Online Journal - January 2015
Kate's CPD lecture in Brighton for the Society of Homeopaths UK for professionals
CPD Treatment and Management of children.
Other voluntary overseas work in Sri Lanka post Tsunami and in Kenya 3 months 2014.
Lived and worked in Australia from 2002 - 2013 served on Australian Homeopathic Association National Council for 3 years; President for West Australia branch of AHA and other roles on committee up to 2013 setting up clinics for disadvantaged and aboriginal communities. Assisted in putting together the West Australia Homeopathic International Conference in Perth.
On returning from Australia in 2013 I have since moved to the Isle of Wight and reinstituting practice and teaching for UK. Starting in Sandown library classes for the community on Saturday mornings. No takers so far after 3 weeks!
Aspects of managing cases with good liason and respect for other disciplines but most especially parents.
Around 70% of illness revolves around emotional/mental stress.
Pregnancy/Conception A thorough taking of the case is essential for success in the future.
Wherever there have been problems, children carry these with them into the world, and then have to spend the rest of their lives resolving these.
Sadly many cases have a difficult background ie rape / unwanted pregnancies
A child was conceived as a result of a Nazi multiple rape. The mother was never able to deal with this trauma and never could look the baby in the face - nurse her,or bring her up, despite enormous efforts, and knowing intellectually that her daughter was not to blame. Her mother, the grandmother, brought the child up.She herself has had a very difficult life though has made the best of it with several careers, including becoming a nun, later a teacher, marrying and having a daughter and grandchildren of her own who she adores. The marriage did not last.
Aim to have a good trusting relationship with the mother in particular before the birth of the child .Be aware of any trauma to the mother in the past or other siblings and relatives.
Liase with other disciplines such as midwife GP Health Visitor who will have previous knowledge of the family if possible with the permission of the parents.
Often in pregnancy minor complaints come up ie morning sickness, (Med,Nux Vom) varicose veins (Carbo Veg Pulsatilla Calc Carb) high blood pressure (Belladonna) emotional instability and sensitivity (Pulsatilla Ignatia Cocculus Cimicifuga) all easily dealt with by simple first aid remedies.
Make sure the mother has a Childbirth kit from the outset of your contact - also a Basics + Kit.
This does not interfere with constitutional prescriptions - it enhances them.
During pregnancy I recommend seeing a woman at least once in each trimester -all the miasms appear during the pregnancy through the child - to deal with these early on before birth makes for a much healthier child and a resilient mother.
Mothers also feel under pressure to go back to work - put the baby into nurseries and become exhausted with no respite. This causes stress for breast feeding;an interrupted nights sleep with considerable weakness in the immune response.
Arnica needs to be given 2 hourly in labour regardless of any other indications - remember it balances all 4 levels of the organism physical mental emotional and spiritual as no other remedy does and paves the way for other remedies to work well.
During the first 3 months I recommend mothers take it every day - it will go through to the baby in the breast milk. If not breast fed,it will be taken up through the skin and will take a lot of pressure off both mother and child.
In the 5 years before I went to college I used first aid remedies all the time with the help of books from health food shops and also Clarke's dictionary, given to me by Julian Scott who treated my children as babies. He kindly never charged me as I was so exhausted with 3 children under 2 and a half .Eventually he said I needed Homeopathy for them as he could do no more; sending me to Martin Miles who came to Brighton once a month.
So often I found Arnica would work where nothing else would, and I realized that it was because of this quality of balancing the 4 levels of the organism.
Once that was given often the child concerned would fall into a deep sleep and wake refreshed and ready to go. Today it is the only remedy I carry around with me everywhere always.
Viburnum Opulus with severe backache and profuse bright red bleeding;
Please remember to give Ignatia at this time; the disappointment and grief of the loss of a child is devastating The Ignatia person does not necessarily show the devastation until they are alone in the shower where noone can hear them sobbing their hearts out; and may well present as a strong person able to keep everything under control. Acknowledgement of her predicament is essential for her to grieve appropriately and prevent postnatal depression.
It is vital that at this time the mother is not left alone if at all possible. Anyone dying should never be left alone but all too commonly miscarriages do occur when noone else is around and represents a real trauma to the organism.
Abandonment at this time is often felt especially as as labout has to occur for the child to be evacuated - make no mistake about this. Pulsatilla is commonly needed by mothers which then passes through to the infant and obviates further problems of isolation and despair. Depression often ensues after miscarriage A 4 - 12 week old foetus is not a child in intellectual circles.To a mother it certainly is. Please remember this.
Don't assume that all deliveries are like the ones you have experienced or know about with family and friends.
Carbo Veg assisting the uptake of oxygen by 50% in the organism and known to us as the 'Corpse reviver”
If for some reason you cannot get near the child as resuscitation is taking place, try and rub the remedy on to a foot or any other part of the body. It will be taken up.
Try to talk to the midwife or doctor long before delivery occurs. Good communication is essential in order to save lives.
If there is a problem with the child beginning to urinate Aconite is indicated; it is a common problem in young babies and indicative of the trauma they have gone through.
The Apgar score of 10 optimum is taken x 3; at birth, and at 2 intervals of 5 minutes assessing colour, muscle tone, temperature, breathing, cry, and should ideally be 10 though most children do not achieve 10 for the first 10 minutes. Scoring is by assessment of strength of symptom of 0 - 2.
It is indicative of the condition of the child and its ability to survive in the future.
Guernsey was of the opinion that all children at birth should be given Sulphur 30 in order to clear the organism of any blocks to good health. I have found this advice invaluable in 30 years of practice.
This is a tragic situation where young babies and children suddenly die - also known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome - SIDS. Plenty of research has been done on this but there is still no conclusive reason as to why these children die. It is thought there is a sudden overwhelming infection in the lungs. All that has been found on post mortem is white frothy mucus present in the tissues.
My twin son collapsed and died in front of his father when in the bath at 15 months. He was waxy and there was no pulse or breathing. I performed resuscitation for half an hour but with no result. I got down on my knees holding my son in my arms and prayed.
I was not a Homeopath, just a mum using first aid as I had read in books from the health food shops. Suddenly I was inspired to give him Bryonia a remedy I knew nothing about and ran down to the kitchen with him over my shoulder. I put my hand in the big Mothercare box which held all my medical paraphernalia, and picked out the first remedy tube I came across. As the box was high up to keep the children from going into it I couldn't see the label. To my surprise it was Bryonia. I gave it to Tom between his gum and teeth Again to my amazement he came round immediately as if nothing was wrong and I was imagining things. I wasn't The Bryonia patient lies 'motionless like a corpse' I found out many years later at college. He continued to suddenly collapse like this until he was 7 gradually become stronger and sturdier. He had been the weaker twin at 5lbs 13oz and had to be nursed initially in an incubator. He had respiratory problems from the outset and was unable to breast feed properly always throwing his head back to get more air into his lungs. He benefited from Acupuncture initially and thereafter Homeopathy - he was given Tuberculinum at around 6 months from Martin Miles who visited Brighton once a month in those days at the Chinese Acupuncture Centre in the Steine. He was much less susceptible after that,but still vulnerable. He's now 34, sturdy, and well built; a well known musician and artist.
At the very least always give any child Carbo Veg on a regular basis to enhance the uptake of oxygen to the lungs. All my patients with respiratory diseases benefit from having daily CarboVeg especially if they are on orthodox medication such as antibiotics and inhalers.
Whenever patients are on orthodox medication it is always a good idea to use the sarcode of the medicine to counteract the side effects known or unknown. ie Prednisilone 30, Madopar 30(Parkinson's medication) and especially chemotherapy. All patients at the AIDS clinic were given Acyclovir 30 daily at the time, and all reported that it was the medicine that they felt immediate benefit from.
ADHD Autism spectrum
My experience with this spectrum is that it always existed, but did greatly increase with the advent of earlier vaccinations given in multiple injections starting with the MMR. It is alarming how quickly it has been accepted.
I have never seen a mother so distressed, and treated her alongside - her fear and guilt were destroying her.
Never lightly give your children to anyone else to look after - we have no idea what happens behind closed doors and children are unable to tell us. Always be vigilant and intervene immediately if you feel something is not quite right.
I ran a voluntary clinic for 10 years at Chailey Heritage East Sussex attending once a month to prescribe for and support these families. Students attended along the way.
I was asked to do this by a parent through the PTA whose child was severely damaged in a road traffic accident having been completely normal bright 10 year old. She had run across the road after school one day to meet her grandparents waiting in the their car on the opposite side of the road. She was hit by a car and severely injured causing severe brain damage.
Coincidentally I had been recently been contacted by the Physiotherapy department at the Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital Brighton. They and the paediatricians had noticed that a group of children with profound difficulties, due to cerebral palsy, difficult deliveries, and road traffic accidents as well as birth damage, did 'unexpectedly well' making much better progress than other children with similar problems. This was picked up by the physiotherapy department and the Chief Paediatrician - also the District Community Physician in charge of the hospital and attached district of East Sussex - Brighton and Hove included. Between them they analysed the cases doing 'unexpectedly well' to find the factor that had made the difference. All these children had in common was Homeopathic treatment. They were all found to be having regular Homeopathic treatment by me on a long term basis after the original trauma.
The Physiotherapy department contacted me directly and asked to be taught about Homeopathy so they could understand and support the children in their care, also the parents. They all came to my home in Brighton and many questions were asked and answered that day.
Following this I was invited to start a Homeopathic clinic at Chailey Heritage with the support of the PTA.I had to attend a long meeting with the 3 Paediatric consultants 1 of whom was the District Community Physician responsible for all the children attending. She knew me as a Health Visitor and did not take part in the discussion with the other 2 consultants, only speaking at the end of the meeting as the casting vote. She stated that she had heard a lot about me on all levels and it was 'all good' to my surprise.
The fly in the ointment was that the AHA who were less than happy with my presence at Chailey Heritage. I was forced to sign a ready made statement that I would not tell anyone I was working there, or make any claims for the children's improvement with Homeopathic treatment. Extraordinary. For the sake of the children and their distraught parents I did sign. The PTA was always informed of the conditions under which I volunteered, and made it their business to spread the word. They determined that all referrals had to come through them so the clinic was duly publicized through the direct experience of the parents involved.
This clinic ran monthly until I left for Australia in 2002. Visiting Brighton recently enjoying a coffee at Asda in Hollingbury, an old patient spotted me and filled me in regarding 1 of the children Danielle, I treated at Chailey Heritage. She was still doing well - had made lots of 'unexpected' improvements and was living independently in a secure supervised home in Brighton with good relationships with her family and friends. Families who had attended the clinic over the 10 years passed on the information and advice with the help of the PTA grapevine so the clinic lived on.
During my time there the parents were educated and given kits and books which we fundraised for every year. Many attempts were made by the AHA and some administrative staff to obstruct the clinic without success as everything was under the scrutiny of the PTA. - the parents were only too well aware of how much help their children and families were receiving. Eventually I did inform the then Queen Mother and Prince Charles of the clinic in writing as they were Patrons of Chailey Heritage. Also writing to Baroness Cumberledge at the House of Lords -she was head of the Community Health Council for Brighton and Hove. All 3 of them replied is support of the clinic. A furore occurred as I copied these letters to the AHA.I ignored their abusive letter and the clinic continued with more consideration for the needs of the children.
Treatment of handicapped children is the same as with all children; take the case!
Trauma remedies need to be given low and frequently. They were given prior to seeing the children and included Arnica Hypericum Bellis Perennis 6 especially where there had been a lot of unconsciousness and deep brain trauma.
Large families with lots of children to help make a big difference to handicapped children as they are seen simply as one of the gang and loved unconditionally regardless of the severity of their condition, In some cases barely able to move or communicate.This is particularly noticeable in countries like the Phillipines Africa Sri lanka India and Australia in the Aboriginal community.; all countries where I have volunteered.
The West has a lot to learn in the way we very poorly manage these problems.
It is unlikely that this child will ever be normal, but the best is being made of an impossible situation and she now has a good quality of life in her family. The Muslim community locally has also rallied round and she is considered a valuable part of it.
Also important is the recognition that vaccination can do to an already damaged immune response. With vaccinations now being given in multiples from birth onwards most children receive in the order of 65 in their first year. As the immune response is not mature enough before 6 months it is undermined with the best of intentions. To cover this problem make sure the children also have the vaccination nosodes immediately after vaccination supported by Silica as well as Thuja -I find Silica the most effective Thuja only secondarily and in any case a specific against Smallpox vaccination.
Guy's was also the founder of the British Holistic Medical Association.
The parents asked for help immediately and confronted their doctors who said it was a coincidence. Fortunately I was then approached and gave the appropriate nosodes of Xray 30 - you can give Radium Bromide - DPT30 Polio 30 and MMR30.+ constitutional remedies to d follow.
The child moved forward again. Doctors are very keen to immunize any child with difficulties which usually further compromises their problems.
Constitutional types of children
There is a lot of nonsense talked about with constitutional types - and THE constitutional remedy which covers all eventualities. It is often lazy prescribing. The case should always be taken in exhaustive detail every time they visit.. I never read any notes before seeing a patient making sure I have a clear fresh picture of what is happening now. Once I have reached a decision I will look at the old notes and check that I have gone over everything with a fine toothcomb before prescribing.
However it is helpful to know the original presentation of the child in terms of the 3 most common types of body structure and attitude.
These are just thumbnail pictures and plenty of other information should be noted before plumping for just one of these.
I generally prescribe several remedies consecutively after 30 years in practice rarely giving only 1.I use ascending potencies ie 30 200 1m 10m and if indicated repeat monthly. Where there are intractable problems like regular colds going on to the chest Tuberculinum will be prescribed monthly through the winter.Over the years as the children will show gradually increasing resilience to these problems obviating worse situations as they become adults and eventually age.
Prescribing alongside orthodox or any other medical disciplines.
Homeopathy underpins the immune response on every level and will not undermine any perceived therapeutic benefits from other disciplines.
A 17 year old girl was brought to me with a malignant tumour of the pituitary gland under the care of the Brompton Hospital. She was receiving intense oral chemotherapy and xray treatment. She was getting severe headaches, profound vomiting, continual nausea, and felt terrible in herself. She felt completely toxic and ill having no enjoyment in life. Every day was an endurance test and she often spent the days in bed. unable to do anything else.
The Hospital's plan was to reduce the size of the tumour to a point where it could be lazered away. She planned to become a doctor in the future and was at the time studying for her A levels. However her treatment made her feel so ill, she had decided to give it up. Her distraught parents brought her to me to see if I could modify her symptoms and change her mind about going on with her treatment from the Brompton.
The Brompton hospital is considered the centre of excellence for cancer treatment in the UK. The drug was Bromocryptine. Having taken her case and given normal first aid remedies on an ad hoc basis such as Nux Vomica which did give temporary relief I also gave her Bromocryptine 12 supplied by Helios which overnight reduced her symptoms to a manageable level.Her quality of life returned to normal.
On her return follow up visit to the hospital she was told that the tumour had reduced its shrinking and so prospective treatment with the lazer would be delayed. The family panicked thinking she would die but with reassurance from me and absolute refusal by the daughter to return to such a poor state of health, they were persuaded to continue with the hospital being informed of the Homeopathic treatment. It did take longer, but with her overall health so much better, and more importantly her quality of life back to normal, the child made a slow deliberate recovery. The tumour was successfully lazered and she did go on to become a medical student. Patients like these become ambassadors for Homeopathy and highlight the need to liase with other disciplines.
Noone has all the answers and the patient's wishes must be respected and come first..
Children with abnormal development
Do not be afraid to treat these children - you can only do your best with the knowledge you have.Your relationship with the family can give them the strength to carry on in the face of what may look like hopeless adversity.
Case of a Russian child born with his twin inside his body cavity minus the head.
This child was brought to me at 3 months having been xrayed routinely for possible child abuse following a hospital visit to ascertain the cause of an unexplained bruise appearing under the left arm. On xray of the whole skeleton, it was discovered that another child was in the body cavity growing at the same rate as Alexei. The head demonstrated swelling in the ventricles which had necessitated opening his skull and draining the excess fluid. A deep scar went from over the right forehead across the whole skull to the neck. It was well healed. The parents had been warned by the hospital that success in keeping Alexei alive was difficult, if not impossible, and the prognosis was poor for survival. Furthur surgery was needed to remove the twin for Alexei to be able to grow and develop, but the likelihood was that he would not be able to survive the lengthy surgery needed. The family were familiar with Homeopathy and had found my website on the internet since moving to Australia. They had a Professor of Homeopathy in Moscow and consulted him concerning my approach. He said I knew more than he did and to carry on with my suggestions. They were well aware of the misuse and trials of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccinations in their own country; poor people being paid a pittance for the unscrupulous testing of experimental drugs. The husband was the computer expert whose family worked alongside Putin for the Kremlin; his wife an engineer. They had moved to Australia to escape the corruption. I looked after the whole family for several years, the maternal grandmother also being treated by me when she visited her family every 6 months. As always I insisted on them having a Basics + kit -distance always a problem in Australia. I lived in the hills above Perth - they lived the same distance away in the opposite direction.
Following the initial surgery to drain the ventricles, Alexei made good developmental progress but after a few months becoming weaker, developing hemiparesis with considerable lack of use in his left arm; squinting badly in the left eye. His parents were under continuing supervision by the hospital who eventually said there must be further surgery to remove the still growing twin in order for Alexei to survive at all.
They were not hopeful as it would involve many house of surgery under general anaesthetic and he was still under 1 year old. In the event Alexei did go through the surgery but developed a high fever not responding to any medication and slipped into a coma. I was in the UK fulfilling my 6 monthly visit to look after my Brighton practice and see my family. They contacted me by email and I advised Belladonna - they had already been instructed to use trauma remedies after surgery. It immediately solved the problem and Alexei returned to consciousness without a fever returning to good health very quickly.
As always after a Belladonna acute I gave Calc Carb with good results and a robust response. He made excellent progress with his regular 6 monthly visits.
I last saw him at 6 years of age bright cheerful and keen to leave the house and go home after about 5 minutes! His father showed me the skull/brain xrays on his computer which clearly demonstrated only half of his brain contained tissue. He functioned very well with good motor skills and mental abilities, normal for his age, to the surprise of everyone involved with his continuing care. His hemiparesis was practically invisible, and apart from some slight weakness in his left arm, which he would matter of factly switch to using his right arm if he could not manage well enough, he was normal to all intents and purposes. The squint resolved well; no longer noticeable, and vision good. Gelsemium 6 given daily alongside constitutional treatment resolves this well. At his last visit he politely came in, chatted away, rushed about investigating all the toys he had played with before, and having demonstrated his abilities, headed for the door saying 'Goodbye!'
Case of child with only half of each vertebra formed.
A case of Down's syndrome.
I just remember him as a delightful confident affectionate child with a great sense of humour, and excellent mimicry of anything he found interesting or amusing.
If several children die in the same family the grief is indescribable. Often this is the result of hereditary illness. Syphilinum 200 is always needed to stop or at least modify the weakness in the organism in these cases.
Please read Compton Burnetts writings. They are invaluable and inspiring.
However short a life is it should be honoured and respected, and this mother had got accustomed to having to bury these young children one after the other. They were without exception gentle affectionate people, appreciative of their mother's care, giving her very little trouble, just quietly fading away over time.
On this occasion she came to me recommended by a friend. She was insistent she was having a nervous breakdown. By then she had a normal healthy lively boy of 18 months, the first after the deaths of the other 4.
He had lots of temper tantrums and was very determined and naughty, full of beans and every trick in the book. Her story was that she had been in the local supermarket and forgotten something, running out of the store without paying. She found herself screaming her head off running down the London Road in Brighton, leaving the child behind. Eventually someone caught up with her helping her to retrieve her shopping and her baby. She went home appalled at her own behaviour , and came in to see me the following day. I gave her Ignatia and asked her to return the next day. By the time she returned she was able to admit how much she hated and resented this new robust child who demanded so much of her time and energy with so little reward. Why was he alive when the much nicer children had all died?
She went on to make a good recovery and was able to enjoy her healthy son - able to keep a sense of proportion her grief over her lost children.
Apart from anything else it is how these problems are handled that makes the most difference to outcomes in the future for the patients.
This is second only to abuse from close family and friends children trusted, and were then, and still are, bound to keep the 'secret' from anyone else. Children do not realize that they were not at fault, or a gross intrusion on their lives was deliberately being carried out.
Signs that children are being abused is their excessive need for reassurance and affection; overly demanding behaviour; being precociously aware of sexual matters; actual sexual behaviour ie introducing objects into their sexual organs ie bananas if girls.
I have had to go to court on several occasions as s Health Visitor and as a Homeopath on behalf of families and given evidence in order to protect the children concerned.
What is worse is that children are not believed or given any credibility; in many cases even being accused of leading the adult on. In families it is often the father, step father, uncle, close family friend, who does this. At the time the innocent child is led to believe it is only a game, finding out much later, that it most certainly was not.
Please listen carefully whenever there is any evidence such as this and take action on behalf of the child. Confrontation is often successful in stopping further attacks and the child also knows it should not be happening.
Anyone who has had children knows only too well how stressful and exhausting childrearing can be, particularly where there are sleepless nights, constant financial stress, unsupportive (grand)parents. In Kent there is a rubric -throws his child into the fire - Lycopodium.
In Indonesia where parents live in houses on stilts children are carried in cloths on their mothers backs, If the child wriggles to get free of its constraints, quite naturally the mother will give a sharp slap to stop the child falling into the water and drowning. It does have the effect of immediately stopping the dangerous behaviour which the child is unaware of.
On another occasion at around 7 years of age, my brother by then 6 and I, went to the local bomb site and climbed over the wall where we were strictly forbidden to go, and played until we thought it was about time for mum to be coming home from the shops.
As we climbed over the wall, there she was - wheeling my younger brother in the pushchair. She was furious of course - bomb sites were notorious for dangerous accidents waiting to happen, including crumbling stairs leading nowhere, both up and down, broken glass everywhere, unexploded bombs and so on. We were both put over the wall and had spanked bottoms. No, we didn't do that again! Neither were we 'damaged' by these incidents. We could have died or been seriously injured on both occasions after all.
I recall taking my family with me to Calcutta to do the postgraduate course with Dr Banerjee of Calcutta University at the Bengal Allen Institute. The twins were 7 and my eldest daughter 9.
On arrival at Calcutta airport we got into a taxi whose door promptly flew open as we rounded a corner out of the airport at speed. Tom almost fell out of the door and I only managed to save him by hanging on to the neck of his winter coat. We both screamed and I slapped him through his coat on the arm telling him not to be so careless - human reaction inappropriate, but understandable. Of course I was mortified and apologized -we were all in a state of shock. He has no memory of the slap but did remember almost falling under the wheels.
Conversely if there is persistent physical abuse with an intent to harm the child out of ignorance, frustration, and lack of control on behalf of the parent, death or serious injury can result. These are the cases which often end in court.
As a Health Visitor and Midwife I have often been involved in child abuse cases of all types. A careful monitoring of young families used to be the norm in the NHS AHA's but this has been greatly reduced due to financial cuts in government services. Unless an expertise is developed over many years - documented, and acted on where necessary, catastrophic abuse as we have seen, escalates.
In the past where these issues were in the hands of the medical and nursing professions cases would be assessed in meetings of all professionals involved. GP Health Visitor District Nurse Social Worker and, on occasion, police presence.
As an HV is trained in normal child development and frequently visiting families on an informal basis, I used to visit all new mothers every week at least once in the first 3 months; in my experience a crucial period of time especially for first time mothers and continued up to 6 months. Thereafter keeping a close eye on all families with children under 5 or until they went to school. Vigilance was then continued through the school health service with school nurses or Health Visitors with a dual role as school nurses. All records were kept together, so there was a cohesive file on each child noting any children who were regarded as 'At Risk' in particular. As Health visitors we were also running child health clinics in local communities, as well as in some cases being also attached to General Practices, it was relatively easy to pick up any untoward signs or symptoms of neglected or abused children. If children were not seen at the clinic the GP would be informed and the practice HV informed so an informal visit could be effected and the children checked out.
1. A mother not seen in clinic or was never at home after 4 months despite regular home visits; finally found at home. She was an experienced mother of 3 other children, an experienced teacher of around 40 years of age, and this was her 2nd marriage. After the initial early visit at 6 weeks she was away visiting relatives on both sides of her family.. When she was eventually contacted at 4 months the child seemed underweight and unresponsive, passively lying in her mother's arms sucking listlessly on the breast. I asked to hold the child who was too light for her age and length. The head looked out of proportion to the body which felt insubstantial. A normal 4 month old baby weighs between 12 - 14 lbs minimum. I asked her to come to the baby weighing clinic at the GP's that afternoon.
When she arrived and the baby was on the scales unclothed, it was immediately obvious that she was marasmic. (Marasmus - gradual wasting of the tissues owing to insufficient or unassimilated food, occurring especially in infants. It is not always possible to discover the cause.) The GP was shocked and carried out physical checks for pulse/ BP and advised the mother that the child needed to be admitted to hospital forthwith as she was on the verge of a coma. On the way to the local children's hospital.
the mother suddenly burst into tears recognizing the severity of her child's condition. She had been so busy with all 4 children, and so preoccupied with perimenopausal symptoms herself, that it completely escaped her notice how weak and unresponsive her baby was, convincing herself it was a different sort of child to her other 3 boisterous children and assumed it was because there was a different father.
On admission the child was admitted to Intensive Care, a drip put up, and nursed in an incubator. Her blood sugar was so low the child was on the point of death. We had got her just in time.
This was not intentional abuse; rather ignorance and exhaustion and an understandable human situation.
2. A mother of around mid 30's was visited with her new baby and 2 other children in a well off suburb with a detached well cared for house in the summer, with everyone in the garden looking well and happy. She constantly talked about cot death and what a worry it was to her. I felt unconvinced about her obsessional conversation re cot death and determined to see her every week and said I would pop in on a regular basis as she was so concerned. This was a healthy good weight baby with normal development, already smiling, responsive, starting to roll over, sociable and friendly. There was not reason for alarm that I could see. I did note that she always seemed to have a drink to hand, a glass of wine. Weekly visits continued, but the fear over cot death continued for her. Her husband was a business man who was constantly away overseas which she found very hard. I told her to go straight to the local childrens' hospital if she had worries rather than try to cope on her own with no family to support her. The following morning the police were on my doorstep. She had smothered her child and it had been found in a cupboard in the house. She had duly gone to the hospital the previous night and called up the duty doctor, himself harassed and overworked and insisted he examine her child. He told her to go home as he could see nothing wrong and did not pick up on her extreme anxiety. She went home and smothered her child. She was convicted and imprisoned, the children going into care. All avoidable and desperately sad.
3. A mother brought her 1year old daughter to the baby weighing clinic. I had seen this child several times and had thought she looked a bit wan and listless. On this occasion she looked pale, and her mother told me she had concerns for her arm as she had found the child didn't seem to want to use it that morning. I asked to hold her and as the child had seen me regularly she tried to hold out her arms to me; one of them remained bent. She felt underweight and distressed to me. I asked her mother to take her into the examining doctor present. A few minutes later I saw mother and child leaving the clinic as it was closing at 5pm.I asked the doctor if he had picked up -he hadn't, but did as soon as I mentioned the arm. I ran after the mother in the street and asked her to attend the local hospital explaining that the doctor felt he might have missed something.
She agreed to go straight away and I rang her family Health Visitor to explain the situation. She was outraged that I suspected abuse saying what a lovely family they were - mother was a teacher, father in the Navy in a senior position. Once the hospital had examined and xrayed the child's whole body, fractures were found in every bone.
Her husband had come home on leave the day before and had bent the child's arm through the bars of the cot causing another greenstick fracture. He was profoundly jealous of the child's normal intense loving relationship with his wife. He gave himself up to the police and was imprisoned.
The mother left Brighton immediately and moved home to her family in the North of England. She was given sole custody of her daughter after the courts discerned her innocence in the affair.
Please do not be swayed by appearances and narrow assessments of peoples' lives.
As a Homeopath there is plenty to be done.
Somehow it is never anything to do with them, the perpetrators
The former husband was a psychiatric social worker. He always defaulted on his family payments for the girls and eventually claimed that the mother was seriously ill and needed to be sectioned as all her claims were untrue regarding the financial and access arrangements. He frequently defaulted on access arrangements making them only to suit himself and his new girlfriend. These were represented to the girls as being erratic behaviour on the part of the mother who he portrayed as unstable and untrustworthy.
He managed to convince psychiatrists he worked with at the local female psychiatric hospital of his former wife's need to be admitted, and accordingly she was. Fortunately she had always kept me informed of this possibility and phoned me from inside the hospital. I reported this incident to the courts and police and she was released, renewing her custody of her own children. This is always difficult as all children in their innocence want very much to see and have unlimited access to both parents, and will react accordingly, often playing 1 parent off the other. Good cop bad cop.
Nowadays such people would be recognized as psychopaths/sociopaths and sentenced accordingly.
Pulsatilla most commonly is the remedy that helps the most where children have to go between parents to live, finding themselves tearful and needy for the missing parent whenever they are away from them. As also in Pulsatilla they can be angry violent and aggressive alternating with the neediness. Remember that Chamomilla has a part to play here with the constant changeability from neediness to aggression and dissatisfaction
There is often a history of abuse/addiction in the family history which again highlights the importance of a thorough initial case taking. It should also be gone over again every time the case is taken; as memory opens up and often details forgotten or erased for mental /emotional survival in the beginning, are uncovered.
The mind does protect us from memories that are too painful or destructive, but with constitutional treatment becomes more resilient as time goes by and the person becomes enabled to deal with the issues they were initially protected from.
Remember the symptom of 'fear remaining after the fright'. The unconscious mind of the child will respond to Opium - fear remaining after a fright - also will need the Ignatia Nat Mur Pulsatilla range of remedies on an ongoing basis. My experience is these remedy pictures appear in rotation and there is a need to be very flexible in your prescribing.
Don't whatever you do, imagine or delude yourself, into thinking that 1 remedy will fix everything, a blinkered misguided way of interpreting Hahnemann's ideas.
Staphisagria may help, but normal constitutional help will be the main lifesaver in the end -mental and emotional resilience, and in particular spiritual resilience, a chief component in survival. Practical methods such as cognitive behavioural therapy are usually found of limited use, but it is the person's belief and respect for themselves which is of paramount importance.
4. A child whose family had moved to France to live from the UK were horrified to find their 11year old daughter had become seriously disturbed. She would every evening suddenly appear brandishing a kitchen knife,threatening to kill her parents and siblings and would swear explicitly with a sexual connotation as if she was possessed. She was a completely different child at this time around 6pm and would not know who she was. Eventually she would get tired and go to bed. Through the night she would scream and shout, not knowing or recognizing her parents who were at their wits' end. The following day she would be normal again until around 6pm when the whole scenario would repeat.. Friends of the family who had been patients of mine in the UK, and had also moved to France, advised them to contact me. They did so and described the symptoms above, crying while they related their fear and feelings of complete panic for their daughter. I asked for the child to have a telephone appointment. She also was devastated as her parents related what had been happening, and she had no memory of the incidents. She loved her parents very much and was very upset that this was happening.
Be aware that this is all too common, and with children becoming ever more aware and technology savvy, access to unsuitable material on computers, mobile phones, tablets, and so on are often accessed by very young children. The content is not understood as such but stays in the unconconscious being processed in dreams very often causing terrible nightmares and fears of unknown origin.
After the consultation, I again spoke to her mother who had no objection to her speaking to the priest and being baptized, although they, the parents, were not religious.Anything to help their daughter. I sent her some small gold angels to put under her pillow at bedtime, and she was given Belladonna every night before 6pm.Also ascending Calc Carb 30 200 1m 10m on 4 consecutive days.
We had 1 furthur telephone appointment 1 month later, and all was calm and almost just a bad memory. The child was baptized, said her prayers to her guardian angel every night, and all became calm. Her parents never again allowed sleepovers without vetting the films and liasing with the other parents about the management of these evenings.
5. A mother of 8 was found sobbing at the kitchen sink by her brother, himself a father of 5 children from an orthodox Catholic family. Her sleeves were rolled up to the elbow and were covered in bruises. She had not heard her brother come in as he had a key and had let himself in. He confronted her and asked her what had happened. She admitted to the violence and sexual abuse from her husband, an Irish Catholic Headmaster of a local school where his own children attended. Her brother took the case to court, also the local parish priest, and the husband was removed from the home, the children changing schools and being cared for by the nuns in the local convent school. He moved overseas and was not seen for many years. He remarried later on in New Zealand and visited the now adult children. To their surprise he had remarried a woman very similar to their mother, and denied all responsibility for his abusive behaviour. It was a figment of the mothers' imagination, who was unreasonable and unbalanced, and he was really a good man, unfairly victimized. Fortunately noone believed him by then.
She spent her whole adult life in and out of mental hospitals, conceiving a child which was then taken away from her as an unfit mother in her 30's, compounding her feelings of grief, despair, and humiliation. She eventually died alone in a subsidized flat at 40 slipping and falling on a tiled floor. After this happened, 2 other daughters spoke to one another admitting their abuse at the hands of their father, one of whom was unable to parent her own children and is today without her family.
5. Another Catholic mother of 6 children discovered, after her husband died, that he had sexually abused all her daughters (5). She was devastated and filled with guilt and despair, thinking she should have known. She had not been able to get into her bed to sleep since the discovery despite her daughters reassuring her that she was not to blame, and they were all survivors. One was a Homeopathic student of mine at the College of Homeopathy and sent her mother to see me for an appointment as she was inconsolable. As I said before there was no suspicion of any wrong doing -the children seemed loving, well balanced, successful in life professionally, going on to have families of their own. It turned out the daughters had supported each other and talked about it, having seen articles in newspapers and magazine articles, eventually putting a stop to their father's activities themselves.
Once the abused person recognizes their own self worth, they can enable themselves to stop the abuse and no longer collude with the perpetrator. Their power is then over. In this case the public awareness was much higher than in the previous case, and the children concerned decided to take matters into their own hands with the strength of numbers behind them, meanwhile protecting their mother. After longterm constitutional treatment and her being taught to use first aid remedies for herself as well, she eventually recovered enough to be able to stop sleeping in a chair next to the bed and return to normal sleeping habits.
.6 Sibling sexual abuse.
I have dealt with 3 such cases as a Homeopath.1 of whom,a Homeopathic student highly qualified and working as a top financial consultant for a leading financial company in the City of London, with 3 children cared for by a nanny at home.
Psychopaths are psychopaths from children.
She had been able to go on to University and qualify well with the encouragement support and financial backup of her parents who were completely unaware of her brother's behaviour. She was very aware of what could happen if she had said anything and carried the brunt of her brothers' abuse until the day she told me, recognizing that she did need help to deal with it. Silica really helped with resolving her symptoms. She, as did the other families, wanted desperately to keep her family intact, recognizing it as her bedrock however faulty it was.
7.This was an Australian case where the girl concerned was brought to me with extreme sexual promiscuity, drug, and alcohol abuse frequently running away, staying overnight with unsupervised young people from the age of around 14.Her mother had 4 other children all boys.3 from a previous marriage and 2 babies from her current marriage. She was a convert Muslim, a very down to earth Welsh woman with several degrees, an immigrant to WA. The daughter came for an appointment on her own and told me of the persistent abuse of her older brother. I said she should tell her mother and offered to be the go between. Her mother responded by intimating that this was not a big deal - one of the worst ways to deal with these problems is on an intellectual level, with no compassion or understanding as a human being,and that she should 'get over it'. She was not at fault, and by now the abuse had stopped.
Unfortunately life is not like this - you don't 'just get over it' without a lot of help for the persistent symptoms of PTSD. There is a point however in acknowledging what has taken place and going through the counselling, therapy, and practical approaches. Homeopathy can still help but each case needs careful analysis and prescribing for; individual as in any pathology on any level and depending on the circumstances.
Positive attitudes from the family can help a lot, but not if there is denial on a fundamental level as described above. The person must be encouraged to get on with their life and take it into their own hands, support of every kind being given wherever and whenever asked for. It will still be very tough and ongoing with any life stress aggravating the original symptoms.
This young girl throughout was brought up to a strict Muslim ethic of hard work and personal responsibility; always held down jobs, paid for herself, and saw to it that though her behaviour was damaging to herself, she realized only she could contain it and move on.
In the end personal responsibility is the only answer. She is still in touch with me and making slow but steady progress leaving bad habits behind and getting on with her life.
8. A mother unable to have more than 1 child, decided with her husband to adopt twins put up for adoption by social services. These children, twin boys had been taken into care by social services before the age of 1 year and seemed to be developing normally.
There had been severe neglect of these boys and it was suspected there had been sexual and physical abuse from both parents who had been very young, coming from a poor area with a neglected home environment.
All went well initially as the adoptive parents were a comfortably off couple with a well cared for home in a good area with all the facilities available for the children - money was no object and their only daughter, a kind compassionate child of 8 years, was thrilled to have 2 brothers.
However, as the twins grew, they were very violent towards each other and their adoptive parents, had unmanageable tantrums and exhibited sexually explicit behaviour.
The mother did her best with them, always under observation by the family health visitor and the social workers. Eventually the children had to be rehomed with foster parents -the mother simply unable to cope.
Please remember that children observe acutely and learn by copying adult behaviour; from 4 - 6 weeks they see and absorb all information and copy it. Remember the case of 2 young brothers who were brought up in USA mountain territory -their father died and they carried on alone in the forest at home. When it was eventually discovered the father was missing and noone had heard or seen of him, the homestead was visited by the local authorities.
I do not have to reiterate the Myra Hindley /Ian Brady/The Wests/ stories,but please be warned of the dangers of going by appearances..
9. Regarding the exhibition mentioned above which had a devastating effect on children who as young as 16 were taken by their local 6th form college to witness 'cutting edge' art.
Several young girls from this school were brought to me in deep shock having seen the gratuitously violent photographs of explicit sadomasochism by the highly thought of Robert Mapplethorpe. Not thought of at all by me. These young girls needed several appointments to relieve them of their symptoms of fear, shock and horror, with recurrent nightmares and PTSD. What happened to responsible duty of care which should have been shown by the teachers who took them to this exhibition? Apart from being a Homeopath I was also one of the school parent governors and made it my business to contact David Blunket, then Minister for Education about this deeply upsetting incident.
The children took some time to recover. Let noone think that 16 year old children are mature enough to cope; they are at school because they are under the auspices of their teachers - they should not be exploited in the name of 'cutting edge' education - also known as child abuse by adults who should know better.
10 Amongst adults such as these are also incredibly unaware parents - A 14 year old boy I had looked after as a Homeopath since 3 years of age was sent to me by his mother for assistance with a broken leg and other traumatic injuries sustained after being beaten up in Brighton by a gang of boys - a common incident in the town. While I was seeing him I mentioned that it would take him a lot longer to get better if he continued smoking dope. He said 'How did you know?' and I outlined my history in the NHS and as a Homeopath always involved in drug cases since being an A and E nurse in the 60s/70s at Guys Hospital London where I did my SRN training.
Guy's was the centre of excellence for the drug problems of the era amongst other health issues like child abuse, kidney transplants, heart transplants, etc etc. As soon as this child got home and told his mother, she phoned me and shouted down the phone that it was none of my business to talk to him about cannabis smoking as it was a safe drug, and she and her son often went out together and smoked dope as a matter of routine. She was a social worker. Finally after 20 years, this week has been the definitive report on cannabis smoking after years of controversy, confirming the long term effects, including mental illness, paranoia, schizophrenia, and so on. The repertory is full of references to Cannabis symptoms in the mind section.
11.As a Health Visitor with many years of patrolling young families in Brighton, I often came across young children left alone in the house, while their parents smoked Cannabis and took other drugs and alcohol in another room or adjacent flat, thinking nothing of such irresponsible behaviour. In one flat I visited I found the door wide open and a 6 month old baby lying completely doped out in his dirty cot. The parents were nowhere to be found. The following week it was reported in the Argus that this baby had been involved in a car accident having been left lying on the back seat of the car his parents were driving. He was flung out of the window on the A23 and found on the grass verge just outside Brighton, miraculously unharmed near the crashed car. His parents were taken to court -he was taken into care. Such is the legacy of the swinging 60's.
12. In another case a notoriously difficult teenager known for her erratic behaviour at school, in the community, and generally unmanageable attitudes, had a visit from the local police at home. Her father was a respected lecturer at Sussex University. He regularly smoked cannabis at home and grew the plants in his back garden proudly showing them to me one day. This is a typical example of parental abuse and neglect of children in their care.
13. It goes on. A 22 year old young man was brought to me by his weeping parents. His father worked away from home 3 days a week as a successful computer trouble shooter. His habit was to smoke cannabis and drink beer all the time when he was not working. He maintained that everyone else was prejudiced against it - I blame it on the Guardian myself. His wife worked locally, and was largely responsible for the 3 boys who I looked after as a Homeopath from young toddlers. This young man had taken to smoking a lot of cannabis and suddenly became completely psychotic, paranoid, and out of control, unable to hold down a job, behaving very erratically at home and when out and about.
Serious infections eg meningitis.
Please take the case in detail and prescribe accordingly alongside initial remedies Arnica/Belladonna every 10 minutes - the same with any serious injury - gradually the patient will relax and the symptoms subside. In progressive meningitis go with the symptom picture always and you will find the patient will survive.
Regardless of current guidelines /thoughts, please always take responsibility for your patients That is what you trained to do in the first place; to put them first is your absolute duty of care.
Serious injuries and pathology
Remember your first aid - recovery position if patient conscious and breathing normally 30 compressions on lower sternum if the patient is unconscious.
There are plenty of issues with adopted children, not least as they grow up and start to notice that they are of a different appearance to their parents. Schools bring awareness as all children are in the playground, and comment on everything, never mind neighbours or complete strangers making the children aware of their differences. As already mentioned social media is also a tool in this especially if the children have free access to computers tablets etc.,
1.2 Chinese children were separately adopted from China on 2 separate occasions. The older child was always very aware, sensitive, prone to temper tantrums and nightmares. These are often adversely affected by vaccinations. As she grew older the child would constantly question her parents about why her original parents had abandoned her. She had come from a town and had always been taken there on a regular basis once she began to ask questions, and was welcomed with great ceremony by the inhabitants when visiting China. She never knew her real mother and always resented this, throwing tantrums and constantly fighting any form of instruction or discipline.
After a while the parents decided to introduce a sibling, so again adopted from China. This time the child was from a remote mountain village and was known to be the child of a very poor, very young, village peasant girl. She was much more biddable and adapted well to her adoptive family. Both girls took great care of each other, and with regular constitutional help grew up to be well adapted, highly intelligent adults doing well at school and university. The parents, both lawyers, were completely exhausted!
2. This child was adopted from Indonesia and initially adapted well, growing well and seemingly well adjusted. Suddenly around aged 4 she started to become unmanageable and really badly behaved with a very destructive attitude to her parents. She was violent and unforgiving in her attitude. This occurred after a preschool booster. She also developed an untreatable anal fistula to the despair of her doctors and her mother. After Nitric Acid she changed abruptly into her former equable character, and went on to make a full recovery. Her mother later chose to become a Homeopath and brought her daughter along to a seminar I was giving in Brighton many years later. I was delighted of course.
3. A young baby of 6 months was brought to me for constitutional treatment after being adopted from a Romanian orphanage. There had been very poor nutrition and very little in the way of stimulation, so her child development milestones were delayed - she was unresponsive - did not communicate, and had hepatitis which the parents were told was not treatable and which she would have for the rest of her life. She grew up into a normal child with no hepatitis to everyones' amazement with loving care and regular Homeopathic treatment.
4. A single woman of 42 came to see me as she had never had a child and wanted to go ahead and conceive one alone with the help of IVF and my help with Homeopathy. She had had a child at 16 but it was taken away from her after 6 weeks and adopted out with the collusion of her parents who she never forgave. She was a nurse who had spent her life helping others, and had also pursued a career in academia becoming a supervisor of nurses. At 42 she felt time ticking on and decided to resolve the childlessness. She did eventually conceive and successfully bore a boy. She was thrilled. All went well until suddenly her adopted son appeared in his 20's, the blocks finally off him finding his real mother. He had often wondered about why she gave him up despite being brought up with many opportunites from his adoptive parents. He demanded to live with her and get to know her, and then behaved gradually more and more badly towards her, showing deep resentment and jealousy towards his infant sibling. Eventually she had to ask him to leave in very acrimonious circumstances and lost that original child all over again. Years later I met her on a bus in Brighton and asked after her sons - she looked me straight in the eye and said 'I only have 1 son'.
With adoptive children there will always be a conscious or unconscious agenda regarding being abandoned, so bear this in mind.
Again Pulsatilla looms large in the background as with all children, but particularly where there has been actual abandonment.It is a very destructive frame of mind and greatly affects the individual's ability to grow and adapt into a healthy well balanced responsible adult. Never mind the damage it does to the mother.
Until next time,
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