RAD BROM: THREE CASES

January 1994

After College, I remembered Rad Brom afterwards, whereas other remedies didn’t even establish a short term memory trace! Thank you Ian Watson!

This was useful, as this remedy is not well represented (if at all) in our repertories. These three case where I prescribed Rad Brom shared some interesting similarities, which I didn’t really notice at first. However, I then decided to take another look.

CASE 1

31 year old woman consulted with depression, having been on prothiaden since 1982, when she got married She had become hysterical and anxious, with ‘attacks’ of panic and violence which resulted in psychiatric referral.

The patterns of anxiety were similar to childhood states. She would not talk about her childhood much, but reported tonsillectomy at 2, resulting in anxiety and panic and feelings of ‘being different’. She had been ‘unhappy’ and ‘hated her sisters’. All normal vaccinations, measles, mumps and chicken pox (at 11 when her sister was born).

‘I just wanted to belong’. Anorexia at 15, finding school very difficult, competition to succeed, never praised, always struggling ‘I was trying to be a good girl, but I can’t…’ Her weight dropped to 6..5 stones and her menstruation ceased. Her teeth have no enamel now (bulimia?)

She has been in counselling since then. Leaving home had been ‘a big drama’ and she became very promiscuous. She then married a gentile and the whole family blew up (1982) ‘a disaster zone’. She continued to be promiscuous and she became so violent toward her husband, he fled. (1985). However, he got the house.

She presented with hot, dry, urticarial rash over her whole body and continuing anxiety/panic attacks > swimming 15-20 lengths every day. The rash had started under her rings after her husband left (new allergy to metal) and spread to her whole body, especially under both arms, around her belly, thighs and arms. Hydrocortisone cream, anti-histamines, eurax and anti-scabies creams had no effect. She finds she is now allergic to chlorine and complains of constant lethargy and fatigue > exercise, gym and aerobics.

She has poor circulation (hands and feet go red (heat) and blue (cold)

She has always been chilly since childhood

She has constipation with PMT before menses

Her appetite is good, always hungry ‘anorexic in my mind’.

– meat (fear of poisoning) tomatoes, aubergines, sea food, slimy food

+ sweets, cakes, salads, potatoes, pasta

She has always been thirsty since childhood

Sleep is always poor, never refreshed, frequent waking, always tired and lethargic. Recurrent dreams of being in a boat and flying over a never ending room.

Fears of being alone, claustrophobia, suffocating and drowning, consolation

She cannot cry (except when screaming and hysterical)

F/H Jewish mother: psoriasis, depression father: angina, diabetes

Rx: Rad Brom 30c

At follow up one month later, she ‘felt better’, her skin was not so itchy. However, she felt irrational and had a violent dislike reaction to her aerobic teacher and stormed out. She had cried a great deal in therapy lately, she was dreading Christmas – always a bad time. NB: During the case taking, this woman was all over the place, it was difficult to get her to concentrate. She complained of ‘not being able to let anyone near me’, but wanted to talk about her many sexual conquests ‘two morning after pills in the past two months!’… The last thing she said was ‘I know myself very well… I don’t want to be here..I just want to sleep.. there is nowhere safe any more’. She was red faced, controlled, tears behind her eyes, touching her eyes continuously and laughing and humorous and loquacious.

DNA’d further follow up appointments.

CASE 2

38 year old woman referred by a friend to ‘sort out’ as she was chasing ‘my man’, and had already broken up the relationship.

She had pneumonia aged 3-6 months, tonsillectomy aged 3 years. At 3.5 years she spent eighteen months in traction for previously un-diagnosed Perth’s Hip (congenital dislocation), after which she wore a calliper. Measles, chicken pox and mumps before age 7. fully vaccinated

< penicillin. Aged 20 years, she had woken up the morning after a broken relationship covered in acne, and had creams and antibiotics continuously for many years. A childhood incident from aubergine allergy, resulted in ‘going purple’ from the neck down, big, swollen blotches. Her fatigue started when she had chicken pox at 28 years, very badly for 6 weeks. It took her a year to recover. She had german measles at 36 years, badly, with a fiery red rash all over

< chest. Lasted 7 weeks.

F/H English Mother: Sudden, violent mental breakdown after husband’s death. Thyroid removal, early menopause, anxiety and depression. Full recovery.

Father: 4 strokes, gangrene, cancer, duodenal ulcer, death.

School phobia/home phobia, acute sense of smell ‘I can still smell nursery school’. Migraines at secondary school, every Friday on the bus home, copious vomiting all weekend. Unhappy home, with screaming and shouting and silences. Dad very ill, mum totally broke down when he died and she had to take all responsibility. Married sister with three kids was of limited help.

‘I was always earning from age 13’ Busy and fastidious.

She presented with fatigue and lethargy As an adult, she has constant hip pain (screw like, dull and shooting and aching all day)

>> exercise < < divorce (who gets the house – she lost!).

She stopped eating and weight dropped to 5.5 stone. Her menstruation ceased. She phoned the Samaritans and has been in counselling ever since. She cannot cry (but did so when hysterical after marriage break up) Husband was below knee amputee she met in hospital ‘mother hated him’. ‘I tried to subjugate myself ….I tried to please everyone…I wanted to be liked’ ‘Sometimes I feel as if people can see inside me’

Now she has a skin rash which started with a hot, dry, itchy patch on her left arm

< wheat, eggs, dairy, turkey, tomatoes, chocolate and coffee.

She also has hot, red, itchy blotches between her breasts since their divorce. She has psoriasis on her ‘knicker lines’ at the front on both sides and on both knees. She uses hydrocortisone cream.

Bloating after eating < bread and pastry

+ peanuts, chocolate, ice cream, sugar, bread

– offal, monosodium glutemate, milk, eggs

She has always been thirsty since childhood

She has always been chilly since childhood. Feels cold inside and out ‘inward tension thing’.

Profound sleep, 12 hours a night. Recurrent nightmares < stress ‘things flying towards me’

Falling down a lot recently < stress. Speech slurred, mind racing. BUSY.

< drafts, damp/cloudy weather, hot baths, before storms

> exercise (yoga), sun (but has to avoid prickly heat, itchy and lasting for weeks), water (daily baths), rainy days, thunder and lightning.

Allergic to triludan

Poor circulation (fingers and feet go white) (they go red from hot baths)

Severe athletes foot. Constant, copious vaginal discharge ‘it just pours out of me’.

Menses, very light and regular. PMT for 15 days before bleed, rage and anger at mother, with bingeing (nuts, rice cakes, bread, spinach, liver)

Rx Rad Brom 30c

At follow up two weeks later, after the remedy she had rapidly broken out in multiple small boils, white headed with circular redness, but they didn’t bother her and they are already clearing from body and are now mainly on legs and arms. She is anxious and unfocused and cannot cry, she has no friends. Three weeks later, she reported being lippy and quarrelsome at work, pushing for the sack or resignation. She reports ‘cliques’ and ‘games’ at work, ‘I feel different from them’ ‘They accuse me of keeping myself removed and alone’. Obsessional about being clean and tidy and ‘just so’, she is BUSY. Anxiety on waking, she has decided that she NEEDS and WANTS consolation.

NB: This was a difficult woman! She tried several times to engage me in hour long phone calls in between consultations. Loquacious and demanding, the original case took over two hours. Our mutual contact reports that this woman is still behaving ‘like a drama queen’ and that she has a habit of pouting and ‘cutting her eye’ and giving conspiratorial glances and whispering. ‘No ego devolvement!’

CASE 3

52 year old woman with severe allergic reactions. GP had advised no medications and no vaccinations/immunisations after severe reaction to yellow fever vaccination.

H/O OVER-MEDICATION with penicillin, antibiotics, triludan,

F/H French Mother: unmarried, unrequited love, single unwanted pregnancy, the family didn’t like him. Mum worked up until delivery (one month early) as a nurse in Paris during WW II, delivery was in midst of air raid with bombs dropping all around. Mum was moral and religious and BUSY. Emergency rations and poverty. Father: married, illegitimate and unknown! Died in war.

She reacted badly to milk at birth and had to be fed on vegetable soup, She was allergic to sugar from birth and would vomit even from the smell (later she developed headaches from the smell). All childhood illnesses, H/O sore throats ‘I would suck penicillin like sweets until my throat went raw’. Skinny, she refused food, and aged 7 she had appendectomy and grew normally after this, although she was noted to have hyper-mobility syndrome. ‘Mum preferred to work and had to let me down’. She lived in Brittany while mum worked in Paris (mum had had a heart attack and was very ill for a long time).

Constant right ear infections treated with RADIUM in Paris (experimental usage of radium after WW II ). ‘Total cure’. Consultant pronounced all clear in UK 2/12 ago. Then secondary school, where she developed pericarditis, and spent a year in bed back in Brittany. She noted that the fatigue and lethargy dates from this time, and it was so pronounced that she would often slump on the desk at school, She debated politics, was ‘social, lively and difficult’ ‘I argued with my mother’

‘I have always had a pain at the root of my nose’. At 16 years, rhinitis developed. At 20 years, she moved to UK and got married. Then, her first real allergic reaction ?cause? right sided rhinitis and right side of face swollen and red with sore throat. At 22 years, she had a rhesus negative miscarriage. At 28, normal vaginal delivery but severe allergic reaction to gas and air resulted in swollen, black eyes for three days ‘because I cried’, plus a migraine.

At 29 years, she divorced. She was ‘always BUSY’. Redecorating house, she had severe allergic reaction to petro chemicals (DIY stuff). High temperature 104, constant ulcerated sore throat, acute episodes every 3-4 weeks. She took tetracycline and had ‘out of the body ‘experiences so she stopped this.

At 30, she was prescribed librium, she took two tablets and had severe allergic reaction: loss of consciousness for three days, high temp 104, fever, chills and burning. Right side of face swollen ‘like a cauliflower’, ‘orange’ skin, red, burning, swollen, whole throat ulcerated (accused in hospital of drinking caustic substances), with bleeding and cracking of ulcerated parts and nose. Skin peeled off in sheets. Pneumonia developed and voice and sense of taste was lost. Migraine, malaise, fatigue and lethargy. Consultant in Marseille diagnosed ‘total allergy syndrome’ ‘worst case ever seen’ advised a plastic tent. She refused. It was suppressed with cortisone internally and she then had a course of desensitising injections and discharged on triludan.

She became a hypnotherapist and counsellor, but she was becoming very ill on the triludan with intense fatigue lethargy and blackouts, ‘I didn’t eat anything but bread’, fear of heart attack. GP stopped medication. Within days, original picture of 12 years ago re-established itself and her back stopped aching (H/O slipped disc, joint pains, < L knee & R elbow) , but it took her ‘three years to recover’. She then developed angina, fear of stroke, fear of brain damage, she was ‘ashamed of depression’.

Today, she is still having attacks every 3 weeks, which start like flu. Her discolouration is now purple and she avoids most substances. She is still BUSY and redecorating her home. She is undergoing mercury removal and she has constant pain at the root of her nose, which often develops into migraine. X-rays (to which she does not react at all!) show facial sinus’ clear, but her sinus’ feel ‘like raw meat’ and the pain radiates out to both temples. and then ‘explodes’ to occiput and throbs, lasting for weeks, fading slowly. She cannot put her hand within 4″ of her hair due to pain. She still has joint pain and back ache < R knee

Fatigue and lethargy – she falls asleep ‘like a coma’

She has been chilly all her life

Poor circulation

She has always been thirsty since childhood

> sun, dark room (migraines)

< petro chemicals, gas fires, radiated heat, artificial light, fax machines (vomiting and swelling), smells (acute sense of smell) sun, (sunburn, cannot expose skin), heat, bacon, wine, walking on uneven ground (back and joint pain). She is ‘aware’ of machines when turned on. She uses cortisone to control attacks.

Rx Rad Brom 6c

At follow up two weeks later, she had a mild flare up of allergy syndrome, which has gone now. This has never happened before, as attacks have always had to be arrested by cortisone. She phoned two weeks later to say she was going on holiday. She was still getting odd mild reactions, all ‘jumbled up’ and ‘not in the right order’, with slow not sudden onset, mild and often fading over night. Her right nostril is running profusely ‘it hasn’t done this for ten years’. She is very tired.

NB: She was a very difficult patient and several times phoned in between consultations trying to engage in very long conversations. The original case took over two hours. She said that friends say she pouts.

She DNA’d further appointments, but I still hear about her progress from a mutual aquaintance, she is free of attacks and has been well, but she is ‘a bit directionless and needs to make her mind up’.

COMPARISON?

Chilliness runs through all three cases. In each case, this was volunteered with emphasis. Similarly, all three volunteered that they had always been thirsty. As a child, case three ‘used to pick my legs to make them bleed so I could go and get a drink’.

There is a threatening, explosive and destructive atmosphere around these woman, mentally and physically. The intolerance of emotional or physical stress, coupled with the difficult course of interpersonal relationships seems a recipe for disaster and confrontation. The impact upon me as a practitioner was noticeable and memorable.

These people are active >> exercise >> industry.

They display sociopathic traits. ‘I feel unapproachable..I give off negative stuff’ (case 1).

All three were pre-occupied with houses (two lost theirs, one is still redecotating after 20 odd years). All three were loquacious, difficult and demanding, quarrelsome, manipulative and confrontational, either when young < stress or grown < stress. They had all been in long term counselling and all three DNA’d after two or three consultations.

All three had refused food and suffered profound weight loss (as a child Case 3 or as adults cases 1 and 2) with serious complications (cessation of menses cases 1 and 2 and appendicitis case 3). They all report great unhappiness as children (religious, moral, poverty, war, death, sudden mental and physical breakdown, cancer, diabetes and skin reactions). All report a family history of disapproval of the husband, in two cases, the father died. All describe family discord, ‘trying to please everybody’, ‘wanting to be liked’, ‘having to be let down’, ‘hating my sisters’. Violence on mental, emotional and physical levels is obvious. Promiscuity in cases 1 and 2 opposes the moral restraint in case 3, where the client (and her mother) lived alone for many years after the death of the partner or the divorce.

‘I have always…’ was a phrase used a great deal by them all. None of these women can cry unless under considerable distress or in therapy. Sleep was either profound, ‘like a coma’ or absent. Two had recurrent dreams/nightmares of flying (‘things flying towards me’) or ‘in a boat'(?).

All three report poor circulation > exercise < hot baths, all three had a F/H of heart problems, case 3 has already developed angina. Severe mental, emotional and physical reactions are seen throughout these three cases, all resulting in over-medication, a rapidly developing pattern of allergies and skin rashes (hot, burning, red, purple, itchy sun (mental) < hot baths). All three react to sugar (< smell of sugar), two are < aubergines and two < milk. (I did try and ask case three about food, but I couldn’t get a word in!)

Rad brom is obviously an explosive remedy (case 3’s migraines exploding from her sinus’ to temples to occiput). These women live life in the dangerous lane, the next stress may be lethal (but note how case 2’s mother made a total recovery). However, their health is breaking down, their ability to tolerate the environment is diminishing and their options with allopathy reducing. The noticeable periodicity ( every 3-4 weeks) in case 3 is very pronounced.

The situational materia medica seems to indicate war zone mentality, with a strange, radioactive atmosphere

‘I feel as if people see inside me’

‘I can sense when machines are on’

< artificial light

< radiated heat

< sun > sun

(Case 3’s non reaction to x-rays is, as Spock would say ‘fascinating’).

Other remedies which came up in repertorisation included:

nat mur, ignatia, sepia, staph, nux vom, phos. Kali carb was also a good contender, as was causticum.

These cases were not difficult to ‘see’, like the rad brom lecture itself, these cases stood out. It ‘suddenly struck’ me the other day to compare them, and I was amazed at the similarity when I did so. I hope this paper will help to widen our understanding of this remedy for our time.

Copyright© Sue Young