In February I had a concerned mother contact me about her toddler with extreme constipation. The little guy was suffering terribly, and so was the mother in trying to find ways for him to be more comfortable. We did several Skype consultations beginning in February and after an initial remedy were able to find a long lasting solution and he has been doing great since.
Constipation is painful and unpleasant
Anyone is technically constipated if they don't pass stools once, or more than once, per day, and the average person goes every day or every other day. In cases of extreme constipation there is also pain and very large, hard stools. This little guy of barely 3 years was having a terrible time and only passing stools every 7 to 10 days! His stools when they did pass were very large or hard and had a terrible smell. It was extremely painful so the little guy was developing trauma and many fears about going. He was fidgety, whiny and clingy and super active or wanting to nurse just before going and could only really go if he was standing up or moving, so getting him to go to the bathroom was becoming a big ordeal that took a lot of time and effort on the mom's part.
The doctors suggested he may have a sluggish bowel syndrome and his mother was trying several medications such as Restorolax and Glycerin suppositories to help him go. As well she had tried several homeopathic remedies and cell salts over the fall and winter. Basically everything that after our first session I would have recommended she had already tried and nothing worked or if it did, not for long. This included Phosphorus which I felt was the child's most prominent constitutional type.
Exploration, a foundation of the case taking session
We explored the mother's experience while pregnant and giving birth as this makes a strong impression on the child for the first 4 to 7 years, as well as diet and other symptoms that occur along with the constipation and in general. We also explored as much as possible his experience of constipation and of his general nature. This is limited since I can't really ask him much and was, along with his mother, only able to observe him. He is an only child and during the first period of his life, including gestation, his mother was constantly moving from apartment to apartment, almost every month. Once he became mobile it was important to make each new place safe and adapt the environment to the little toddler's needs. They had been more settled for almost a year which was helping. Whenever they came back home he would immediately want to nurse and had always been very avid about being nursed. I asked about his play and what he preferred to do. He either wanted to play monsters and be loud, destructive, powerful and scary and would like to hit things. This game involved a lot of chasing. Or he liked to play babies and be soft and cuddly and take care of each other.
When playing with other kids he liked to be the centre of attention, a leader, telling others what to do, was very extroverted and could even be pushy sometimes. He would like to take care of his mother when she was unwell, he would say that he could make her calm or happy. The mother found that he was very sensitive to noises. He liked to be home, to be warm and could be very grumpy in the morning if the mother was not there when he woke up. He was also likely to get very sad, as if he was misunderstood, if he was scolded or reprimanded and did not like when others went faster than his rhythm, he would get stressed and angry at this. There were some main physical symptoms as well such as having a very hot head and sweating before falling asleep on his head and neck. He also had had dental surgery for several dental cavities and cradle cap which smelled sour. The dental procedure was addressed separately with several remedies for the bruising, anesthesia and for the mom's anxiety for her son.
The first remedy selection
In March, we decided to try Silicea 30c for a period of time as it fit the symptoms we had been able to explore so far. After a month things were improving but the laxatives were still required, although less often and when they stopped working she stopped using them altogether. In the follow up I could see there was less of a need to be comforted, he was more independent and happier and passing stool was more comfortable. This was what we had hoped to see as a good sign of general improvement, more independence and a movement of separation from his mother, although he was still dependent on the nursing. After a couple of months he was able to go a little every day, although only when he was sleeping, and this indicated there was less trauma about going. At this point he was starting to nurse less often and be less 'sticky' to mom and they were able to be more relaxed and to get out of the house more. The mom started to look much better as well I noticed! In playing with other kids, he was less pushy, not needing to lead so much, and was less emotional about not getting his way, and he could play on his own as well more.
A deeper sense of spooky
In May, I did another long follow up and was happy to be able to learn more about the little guy's inner world and some of his specific physical symptoms were more clear as well. He had had a nasty stomach bug and although by then he could pass stools while awake also, since the bug he was going less often again. The clinginess returned and there were tantrums if either parent left him. It was really important to him that they all stay together. His mother tried a few homeopathic remedies during the illness, and went back to using the laxatives. He was anxious, crying and had insomnia related to daycare, he would cry for a half hour if he had to go there and this was new. He needed to be physically close and would scream, "I need mommy."
We then explored his play again which revealed a fuller picture of his obsession with scary things. He was fascinated by zombies, monsters, Scooby-Doo, vampires and with running away and hiding. I could chat with him a little more via the computer connection this time and there was something about hearing him describe these things that was a bit creepy so I could consider as unusual and important to his uniqueness. In his play he would vacillate between being scary to being a cute cuddly cat that needed to be petted and to get loving attention, then to wanting to eat his mom and being a big T-Rex that roars. And again, when he played with other kids his favourite thing was to be chased, and this now had a context. He was re-enacting the scary game with them about monsters, fear and running away to hide and be safe.
A second remedy selection
So this time I was able to really see the little guy and feel into his inner experience in a more global way. I found a spider remedy that normally would not be considered for constipation issues:
Rectum: Inactivity, constipation, difficult stool, as from constriction in rectum
Stool: Black, forcible like an explosion, with perspiration.
But also covered the other main physical symptoms:
Generals: Chilly but heat flushes, sweaty face.
Extremes of tension, spasticity, constriction and prostration.
Cramp like unbearable pains, coming and going in waves like labour pains, worse with motion. Yet patient is so restless that he cannot lie still.
And also the personality traits he expresses:
Spider themes: Cunning, plotting. Active, hurried, restless. Hysterical, complaining. Stinging pains. Chilly. Extreme sensitivity.
Type of attack: Caught and trapped; deceit; cunning; impulsive, violence; sudden fear of death; kill and hide.
And his obsession with monsters which is when I was really certain this might be a great remedy fit for the little guy:
AFADH: Themes of mastering the environment; manipulation; vibration; provocation; monsters; powerful and wild animals. Fear of imminent death.
I can't know for sure but his need to be home, to be with his parents, and to care for them could be related to the theme of outcast from the proving:
Proving of Latrodectus: being an outcast, one who is suddenly rejected by the group; a psychic sensitivity in general and specific sensitivity to danger.
He took this remedy once at the beginning of June and I heard back from the mom in September. No news is good news in this field! The remedy was a deeper core match than any of the previous remedies and in the words of his mom, he has really flourished! He was able to go on the potty and on a regular basis three weeks after taking the remedy. He was doing well all summer and is a totally new person since the weight and unease had lifted. If he was to regress slightly, which would be normal, the mom could re-dose to continue the healing process and that might be all he needs, 2 doses of a well chosen core remedy. Welcome to the mysterious and sometimes spooky world of homeopathy.
How does holistic treatment support healthy living? Why try homeopathy? Having a life long study in the principles of nature and healthy living, Lauren Trimble is happy to share her knowledge and experience. The art of retuning the body’s natural healing capacity & developing consciousness in a compassionate and gentle way is the gift that homeopathy brings to her current holistic practice. If you enjoyed this article find out more at Birdsong.
Homeopath and Holistic Practitioner.