In his Tutorials on Homeopathy, Foubister wrote: “From birth onwards, restrictions of various kinds are imposed by the behavior of others. It is when reaction to such imposition, past or present, can be judged to be well outside the norm that Folliculinum should be considered.” If a patient has been unable to healthily individuate and instead lives a life that is unusually embroiled or co-dependent, the pressure of life’s circumstance can become overbearing and may result in the need for Folliculinum. Overwhelming pressure or self-imposed expectations in domestic, professional, spiritual, religious, or family life can lead to “over-tiredness, with a conflict of loyalties resulting in excessive stress.”1 Foubister suggests that if well indicated remedies fail to act for a patient undergoing extreme pressure, Folliculinum may be indicated, at least until the pressures are past.
Carla (not her real name), a fifty year old woman married with two teenage sons, first came to see me in September 1994. She has thin dark brown hair and a cafe-au-lait complexion. Her compelling concerns were menopause related symptoms which she had been experiencing since age forty-five. Chief among these complaints were devastating migraine headaches appearing every seven to ten days, lasting for approximately sixteen hours each. Carla’s entire life was re-arranged and limited by the headaches. The migraine’s first warning, often at noontime, was a band-like sensation around the head; four or so hours later came the full burning and stinging pain at the crown. The headaches began at menopause, and menopause began five months after Carla had surgery to remove a benign cyst at the crown of her head! The migraines were worse lying down, rubbing the head, chocolate, coffee, alcohol, chili peppers, cigarette smoke, driving in the car, the glare of the car mirrors, heat, and driving from cool to hot climates. They were better with movement; the pain killer Vicaden helped only somewhat with the extreme pain. Nausea and vomiting could accompany the headache, the pain and vomiting could wake her at 2 AM; cafergot and antihistamines helped with the nausea.
Menopause began with the absence of Carla’s regular menses for three consecutive months. “I felt pregnant all the time,” she said. Her energy was undirected, she felt “no one loved me, I was a piece of shit and should never have been born.” She felt confused all the time, she forgot grocery lists, mixed up names. “I thought I had lost my mind.” Then came the sporadic heavy bleeding for many days at a time, depression, sleeplessness, headaches, low energy and sex drive, dry vaginal walls and constipation.
Carla felt constricted in her family life as wife and mother. However, she loved music and performing, and played guitar and sang in rock and roll bands. She feared abandonment, being un-loved, not meeting her responsibilities, failure and poverty. On observation, Carla seemed far away and she spoke in a slow monotone.
Carla felt worse from any sense of loss of personal freedom-anything that would take time from fun. She regularly smoked marijuana as a “vacation from never-ending household chores.” She loved her children but felt emotionally abandoned by her husband when she became a mother. Family life was “heaven and hell”. Only writing angry songs helped her come alive again. She tended to be polite in her relationship with her husband -not able to express her pain and loneliness. She felt unnourished. Carla said she was easily manipulated by family and friends into ways of doing things that were not her own.
My patient described herself as irritable, romantic, somewhat suspicious of other’s motives, better alone, and it was difficult to concentrate. She valued her bonds of friendship but could be indifferent to past relations. She was unambitious most of the time. However, in her twenties, Carla had been a dedicated special education teacher and had also worked with the blind. She had taken children who had broken homes into her home on weekends. Then, she was living a “comfortable hippie lifestyle.”
After the birth of her sons, Carla suffered from rectal fissures, hemorrhoids and ten years of constipation. She had a history of head injuries, including several falls off of a horse at age eleven, and a concussion induced by her father’s violently handling her at age three. Presently Carla was tired, “my bones feel drained,” and she had back pain, better with yoga and chiropractic. Her medical history included a duodenal ulcer as a school teacher, subchronic poison oak, bronchial infections after colds, and she was diagnosed with giardia lambia for one year after being in Asia. She desired lemons, salty, sweet, barbecue, wine and marijuana, and was thirsty especially at night. Carla’s father was an alcoholic and had a stroke when he was fifty-two. “He was obnoxious, cruel and sadistic,” a manic-depressive. Her paternal grandmother began menopause at age 36. Carla’s mother had a history of alcoholism and uterine cancer. Since her hysterectomy she has taken hormones, “she loves her hormones,” Carla said. “There is no one stronger than my mother,” she quipped. The maternal line also included osteoporosis and diabetes. When I first saw her, Carla had been taking Provera and estrogen for many years, and recently she had started to take melatonin (to sleep).
I prescribed Folliculinum 30C for Carla, prepared in dilution to be plussed each time it was taken. I suggested she take the remedy every three days or so, tapering off to every week or more after two weeks. Carla agreed to limit her use of pain killers, and to stop melatonin, but she remained on the hormone replacement therapy for the time being.
Over the next four months Carla took Folliculinum 30C (at less frequent intervals as she became stronger) -she dramatically improved in every way. At first her headaches appeared every ten to sixteen days and were less painful. Within three months Carla reported having no headaches for an entire month. Her will had returned. The passionate person she had known herself to be resurfaced. Family life was improved. She was less compulsive or guilty in her domestic roles. Carla communicated better with her family: she was able to “stand up” to her teenage sons. Her sexual energy returned; her comradery with her husband felt renewed.
Carla had found a rich connection to her inner-life. She said she no longer depended on her family for her happiness. Music sounded better to her; she undertook yoga again wholeheartedly and felt immeasurable benefit from it. Carla began teaching children’s music lessons and enjoyed this quieter form of musical experimentation “more suited to my heart and soul.” Carla was seeking to connect with interests outside of the family, but always liked to know that the family was there to return to. She was discovering that many of her old interests no longer fit who she was, but in searching out new interests, she was dogged by feelings she might fail at these.
Carla’s depression was gone and her energy returned. But the process of re-awakening was gradual and sometimes painful. Now, she was aware of feelings of anger and loneliness. She did not feel in sync with her friends who all seemed to have more freedom than she. Carla still wanted a “playmate.”
My patient’s subchronic poison oak was better, her burning joint pain in her neck and trapezius muscles was also better. Neither wine nor the heat of hot tubs caused or aggravated headaches. Sleep improved; Carla now slept close to five hours at a stretch, but often woke early. She now followed a food regime that she enjoyed, rather than one that was dictated to her.
Approximately two months into her homeopathic treatment, Carla chose to seek the advice of a medical doctor who put her on some new allopathic medication for the migraines that were already rapidly improving. She felt much worse with the drugs, and the head aches returned. “It’s just like me to take off on someone else’s trip like that,” she said. Carla resolved this painful lesson by ceasing the drugs and resuming the Folliculinum. She improved again quickly.
In January 1995, I prescribed Carcinosen 200C for Carla. This complement of Folliculinum helped to continue her progress. Four months later, unbeknownst to me, Carla went off her synthetic hormones “cold turkey.” She also “got rebellious” in other ways, using marijuana more frequently again, (she had never stopped), and drinking more wine and eating “anything.” After many weeks of chaos and a lack of peace, Carla’s vital force began to settle down. Carla sought “lifestyle changes that brought [her] into more harmony with the seasons.” At the same time, she decided not to continue with homeopathy, because, she reasoned, she was not willing to give up marijuana. Carla later chose instead to take minute amounts of a hormone called DHEA (a natural precursor to the adrenal production cycle of corticosteroids). She reports her energy is good and she is continuing to seek even higher adventure in her life; her headaches are minimal and continue not to limit her.