hands in order to facilitate themselves in the expression of disorder. This level represents the meeting point or the root of the PEM. At this level the person is literally bringing the disorder alive for me. It is absolutely crucial to reach that point during the consultation. This is the deepest and the most individualizing level.
The physical symptoms for Crohn’s are the same for most people but at this level the overlap disappears and individuality in disorder is revealed. The hand gesture puts the whole condition in motion and gives it life, which is what we are interested in. Recently someone was describing to me the feeling of falling and she was sitting motionless with her arms crossed on her chest. The words were coming out but they were not describing the feeling or the experience of falling. Until the body puts in motion the experience of falling, then there’s no way to know what the remedy is.
This Crohn’s case may remind you of Launa’s case of postpartum depression (see case). There is a similarity. Indeed, the remedy is from the same family.
Astonishing! She dreams of a black cat and the cat is feeling exactly the way she is and she recognizes it as such. As a similar reflection of oneself, the dream itself becomes healing.
At this point she has improved dramatically and the best thing to do is continue on the same course and stay with the same remedy.
Naturally, I always encourage people to speak with their attending physician regarding any matter of medication much as I did in Mat’s cardiac case (see case). It is absolutely not my place to make any suggestions towards that matter at all.
PMS is something most women don’t mention during the first visit but once they notice that even that is better, then they think, “Wow! What else can you do?” Lali’s case (see case) shows that you don’t have to live with PMS.
After several years she continues to be well. For the long run she decided to remain on a non-therapeutic dose of Imuran “just in case” she has a flare-up. Perhaps, she could do without but her choice is the best for her. There is no point in my being dogmatic.