Homeopathy (1) – Why I use it5 November, 2006
I was first introduced to homeopathy when Sophie, my tortoiseshell moggie, developed cancer. She’d lost a lot of weight, her liver values were abnormal, she had a palpable tumour in her abdomen. The vet said 3 months max. We decided that at her age (14 years plus) and in her weak condition, surgery or even chemotherapy would have been cruel. He put her on steroids which stimulated her appetite briefly, but had no effect on the tumour or her weight.
So I went the alternative route, and one of the therapies I looked into was homeopathy. The homeopathy I took Sophie to was also a vet. However, the homeopathic consultation was very different from the conventional veterinary procedure. The homeopathic vet wanted to know what Sophie’s personality was like, whether she’d had any emotional shocks, trauma in the previous months, what her diet was. Then he prescribed some remedies: Nux Vomica, Carcinocin and Lycopodium, one tablet of each remedy to be taken twice daily for 2 days followed by the next remedy and then the next.
Unfortunately, the treatment didn’t have the miracle effect I was looking for. None of the other alternative therapies I tried succeeded either. And I was reeling from an enormous bill from the homeopathic vet which was far higher the consultation charges of a conventional vet. Plus after the initial consultation if I’d wanted to ask the vet anymore questions, there would have been additional charges. Homeopathy was such a strange territory for me, I would have appreciated some hand-holding from the vet. Maybe I was asking too much of someone who had to make a living from animals, maybe I an idealist who thought alternative therapists should not to be so mercenary. I was pissed off, to say the least – what was the big deal in homeopathy?
Then after a long period of grieving, I got a pair of kittens – a Bengal and a Maine Coon.
The Maine Coon was going to be my breeding queen. But when she first started calling, she started peeing inappropriately, on the door mat, in the bath etc. I was advised to get her checked by the vet, because one of the causes of inappropriate peeing by cats is a urinary tract infection. (Apparently some say that the pain of a UTI drives the cat to pee in the owner’s presence, as a means of telling the owner that something is wrong.) True enough, the vet took a sample of her urine and confirmed that she had a UTI.
The conventional method of dealing with a UTI is with antibiotics, and that’s what she got, an injection of, and a week’s supply of tablets.
A week went by and she was still peeing in the wrong places and her eyes were willing me to help her. So, back to the vet, more antibiotics, different ones. Another week in which the door mat got replaced by a plastic sheet, another test and still the UTI persisted.
It didn’t take rocket science to see that the antibiotics were not having an effect. But as far as the vet was concerned, there was no other choice but the antibiotics route. In the meantime my girl was in pain and I would have done anything to get her a cure.
So how did my girl’s story end? Happily this time.
I was then in correspondence with Michelle Bernard of the Blakkatz cattery in the US. If you’ve read my last post on raw feeding, you’ll know that Michelle is the guru on raw-feeding for cats, and she also has a wealth of holistic knowledge based on years of breeding cats.
I was at my wits end when I told her about my girl’s UTI, and Michelle very generously responded with her time and help. She asked me questions about my cat. About what was happening in her life at the moment. What her personality was like. And then she prescribed a homeopathic remedy: Pulsatilla.
Why Pulsatilla? Well, Pulsatilla is one of the remedies used for cystitis (which is a urinary tract infection). But Pulsatilla also has an affinity for personalities which are gentle, yielding and affectionate and that was my girl inside out. The Bengal girl was bullying my Maine Coon girl and Michelle felt that the stress of the bullying while she was calling may have triggered the UTI.
The Pulsatilla worked. One dose of 30C, that’s all it took. I felt I was on the brink of something mysterious but wonderful with homeopathy. In the hands of a master practitioner, homeopathy is a powerful tool, and I was fortunate to have Michelle Bernard there to guide me. (And I’ll tell you something else … unlike the homeopathic vet who charged a small fortune, Michelle didn’t ask for anything – that’s a big-hearted person. But I sent her a payment because that was only fair.)
Then Teddy, my neuter boy fell suddenly ill. We were out one day, when we got home Teddy was lethargic and had runny poo. Later, he climbed onto the bed and lay there not moving. At first I thought it was a bit of a tummy problem but the next morning he wasn’t any better. What got me really worried was that the Bullying Bengal had placed herself next to him and was warming him with her body and licking him as if to comfort him.
I rushed him to the vet. He had a temperature. It was an infection. At this point you would have thought I’d learnt my lesson and gone down the homeopathic route, but no … I panicked and allowed the vet to give him an antibiotic jab, his explanation being that in Teddy’s weakened state, it was easy for secondary infection to set in, and the antibiotic was to prevent that from happening.
Poor Teddy. The antibiotic jab didn’t help. I remember carrying him into the garden for fresh air and he just staggered around.
So … yes, I went to my healer of last resort, Michelle Bernard. I don’t think she was too impressed by the fact that Teddy had already had an antibiotic jab because apparently the energy of the antibiotic would interfere with any homeopathic remedies. If he hadn’t had an antibiotic, then possibly Belladonna might work because of the sudden and acute nature of his illness
But I remembered how my girl responded to Pulsatilla even though she’d been on antibiotics. So I tried Belladonna. I was lucky and Teddy got visibly better before my eyes.
So you might be thinking … maybe it was the antibiotics. But the antibiotic had been administered the day before. I believe it was the Belladonna because of the speed of his recovery. It showed me that the correct homeopathic remedy, properly selected, works.
After that incident I realised that I needed to know more about this non-orthodox method of healing. I was also conscious of the fact that I could not keep running to Michelle every time there was a crisis. So she recommended that I enrol on an on-line beginner’s course on homeopathy, run by Sheri Nakken (a nurse and qualified homeopath): http://nccn.net/~wwithin/homeo.htm. I highly-recommend this course as a good introduction to homeopathy. I also recommend reading Michelle Bernard’s very comprehensive and easy-to-understand explanation on homeopathy on her site: http://www.blakkatz.com/homeopathy.html – she says it better than many other sites devoted to homeopathy.