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Briefly, these are the things to be observed :
I. Disposition.— The child may be cheerful, bright, docile, yielding readily to the will of others, or fretful, whining, sorrowful, easily offended, ready to cry at least reprimand in tone or word. He may be spunky, fretful, never suited, throwing whatever is offered, demanding constant amusement and much rocking or being carried. He may be so sensitive that every trifle irritates him, sets him screaming, kicking or scolding and throwing things. Another may be so timid that he can with difficulty be persuaded to show himself to a stranger, hiding behind his mother, or in a corner behind a chair. Again he may be full of fear, pursued by the thought of what has frightened him and still afraid after it has gone—the fear of the fright remains. He may be quiet and content when left to himself, but crabbed and uncivil when spoken to-all he wants is to be left alone.
II. The intellectual state shows all grades of activity and development. There is the precocious child, alert at comprehension, learning without an effort. Then there is the languid, almost stupid, one to whom every mental grasp is an effort. To some mental effort is impossible, development is so dwarfed that though six or eight in years, the child is but two in intellect.
III. The state of the nervous system is expressed in many ways. You may find the active, restless, never-can-sit-still child who goes all day and tosses at night, or one who will be called lazy, with no inclination even to play. Some children start at slightest noises and are sensitive to light and even to touch. One may cry for a light in the room and another be thrown into a coughing spell or convulsions by looking at the bright light. You may think to keep a child still by making him sit or lie down, only to find that face or hands or feet are in constant motion, except in sleep, when all are quiet as you could wish.
IV. Children, asleep, tell many symptoms. A common saying is, “He sleeps as sweetly as a babe,” and means relaxation and ease, but some children toss from side to side and from head to foot of the bed. Some kick until the feet are uncovered and then sleep quietly. Some throw covers off the chest and will not have the arms under the bed-clothes. Others will cover even the head. Many children instead of being the “alarm clock for the house,” hurry to school without breakfast because they stayed so late in bed, despite frequent callings. One may not sleep until midnight, and another not after midnight. You may observe eyes half open, or muscles jerking, or the child walking about or grinding his teeth, though fast asleep. One little one wakens frightened, sits up and stares about and lies down to sleep, repeatedly. Another is wakened as often as he goes to sleep by a coughing spell, or hard breathing, or some other symptom. Some children cry and moan without waking, others waken in tears and sobs.
V. Temperature, Weather and Bathing.-Some children love to play in cold air, in the snow and on the ice, while their friends hug the fire or radiator and have all complaints from being in the cold. Warm weather wilts some and others long for summer. John must be bundled up more than James; do not try to dress them alike. Phillip seeks every opportunity to play in the water, but Walter cries when his hands and face alone are washed. After every bath Mary's skin is streaked and mottled. John loves the bath, but is worse afterwards. Allen threatens spasms if in the water five minutes. The air that some love to have blowing on them will give all sorts of ailments to others. Let Alice play in the cold wind and you may prepare for croup at midnight.
VI. Position and motion have different effects on your little ones. One will be soothed by gentle motion, another says, “rock faster.” While one is at ease only when being rocked or carried, the next may have all her suffering increased by change of position, or the least motion. Merely lifting or putting down on the bed will cause some children to cry. One child will lie with head high, another will squirm off all pillows to lie flat. Different children choose the right side, the left side, the back, or abdomen to lie on for most comfort. You will see some stretched out straight and others drawn up in a bundle.
VII. Time variations are numerous but it may be noticed, nearly always, that some part of the day or night the child is regularly worse. When one is terribly ill, another is resting quietly. Parents learn after a while that at a certain time their attention is demanded. It may be 11 A. M., 2-5 A. M., 3-6 P. M., 4-8 P. M., 9-12 P. M., or after midnight, etc.
VIII. The variations in evacuations and discharges must be noted—the color, odor, consistency and general appearance. The effect on the skin, the amount of discharge, the manner of evacuation, and all peculiarities in each case must be learned.
IX. “There is no accounting for taste," you say, but the appetite and thirst are important considerations. When John cries for meat, Joe pushes it away for sweets and pickles. Thomas prefers dirt, paste and slate pencils. Mary eats salt and drinks water. Many curious cravings of appetite are unexplained, but persistent. You can't persuade Maggie to drink at all and her sister will take a glassful at a time, while Susan wants a very little very often, but it must be very cold. All the things the children want and want to do are worthy of attention for they show what gives relief, while their queer aversions show the aggravating circumstances. Everything which occasions amelioration or definite aggravation is worthy of note.
X. The tendency to certain alterations in tissue and function is marked in many cases. Always when John is sick he has stomach trouble or diarrhea. Joe is always “out of his head” with the least disorder and his temperature flies high with the least cold contracted. All Mary's colds settle on her chest and Maggie's in her ears; James has croup on slightest provocation; Paul has so many “wax kernels;' Alice's sickness is always some form of rheumatism; Edith's flesh bruises easily and wounds are slow to heal. In some, catarrhal tendencies are strong, in some muscles, in others nerves, and in others the circulation, are most affected.
What do all these things mean to the physician? The totality of the individual characteristics sketches the image of the remedy which is needed to cure the particular child under consideration for all these and many other strange things seen in children can be matched by remedies in their provings. These things spell the messages, “Give this child Nux vomica, that one Aconite, and that one Calc. carb., and so on.”
Pictures.-1. When the mother says, “Rose has such pains and inflammation in her joints she cannot use them, and will not let me touch them. Every movement hurts—first in the wrists, then in the knees and finally all over the body. The jar of coughing hurts so she screams out, but there is a quantity of tough, yellow mucus I must wipe away, which comes in long strings. She used to have an eruption in warm weather, but it always goes away when cold weather comes." You will never cure the child until you give her Kali bich., though you may change the seat of her manifestations. If she has the remedy, no fear for her heart need be felt. If she has linaments and no Kali bi., beware of the results.
2. When a light complexioned, blue-eyed boy is brought to the office and his father says he has headaches as soon as he is shut up in school or in the house and cannot play outdoors, and he gets feverish in the evenings, but won't drink water, you ask a little more. You find he won't eat fat, but wants sweets, that tears come easily when he is scolded and he lets the boys take whatever he has at school, though he likes school and won't stay at home in the cold weather, and don't want an overcoat. No matter whether he has sore eyes, indigestion or rheumatism, it is Pulsatilla he needs to help him to grow strong, and unless he has it he will be a puny man, subject to his own sort of complaints.
. 3. Never mind about using the knife for Paul's “wax kernels.” It is easy to remove them, but you have not helped the child one bit, but driven him in so much nearer to consumption. If they suppurate with a thin, bloody, or thick yellow, offensive discharge, and the sores don't heal, no use to inject hydrogen dioxide by the point or employ antiseptics, to the end of the list. When you find that he is neat and tidy personally but cannot wash his feet enough to keep from them the offensive odor of the cold perspiration; that his feet are always cold and he can scarcely be driven from the neighborhood of the stove or register; that he has cough or sore throat or diarrhea off and on all winter, and is naturally of a sensitive disposition: you give him Silica and his glands will soon grow as they should. Next winter he will be a different boy, without inflammations, coughs and diarrhea. He is your friend, who loves to take off his hat to you and when he grows a little older he will not have consumption in any form, for you have gone to the centre and straightened him out.
To know the essential significance of such symptoms in children and the nature of remedies, well proved in their living images, is a greater advantage to physicians and renders them of more use to their patients than all the bacteriology and antiseptics in ten laboratories.
*** As may be remembered, the Homeopathic physicians of Davenport, Iowa, applied to the court for an injunction restraining the authorities of the Mercy Hospital, of that city, from refusing them permission to attend patients in the hospital. The judge has just rendered a decision refusing to grant the injunction, the effect of this being to prevent the homeopaths practicing in that city.
ECZEMA: ITS PATHOLOGY AND NEWER METHODS OF TREATMENT.
By Rollin H. Stevens, M. D., Detroit, Mich.
(Continued from January issue.] The following cases illustrate the value of the Finsen Light in cases which will not respond to any other treatment:
Case 3.—Young woman, 26 years of age, referred by Prof. C. B. Kinyon of Ann Arbor. Has had a patch of eczema on the back of the hand for as long as she can remember. Much treatment, but not much relief. Also has eczematous patches breaking out on face at intervals. Health otherwise perfect, family history negative. In order to shorten if possible the time of treatment required by the Finsen Light, I applied for 4 to 8 hours before each treatment a 1-1000 solution of erythrosin in normal salt solution, which fluoresces under the action of yellow and green rays, destroying bacteria.* A part of the patch about the size of a quarter was then exposed to the concentrated light from a Finsen Reyns lamp for half an hour, eight of such treatments covering the patch once. After the reaction had subsided in about 10 days after the last treatment, it was treated again in the same manner. The first series of treatments made much improvement and almost a cure, and the second made a complete cure with no relapse in 8 months. The trouble in the face was treated with Unna's Gelanthum cream, to which a little resorcin was added. This is a combination of gelatin, zinc oxide, glycerine, distilled water and a little vaselin. Internally she was given sulphur.
Case 4.-Boy 9 years old, referred by Dr. E. L. Orleman. Has had eczema since babyhood. There are two chronic infiltrated erythemato-squammous patches the size of a 50-cent piece on the bend of the elbow and shoulder. Has had X-Ray treatment for a year, with relief, but not permanently. Has also had homeopathic and various ointment treatment all his life without much relief. I began the treatment of this case over a year ago, before Dreyer had exploited his fluorescent experiments, so gave the Finsen Light for an hour to a treatment without the use of erythrosin. Five treatments of an hour each sufficed to make a cure with no relapse in over 14 months.
Case 5.—Girl 13 years of age, referred by Dr. E. L. Orleman. Has had chronic papulo-vesicular eczema of the hands, fingers and nails for 9 years. Has been under almost constant treatment by competent general practitioners and specialists during this time without relief. It is a most obstinate case. All the fingers are involved on the posterior and lateral surfaces their entire length and the nails are badly
* Dreyer, Sensibilisering af Mikroorganismer af dyriske Vaev., Med. fra Finsens Med. Lysinstitut VII.