By jo daly, rshom (na), cch
J.A. A 59-year-old male.
This case was taken in October 1998, in front of a group of students; J.A. was referred by one of the members of this class. His immediate appearance was of a person with considerable scarring on one side of his face and forehead-obviously from some sort of injury or accident. He walked with a slight limp and described himself as a retired “operations supervisor.” He was wearing an army camouflage outfit and a baseball hat decorated on the front with a plastic moose, American flag, and an orange crystal. He was also wearing American-Indian-style jewelry. He had a florid complexion and a large abdomen. He spoke in a confident, somewhat arrogant manner, obviously not at all intimated by speaking in front of a class of students. We observed his apparent pleasure at listening to himself talk throughout the consultation.
J.A. was coming for treatment for a number of physical complaints: allergies, an enlarged prostate, high blood pressure, and low-grade diabetes.
“I don’t like taking pills and never took medicine when I was young as I figured it wouldn’t work. They stuck me with all sorts of needles and really screwed me up. I got a flu shot and then got the flu. I am taking medicine for blood pressure and diabetes but would like to get off.”
J.A. reports that he has had allergies for as long as he can remember, but that they have been getting worse over the last couple of years. “I was hooked on nose spray but I was a professional driver and the medicine made me drowsy.” His allergy symptoms include a cough with a lot of salivation, sneezing, post-nasal drip, stuffiness and pressure in sinuses.
“I am outside in the woods all year round, hunting and fishing. They are worst outside, in the Fall when the leaves start to decay. It’s the revenge of the deer. The only time they are better is at the ocean.”
When asked about how this affects his life he says:
“Nothing stops me from doing what I want to do. I spent a lot of my early years alone. I entertained myself. You can change anything you want to. At age twenty I was in the army doing small arms training. Got shot in the head and hurt a hell of a lot. I spent a year and a half undergoing plastic surgery. Took a big chunk out of my nose and lip. I know what pain really is. Excruciating pain when they skin you-that is really cool. I don’t like morphine. At first they gave me a lot and I learned to do without and go somewhere where there was no pain. I had so many shots you could squeeze my arm and the medicine would squirt out. In the army they had me see a psychiatrist a couple of times before the surgery-they were concerned about my mind, worried about the disfigurement. I said the first thing I’m going to do is get some beer and go hunting with friends. Being disfigured doesn’t bother me-life’s too short. Once I hit my hand with a hammer and said ‘Boy are you stupid’-I put it under cold water and sutured it myself.”
When asked about his childhood he said:
“As a child, my father was away at war. We used to play soldiers and I was better at it than the other kids. I was the only kid on the block with a bow and arrow and a tomahawk. Two brothers-I kicked their butts. As a child I spent a lot of time with my grandmother. She was part American Indian. There were stuffed animal heads all around the room. I learned about being in tune with nature, about animals. I learned how to manipulate situations. I like being able to get away, to soar. The most peaceful times I ever had weres when I was learning to fly. In a life/death experience when you re-run your tapes, you are looking down, you fly.”
When asked about his work (J.A. was a truck driver) he said:
“Work was challenging. I learned to read people pretty well-how to work with a bunch of idiots without turning them into a hostile group against you. I read people pretty well. My brother says I’m a manipulator. Some people call it a snow-job. I take a situation and turn it around and no one knows you’re doing it. I’m intuitive. I feel vibrations from people. I can look at people and see colors over their heads. I can project thoughts to animals. The animal has no idea I am there. Whatever you think of you can be, if you want to enough.”
He spoke at length about his love of hunting:
“Weather doesn’t bother me because I have no control over it. Yesterday was a perfect day because I got within sixty yards of a buck. It was a good day for a hunter…when humans stalk an animal it can smell them and moisture keeps the smell down. Killing is not a sport. I’m dead serious about it. I know I can catch them if I want to. I knew where to go and I stayed there patiently until the buck came near. I can communicate psychically with the animals. I said to it, ‘I’m going to kill you’ and it turned its head because it knew I had it. I had my bow and arrow aimed. I decided not to kill the deer, but I could have. The Indians could go up to an animal and touch it and let it go on.”
He said he slept well unless the allergies interfere and he has to sleep propped up. He also wakes up at night to urinate (due to his enlarged prostate):
“I dream about whatever I decide I want to dream about. I make up my own story. I plan things in my dreams and then carry them out.”
“I collect knives, guns, and spurs. I also keep feathers and fur from the animals I have killed. I don’t throw anything away-you name it and I’ve probably got it.”
“That idiot in Iraq-how many people are prepared for Armageddon? It’s coming and I have plenty of guns for everyone.”
“Money rules the world and our president. I’m a Roman Catholic and I believe in morality-right is right and wrong is wrong. Clinton disgusts me-I’m surprised at how pissed I am at him. He’s sticking it to the American people. I’ll just wait until the election.”
When asked about fears he says, “I’ve never feared anything. I’ve been there, done that. I kick butt.” “I’m 59 years old and I haven’t slowed down.”
J.A. smashed his right heel fifteen years ago and it is still painful. He has arthritis in the right leg and knee, and some cramping in the leg-hence the limp.
For food, J.A. desires spicy food, garlic, fish, pizza, and prime ribs. “Prime rib end-cut is the ultimate-I worked as a butcher once too.”
Now he has to watch his diet for blood sugar. He checks his blood sugar daily and takes medication when his levels indicate the need.
He drinks a lot of water and “a fair amount of Jack Daniels.” He says he is warm-blooded.
The most striking thing about this case was that, as a group, we were all fascinated and horrified listening to J.A. ‘s description of stalking animals. He obviously felt an enormous power in his ability to be the one who decided whether an animal would live or die, and letting them go was his way of expressing “compassion” and feeling powerful. We could picture him with bow and arrow poised, ready to shoot his prey, and sending the animal a psychic message that it was in his power. We were struck by the fact that his allergies were keeping him from hunting-the symptoms were protecting the organism.
J.A. ‘s obsession with hunting seems to have been there from childhood, with his love of playing soldiers and “kicking butt,” but what affected his life the most was having to endure the excruciating pain from his gunshot wound. He was able to survive in conditions that most others would have not been able to withstand, and even seemed to derive pleasure from his ability to do so. This is one of the unique qualities of the scorpion in the desert, that can survive when anything else would perish. J.A. ‘s mention of Saddam Hussein and his own readiness to fight when Armageddon came indicate his feeling of being ready for an attack. In terms of his language and how it relates to Androctonus (scorpion) pathology, he used phrases like “stuck with needles” and Clinton “sticking it to the American people.” He also likes to hunt with a bow and arrow, which resembles the one-pointed sting of the scorpion tail. Without knowing about Androctonus, we would have considered giving Sulphur-because of J.A. ‘s theorizing about life (much more than is included in this article), his love of collecting unusual objects, his eccentric clothing (“his rags are his riches”), and his arrogant self-confidence. His food desires and generals fit Sulphur as well.
However, what is characteristically most unusual about this case is J.A. ‘s extraordinary ability to survive and his relationship to attacking and being attacked. These are not covered by Sulphur. We discussed the possibility of a snake or some other animal remedy, but the prescription of Scorpion seemed to fit his state perfectly.
Rx: Androctonus, LM1 daily. [Note: J.A. did not follow this regimen and only took the remedy sporadically.]
December, after 2 months
J.A. comes in wearing street clothes. His allergies are 50% better-no phlegm, nose is clear, and he can breathe well. He used to have terrible tearing of the eyes; that has stopped. He doesn’t have to sleep propped up at an angle any more. He’s been out in the woods most of the time for the last couple of months and it has been good. Blood pressure is normal, stable; he’s still taking BP medication. When asked about himself in general, J.A. reports:
“It’s been phenomenal. I feel an inner feeling change. Life is not so much of a hassle. I have an inner feeling of peace and joy. Attitudes have changed. Clinton has not bothered me. I’m more in tune with what I am doing. Not tired or listless. I used to fall asleep at 8pm. Now I’m active until 11pm. [We did not know this before.] Sleeping through the night now. Not having to get up in the middle of the night to pee.”
J.A. speaks about being in the woods and seeing the young plants sprouting and changes in nature. The pain in his leg has increased recently. He says it is due to physical exertion.
April, after 6 months J.A. looks less disfigured. The whole class comments on this; or are we just getting used to his appearance? He reports:
“Allergies are 90% better. No problem with leaf mold this year.
I am more tolerant of people and ideas. I’ve mellowed out.
Hunting-I let most of them go now. This year I would have taken fifteen but I’ve only taken two. It’s like wildflowers. I don’t pick them but leave them for others to enjoy.”
His legs are much better. He is still taking blood sugar medication, but only about half the amount he was taking before. “My doctor said to me ‘What happened?'”
Rx: Androctonus, LM2. He has taken this intermittently since then.
After 9 months
J.A. reports that he now has no allergies at all. He is still on the same meds for high blood pressure. Although his condition is completely stable, he won’t stop these meds until his doctor suggests it. The same goes for the diabetes. He only takes the meds occasionally, if he has eaten sugar. His arthritis is much better. He is not walking with a limp and can use his leg fairly normally. He does not have the headaches or neck pain that he used to have. J.A. told me he was bored with his collection of knives and guns and was thinking of getting rid of it. In general, he is much calmer and happier in himself.