"A case well taken is a case half cured." -- Truer words were never spoken! When we come down with a cold, it is tempting to just "throw" remedies at it and hope for the best. However, if we take the time to "take the case," we often find the best remedy, which means less discomfort and faster healing times.
The following chart of questions seems very long at first. It is recommended that you go through each question until you become familiar with the process of looking at every variable. After four or five cases, you will probably find yourself running down the checklist without any prompting! Tou may not have answers to all twenty three questions: only record the significant symptoms. All symptoms you record should be those that have appeared only since the illness began.
- What are your most distressing symptoms? (Also called the "chief complaint")
- Did they come on quickly or slowly? (slow onset versus fast onset)
- Are you thirsty? If yes,
- For lots of liquids or just little sips?
- For ice-cold, normal, or hot beverages?
- At what time of the day or night do you feel worse? Is there a pattern or periodicity?
- Do you have a fever? What is the temperature? Do you feel hot or cold?
- Are you chilly? All over or in a specific spot? Any specific time?
- Do you feel better indoors or outdoors? Do you feel worse indoors or outdoors?
- Are you excessively tired ("wiped out")?
- Do you have a "burning sensation" anywhere?
- Is there a significant dryness anywhere?
- Is there a nasal discharge? Thick or thin? Color? Smell?
- Are there pains anywhere? Bones, muscles and/or joints?
- Does breathing hurt? What makes the pain better or worse?
- Do you have a sore throat? If yes,
- What makes the pain better or worse?
- Is the pain on the right side, left side, or all over?
- What does the pain feel like?
- What happens when you swallow?
- What does the tongue look like? What does the throat look like?
- Is there a bad or strange smell from the mouth?
- Are you sneezing? What makes it better or worse?
- Are you coughing? Is it loose, dry, wet, and/or painful?
- Is there nausea or vomiting? (food, liquid, mucus?)
- Is there diarrhea or constipation?
- Are you having trouble sleeping? (What is disturbing your sleep?)
- Are your eyes sensitive to light? ("photophobia")
- How is your appetite? ("wanting", "absent", "ravenous"?)
- What kind of mood are you in?
- Irritable ("Leave me alone!")
- "I want company" or "I want somebody to fuss over me")
- Sad or melancholy
- Afraid (do you know why, or of what?)
- Do you know of a causative factor? (After tromping around in the cold rain, after being yelled at by the teacher or boss?)
Once you have been through this checklist, pick the five to eight most significant symptoms and look up the rubrics in your repertory. Find two or three remedies mentioned in the most number of rubrics and read about them in a materia medica. Select the remedy which most closely matches the symptoms.
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