Occipital Headache.

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Mrs. Y., aged 43, called upon me on January 7. She wished treatment for a severe headache which, beginning in the occiput before she arose every morning, soon involved the whole head and lasted all day. Her skin was of a blackish cast. She was weak and nervous. The appetite was poor, there being little desire for any food except fried salt pork. Her feet were cold and damp. The tongue was very large and thick, having a pasty, bluish-white coating, and the end approached a half circle in shape. She had had several months' treatment by one of our leading physicians.

In a four-ounce mixture I gave her fl. ext. chelidonium in five-drop doses, to be alternated every two hours with tablets of calcaria phos., 3x.

She improved steadily, but after a time called my attention to soreness of the mouth which had troubled her for years on the approach of the menses. I substituted mercurius viv. 3x for the calcaria phos. without benefit. Then I gave fl. ext. cornus serica in four-drop doses. This removed the trouble. She then complained that the coldness and dampness of the feet had returned. So the calcaria phos. was resumed.

The tongue cleaned; the skin cleared; the general health improved; the patient became vivacious; I congratulated myself. Then the headache grew worse. There was a sensation of heaviness of the eyes. The tongue had become smaller , thinner, more rectangular in shape, and very tremulous. Discontinuing the chelidonium, I gave the first decimal dilution of gelsemium on sugar disks every four hours. In two weeks the headache disappeared.

On May 11 she returned, however. She had a severe backache, particularly in the lumbar region. It was aggravated by movement, and her expression and attitude on rising from a chair were provocative both of concern and mirth in the beholder. Recollecting the advice of Dr. B. L. Robinson in the November THERAPEUTIST, I prescribed oil spruce 1 x and bryonia 1 x. These were used on disks, alternated every hour. There was immediate improvement, and no return of the headache.

Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.