|Vithoulkas' Materia Medica description of Arnica was most helpful,
since he specifies that the Arnica state may be brought on by traumas not only
to the physical, but equally to the EMOTIONAL, OR MENTAL body.
I've been convinced all along that something having to do with the war
experiences he relives in anguish every night was at the root of this whole
scenario, as if the blindness is an irrational subconscious attempt to stop
seeing over and over again every night in his dreams the bombing raids he
carried out during the war, with their consequent destruction and death -- also
the terror of flying bombing missions amid searchlights that could allow his
plane to be shot down, which it was three times.
Arnica has recurrent vivid dreams of past horrible events, something absolutely key to this case.
It also has great restlessness, seeking to avoid pain, and if we look
on this whole case as resulting from emotional/ mental pain more than physical
pain, this explains the constant traveling -- a restless change of venue,
constantly, to find more peace.
traveling is not a seeking after sun, rest, particular new experiences,
bragging rights -- things that travel often means to older people. It's not even focused particularly on visiting relatives and friends,
although sometimes he does this on his way somewhere and back.
It's simply a search for movement, change,
stimulation. All his life, he's sought
adrenaline rushes from experiencing the unfamiliar, new, challenging, and
Arnica also has a proliferation
of superficial friends, but a paucity of deep ones in whom he confides --
doesn't want anyone penetrating or getting close.
-- Again the emotional level is the one involved.
Arnica is haughty and
irritable-- his own authority.
also subject to delusions that he is well when he isn't.
This accounts for this patient's
unaccountable cheerfulness when being interviewed, and
actually in day to day being with people -- he manages never to let anyone see
sickness, sadness, weakness -- keeps up the appearance of strength and
self-sufficiency. In fact, this man has
had terrible heart disease for decades, yet he's also been a fanatical tennis
player until he couldn't see any more -- creating the illusion of the active,
apparently perfectly healthy athlete figure even with deep underlying disease
that makes physicians cringe. Even in
dealing with blindness, he's managing somehow to present a front that appears
absolutely unhandicapped -- walking unaided (he does have very limited
peripheral vision, and he's fallen quite a few times upon encountering
unexpected obstacles, but maintaining that front is all-important to him), and
doing everything as you would expect anyone to -- quite an amazing performance,
He's also, underneath, terrified of what will happen to him, and quite
hypochondriacal, seeing a multitude of doctors for a wide variety of minor
ills, in addition to his major problems -- but still maintaining stoutly that
he's basically fine.
Physically, the spheres of
action match Arnica quite well: heart and circulation, clots, bruises, oozing
blood, eyes, throat, extremities, prostate
inflammation. Arnica desires
vinegar. If a patient didn't say he
liked this, but the only foods he strongly liked were mustard and pickles (both
with strong components of vinegar), then, again, Arnica would be indicated
A question as to potency --
High potencies in severe pathology can be further destructive.
I've experienced that even in low potency, if a remedy is right, there
will be some positive movement relatively soon, even if it's very minor.