In psychotherapy circles, they say that treatment begins at the first phone call. In “D’s” (name changed to protect anonymity) case, it was certainly true. Although D was in her early twenties, the appointment was made by her parents, who were both on the phone together. The impression I received was of a loving and very close-knit family that had very strong concerns about D that started about a year ago. This impression was confirmed when they all attended the first session and everyone (sibling, parents and patient) came into the office together.
D and her parents recounted the last 2 years in what seemed like responsive prayer, each one taking a turn describing how she had gone from a vibrant, active young woman to a scared, symptomatic patient. She had moved from the family home to an apartment of her own in another city about 1,500 miles away. She had gotten a job with a corporation in her chosen field and stated that she liked it a great deal. She made friends easily, joined the company baseball team (and played well), dated from time to time. She had no special man in her life except an on-off relationship from high school.
About two months after moving, she started developing bumps on her legs. At first she thought they were mosquito bites, but they soon became indurated. Her joints shortly thereafter became painful and swollen, especially the ankles and knees. She thought it might have been from injuries sustained in college and high school athletics, but the doctors had ruled it out.
She stated she had seen many doctors and one had diagnosed her problem as erythema nodosum, which had started in her legs and moved up. The diagnosing physician had put her on steroids (10 mg daily) about 18 months prior to our session. D complained that it made the bumps go away for a while, but they came back worse. She denied any other medication, no vaccines in recent history. About a year ago, she stopped the steroids again and got symptoms of a flu for about 3 days. After that she developed numerous skin affections including vesicles on her back, chest, and face, sores on her genitals, styes, and what had been diagnosed as erythema multiform. She started the steroids again, and it was successfully suppressed. She went on and off the steroids for about a year, but interestingly found that she didn’t need the steroids when she was home visiting her family.
This pattern—coming home and being fine, returning to work and getting sick (flu symptoms and skin eruptions)—continued for many months. Her doctors increased the steroids to 30 mg a day, even though her hair started falling out and she started complaining of chest pain and difficulty breathing.
Her mother described her pregnancy with D as “the easy, healthy one.” She had roseola as a baby and was allergic to tomatoes. She did have her tonsils out when she was about five years old because she snored. Her father described her as an intense, passionate person, with a lot of dedication to whatever she did. She did not cry easily or express emotions openly.
She’d had numerous tests done—metabolic panels, CBCs, histoplasma, poisons/metals, and fungus—all coming up negative (except the erythema nodosum).
She described her relationship with her parents as very good. She had no other complaints except the symptom picture that developed when she moved away from home. She described her fears as 1) disappointing her family, 2) failing, and 3) losing control. When asked why she was afraid of disappointing others, she said she had to be strong for people around her. “I don’t like being vulnerable in any way.” She loved physical activity, adventure, being in nature. She desired salt, steak and potatoes,
Remedy: Carcinosin LM1
Carcinosin is a remedy of great depth and speaks in a unique manner to the pathology of an entire culture and generation. It is a remedy of excess, of vulnerability, defenses, (see: Mind, attack, fear of) and immunity, of homesickness and attachment, of penetrating emotional wounds and the intra-psychic scarring that makes movement afterwards so difficult. It is a remedy of longing and hoping and striving on levels spiritual, physical, and emotional. Individually, it is suited to people who are adventurous, romantic, anxious, driven to perfection, controlling (self and others and circumstances of all sorts), engaged in life, passionate. It was suited to this young woman on all of these levels. Her continued response to it is the most important validation.
I gave her Carcinosin LM1, bid, and told her to call in 5 days. When she did, she said she had an exacerbation of symptoms for one day with nausea. It passed and the improvement began quickly.
After two weeks, she called and said “I’m doing GOOD!” Stated she didn’t feel sick at all, and all the bumps were gone. Her vitality was up, she had no pain in her joints and her hair had stopped falling out. She was a little sleepier than usual, but her mood was good.
Over the next several months, she moved gradually from LM1 to LM5. When there was any indication of a return of symptoms—physical or mental, I put her back on Carc LM, which has been very successful.