Original patient complaint: Arthritis
Gina, 69 years old, had had arthritis all her life. She was a small, delicate looking woman with a pleasant demeanor. She remembered that her knees had started hurting her when she was 14. They continued to hurt until her 20’s when she got pregnant. She had always had weak ankles, and had turned them frequently in the past. Now she was somewhat bent over with osteoporosis, and, being a thin woman, her rib cage sometimes hit her pelvis. It had locked once and badly wrenched her ribs.
At the time of the first visit, she was complaining of heaviness and tension in the low back. It felt “all bound up”. It was worse on first getting up and better from loosening up. By noon everyday, Gina felt tired, and she would nap after lunch. She felt that she just didn’t have enough energy. When she was a child her mother had always told she wasn’t strong, which angered her.
Gina’s knees hurt to walk. Putting weight on them gave her a sharp pain. The left knee was the worst. She could easily lose her balance when wearing running shoes. She complained of upper back pain when tired, which was a continuous pain between her shoulder blades and below. This pain would be better if she lay down for 15 minutes with her knees up. She had no problems with her neck or shoulders. At age 52, she had had a laminectomy to relieve sciatic pain, which had not returned. She complained of having always had “lousy hair and nails”, and she was taking “bone builder” calcium from Europe.
Gina was a raw foods vegan, and had been vegetarian for the last 10 years. She had been constipated all her life until she began eating raw. Now she said her digestion was fine. She had no food cravings. She had a healthy appetite, but never gained weight, even though she said her thyroid levels always tested low. She felt that raw foods and food combining were the only proper way to eat. She had been manic depressive in her 40’s, and took Lithium for 9 years. She eventually healed herself through prayer. Gina was very spiritually minded and meditated and prayed regularly. She had had an early menopause at age 39, and had taken estrogen for a few years.
Gina had a problem with insomnia, which would often wake her, between the hours of 2-4 in the morning. She could be kept up if she was worried or upset. Her sleep was not very sound. It was hard for her to relax and stay relaxed. She would feel a sense of anxiety in her stomach, like “butterflies”. She hated deadlines or when she had to hurry, but she was extremely punctual. She didn’t like it when other people were late. Gina was quite fastidious and did not appreciate the sloppiness of the roommate she was living with.
Gina was very sensitive to the cold. She always felt cold, even in warm weather. She had a past history of hives and scabies as a child, and a recent boil on her vulva. She had been treated in the past with Bryonia for an ankle sprain, which had helped. She had also been given Bryonia constitutionally by another homeopath, which hadn’t worked. She had self-prescribed Natrum carbonicum 200c several times on her own recently, which she said had helped her sleep a little better, and reduced her joint pain a little. She had never quite gotten over a cold which started a month ago and still had some mucus, which she coughed up occasionally. Gina was given a single dose of Kali carbonicum 200C. Kali carbonicum is a prominent arthritis remedy. It has pain in the low back, between the shoulder blades, in the kidney region and down the legs. Pain in the knees is a prominent Kali carbonicum symptom. People who need Kali carbonicum are often quite sensitive to cold, feel anxious, especially in the stomach or solar plexus, and wake characteristically between 2-4 A.M. They are often quite proper, with fixed ideas about how things ought to be. Gina’s vegan dietary regimen, punctuality and fastidiousness are typical of the Kali Carbonicum personality.
At her first follow-up appointment, one month after the remedy, Gina started out by saying that she felt much better. She was sleeping better and felt much warmer in general. Her mucus had disappeared. She was having a little ankle swelling on waking. This was a return of an old symptom she had had with one of her pregnancies. She had slight itching of the lower eyelids. Her joint symptoms were much better. She was not having pain in the lower back, knees, ankles or the upper back. She had started doing some exercises after her improvement. Her energy was greatly improved, but she still enjoyed a half hour nap after lunch. She was eating more cooked foods on our recommendation and putting more oil in her diet. It was obvious that the remedy had helped her very much. By the time of the second visit five weeks later, Gina said that she felt better with every passing day. He joints still did not hurt. She had gained a few pounds and was 118 now. Eighteen months previous she had been 98 pounds. Her ankles felt stronger. She said, “I’m better now than I have been for a long time.” Her energy had continued to improve and she felt that she was growing spiritually. She was having visions in her meditation now. She was hardly ever waking up at night, but if she did she would use the time to “visit with God.” Her hair and nails had grown much stronger. She felt that she was able to express her feelings much more freely, and she was more accepting of herself.
Gina had a very positive response to a single dose of Kali carbonicum 200c. She has remained well since, until she had a recent fall resulting in a broken hip. She is currently convalescing, but her arthritis remains healed. It is possible that she may need another remedy corresponding to her previous manic depressive phase, but the symptoms have not appeared as yet. Her spiritual experiences seemed to be quite positive for her and not indicative of any return of mental illness.