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Case Study

Not A Siren.
Vishpala Parthasarathy.
` Ph-ac.

Mrs J M, aged 46 years, came on 3-8-95, referred by a regular patient, who confided to me her state of "husbandlessness" (he having deserted her) and her still being attached to him and continuing to worry about him.

Then I went through her complaints; they are almost too many to enumerate - constipation, flatulence in the evening, acidity, urine in spurts due to fibrosis of uterus, oedema feet, heavy head in morning, numbness of hands, stiffness in the morning, backache in the evening, spondylitis on overexertion, general malaise, wakes ill and depressed, averse to work, itching of the eyes, increased appetite for sweets and curds, a strong PMT with backache, oedema and tenderness of mammae.

I realised the details of the physical complaints would not get me anywhere.

So I plunged into her life story - She was born in 1949 and was the eldest of two daughters and two sons. She was brought up by her grandmother in Jamnagar till she was 12 years old. She returned to Bombay at 13 years of age when she joined school in the eight standard in 1962. In 1973 she was married. He was an electrical engineer, intelligent, bur unfortunately, an incurable gambler. In 1976 she gave birth to a daughter, yet her husband did not improve his gambling habits. In 1985 she gave him an ultimatum to improve in a years time but it met with no result. So in 1986 she left him. By 1989 the divorce came through. She stayed at her maternal home. Unfortunately her sister too, having had an unhappy marriage, had returned to the fold of the family and was very cut up emotionally and angry. Her mother became a neurotic and her father took charge and got both to do courses - the patient did a beautician course while her sister a nursery training. Being a builder he bought them flats at Marol though not in the same building, as they both did not get along well with each other. The patient now runs a parlour on the ground floor. The locality being Catholic and the patient a Gujarati, she did not mix well socially though her parlour is doing well.

She feels utterly lonely and depressed - a social outcast. She does not visit her married friends, as they may feel insecure about their husbands! The stigma of being a divorcee weighs heavily on her and so she socializes little. Nor does she have a healthy relationship with her daughter who is now 19. They fight a lot. This accentuates her loneliness. Her sister is a short tempered and jealous woman and so they do not go along well.

She still misses her husband and worries constantly - as to what state he is in, whether he has eaten or not? Her husband borrowed money from her, her family members, her relatives friends and anyone else he could. He asked for his inherited share after her fathers demise and later kept asking for more. Now all his sources are exhausted. All his family has disowned him and taken this in writing. So he is totally on his own and must be in a bad shape - so she worries fruitlessly.

Basically she is very irritable, sensitive, brooks and weeps a lot, does not like to be alone and must at least have music or television on. Very anxious, nervous and worried if suddenly guests descend on her.

She has a poor memory. She always feels bored and exhausted, unable to work, wakes tired. Sleep is disturbed by various thoughts. Jerks in sleep as if fallen.

I prescribed Phosphorus on the basis of her affection to her husband inspite of the problems. Fearful. It helped her to some extent as regards her anxiety depression and aversion to work. However memory alertness, confidence and urine showed no improvement.

On 13th Sept, I reviewed the case and kicked myself for missing the classical picture of Phosphoric-acid viz:

  1. Prolonged grief
  2. Hasty speech
  3. Indifference to work even for daughter
  4. Memory poor
  5. Despair
  6. Homesickness with weeping (misses her husband)
  7. Hopeless (not making friends or socializing inspite of a beauty parlour which enables her to meet so many people daily).
  8. Settled despair
  9. Face very sad looking
  10. Arms numb and heavy.

Treatment and Follow-up:

13-9-95 - One dose of Phos-acid 1M was given. By the 21st she was well but for her pains. Emotionally and mentally she was better.
29-9-95 - SQ. Phosphoric-acid 1M - second dose.
5-10-95 - She had some bodyache from overwork for which Arnica 30 helped. No other complaints.
She stopped the treatment as she felt well. Her anxiety is much better and confidence is returning. The urine problem and oedema still persist. The aches and pains are better by 80 percent.
8-12-95 - At the time going to the press, we called up the patient and she said she is well except for some urine problem.