Case of Suffocating Heart Pain
James B. Bell, Case presented at Annual Meeting of Central Homeopathic Medical Association of Maine; Hahnemannian Monthly, Vol. VI, No. 7, Feb., 1871.
The messenger who summoned me to this case was a staid, oldish gentleman, not easily alarmed, but who desired me to go instantly, as he feared that his daughter-in-law was already dead. The lady was one of my regular patients; a robust, active woman of 35, free from organic disease, and I did not therefore share the old gentleman’s alarm, but nevertheless drove rapidly, about 4 miles, to the house. I found her reclining upon a sofa with her head raised, somewhat oppressed for breath; the whole face, but particularly the eyelids, cheeks and nose much swollen, red, and oedematous.
I learned that an hour and a half before, while standing at a table, had been suddenly seized with an acute pain just below the heart, soon extending up diagonally toward the right chest, and accompanied with great feeling of suffocation. It seemed as though she could not long survive for want of air. The face became purple, and also the hands, and she fell down. The sensation was as of a rapid swelling of the lining membrane of the air-passages, including the nose, which was entirely stopped.
She took an emetic of wine of ipecac, and, whether post or propter, soon began to find relief by expectorating a great quantity of transparent, somewhat frothy, bloody mucus. She now felt a burning and heat, like what is popularly known as “prickly-heat” on the back, arms and hands, with itching and the appearance of blotches, like nettlerash, on scratching. No one suspected the cause, but from the appearance of the face I was led to make inquiries, which brought out the fact that a half hour before the seizure, while out in the orchard, she had been stung in the back part of the head by a honeybee.
I gave her Lachesis 200, and she rapidly recovered.