Two Cases by Sadhna Thakkar BHMS(Ind.), CCH
Printed in American Homeopath 2000
I am sure all of us have experiences in our clinics where patients narrate their stories as if they were the provers. I find these cases to be the best opportunities to take a journey into the consciousness of these remedies especially for newer remedies. Once I understand the depth of these states, it becomes easier to prescribe these remedies even without the most prominent proving symptoms. I would like to take you on the journey I took into the consciousness of Plutonium Nitricum. I hope it turns out to be as exciting an experience as it was for me.
"I have been feeling too much pain, pain of everyone around me, I can't take it, and it is unbearable. I feel as if I am going to explode. This pain is not only of the people around me but it is of the generations of all the relatives that have died, they have died even before I was born. I have had dreams of my Czech relatives that I have never seen. They all look alike, they have similar faces. I don't want to carry their pain. I have carried everyone's pain all my life and this is enough. I have had it. I know that I am healthy now and it is not my pain. My own pain is completely resolved. This is not mine. It is so sore; it feels like malignancy all around, pervading the system.
"My cry is not a simple cry, I am wailing loudly. When I cry, what comes out of my mouth and nose is so toxic. It just feels like there is death and destruction all around me. Feels like a war zone. It is so painful, people are passing on their pain, and I can feel it so intensely. I say I don't want to carry anyone's pain. I know, they are not doing it maliciously they are just doing it in a matter of fact ways. It's like catching a ball when it is thrown in your direction. I feel I can't survive this much pain, please do something. I feel I am going to explode. The most difficult part is the knowledge and information that it is all spread, pervaded in the system.
"I recently quit my job which was related to the Federal Program for the Foster kids. My position was one of where information would run through. I would get all kinds of information even personal. And I would feel the pain. I know something big is going to happen there, I can feel it. It is so big that it can affect the topmost people, even the governor. I had a paranoia a month ago that I will be arrested when all this blows out. There is a mess going on. There is toxicity in the system, they are selling kids, these kids are in pain and no one sees it. There is so much pain, I can feel it all. I don't know where to go and what to do, I can be killed with the kind of information I have. I just had to quit because of things that are going to happen. It is hardest to know that it is the whole system is involved like Nazi, IRA, government, U.S. government. I have had Nazi kind of dreams where I am being chased and I have to not only protect myself but every one. It is going to blow out of proportion in a big way. I have had two dreams of one of my co-workers who are feeling the pain when things are happening at his work. I can feel his pain and I don't want to."
This was my first encounter with the remedy Plutonium Nitricum. In 1996, this was verbatim description from Ms. J who was under my homeopathic care for two years. She had come for Bipolar II Disorder of seven years duration. She was taking Lithium 1200 mg, Vivactil 20 mg, Zoloft 100 mg, Meloril 20 mg at the time. She made an amazing progress in the two years of treatment, primarily with Natrum muriaticum, after which all of her medications were discontinued, including Lithium.
I had seen signs of changes in her state for the month prior to this encounter and suspected that she would need another remedy soon. This happened when I was on a teaching trip. I received emergency phone calls from her almost every two hours for 3-4 days.
During my discussions about her with a colleague, we came to a consensus that this seems like a desperate syphilitic state that requires something like a radioactive element. Interestingly, a short time later, even before thinking specifically about Plutonium, I received a phone call from the patient that:
"It seems as if the surgery is over, something passed through me. It was a very dangerous surgery and now I feel tremendous weakness after the surgery. I just need to recover, I am still very vulnerable and need to be cautious but it feels like the malignancy is removed. It was terrible. I am still afraid that I might have more of this. I didn't know I had this in me. What if it happens again, I won't survive another one like this. I hated you; I didn't know it would be so painful."
When I cry, what comes out of my mouth and nose is so toxic. It just feels like there is death and destruction all around me.
Feels like a war zone.
There are many different ways of learning Materia Medica. Although each of them provides valuable information, I believe that the most reliable insight comes from the story told by the patient who does well with the remedy. The remedies are nothing but the inner consciousness of the substances expressed through the patients who require it or the provers. I collect my Materia Medica understandings from my patients. I knew this was a unique experience for me to learn more about a remedy I hadn't known before. When I saw Ms. J in person after I returned from my trip, I found more history from her that I hadn't heard before.
"My father has told me stories about his father. His father was in the people's party which was going to take over when communism fell. He got arrested and was put in a cell and was used for radiation experiments. I believe he was exposed to Plutonium. He suffered terribly, they didn't know what happened, only after the bomb in Hiroshima, they could correlate that his problem was similar and came from radiation experiments. He used to say - close all the vents, the gas is coming, the gas is coming.' He died before I was born. But I can feel his pain, it is so horrible. On my mother's side of the family too, one of her uncles was exposed to Uranium and I think he is the one whose face showed up in my dreams. He was asking me- why did you stop carrying my pain?' I was shocked. All my Czech relatives have died in the war time."
It was also interesting that I lost this account of her case twice in the computer when I was trying to write it up. She had dream of kittens of different ages and colors. All dipped in blood. She used to have an image of a hole in her heart area from which an organic fluid mixed with pus, blood and all the horrible discharge was oozing constantly. This image would vary in color and intensity during the two years of treatment prior to this follow-up. This time, the image of that organic fluid was very vivid. Also there was a dream of plastic worms wrapped in blue colors.
On the physical level, she had developed an intense craving for animal fat, especially pork. She was salivating a lot with a toxic taste. She had also become very chilly, with extreme intolerance to the slightest cold or cold breeze, remarkably better by extremely hot showers. She had also developed explosive headaches in the afternoon at 3 pm.
I was sure of a radioactive element but which one? I had heard at that time about Jeremy Sherr doing the proving of Plutonium Nitricum. I remembered that this proving had a profound effect on provers and everyone related to it. I had heard that some of the main aspects were images of a prehistoric era as if sins of the family were passed on from one generation to the other, the theme of persistent feelings of existential threats, underworld of gods and spirits. I decided to give her Plutonium Nitricum 30C (that's all I had at the time).For a few days after Plutonium, she had several episodes of a lot of anger, yelling and cursing at God for her helplessness and hopelessness. She was also very angry with herself for feeling the pain of others and other generations. She was angry even at me. She had a dream of her cousin taking her to visit the site of a bomb in Prague where she was extremely uncomfortable.
In other dreams, she saw people being tortured, dying, dead animals, rotting meat of animals, dead vultures hanging upside down.
A few days after this episode, one of the first indications about this state lifting, was when she saw the image of the organic fluid changing from black patches all over to bright blue sunny sky.
She also woke up from a dream with a feeling that someone took a hold of her vital force, held it tightly, and gave it a jerk, as if someone was pulling out a tooth. The thought that came to her was that the root of her illness had been pulled out.
On the physical level, the headaches diminished and went away. Her extreme sensitivity to cold breezes went away. Her intense craving for bacon and pork went away.
This Plutonium state cleared and she went back into her original Natrum muriaticum state, a remedy on which she continues to do well. However, each winter since then she has needed a dose or two of Plutonium.
This case led me to the path of learning about radioactive remedies as a group and brought me to a deeper level of understanding the remedies from the Periodic Table. The most important quality of radioactive substances is to disintegrate, to go through metamorphosis and form a new element.
In the process, they release a lot of energy which has the potential to create and destroy equally powerfully. There are many elements in the periodic table that have radioactive properties but none more than Plutonium. As the atomic weight increases, the radioactivity, and thus the ability to transform into a new element, increases.
Nothing new comes without ending the old. Thus we see the intense destruction, aggression, pain and suffering in the radioactive heavy elements with a hope of possible positive outcome.
Radium bromide which is very prominently used for eradicating cancers - also is used in homeopathy for old age with extreme fear of being alone, dependency etc. In patients with cancer, there is a feeling of doom but a hope against hopes of curing cancer with radiation. These heavy radioactive elements are both at the end of a cycle and also at the beginning of a new cycle.
Plutonium is the last naturally occurring, highly radioactive element in the rare earth series of the Periodic Table. The rest of the elements in that series are artificially produced by bombarding other elements, mainly Uranium, with neutrons. The atomic weight of Plutonium being so heavy, it disintegrates very quickly.
A small amount of plutonium is capable of generating a large amount of energy. For instance, a little more than two pounds of plutonium is equivalent to 3,800 tons of coal. This energy can be extremely destructive which has led to its usage as nuclear bombs. Plutonium is feared for this energy which can create mass destruction. But from our experience as homeopaths we know that what can be extremely destructive can also be extremely curative. On the basis of this assumption, Plutonium is produced on a large scale by bombarding Uranium atoms with neutrons to generate electricity.
In this patient, I saw a lot of destruction, aggression, intense pain and suffering and a need to let go of everything. Her state was at a point where it could not get any worse or any darker than what it was; it had to get better from there. When she responded, it was like a new birth, new energy, and blue skies again!
In terms of miasms, we may need to name a new miasm called the "radioactive miasm." The way I saw it, it was so intense that one can be in this state for their lifetime - either they will kill themselves, die or they will develop a serious pathology close to death. It was interesting that in my experience of both my cases, Plutonium wasn't the only remedy that completely cured the patients, other remedies were required.
This brings me to the second case which had none of the pain and suffering of generations nor the extreme elaborate dreams nor the imageries. In my experience, cases with "classic book picture descriptions" are fewer than the ones where one needs to rely on the artistic extracting, analyzing and understanding of the patients and the remedies along with characteristic physical symptoms.
Ms. M, in her early 30's, was referred to me by an osteopath. She came with multiple sclerosis. She has had a long history of many problems such as rheumatoid arthritis at 16, epilepsy, mononucleosis after which she has never been well, and Reynaud’s disease. She had a hysterectomy when 29 with precancerous cells on her cervix. She also suffered from systemic Candida and fibrocystic breast disease. She complains of severe back problems in the lower left sacral area and upper neck stiffness for which she is seeking osteopathic treatment. She said that for a while she received a new diagnosis every time she went into a medical office. She had tried homeopathy before, gaining the most relief from Natrum muriaticum. She stopped improving after two years on Natrum muriaticum.
Her main symptoms were numbness in the right leg, and in the rib area. Bottom of feet getting numb. Hands falling to sleep. Problems with vision from MS. My observation was that she was very beautiful, refined, a delicate looking woman. She had a flat affect, serious look, no smile, depressed expressions on her face. She narrated all of the above in a flat voice without any emotion. She had black circles under her eyes as if some very dark black cloud was covering her life.
She is in a high profile job - mental health worker with mentally handicapped people. She has lot of deadlines and feels very stressed as she is extremely conscientious. She is a perfectionist - wants to be best at whatever she does. She is always tense about performing badly with the possibility of her boss getting upset. There is no trust amongst her colleagues. And a constant feeling that she will lose control and things will happen. She lives with a lot of animals - 2 dogs, 3 cats, and a horse. She is competitive by nature and does everything perfectly.
She doesn't want to be an average person, likes being creative in a team situation with an aversion to being alone. In her childhood, she would get intimidated by teachers and her mother and would fear getting them mad and upset with her.
The characteristic history I found in her was that she would get seizures in overcast weather and usually within an hour after waking up. This would be associated with a strange sensation - as if dreaming but awake, a dejá vu feeling, in which she could almost see and hear what, was going on in the next room. This would last for ten seconds followed by a headache so severe and explosive that she would have to go to sleep. She would be very conscious during the seizures. Sounds would trigger seizures. The explosive headaches as if a stick in her head were always worse at 3 pm. She would have an uncontrollable panic response with her headaches.
She has had many problems with her mother all through growing up and now. She said - "My mother was devastated by my father having an affair. Her whole life changed. She had to drive the car, get a job, and was a single mom. She went back to school and now is a very successful owner of an art gallery."
She has a recurring dream of falling - no control of her body. She falls on her face and hits the concrete. Other dreams were of being mean to her dog, pulling the choke chain to make the dog listen. After waking up she would feel so bad.
Dreams of nuclear bomb going off.
Dreams of body being irradiated.
As if bomb had gone off when lying with boyfriend. Physical sensation that we were all going to die.
Dream of being angry at boyfriend. Hitting him and wanting to hurt him badly and waking up feeling very badly.
Dream of wanting to kill her ex-boyfriend. Stabbed him in chest and finished him off.
She too had an intense craving for lamb. Her moods and MS symptoms improved immediately with Plutonium. For the next year she continued to respond to infrequent doses of Plutonium, many of those times were dramatic changes during acute relapses.
An interesting phenomenon with both of these patients was that after the remedy, both patients had sense of changing forms - changing into man, then into woman, dog into human, etc. Dream of being male making love to a woman, then change into a woman making love to a man in the previous case. Dream of half animal, half human.
The common themes from both cases are as follows:
Explosive pains - Headaches and Backaches
Dream - Nuclear explosions
Dream - Violent - killing or murders
Dream - half human, half animal
Dream - sexual with same sex
Dream - falling
Dream - thoughts and impulse of Killing
Dream - dead people, talking with them, dead bodies
3 pm overcast weather first ray of sun
Craving - lamb, pork, BACON, RAW MEAT
HOT APPLICATIONS - Hot Bathing (Rad-br, X-ray, Uranium-nit)
Very serious pathologies - relating to the core of the person for example., Nervous System, Severe Mental Illnesses, Cancers, Leukemia Extremely Conscientious
Overcast, depressed, dark gloomy mood
Clairvoyant sense of what is going to happen or what has happened years before birth, or in their surrounding
Fear of one's own impulses, fear of being too aggressive.
Resentment, controlled anger
Serious, No Smile on the face, as if carrying burden of world on their shoulders
Remedies that follow well or are similar: Nat-m., Am-m., Nat-s., Crot-h., Uran-nit. In Plutonium, on one hand we see an extreme despair and gloomy mood which is a very helpful prescribing characteristic. On the other hand is the hope of optimism which can mimic Hydrogen. As we know from Sherr's proving, the periodic table and successful cases of Hydrogen, that it is the beginning of all the elements and has an ability to lose boundaries and be an eternal optimist. In Plutonium patients, I noticed this kind of optimism and lightness soon after giving Plutonium. It brought me to a deeper understanding of the cycle of life. Birth, growth and death are integral phases of life. Every living thing, every action, even every thought goes through these phases. If we classified remedies on the scale of this cycle of life, we would learn a whole new dimension of our Materia Medica. On this scale, Plutonium is located just before death where the end of one cycle is sure, with a hope to begin anew. And Hydrogen is at a point where the birth has happened but the memory of death still remains. This awareness refined my understanding of the process of health, disease and recovery. To be healthy is to be able to flow from one phase to the other easily. Homeopathy merely helps facilitate this transition in the best possible manner. Patients still do have to go through this cycle of life themselves.
With this concept, I am able to define the process of recovery clearly for myself and my patients. Isn't life awesome?
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