CASE STUDY FOR LUPUS CASE 2
MC: LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS
• Herpes on the middle finger
• Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Pierre: Tell me about the lupus, please.
“At this point I don’t know I am 35 years old, I feel so old. I can’t believe I have lupus. There is nothing like that in my ethnic background. I don’t think we get it.”
I am not sure about ethnic background… but tell me more about the lupus.
“It is ruining my life, my marriage and my daughter. I have very little patience with everyone and I fight with my husband. I want to work out but I can’t because it hurts. My left hip and knees hurt. It is absolutely awful and it affects my whole family. I’m always tired and my husband yells because I can’t satisfy him. He thinks I am making excuses.”
“I wake up in the middle of the night with excruciating pains. I have so much pain in my elbow I can’t even extend my arm. When I walk I have pain in the knees and hips yet when I wake up in the morning I don’t have any pain. Why is that?”
I will explain later, please continue I don’t want to lose the flow of this.
“At around 3 or 4 a.m. I wake up with this constant, severe pain that feels as if it is sitting in the elbow, as though something is in there. Something wants to torture me. It is a torture. The whole lupus feels like I am being punished. I am not worthy of having a normal life. This thing is tightening in my elbow as if it were torture. It takes a grip of the elbow and it won’t let go. I think it comes on suddenly but I don’t know how because it happens while I am sleeping and then it wakes me up.”
Tell me more about how all this is affecting you, please.
“All the things I like to do I can’t do. It is ruining my life. I lose my patience easily. My husband thinks the lupus is an excuse. It is very hard to live like that, I mean, if there is a little wind on the elbow I hurt, that’s how sensitive it is at this point. The coldness of it makes it worse. It is as if my elbow is made of metal.”
(She pauses and thinks.)
“I was born breached, my left side has always been much weaker than the right. My muscles just don’t support the joint and I feel very unstable. I think that’s how I am in my head, too. It’s like the left side is worse than the right. When I walk, my left side is much more painful than the right. I also have a pain that radiates down the leg as if someone were pushing a nail inside my left hip. It is a very sharp pain.”
Tell me about feeling unstable, please.
“I have always been. I was born with a weaker left side. I never did any sport because of that. When I swim, I always have to adjust to stay in the lane. If it weren’t for the lane buoy I would swim in a circle. I also think that’s how I am. Within a day I go up and down. I can’t live like this. It is because of that unstable feeling that I feel responsible for being happy and unhappy with my family. I also try to do more for others, I obsess about the house being clean.”
You are doing a great job. Please continue.
“I have one strong side and one weak side. With me, it has always been uneven. I am hot or cold, for example. I am nice and then I yell. I cover just my feet and then I cover my whole self. My feet get cold and then hot. I cover myself entirely then I am too warm.”
Let’s go back to how this is affecting you, please.
“I can’t do things I love to do. I feel like I am crippled. I am trying to avoid how it will be. It makes me angry.”
Describe the feeling, please.
“I get pissed or I take a nap. I am no good anymore. I can’t fix it. I feel guilty. I would like to be a good mother but the lupus has really ruined my life. When my husband says it’s just an excuse, I feel even more guilty. I feel guilty that I have ruined things for my daughter and for him. It gets darker and darker; it is like being in a well. It gets deeper and deeper. It is slow like Chinese torture. I am worn out and terribly worried about it. I can’t keep fighting it. I hurt all over; even my nails and my hair hurt. I feel so helpless.”
Can you tell me more? Please continue.
“I am very agitated and restless. My thoughts are racing non-stop. What am I going to do? Outside I look calm but inside I am tired. Inside I am constantly shivering, as if I had too much coffee and there is constant trembling. I am never steady. I would like to be calm. It is like my heartbeat, it is up, up, up, up and then it goes down but never to a baseline. I feel like it is running on empty. I look for distracters to this whole thing. I try to hold two jobs. I have my kid, three dogs and a rabbit. I feel like I am drowning, falling in a well as I mentioned.”
Tell me about your dreams, please.
“I am sleeping. I am gasping for air. I can’t move. I want to fight but I can’t. I am doing it with all my might, so much effort but I can’t. I am fighting for my life but I can’t get out. This is weird, the feeling that I have of having lupus is the same.”
Tell me about the feeling of being ruined, please.
“I am angry about it. There is so much trembling and then it goes, I don’t stop it. It goes on its own.”
FOLLOW-UP: (one month)
Pierre: Can you tell me how you are?
“There is a huge difference, really huge. Everything became alive. I was so hopeless. I see the difference. I felt wonderful within 3 or 4 days and after that I felt a little pain come back. Then after two weeks I felt better again.”
That’s good. What else has happened?
“My hip and elbow pains are gone. I wake up at 3:22 AM every morning until 5 AM. My thoughts are racing but I don’t have any pain now. I had difficulty walking up and getting out of bed before I came to see you and now I go to the gym. I don’t feel as cold on the outside and hot on the inside as I used to either. Also, the sensation of having a sharp nail in the hip is totally gone. I feel my left side is stronger. I am so amazed, I don’t even think about my left side now.”
Tell me more about what is better and not better.
“My heartbeat is calmer, the palpitations don’t happen as often. I don’t feel as down, I don’t feel like I am getting deeper and deeper in the well. My nails and hair pain is totally gone. The shivering has also much improved. My marriage problems are better at this moment. I had filed for divorce but we made up so perhaps there is some hope. I am feeling responsible for him. I wake up at 3:22 a.m. and I think about it. On the other hand, my relationship with my daughter is much better; I don’t lose my temper as much. It is really wonderful. I am also not as tired, which really helps when you have a young child.”
I don’t think so. Oh, the skin on my middle finger is much better, too, but not totally gone.”
SUMMARY OF SEVERAL FOLLOW-UPS:
“The racing thoughts are much better. I am still very good overall. The weakness on the left side continues to improve. Shivering and night sweats are pretty much gone. I noticed my memory is much better. The skin on my finger continues to get better. My relationship with my daughter continues to improve. I don’t know what is going to happen with my husband at this moment. I don’t wake up as much at night as I used to so I guess I am not as concerned about it.
She was diagnosed with Lupus 4 years ago. At first the doctors thought it might be scleroderma because of the severity of her GERD symptoms and other gastro intestinal problems.
As we see throughout the book, we think the person with the problem knows best about her condition. The sufferer might have some technical misconceptions as is the case when she says “I don’t think we get it in my ethnic background” but deep down in the individual constitution there is no doubt that only the person experiencing the ailment is the one who can describe it.
It is unusual for people to start describing the way the condition is affecting them. I ask her to tell me more about the lupus and she tells me “it is ruining my life.” Most of the time people ease into it by talking about the physical symptoms rather than the emotional state. Either way it is fine by me because the road map of case taking is very clear, only the destination is not known until the end of the consultation.
Very often people ask me, “Why is this happening?” I never answer these questions. There are two practical reasons for that. It is best to continue with the story rather than give an answer that in the end has little or no relevance. Secondly, it is up to a doctor to respond to these inquiries.
Some people might think that the on again/off again nature of the symptoms as they are stated in the previous answer might be a psychosomatic complaint. It could not be further from the truth. Rather this on/off characteristic is part of the experience of the disorder.
I never know where the case takes me. It is all part of the story, which as a homeopath I always find interesting. Let’s see if “being born breached” leads anywhere and if somehow it relates…
The feeling of “being unstable” relates to a larger totality comprising the lupus with the emotional state that accompanies it. It is a characteristic symptom once the feeling of being unstable is recognized as being on the physical or emotional level.
Do notice that the suggestion “Tell me about being unstable” is not a leading question. It is very important that it be so to give the most freedom for answering according to the disorder in the constitution. No one can assume to know what should come next.
When she says, “I am cold or hot. I have one strong side and one weak one,” it reminds me of the on and off symptoms she described earlier in the case.
Here we have the ruined feeling again, so it means a lot.
Valerie had the same feeling of “being ruined.” In Valerie’s case, it took a long time to “extract the root” whereas in this case it was mentioned right at the beginning (see case). Though the root feeling is similar, there is still a drastic difference in the way the condition is perceived. Here she is helpless; in Valerie’s case she feels it is hopeless.
This is very serious. She is telling more now about how systemic the pain really is. There is pain even in her nails and hair.
At this point I thought I knew the remedy she needed so I looked for more information in a different direction to cross my “T’s” and dot my “I’s.” I asked her about her dreams and, as you can see, the dreams give the same feeling as in life so we have come full circle. If my analysis is correct the remedy should start lifting the disorder very quickly.
The remedy seems clear.
I love quick action; at the same time I don’t expect it. Isn’t the reversal of so much disorder really mind opening to the possibilities and to what it is that ails us?
What is deeply satisfying in doing this work is that I see a lot of people who can’t be helped with medicine and they return to a vibrant state of health. It speaks as to the beauty of homeopathy. In this case, the remedy matched her to a T and very good results were achieved. Some might ask do you have a remedy for everyone or everything? Of course we can’t do everything. This is not miraculous work, but it is wise to give it a fair try.
Down to the last details. It is possible to be deeply better all around.
The follow-ups are absolutely crucial for case management. Many people think that as they are better physically there is no need to continue.
This is not true. Health is not static. It really ebbs and flows all the time much like the day one is diagnosed is not the day one became sick. It is a process that starts many years prior. Bringing health back is a process of reversal. I see it as rolling a train back. First there needs to be a slow down and then a stop and then the roll back to the start. Discontinuing homeopathy at the time of full stop is not optimal.
I continued the same remedy in different potencies according to what was going on.
The marriage did not survive. My view on that is that the decision was taken from a healthy point of view rather than a “ruined” point of view.