A female patient, aged 21, consulted me with her mother. She is doing graduation in nursing, in one of the metro cities in India. Her mother says that she lost her weight after joining this course. The situation in her college is not good enough to continue the studies. The college authorities do not allow the female students to go outside the campus! They are forced to eat the food given in their hostel mess. In order to avoid food poisoning, the food items brought from outside is not allowed, and they do not even allow the students to have food of their choice from hotels outside. The students very rarely get chance to visit their parents. Most of the students are troubled by the over restrictions from the college authorities. In spite of all these issues, this girl is adjusting the situation only for the sake of a professional degree. As a result of all these troubles and homesickness, her health is affected, and she is loosing weight. Apart from the mental troubles, she also has recurrent gastric troubles right from the time she joined that institution. Nausea and vomiting is very common in her day today life. Occasionally, she gets bilious vomiting and abdominal pains. She does not like to eat the hostel food due to the same kind of food they provide daily. She said that the moment she reaches the mess hall, she gets nausea. Since the majority of students are from Kerala, they provide fish curry on regular basis [The fishes cant survive without water; similarly, we Keralites cant survive without fish!]. Earlier, she used to take fish, but after reaching this institution, she has developed a kind of aversion to fish. She said, “Even the smell of fish troubles me!”
Her mother requested me to do something, as she needs to continue there for one more year. She is not getting any relief with the modern medical drugs given by the hospital attached to their institution.
Jumping to one particular remedy immediately after hearing a striking symptom is a wrong method! But, here, even without repertorizing the case, I jumped into Colchicum. Five doses of Colchicum 200 were given, along with a bottle of blank tabs, to be taken regularly. I asked her to repeat the powder dose only when there is no response from the first dose.
After two weeks, her mother came to my clinic and thanked me for changing her pathetic condition. Her appetite is improved and the smell from the mess hall does not nauseate her. She is mentally and physically fine till date.
In this case, the drug selection is done on one symptom: sensitiveness to the smell of fish. Interestingly, at the time of prescription, I did not even consider the fact that the remedy Colchicum also covers ‘ ailments from rudeness of others.’ This girl is actually a victim of rudeness and over restriction from the college authorities. I do not say that the whole case is cured with the first prescription. In case of any negative feedback from this patient, I should repertorize her case and search for a more suitable remedy. But, for the time being, she is happy with Colchicum!
Dr Muhammed Rafeeque