My observation in my practice has been that as therapists we are only able to carefully observe and understand what is happening in the evolution of an individual person. There is no forecast as to how healing with regard to a family’s dynamics should take place. In many cases the family-dynamic actually maintains the patient’s illness (see Organon § 4: (disease cause)). All obstacles to cure must be removed before there is a possibility of cure.
A 52 year old female patient comes on 2.9.93 with the following complaints: The dentist wants to extract her teeth since she has bad periodontosis. “When I’m under strong pressure my gums get so inflamed that the corresponding teeth wobble,” she says. The gums appear spongelike and loose. The teeth are relatively small and atrophied. Some have already fallen out. She has a very bad set of teeth.
“We were born in Hungary; when the war was over we moved to East Germany.” The father was a country doctor; the mother had artistic talent but was extremely jealous. “My father couldn’t care less about the opinion of the whole wide world. There were scenes between my father and mother. I was ashamed of Father and Mother and I never really could understand all the drama.’ ‘I had to stabilize my brothers and sisters -I was always very industrious. I always thought I would never behave like that -I thought that I could only survive if I made an effort.’ ‘When I was 5 years old my brother was involved in an accident and died.’ ‘When I was 8 years old my mother was put into psychiatric care for a short while. Nowadays my mother has been legally declared incapable because she is schizophrenic.”
The husband is an alcoholic. “I bore the weight of the whole problem; somehow I couldn’t rid myself of the responsibility.’ ‘When he drinks, he becomes aggressive.’ ‘The father of my husband was also an alcoholic.’ ‘They both need the alcohol in order to stabilize themselves.’ ‘I don’t like the state of alcohol. I am afraid of my husband’s aggression. It is the same fear that threatened us with regard to our mother. We never knew where we were with her. But with him I can never keep my mouth shut; I just feel responsible for all situations and this always leads to arguments with my husband.’ ‘I am also always afraid that I will lose my senses like my mother.’ ‘My husband says I am a ‘psycho-satan’ and this hurts me. He will end up drinking away our entire fortune. I really don’t want to carry him through anymore.'”
She herself has been studying psychology and philosophy for many years. “I only started to study at the age of 39. My aim is to find the ‘female aspect’ within philosophy. A lot of the professors project the demonic woman onto me. This is the exact demonic aspect I couldn’t bear with my mother. I am afraid of my inner strength. I am concerned with reconciliation of opposites, a synthesis at some level. Actually I am a loner.”
“I appear so strong, but when I feel sorry for someone I have an incredible amount of sympathy. I even have this with regard to the professors. They pretend to be so strong, but they can´t kid me.”
“I have been writing a diary for the past 13 years in the form of poetry; I also write down my dreams in poetic form”.
“I am extremely fearful of confinement, of dying, of lying in a coffin and not being dead. Or when a room is too small. I don´t like confinement at all, of being driven into a corner.”
“I am actually inwardly chaotic; I collect things -postcards, pictures, stories,-everything.”
“After the birth of my children I had varicose-vein operations, but nowadays I often have pins and needles in my feet at night.”
Desire for sweet things: chocolate, biscuits -but also voracious appetite for anything from pickled gherkins to cake. “‘When I´m feeling bad I need chocolate, plum cake, tiramisu, ice cream.’ ‘Normally I only eat once and then an awful lot.'”
“I need a lot of warmth and easily feel cold; I like the sun.”
“I was seldom ill and I’m not particularly sensitive to pain. Sometimes I get nosebleeds just out of the blue.”
She tells a lot of dreams, amongst others: “My mouth is full of false teeth, which sit in my mouth like a lump.”
One observation I made was that while I was saying something, she constantly moved her lips, as if she were speaking but without voice. I searched for a corresponding rubric, but didn’t find one. I translated this symptom as ‘constant talking’ -even if speechless -and also, loquacity.
With these additional rubrics, I prescribed Lachesis 1M:
TEETH; LOOSENESS of*
MOUTH; SPONGY; Gums*
MOUTH; SCORBUTIC Gums*
MIND; VERSES, makes*
GENERALITIES; CLOTHING; intolerance of*
MIND; FEAR; narrow places, in,
MIND; FEAR; insanity, of losing his reason.
From then on I constantly received letters from her in which she wrote her dreams and poems. I read the poems attentively, but was startled everytime as to how disjointed each verse was from the other. I associated
this with how her teeth are positioned in her gums -totally disconnected.
It is also interesting to note that with regard to the snake, its poisonous gland lies directly behind the fangs.
On 8.11.93 she comes and tells me that she has once more had gum bleeding, precipitated through stress. She had problems with a girlfriend and explains the situation in detail. She wants to know what I have given her. She is fairly apprehensive when I tell her of the snake venom.
She talks of her difficulties with her professors at the university, that she isn’t taken seriously. But “I don’t let go until I have achieved something.” She also regularly sends such letters with poems to the professors. One wrote to her that she should abide by the rules and regulations of the university, otherwise she would have to leave. But she says: “My mummy wasn’t obedient in her earlier days and then Daddy declared her of unsound mind; will this happen to me”.
I also continually feel that I have to be careful what I say, during the case history, or on the telephone. Everything returns to me in poetic form: every week a letter arrives with additional picture postcards, in part with quotations of things I have said which she then criticizes. The whole thing is very interesting.
On 18.3.94 she explains that her gum atrophy and her bone atrophy hasn’t really gotten very much better. But that otherwise she feels good. I make a note in my files that she no longer appears so disconnected. During the case history she was totally absent-minded. However she still constantly moves her lips when I speak. I repeat Lachesis 1M.
The flow of mail doesn’t ebb. She continues to write disjointed poems. It is difficult to follow her train of thought.
On 13.10.94 she comes back and tells me of a book in which she had read that the illness ‘periodontosis’ meant: poisons are being eliminated via the gums (similar to snakes). I continue to notice that her lips move without speech whenever I am talking.
I think Lachesis over and ask myself which other snake venom (periodontosis!!!) could be taken into consideration. Then I read in Boericke under Naja tripudians: “has lost control over lip movement.” So I make a decision for Naja. I start with Q-potencies which she can take intuitively according to her own notion, from between once a day to once every two days. She starts with Q1 and slowly and in accordance with her personal needs increases to Q2, Q3 etc with 3 to 4 weeks in between.
In December 1994 I hear from her. The gums are healing very well. She has started dental treatment. This had up to now been very difficult since she was critical of every dentist. But now she has found a female dentist (having a woman dentist was very important to her) with whom she resonates.
She still sends letters though not as frequently. She puts down in writing a torrent of dreams, of which one can make very little.
On 21.3.95 she comes and tells me that her teeth are clearly improving, but she still has difficulties at university with the professors, who give bad lectures. She is still searching for “the woman in philosophy.” The last letter arrives on 22.6.95. She has in the meantime reached Q9. She feels quite well and I don’t hear from her for five months.
In November 1995 she calls me up to tell me that she had an accident. She fell and was sent to hospital with a concussion. She had taken the remedy up to a potency of Q11 and had then stopped in September because she believed that everything was OK. I asked her what had been on her mind beforehand. She told me: “I cannot bear my husband’s drinking any longer. He has such a negative aura when he drinks. I can’t draw the line properly and I feel threatened by him.’ “Unfortunately I don´t yet feel strong enough to separate from him.” Then the accident happened.
The patient is now in the following situation: for the past couple of weeks, since she has come out of hospital, her husband stopped drinking. After her stay in hospital she commenced with taking Naja Q13 again, though not on a daily basis but two to three times a week. I saw her in December 1995. The lip motion had disappeared. She can listen without this inner pressure. The dentist has repaired her teeth very nicely. Her gums are in a stable condition; the spongy quality has totally disappeared. In the meantime she has a lot more internal strength and wants to go on holiday with her husband. The relationship has now improved since he no longer drinks.