A scary morning!
My teenage son stepped outside the patio door, hit some ice and was promptly on the ground. I heard the crash from the other room. We knew he banged his knee up pretty good. We didn’t know if he hit his head on the flower pot next to the door.
With some help, he hobbled back in the house and sat down in a chair. Almost immediately, he “disappeared.” He was staring (and, breathing!) but completely unresponsive. Concussion? Seizure? It was a very spooky few seconds. Then, nausea and retching set in and he started shaking; his face (lips in particular) were absolutely colorless. Now, we added shock to the list of possibilities.*
Immediately, I gave him Arnica 200c.
Why 200c? Because it was the one that was the nearest. In an emergency, the best potency is the one you have! (I did move to Arnica 1M shortly thereafter.)
Homeopathic Arnica is the go-to for injuries in general.
Arnica is the go-to for head injuries, too.
Arnica is indicated in traumatic shock and shock from fractures.
Arnica is also indicated in, as the homeopathic repertory says, “fainting, injury from shock in.”
Cleveland Clinic (n.d.) says, “Fainting, also called passing out or syncope, is a temporary loss of consciousness. It is caused by a sudden decrease of blood flow to the brain. An episode typically lasts a few seconds or minutes. Most fainting spells are not a cause for concern. But if you faint often or have other symptoms, you should seek medical attention.”
(I have seen 2 of my boys faint now on more than one occasion and it certainly does not feel like it’s not a cause for concern!)
Mayo Clinic (2018) describes: pale skin, lightheadedness, nausea and jerky, abnormal movements. “Recovery after a vasovagal episode generally begins in less than a minute. However, if you stand up too soon after fainting — waiting about 15-30 minutes — you’re at risk of fainting again.” I wish I had read that earlier today because he did try to stand up and he did “disappear” again.
One theory of why this happens, according to Alboni and Alboni (2017), is the body is trying to “take on a gravitationally neutral position” — to get the head lowered to get some blood flow back to the brain. It turns out sitting in a chair was probably not the best position for him; we should have had him lying down with his head slightly raised on a pillow.
Is Arnica the only remedy I used? Nope. Aconite for shock. Ipecac for the nausea. Bryonia for the knee stiffness.
I also used homeopathic Carbo vegetabilis.
We were discussing going to the emergency room and he commented that putting a mask over his face "felt like a very bad idea." When taking a homeopathic case, the patient’s words are very important, so his mentioning this with no prompting gave me reason to pay attention.
Why did I care about this statement? It is Carbo veg’s association with the want of air that tipped me off. “The patient faints easily, is worn out, and must have fresh air” (Boericke 2007).
Homeopathic Carbo veg is known to be helpful for the following breathing issues:
• Difficult breathing
• Wants to be fanned
• Gasping for air
• Desires air
• Breathing stopped
Carbo veg is also useful for: shaking with chills, unconsciousness or semi-consciousness, traumatic shock, physical anxiety, and it is very highly indicated in hypotension or low blood pressure, which, of course also makes it a good remedy for fainting, thus making it a good fit for my son this morning.
I am happy to report that after a couple of hours of taking it easy and getting some good food and plenty of water in him, he is nearly back to his old self. His knee is still a little tender, but it’s getting him where he needs to go and it doesn't appear to be broken. (Phew!)
Any other remedies used? Yep. Ignatia 200c for me. As my mother-in-law used to say about raising children, “it’s not the work, it’s the worry.” Stressful stuff to watch your son “disappear.”
Watch your step!
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
* I am fortunate to have an excellent and kind MD who answers my texts on a panicked Saturday morning. We also spoke with an ER doctor. We did not go this alone. If we had not had these resources, we definitely would have taken him to the ER.
Alboni, P. and Alboni, M., 2017. Typical vasovagal syncope as a “defense mechanism” for the heart by contrasting sympathetic overactivity. Clinical Autonomic Research: Official Journal of the Clinical Autonomic Research Society [online], 27 (4), 253–261.
Boericke, W., 2007. Pocket manual of homeopathic materia medica & repertory : comprising of the characteristic and guiding symptoms of all remedies clinical and pathogenetic including Indian drugs. Accessed through Radar Opus software. New Delhi, India: B. Jain.
Cleveland Clinic, n.d. Fainting: Causes, Symptoms & Prevention [online]. Cleveland Clinic.
Mayo Clinic, 2018. Vasovagal syncope - Symptoms and causes [online]. Mayo Clinic.
Julia Coyte, CHom
I am passionate about homeopathy and I love sharing this passion. Having a working knowledge of homeopathy shouldn't be kept a secret. If people have the ability to help themselves, their children and their friends when they have minor ailments, life just gets better for everyone. That is the purpose behind Ruminating on Remedies.