Thoughts on the world, homeopathy, mindfulness and food...
A collection of blog posts - feel free to respond with your thoughts and comments - I love to have feedback - thank you!
"If I don’t do it now it’s because I don’t want to, not because I can’t". A case of low energy and limited medical options to turn to - can homeopathy help?
It was early February 2019 that Penny (name changed) came to see me with her mum. They’d been recommended by a mutual friend as Penny was struggling with her energy levels, amongst other things. Around Christmas in Year 7 things had got worse (now we were February Year 8 so over a year in), with being wiped out and constantly tired. They described her energy as non-existent, was dizzy and couldn’t walk to school, even struggled walking up the smallish hill to their house. Penny would be exhausted when she came in from school, poorly every holiday and on a weekend they were unable to do anything on Saturday if there was anything planned on Sunday. Often she couldn’t manage a full week in school and wasn’t doing PE sessions. School were very supportive. She would go round to close friends and just lie on the sofa, which wasn’t like her.
Doctors had checked her vitamins and mineral levels – she was low on iron and taking a supplement. Also hayfever was bad so during summer took an antihistamine – sometimes 4 a day to control her symptoms. She has recently been put onto a daily antihistamine – to review in 6-12 months. Tests showed negative for glandular fever.
She would get better then relapse, so maybe better for a week then tired after, and they reported that her energy levels had been below normal for around three years, not long after her parents had separated, which had been a difficult time for her.
Penny would get breathless walking up a hill and also complain that everything hurts when tried to walk. Both knees really hurt and also experienced muscular pain as if she’d exercised, but had done nothing to cause it. Pains had started with her ankles which had been put down to growing pains. She used to feel as if she’d walked further than she had done and would need to lie absolutely still on the sofa and not get up unless needed to. She’d recently had lots of colds, a chest infection and a lung infection and they felt she still hadn’t got over that. ENT issues dated back for most of her life.
With the constant mucus I suggested that they may wish to look at removing dairy from her diet for a period of time, and also with joint and muscle ache suggested gluten to be left out for a while too. Gluten can cause inflammation (though there is a debate if it’s the gluten or glyphosate – others have covered that and that’s not the point of this blog).
Penny used to love trampolining and had previously been very active, loving the competitive element of the activities she did. She was also quite a worrier, describing herself as sometimes worrying about worrying and the worries were worse on a night when tired mostly – she’d have to talk them through else wouldn’t sleep with things on her mind.
She was described as pushy at times, silently forceful and used to be bossy – a good organiser. In earlier years, Penny wouldn’t stick up to anybody, she’d just walk away and not tell anyone, but now into secondary school said ‘you can’t not stick up for yourself – you have to fight your own battles.’ She also described the group dynamic as it was as if I’m the mother of the group, people come to her to see where they’re sitting and the like.
She liked to be very organised for school taking everything she may need and needed things in place the night before.
No dreams were remembered though will talk about school in sleep.
Fears – spiders, heights though she will go up high and try to conquer them. She is scared at night a lot more – any noise will be scared about it – if hear a noise will be awake for another hour. In the day times can rationalise noises more, will tell herself is OK.
When they first moved to the current house, Penny would have to check the doors – still asks if the windows are closed and will check the doors. She says ‘I have this thing of someone being in the house, I can’t sleep if the windows are open. I don’t like the thought of someone [uninvited – my note] being in the house.’ She can’t stop herself from waking up from noises in the house and gets really worried about it at night. Really alert to it, sensitive hearing. She would worry that somebody would be in the house and she’d need to get out and wouldn’t be able to. When going back into the house on a weekend (on a week was more tired and not got energy to do it) would turn every single light on as she went through the house, which had happened for around the last year.
She can be confident, depending who she’s around and as a child so nervous about many things, used to cling to her mum until she felt safe then would join in. If doesn’t like it will take ages to do it – ‘why would I do it if not safe to do so.’
Penny talked about disliking change, makes her worried and also at times got quite bad headaches, sometimes it would hurt to open her eyes. She can be impatient – liking things to be done there and then and now and her mum said you can only tell she’s hungry when she’s really hungry – she can’t wait for something, wants it there and then. More that she things about it and really wants it now.
Her eczema had been everywhere as a baby and they’d used thick creams twice daily and by 2 or so was under control – now on neck mostly and under her eyes for the last 4 months or so. Also around her lips and it dries and cracks – she wants to lick it to stop it cracking.
My impressions were that she was a really lovely child, and there was a lot of affection between her and her mum. She was clearly really struggling with energy levels and medically there were limited options hence them exploring homeopathy as a complement to their current medical care. They were very pleased with the care they’d had conventionally, just that there was a bit of a dead end with moving forwards from here.
Prescription: Lac Felinum 30C split dose (one the first evening, one the second). Repeat in two weeks if no change.
At this point I feel I could confess to getting quite lucky with looking at the remedy to give here. I felt the fear of people coming into her house was quite strong - it's rarely something someone says to me in the consulting room so I thought I would look at the repertory (our book of symptoms and the remedies suggested that may help those symptoms) and on doing so found this. Mostly rubrics (the symptom and remedy collection) have many remedies listed in them. This one had two. Which could be misleading so I wanted to rule them out.
She didn't feel to be an aurum type at all, and looking at lac-felinum (cat's milk), there felt to be a clear case for this remedy. She is competitive - an animal remedy trait, albeit a remedy from any kingdom can be, but put together with other ways she lived and described things - 'fight my own battles' was another animal phrase; she liked to be in charge, and was the one everyone came to (a trait of a mother-type), however was not all that confident at times, cautious with new things and liked to be near her mum, not liking to be left by herself. She's supersensitive to noise and of course the fear of intruders was another clue.
Reading through the material medical on the remedy I felt happy to give it to Penny, and that it felt to match her as a person, as well as the symptoms she was struggling with. I'm always trying to find a remedy that matches the whole person wherever possible and find that I have my most successful cases where I'm able to do this. The proof is always in the pudding however, I can give a remedy that sounds great to me and feels to fit well, but if I've not matched it closely enough then the patient doesn't do as well as I'd like.
I next saw Penny in late March and they happily reported that for the last week or so she’d been on the trampoline again and had been at school for a full week.
They’d contacted me in between the sessions as her skin got really bad, eczema flared on her face where it hadn’t been before and I’d reassured them that as she’d had eczema in the past it sounded a positive sign and what we call a ‘return of old symptoms’ – often this can be short-lived – and not quite as dramatic as what Penny was experiencing, but it gave me hope we were on the right track. Nivea was really helping her skin – they’d tried stellaria on my recommendation which can be great for eczema but it wasn’t helping and the nivea was. It was still sore and cracked around her lips although the past week or so it had felt better than earlier.
Penny had managed 3 full weeks at school with the exclusion of PE. Things were a lot better – going in the right direction. Her face was getting better – and was described as if it was coming down the back of her neck (a good sign in terms of our homeopathic understanding – Hering’s Law describes healing as going from within outward (another sign that symptoms on her skin were positive instead of no energy), from above downwards (significant in terms of the eczema description) and in reverse order of appearance.
She had a big reaction to dust mites and was way off the scale on a test from the Drs for that and described that she felt better in herself, not a lot better but seen improvement. Still taking antihistamines.
Before her energy was a 3-4/10 and now a 6/10. Mum says she thought more like a 2/10 before and now a 6/10. A big difference. She didn’t have to rest straight afer school now and used to moan going upstairs which she wasn’t doing.
Her snotty nose was improving and the muscular pain though still happening was far less. She was now able to do things with friends that she hadn’t been able to before.
Bedtimes were better too – it was 10.30/11pm and fighting to get to sleep, now 10/10.30 – though they’d also changed the routine and used the TV to help her get off to sleep. Happily the need for her mum to know she was asleep had gone and she could drift off herself. Penny also was worrying less – though still a lot, not as much as before. She was also happier to stay in the house more than before and feeling more secure, checking doors less than before.
And she said that golden phrase that we as homeopaths love‘I do feel a big more of who I was before has come back.’
Relatives said they’d seen more colour in her cheeks recently.
Prescription – I gave dust mite 200C to take night, night. Improvements felt to be still happening so lac felinum 30C if things felt to plateaux. Also hayfever mix in case of hayfever symptoms.
We met early May and Penny said she’d been quite a lot better than the first time and last time we’d met. She’d been going on the trampoline with friends after school and not on the sofa as she had before.
Skin was improving. Energy levels before a 6/10 were now 8/10 and she was staying at school for the entire week, just missing the last PE lesson.
Around her lips the skin was paler and less cracked – it wasn’t as hard to open her mouth whereas before she’d worried about cracking when she ate. Instead of licking lips is putting lip balm on.
The Easter holidays had been different – not having to rest and lie around just coming back as normal. If Penny went out with friends wouldn’t have to come home and rest – she could do something she enjoys doing.
The eczema under her eyes itched but not now – I don’t feel like that’s there anymore.’
The muscular pain had gone – can now run upstairs. Bedtimes are better, lot easier than even last time when came. She no longer checks the doors etc and is happy for her mum to go on dog walks. Slowly things are improving.
As she’d had a lot of antibiotics (and skin had been a major issue) I gave Morgan Gaertner as a 30c potency to take and another dose of lac felinum 30C as we’re heading into the season of hayfever which would normally be really hard for her.
Her mum says that normally at this time of year her speech would be really nasally –and needing to blow her nose all the time. That’s not happening, and if she forgets the antihistamines then she’s not suffering the next day as she would have been before.
End May – I contacted Penny’s mum to ask if I could write up the case – she gave permission pending Penny’s approval of the notes, and said things were still improving.
Late July 2019 we met and discussed everything to date – Penny’s energy is about a 9/10 now. She’s been away on a school trip and managed to do everything, whereas before that would have been really difficult and wiped her out. She had done sports day – and pointed out she’d actulally done it this time and not sat out at the sides and watched. They still have chill out days, though now it’s because they want to not because they need to.
The big thing she wants to address now is the skin symptoms, which whilst improved since last time haven’t cleared. I discussed how these may be later to clear and ideally now everything else is so improved these will start to go too. She has made some amazing progress overall.
The eczema has moved mostly from her face, though around her lips is still chapped (improved from the last visits) and now is showing on her neck and shoulders – arms are much better than they were. It’s not as itchy as it was though and she doesn’t have the urge to itch it all the time. Her face is much better.
In terms of hayfever, she’s not having to take the daily antihistamine, though is still using eye drops daily. Maybe around 3 days a week she’ll take an antihistamine but sometimes is fine with nothing, and sometimes with the homeopathic remedy for her hayfever. Previously her eyes would have been red and puffy even with the meds, and now they’re beautiful and clear.
There’s no checking doors and she’s less stressed if she’s forgotten something for school. Going to sleep with the TV on - but much quicker than before and happy to do so.
And, so nice to hear, Penny told me she feels much happier now, can do more things and enjoy it more. Her body isn’t stopping her from doing anything now – "I get to decide, rather than know I can’t do it as know what the consequences are. If I don’t do it it’s because I don’t want to, not because I can’t".
As everything has done so well, but skin symptoms remaining I’ve given Lac Fel 200C to take one dose and also an LM4 of the same remedy to take daily if needed, or as needed to have a dose of the LM remedy.
It's clearly an ongoing case and not yet fully resolved but I wanted to share with you the potential of homeopathy in longer than a short snippet. Hope you've enjoyed reading it and do feel free to share it with anyone. One thing that we encounter is people coming in knowing nothing about homeopathy but having tried everything else - imagine if more people were aware of what could happen.
I'm a Homeopath working in the Skipton (North Yorkshire) area. I am also able to offer food intolerance testing using Kinesiology and advice around diet and lifestyle.
Em Colley Homeopath
Practitioner of Classical Homeopathy
BSc(Hons) Psychology and Neuroscience
Laughter Yoga Leader
Focussed Mindfulness Practitioner
Dip (SNHS) Kinesiology
Dip (SNHS) Holistic Nutrition
Certificate in Whole Food, Plant Based Nutrition