Newsletter February, 2011

Dear Reader,

What an extraordinary month. Nothing but more disasters following the Queensland floods also spreading to Victoria New South Wales, followed closely by bad bush fires here in Perth prompting many enquiries as to whether I was OK or not from family friends and colleagues around the world. Followed by alarmist tv ads regarding a 'dangerous' whooping cough outbreak followed by a serious earthquake and continuing aftershocks in Christchurch New Zealand.

Where do I start?

Well I guess first things first.

Trauma of any kind of course Arnica - how have people been feeling? Dislocated confused and disorientated and all levels of the organism are at odds with one another whether they are physically mentally emotionally or spiritually traumatized Arnica will put all these levels back in place rebalancing the immune response and healing on all levels can then take place with the help of other remedies.

Aconite is a sensible choice and can be used as a chronic as well as an acute remedy where symptoms persist. The Aconite patient is terrified and may well predict their hour of death - not surprising in circumstances such as these. I recall a young patient at Chailey Heritage East Sussex UK where I ran a voluntary clinic for 10 years for cerebral palsy and brain damaged children.

This 10 year old boy had been involved in a road traffic accident damaging both legs but had no recollection of it. Every morning he went to get out of bed as if he were normal, and fell flat on his face terrifying him. The worst incident was when he was taken to the hospital pool and once in, thought he could swim as usual, broke away from his helper and found himself on the bottom of the pool drowning, unable to help himself. Of course the staff rescued him. His mother was as terrified as him because she could see how he was unwittingly putting himself in danger. I gave them both Aconite for many weeks with slow but steady improvement and eventual cure of this problem.

Rescue Remedy or its equivalent - there are many versions nowadays Emergency Essence being another one - no matter - they are all Homeopathic, effective, gentle, do not and cannot harm the organism in any way.

Failing all that being available I strongly recommend a glass of brandy - seriously - there is something about aged fortified wine, still kept in many drug cupboards in hospitals round the world, that works really well in these shocking times where fear grief and bereavement prevents sleep and recovery.

A common remedy often overlooked is Gelsemium again the patient is in a state of paralysis and weakness and needs to lie down all the time often with an intractable headache. Again organs of excretion do not work - once the remedy is given there is relief by passing large quantities of urine which stops the headache. The person in the Gelsemium state is often cowardly, lacks courage and would much rather stay in bed avoiding any confrontation. Again not surprising in the circumstances.

Remember that Sepia is the underlying state of Gelsemium - the patient already is tired long term by overwork over emotional stress etc., and has got to a point of soldiering on with indifference to their state. With the current New Zealand earthquake occurring only 5 months after the last one which devastated Christchurch, there will be many Kiwis in this state.

Opium is a great remedy for these situations - 'Fear remaining after a fright' is its great mantra - the organism goes into a state of complete paralysis with recurring nightmares, inability to process or digest food, and a permanent state of post traumatic stress disorder very difficult to recover from - it can affect all areas of the body and is a very scary situation to be in.

It affects the nerves mind and senses producing insensibility of the nerves. Painlessness; depression, drowsy, stupor, torpidity and general sluggishness of functions, and lack of vital reactions. A kind of negative state. Excretions, except of skin, are checked.

Arg Nit - This remedy affects the mind causing neurotic effects. By its actionon the cerebrospinal nerve it produces inco-ordination, loss of control, and loss of balance, mentally and physically.

The keynote mental symptom is "What if" This is particularly relevant in the New Zealand earthquake as residents have already been through a serious earthquake only 5 months ago. Many people left New Zealand after this but many stayed and of course in the back of their minds will have been the question "What if ............. this happens again? I lose my home? My family? My job? etc etc

Arg Nit people often wakeup thinking like this after severe mental emotional trauma-they make lists about possible problems and solutions.They are tormented by strange ideas and emotions.They are nervous, impulsive, and hurried in their behaviour-timid and anxious.We saw a lot of this on the news.They have a fear of impending evil, of crowds, of passing certain points, of high buildings, of dark-all perfectly reasonable in the light of what has happened to their city and country.They hesitate and falter in speech.They may weep and say everything is beyond hope-we saw many people with their heads in their hands weeping in despair.They talk about their sufferings unaware they are repeating themselves.

I should refer to Ignatia as the last remedy re: the disasters as not everybody will know to use it. Shock after these events will lead to intense grief and distress - many will find themselves sobbing uncontrollably or sighing repeatedly as they try to come to terms with what has happened. Ignatia helps the person to be able to function despite their intense feelings of anguish. Much worse for fright; cannot control hysterical outbursts.

The mind is alert; oversensitive and nervous. Highly emotional. Moody brooding grief. Silent and sad. Sighs weeps or laughs by turns ,laughs when she ought to be serious. Changeable moods. Desire to be alone. Anguish, shrieks for help. Faints easily. Thinks she has neglected her duty. Not communicative.

I recall traveling on a hover craft from France when an absolute beast of a storm blew up as we were leaving Calais. We should have turned back, but no, the company deemed it safe. After 4 hours on what should have been a half hour journey back to Dover we all stumbled into the Harbour Master's office to complain about the conditions we had endured aboard. The hovercraft bucked up and down enormous waves, diving downwards as if we were going to the bottom every time, and rearing up again slapping sideways as we came back up from what seemed like certain death. All the cupboards kept flying open and all the duty free bottles fell out and broke, showering passengers with alcohol and glass as well as other packages hitting people on the head. Noone could keep their balance and we were ordered to stay in our seats. Many people were vomiting violently some from fear, many from profound sea sickness. However many passengers completely lost it and headed for the exit doors hammering to get out and screaming. I believed I would never see my young children again and that we were doomed. The staff were professional but whitefaced and terrified as we all were.

On returning to Brighton I was unable to sleep at all, bowels and bladder just didn't work properly, and the nightmares were appalling - as were the recurring fears. I felt completely dazed and disorientated for weeks and kept holding on to the children forgetting to do housework meals washing etc. , After a visit to our family acupuncturist who did his best, I started to feel as if I could maybe start functioning again, and it was reading Opium in Clarke's Dictionary which made me take it. What a difference 24 hours made.

Only this weekend a colleague who had been through a Perth bushfire with 90 houses in her vicinity trashed and acres of land burned down complained of these feelings of disorientation and malfunction. When told to get out of her house and run she said 'But I need to get the washing in. ' She looked dazed, pale, and was unco-ordinated trying to get on and run her practice and look after her family. One dose of Opium 30 immediately improved her state of awareness and she will continue to take it as necessary if symptoms return.

'My preparations in the event of having to leave my home with immediate effect in the case of bushfires has been:

to put my passport in my everyday shoulder bag with my return ticket to the UK onApril 5th, alongside any money, bank and current credit cards UK and Australian; Medicare card in case medical help needed ;also driving licence - again UK and Australia.

Practically speaking my Timberland boots and socks are by the bed - people forget and rush out in thongs or bare feet suffering severe burns - tracksuit and ankle length UK heavy winter coat (and hat) in wool and cashmere which if I have time I'll stand under the shower and saturate wearing it before leaving. Helios Travellers kit in pocket ready.

If I can't get away you'll find me by the front door flat on my face on the slate slabs!"

As regards the Whooping Cough 'epidemic' which strangely enough recurs every year, those being vaccinated seeming to be worse affected than those who aren't, there are many remedies I find very helpful.

If the cough has reached the retching vomiting stage in the evening and at night, I always recommend Pertussin on a daily basis alongside common whooping cough remedies. I usually give Tuberculinum as part of their constitutional prescription always recommended alongside whatever acute remedies you use.

Drosera Ipecac Corallium Rubrum Coccus Cacti are all really effective as well as such uncommon remedies as Squilla Maritima (child rubs face with fist during cough)and Theridion. (child jackknifes during cough) Remedies such as Arnica Carbo Veg and China - my 3 lifesavers - should always be given daily for the trauma, exhaustion, lack of oxygenation and dehydration that occurs with violent coughs. Thyme baths and /or inhalations given at least once daily - see KITCHEN CUPBOARD REMEDIES AND MRS BEETON'S PHARMACY.

Constitutional treatment should always be given after any acute illness to prevent complications and help stop recurrences of the disease in the weakened organism. I find that Sepia should be included in serious respiratory illnesses - often the consequence is neglected pneumonia which Sepia covers along with the exhaustion and indifference often present in the chesty patient. Bryonia is often indicated; also Sulphur and Calc Carb on a constitutional level.


On the lighter side of life I've been thrilled to have 2 young tawny owls sitting on my gazebo for 4 days gazing at my house and staying on their perch looking at me when I've been to talk to them in the mornings. I haven't seen any since leaving UK 9 years ago - only a mopoke or frogmouth a primitive owl species unique 5 million years old to Australia and plug ugly. The parrots have been making a comeback and many green finches who fly around me when watering. Also a lot of honey eaters and pigeons in pairs cooing on the trees round the house.

'This year with the heat and no rain insects are much larger. In bed one night I found myself wrestling with a 3 inch brown cockroach in the dark - for once I hadn't switched on the light to check there were none around - couldn't get out of bed quickly enough to run down the corridor grab the Mortein and spray him to death; huge Huntsman spiders the size of my hand - 4 to date perched high on the corridor walls at night time about to hatch hundreds of babies - this requires the hoover to promptly suck them up and then plug the end of the nozzle before they get out and back up the wall; and in a friends house round the corner scorpions, palm size who really mean business.

The dragon flies are twice the size flying round me in the pool, and so are other spiders - I found a bright orange one with very long legs on the side of the bed one night - looked it up but couldn't find a reference to it anywhere. So far no cane toads although they are now in WA in colonies.

As part of the Perth Festival I went to see the Manganiyar musicians at Perth Concert Hall from Rajasthan. They are Muslims who still believe in Hindu gods. They appeared in 36 cubicles mounted in a large box structure and as each musician joined in he pulled back the red curtains from his cubicle to play - dressing room lights surrounded each cubicle and made it a spectacular show especially as the lights round each cubicle pulsated when a new musician joined in. As they were in traditional white costumes and turbans the overall effect was stunning - and very noisy!

I strongly recommend seeing this show if you can - they have been touring the worlds' festivals since 2006 so could be at a festival near you in the near future.

I'm going to be singing at International Women's day in Perth on March 7th Helen Reddy's song 'I am woman'. What a song it was back in the 70s. See for some background on just how important the song was in 1975.

It will be performed by us all and I'm joining in with the Madjitil Moorna choir for this.

~* I Am Woman *~

No one's ever gonna keep me down again

Oh yes, I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to
I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

You can bend but never break me
'Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
'Cause you've deepened the conviction in my soul

Oh, yes, I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to
I can face anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

I am woman watch me grow
See me standing toe to toe
As I spread my lovin' arms across the land
But I'm still an embryo
With a long, long way to go
Until I make my brother understand

Oh, yes, I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to
I can face anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

Oh, I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong

I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman

I will also be attending 'Boundary St' a jazz musical from the 1940's - featuring James Morrison trumpeter,with a dear friend of 81 now fully recovered from an aortic aneurysm followed by a stroke and knee replacements and determined to enjoy life to the full! I saw her the other day on her birthday driving off at speed in order to attend a meeting about Alzheimers which she is going to avoid at all costs. Don't think there's much danger of that!

Last but not least in entertainment or as the Americans say ennertanement I'm going with my book keeper and her granddaughter to see the last ever performance of Riverdance with the ever youthful Michael Flatley - as my blood is mostly Irish and I'm a fiddle player I'm looking forward to that very much, and it will encourage me to get my violin going again.

I suppose however difficult life is we must never lose the capacity to laugh at life, appreciate what we have, and use the freedom to enjoy ourselves. It's what keeps me going anyway.

Talking of all this music here is a You Tube clip of a flash performance of one of our local choirs at a shopping centre in Perth - It will raise funds for the Australian disasters every time it is played.

Goto - http://www. youtube. com/storytellermedia

Please pass it on!

Last but not least, trouble on thehome front with my daughter Rosie phoning me out of the blue after a couple of months saying 'Mum - don't want you to worry(!) but I'm in hospital with drips up and antibiotic injections; I took all the remedies for D and V but wasn't effective enough so admitted myself to hospital at 5am. "Where are you?" 'Little Andaman Islands Nicobar' WHERE? 'Little Andaman Islands Nicobar - you know.'

Well, I didn't have a clue and soon the phone cut out with no furthur information or contact. You can imagine. After a nervous couple of days looking it all up I discovered that Little Andaman Islands are in the middle of the Indian Ocean frequently flooded as they are so low lying. As this is cyclone season and the worst El Nino for 7 years I contacted the British Consulate in Perth who were very helpful and efficient. I had left a message at 9am as they didn't open till 10am and when I phoned again they were already onto it - and so kind. However as they are only a small offshoot of the Brtish Consulate they forwarded the inquiry directly to London. Very British - 'We have informed London we may have a problem'I am so impressed with their service. I was so anxious hot and bothered by this I got straight in my pool at the end of the block taking my phone with me. Within half an hour the phone rang; 'London calling' telling me they had tracked her down through the Indian Commisariat in Calcutta - she had been into and out of hospital on the same day - actually a Health Centre - had gone back to her camp on the beach and left with a group of friends for Port Blair on the 16 hour boat trip looking OK.

How James Bond is that?

I knew watching all thiose repeats over the years would be of some use in the future. By the way the remedies she actually needed were the ones I wrote about in the last newsletter regarding the treatment of cholera which were in her Helios Travellers kit - she was just too ill and dehydrated to read the booklet when things weren't working. They are VERATRUM ALBUM CUPRUM AND CAMPHOR. Please see January 2011 newsletter for further information.

I did manage to get that information to her before the phone cut out for good and yesterday I finallyhad an email saying she was well and strong arriving Heathrow 21.2.11.

Trouble with kids is we never stop being parents however old they are. She and her twin have just turned 31 but it doesn't make any difference. They've always been a challenge.

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Until next time,

Kate Diamantopoulo

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