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Case Study

A Unique Experience
Dr S K Mamagin

I would like to share an peculiar incident in 1981, when I attended All India Homoeopathic Seminar held first time at Kanpur. At the break I was sitting at the stall of Wheezal Lab Pvt Ltd. The 1600 delegates were strolling along the numerous stalls. A lady, very dirty, appeared as if she had been bathing in oil and not washing; her clothes were also in the same shape, was begging the attention of the delegates requesting to look at her ailment and help her. But no one was paying any heed to her request.

My curiosity aroused, I asked her what the matter was. She told me that she was suffering from itching and wherever she itches, a live insect comes out of the skin on squeezing the spot! There was no eruption of any kind on her skin. On showing my sympathy and curiosity she scratched her left arm and squeezed the spot and to my surprise, a live lice of white colour came out of the skin! It was so very peculiar. I had never seen such a thing neither before (nor after) in my life span of 68 years. I could not think what to do. Took recourse to the greatest life -saver- 2 doses of Sulphur 30 from my travel kit. I also suggested her to consult some other doctor of Kanpur. I don’t know what happened to her later.

Today I think Coca could have been her remedy.

Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica by Dr J H Clarke describes Coca thus:

"A characterisitic symptom of Cocaine poisoning is a sensation as if small foreign bodies were under the skin, generally like grains of sand; or else as of a worm under the skin". This is undoubtedly the keynote symptom of Coca.

Dr J W Springthorpe described (H W, February, 1896) a variety of this symptom experienced by himself, and recorded in a paper entitled "The Confessions of a Cocanist." He called it "Hunting the Cocaine bug". "You imagine" he says "that in your skin are worms, or similar things, moving along. If you touch them with wool, and especially with absorbent wool, they run away and disappear, only to peep cautiously out of some corner to see if there is any danger. These worms are projected only on the Cocoanist’s own person or clothing. He sees them on his linen, in his skin, creeping along his penholder, but not on other people or things, and not on clothes brought clean from the laundry".

Comments/experiences of our readers shall be welcomed:

Editor: I had a similar patient once and I cannot even take recourse to saying this could have helped.

A lady, 40, from the mill-worker family, Husband was laid off long ago. She came to me in Feb 2000, with a sensation of worm crawling Rt occipit, with pain and stiffness neck, worse sun and summer, touch. Accompanied by vertigo and nausea. She was so troubled that she has been weeping daily for 8 mths. The only significant history was that her daughter fell in love and wanted to marry. Husband refused. Daughter was adamant, so mother got her married in Feb 1998. Husband still taunts her. First he used to help her in house work, now will not. She is quite angry about this. Even when he demands sex, she gets angry and also embarrassed.

This married daughter did not want to live in joint family, so they have gone to Nerul. Works in Air India. Is learning computer. "Good girl, my daughter" patient said and she smiled. The second daughter gives tuitions, but if she shouts at her wards, then their parents abuse her and won’t even pay her. Her money is not quite enough. Son used to just sit at home, like all in that area- "all bevada and tapori’s" Now she forces him to go to work in a wallet company 9 am to 9 pm where he earns only 1000/-

The remedy which came to mind was Coca, but the Anger was too marked to pass up. I gave Staph 1M dose. No help. Then I moved to Coca 200 given for 2-3 weeks. But no amelioration and patient was too impatient to continue treatment. So finally I have no experience of Coca. I cannot even take recourse to saying I would have tried Coca, except may be to say 1M would have tried if patient had co-operated.