Case 15: And how the mighty have fallen!
NATIONAL JOURNAL OF HOMOEOPATHY 2006
Dr Vishpala Parthasarathy
'Arn / Symph / Rhus-t
It was 28th May 06- a Sunday. It had been a great day for me. I had recently returned from a wonderful Canada holiday ending in a well-appreciated lecture in Singapore on 13th May. On flight, I had started learning the Tamil language on the Singapore airlines Learn A Language series. I had come back brimming with ideas and convictions. Started clinic within hours of reaching back ( I reached at 2 am and could not get sleep, so went for a walk at 5 am and then work at 8 am) and only later recovered from the jet lag ie over the weekend. Well-rested to receive my In-laws for 10 days of family togetherness.
We had fun- saw plays and movies and whatever I could muster up in my off-hours. They left on the same fateful morning of 28th, after which I had an interestingly wonderful lunch and an equally nice Maqbool Hussein classical music concert and I came home at 7.15 pm. It had been a perfect day to cap a perfect month.
At 8.15 pm, I went for a bath and it was then that things started to go wrong.
I slipped on the soap in the bathroom! I could feel myself falling so I positioned myself to fall on, what I felt were, ample bums! The shock and pain were immense. I waited, in the same sitting position without moving for a good 10-15 mins. Then I gingerly moved my limbs- they all functioned! With support I raised myself up, went to the bed and then galvanized the rest of the family into action! Called my husband and told him to get me Arnica 200 put it in water and give it to me every 1 hr for few doses and then 4 hrly.
I called the servants to give me ice packs- put it on the 2 painful areas- the back and the bum. I did the ice-packs for 36 hrs straight. I find it the most useful device in our medical armamentarium for injuries or pains. A year ago in 2004- 2005, when my dogs, in their frolics had taken away my legs from under me, and I had fallen the same way- on even ampler bums (By 2006, ie now, I had lost, what was probably a crucial 3-4 kgs) and that time too, I had done non-stop ice for 12-24 hrs along with the big healer Homoeopathy and had healed completely and rapidly)
The wonderful thing about ice is that it soon numbs you and you no longer feel the pain nor the icy-coldness and therefore can be used continuously. At night, through the fitful painful sleep, I would slide it from the right to the left hips; and the 2nd pack was moved from upper to lower back. Overall, considering everything, I felt better and felt the worst was over. Being a Monday morning, I went to work, having taken the precaution of calling in a driver to drive me. I functioned at the clinic with the ubiquitous ice-pack. On my return I took a clear 4 hrs deep sleep.
The evening clinic, fortunately, is attached to the house. I managed that too. Back to resting on my back. Once 36- 40 hrs had passed, most pains had subsided but the one on the mid-back was very tender. I moved the Arnica from 200 to 1M. Also a Digital X-ray was called for. This was taken on Wednesday morning. It was Day 3. On the screen, it seemed normal but the report in the evening showed up the compression fracture.
The night was bad. Very painful. I could barely turn without moaning. The nights throughout had been the worst. On Thursday, I consulted the spine surgeon Dr Abhay Nene, a very progressive young spine surgeon of Hinduja hospital. He told me complete bed rest for 4 days. The idea was to take the pressure off the back by lying down. I had been expecting and dreading a 3-wk lay-up, so 4 days seemed do-able and I promptly complied and took to the bed. I entertained myself by seeing some wonderful movies and reading. It was very pleasant. He also said Blood tests - bone and Calcium and MRI. All complied with.
Thursday night was very bad. Friday I started Symphytum 200 4 hrly - it covered not only the fracture but also the night pain... instantaneous effect. Friday night was wonderful. Pain was down by 50%. I no longer screamed and moaned. And so the improvement continued through day 6, 7, 8, 9. Nights were becoming better, but getting up in the morning was horrible. The symptom was peculiar. Every symptom which came up from time to time was very peculiar, truly Homoeopathic! It reminded me of the Hansel-Gretel pebbles which led to the right path.
The same bed in the day was fine. At night after lying even 3-4 hrs it was painful and mornings were the worst. Tuesday morning - the back was stiff like a board and I took 15 mins to get out and another 30 mins to be rid of the pain.
This was the classical symptom of Rhus-tox, so on 7-6-06 I took Rhus-tox 200 4 hrly and lo and behold I could get up in 5 mins on Wednesday and in 2 mins on Friday. Yes, valid questions- why had I not taken it earlier?
- Because in the initial days I took Calc-fl 6x (which is a complementary of Rhus-tox with same modalities and more indicated in bone#) for both the calcium and this symptom modality of pain and it did not work and
- Maybe I could only follow 1 pebble at a time and it had to come up in enough severe intensity for me to take notice!....
- Maybe I am just a little dense!
- Maybe if it all happens together then where is the story? It is more interesting this way, no?
MRI experience on 10th June 06: First the result. Good progress on the digital. MRI: showed clear impacted # with no pressure on frontal or posterior roots - a clean image.
But it the experience I want to talk about. When we give a patient a chit for MRI, we look on it as just another test.
But experiencing it yourself is another ball game. It was daunting, to say the least. They put you on the table, position you as if you are just a body and then say Okay done. Ask if you want anything like blanket. Luckily I said Yes and they covered my legs. Later I was very cold, but there was no one in the room and I did not know if I could move it up, so I did not and only shivered through.
After this they left me and I did not see them for 1hr. Do you know how frightening a I hr with the machine in a silent, cold room can be? You do not know how still you have to be, whether you can even breathe deep. Of course you know you cannot stop breathing for 1 hr, so you breathe. But are you allowed deep breaths?
At one point, my right hand developed cramps, so gingerly moved it. Immediately an attendant appeared from thin air, as if, and said do not move or that whole part will have to be shot again!! When the machine stops ticking in-between then you can quickly adjust. So now I knew that there are different periods in the machine. Have you ever been with a machine alone for 1.5 hrs? Just lying under it and not knowing what it is doing or what you have to do? It can be quite unnerving.
After the first ticking stopped, say in 15 mins they came and adjusted your postion, and said the dorsal is over now the lumbar. So you thought a similar time period for lumbar. But it went on endlessly till the cramps episode. At one point they announced (the only announcement) - last 10 mins. But I swear it took at least 25 mins after that. The time is huge and with nothing- no clock, no announcement to guide you, it looks huger. And so the ordeal went on and on for 1 hr 20 mins! Then it was over and they were human again. In fact, very nicely they showed the images on computer and explained all the pictures: that the bone was in place and no other nerves had been affected.
My Suggestions, not as a doctor but as a patient:
In India we do take the patient for granted. But we do need to explain the procedure in brief. It takes only 2mins and is very comforting for the patient.
Dear Mr Shah, we are going to do the MRI on you. Have you done an MRI before or can I explain? We will put you under this table for about 60 to 80 mns. In that period we will be in the next cubicle over there and see you through this glass and shoot the entire film on your back.
The room sometimes gets very cold. Maybe you would like to cover with a blanket. You can cover your legs or even your chest.
The machine will be ticking away. At intervals it will stop and at that time only, you can adjust your arms and legs. if you have any cramps or things, The remaining time please remain as still as possible except for normal breathing. A little movement of the legs will be okay and not interfere with the shooting. You can even go to sleep if you want.
We will not be talking to you in this period, but if you have anything urgent to say to us, just lift your hand. We can see you and will come in to ask. Any questions?
12-6-06: Showed to the progressive Dr Abhay Nene: He said I was doing well and should start gradual rehabilitation.
13-6-06 Day 16: should start with 30 min walks daily.
18-6-06 Day 21: I can slowly start non-jerky dance.
I have to take care for 6 weeks to do no jerks, jars, Auto´s and so on, but I can be 80% normal.