She did not really believe in homeopathy for her chronic Sinusitis treatment
A female physician came for an appointment with Dr Karim Adal in July 2007. She did not really believe in homeopathy but came to see him as a last resort because she felt quite desperate. This blog tells the story.
She had had sinusitis problems since 1993 after undergoing nasal septum surgery in 1991 for a traumatic fracture of the nose, after which she developed a yellow nasal discharge every morning. Her symptoms got much worse in 2002 when she moved to Geneva, Switzerland, with a chronic yellow-gold discharge from the nose. A CT scan revealed a left maxillary sinus cyst or polyp and she underwent surgery which indeed revealed a polyp. She developed a post-operative complication with a bad smell coming from the left nostril, chronic pain, occasional bloody crusts and was started on courses of Bactrim®. Her chronic subjective sensation was a heaviness inside her head. A CT scan showed that the sphenoidal sinus was completely opaque from hyperplastic mucosa and thick mucus. She was treated with a prolonged course of Augmentin® and an intranasal corticosteroid spray. But her symptoms did not subside and she became depressed. She received different first line antibiotics for sinusitis for increasingly resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Her symptoms became chronic and she was prescribed several courses of antibiotics each year, but continued to have chronic yellow secretions. During these years, she tried acupuncture, anthroposophic medications, iodine salt washings, intranasal propolis, oligotherapy, all with no results. She was also started on Claritin® for chronic allergic symptoms and eye swellings.
When I saw her, her symptoms were as follows: a heavy feeling inside the head, a yellow nasal discharge and a productive cough due to postnasal drip. She had had this heavy pressure inside her head for the past 5 years, which got worse with movement of the head. These symptoms made her afraid and kept her from making plans for the future, for her professional life, having a second child, etc.
Here is a summary: “If I could be sure it wasn’t something dangerous, I wouldn’t be afraid. The bone is very thin in this area and I could end up with meningitis. It feels like an enemy is coming to my head, destroying my health very slowly. You’re not prepared for the enemy, you run and call for help. You cannot do it alone. At home we have an alarm system because our home is out of the way, hidden. The enemies can come in my home to steal, so if I’m alone at home I close the door with a key, and I can press the alarm button and call the police. I’m very afraid because we have no neighbors; a woman alone in the house, it’s dangerous. I had this same feeling in my childhood when the enemies came (she is from a country that had been attacked by a neighboring country, but all her subsequent description is derived from the stories that her grandfather had told her, because she did not herself live through the war), panic, don’t know what to do, where to go, there is no way out. Very afraid, these animals (the enemies) are coming to kill everybody.”
When asked about dreams, she said: “This was not a dream, but when I was 6 years old, I always imagined that I lived in a very small house, just one room, made of stone. There is a window from which I can look outside. I can see the forest and animals but I am protected. The stone house is in a dangerous place where there are forest animals. I am in a safe place and need protection. I feel very protected. You are safe. Outside, things can happen, but you are in a covered place. Outside there are dangerous wild animals, but you are in your small nice stone room.”
She had fears for her health because “we live alone in this country, with no family. If you are sick and have fever, nobody can take care of you.”
After a dose of Calcarea carbonica 200, she quickly became symptom-free for several months, the heavy feeling in her head disappeared. Her fears for her health and for her future disappeared completely.
Four months after the original dose: “First of all I’m not afraid. Second, because I haven’t had the attacks inside the head, I forget about it, I’m not afraid of the cold weather. Before, I used to put something warm on my head with the least cold weather. I used to be the only person with the head covered. I’m now living like a normal human being. Somehow I don’t think of all this anymore. With this problem my life had stopped for 4 years, I had no plans, I lived just to exist day to day, no plans for the future. Now I want to study homeopathy, when I came to you I didn’t even think the remedy could help me!”
She needed a repeat dose of Calcarea carbonica 6 months after the first dose, and had occasional doses of 200 then 1M over the years until 2015, with an immediate response after each dose.
“You cannot imagine! The Staphylococcus aureus must be dead or asleep!!”
Here are some excerpts of her sinusitis follow ups:
“You cannot imagine! The Staphylococcus aureus must be dead or asleep!!”
“Before I was living in stress, always afraid. Life was not fun at all, it was terrible, I had no tomorrow. Now I live a normal life, I’m a normal person. I have started my homeopathic studies (from which she graduated successfully after 3 years), I have a future.”
After one of the 1M doses, she had a dream: “I was in a sail boat with my daughter, the sea was calm. I was afraid we could go under water, but I moved the boat and it was very stable, I was sure that we wouldn’t go under the water. I felt calm and protected, that there is no danger and everything will be fine.”
“Meeting you changed my life. I used to have a fear that came from my childhood with the stories of genocide from my grandfather. When I came to Switzerland, things were unstable with my husband, his work, his financial situation, I was afraid of the future. I started getting the infections, I had no tomorrow. I was afraid for my child if something happened to me, in a country where you have nobody to help. It used to disturb me so much, it was too much for me! Now I am very good, I am normal, I live without any worries, I don’t think about my personal future as if something bad can happen to me.”
I did not see her for a couple of years after they moved to another country, then she had to flee with her daughter because her husband started drinking alcohol and beating her, having affairs and spending all their money. So she came back to Geneva and when I saw her in November 2017 she had episodes of headaches that lasted for several days and did not respond to Calcarea carbonica. I did a case retake during one of these headache episodes:
“I have had this headache for four days. It’s a feeling that the head is pulsating and exploding, a hammering sensation, it’s a strong pain from inside pushing upward.
There is a lot of stress in my life but I feel positive, I have hope. I feel quite strong, I’m not worried about the future, the situation with my husband does not worry me, I’m not afraid. I’m just thinking about how to organize everything. I have my path, I have a goal, I’m forging ahead to find a job and organize my life and my daughter’s life, I feel positive and feel that I will be successful. I don’t miss my husband’s support at all, I don’t need him near me, I don’t need any support, I can solve my problems on my own.”
The mental and emotional picture that emerged, as well as the physical characteristics of the headaches were consistent with Ferrum metallicum.
She responded within 2 hours after taking a dose of Ferrum metallicum 200 with complete disappearance of the headaches which never returned: “I am very good, excellent, full of energy, no pain anywhere.”
There are several ways to analyze this case. A traditional repertorisation is quite interesting: If one takes seven simple rubrics (five physical rubrics and two mind rubrics) that cover the case, it is interesting to see that Calcarea carbonica is the only remedy listed in grade 4 in ALL seven rubrics (Complete Repertory 2017):
- Nose; INFLAMMATION; sinuses (162)
- Nose; DISCHARGE; offensive (175)
- Nose; DISCHARGE; purulent (147)
- Nose; DISCHARGE; yellow (273)
- Head; HEAVINESS (650)
- Mind; ANXIETY; future, about (189)
- Mind; FEAR; animals, of (127)
Another concise yet powerful way to understand the case is to take the following one-remedy rubric:
Mind; THOUGHTS; persistent; thinks of nothing but murder, fire and rats (1) : 3Calc.
As Rajan Sankaran says in his book Structure: “When, despite showing a vital reaction, a Calcarea carbonica person cannot manage to get the protection he needs, he develops intense fears and “Talks of nothing but murder, fire and rats”. This rubric represents his fear of human (murder), animal (rat) and natural (fire) elements.” Our patient had fears of human (enemies, robbers), animals (dangerous wild forest animals) and natural elements (the sea in her dream at one follow-up).
Finally, if one looks at the case through the eyes of the sensation method, one clearly sees an issue of structure, role and function pointing to a mineral remedy. The series clearly belongs to the fourth series, where the issue is about protection and safety in a dangerous world, money, health, work, etc. She clearly states her need for a backup when in need of protection, pointing us to the second column.
Her delusional world itself points us in the direction of the source: During childhood, she imagined repeatedly living in a small stone room with only one window to look outside. Inside is a safe place where one is protected. Outside there are dangerous wild forest animals. Inside you are in a covered small nice room. This corresponds quite well to the inner reality of oysters (Calcarea carbonica is prepared from the snow-white portion that exists between the inner and outer surface of the oyster shell), their survival pattern being one of shutting themselves down in a small protective shell for protection from the dangerous world around them. Our patient manifested the survival pattern of oysters, such as needing to find a place to anchor itself to feel secure against the threat of the outside world, but her way of expressing this delusion was manifested more in a mineral way (lack of structure, need for a backup) than in an animal way (survival issue).
It is noteworthy that she had only heard about the war from her grandfather, she herself had never lived during war time, but she describes it as if she had lived the reality of the war. This is a common occurrence in human beings, and it shows the power of a delusion when the vital force resonates with what corresponds to its inner sensitivity pattern.
Her need for support that she manifested so intensely in 2007 at the first anamnesis has totally vanished. She is now confident, hopeful, strong. She has no more fears for her future and her daughter’s future despite a critical situation. One can say, with a fair degree of certainty, that, had she found herself in this same critical situation without having been previously treated with Calcarea carbonica, she would have completely decompensated.
Discussion about this Calcarea carbonica case
This case is quite straightforward, there is no “special twist” or particular difficulty in the prescription but this case illustrates beautifully how a deep-acting remedy can transform a person’s life in such a profound way, not just physically but at all levels of their life and being.
When someone undergoes a deep healing of their being, at all levels, with a complete transformation, then, after some time (sometimes months but most often a few years), they need a different remedy to move on in life. Needing a different remedy is actually a sign that the vital force is doing really well, it is able to express a new energy pattern; having more strength allows it to evolve. We should not stay stuck in the same energy pattern all of our lives, if one still needs the chosen remedy after decades of treatment it would actually mean that it is not the correct one (except in rare cases with very low vitality). Life is movement, new energy patterns mean that the previous energy pattern has been totally eradicated and can leave room for a new energy pattern. How beautiful in this case that she went from a Calcarea pattern to a Ferrum pattern, a more evolved level of development, in the same row of the periodic table but much less dependent and more structured, allowing her to face a life situation that would have been an enormous challenge for her had it happened when I first met her.
Modern medicine believes that the disease is cured if symptoms are gone! In contrast, for the homeopath, symptoms are friends that are manifestations of a disturbed energy pattern, that guide us towards the correct remedy, or indicate the need for a repeat dose of the remedy.
Finally, having been an infectious disease specialist in my “previous life” 20 years ago, having practiced in a tertiary-care referral center where I saw every kind of severe infection and chronic recurrent infection, this case is a good illustration of what I used to deal with on a daily basis, trying to kill the latest microbe that was grown in the laboratory, debating the best means to stimulate or suppress the immune system, investigating the potential benefit of a surgical approach, etc.; and most often ending up months later at the same or worse level of health in my patients. This was the main reason, in addition to witnessing frequent and severe side effects from medications, that led me to becoming a homeopath.
Modern medicine is increasingly becoming aware of the importance of the “terrain” in our health. The terrain theory believes that it is not the microbe that causes disease, but rather, the state of our internal health and its ability to maintain homeostasis. It is said that even Pasteur, on his deathbed, said “The microbe is nothing; the milieu is everything.” However, even this concept of terrain is misunderstood by allopaths. For us homeopaths the terrain has always been our working ground, but for us the terrain is the vital force that needs to be balanced at the energy level. For allopaths the terrain is mostly the immune system and they influence it, once again, with chemical molecules (interleukins, interferons, etc.) and do not rely at all on the capacity of the body to heal itself. They believe that the dysfunction of the immune system is the ultimate source or origin of the problem and do not understand that this dysfunction itself is just but a consequence of a disturbed vital force.
Homeopathy is not easy, because we individualize our prescription to each person, we treat individuals, not diagnoses or diseases, we listen to our patients, we try to understand them at a deep level. Yes, homeopathy is not easy, but the healing is so deep that we keep forging ahead to constantly refine our knowledge. It takes passion, sacrifices, efforts on a daily basis, but the results and rewards are many along the way, small or big, common or stunning, within minutes or after years of treatment, that is not the point, the goal is just to try to do our best each day, and remain humble in our evolving search on this way of life.
Read another case of treatment of Staphylococcus aureus here.
Thank you to Dr Karim Adal for giving permission to share this extract of his sinusitis case which was first published in Spectrum Journal 2018 page 4 under the title When doctors fall sick.
Dr Adal completed practiced in a hospital setting as an infectious diseases specialist. He then became interested in homeopathy and studied at the Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy in Minnesota. Later he settled in Geneva, Switzerland.
He has been teaching the Sensation Method at the school HomeoVitalis in Brussels, Belgium, as well as giving seminars regularly in France and Switzerland.