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A Discussion of Arnica
 
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.

Aha!

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. His 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 daring.

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.
Arnica is 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, really.

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.

 
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