A case of Rattus norvegicus

A case of Rattus norvegicus
by

Dr. Meghna Shah (BHMS, FCAH)

Co-author: Dr. Alifiya Dedanwala, ‘Editor’ the other song.

This is a case of a 28-year-old female patient diagnosed with PCOS. Her case was received on the 22nd July 2017 via Skype. She had been married for about 2 years and was gaining a lot of weight. She was also planning for a child.

She complained of irregular and painful menses since few cycles, that’s when she went for the USG.

An interesting aspect of her life was that her husband has a flexible job, and he could work from anywhere in the world. They both love travelling, so for almost 6-8 months in a year they spend travelling around the world, from one place to another.

This part of travelling seemed quite peculiar in her case.

(Observation: Patient is very talkative and spontaneously started talking about herself and sharing many details.)

Along with this, she felt that it was two years since she was married, and that she had not achieved anything. She felt she looked ugly and messy.

Patient felt she had on and off feelings, while she would be excited on hand about travelling and on the other feel like not getting anywhere, neither at work nor family. She felt she had not achieved anything, not doing anything concrete. In Mumbai, she worked part time with an NGO. She could not take criticism positively and was defensive at times and wanted to retaliate. She also felt inadequate and lazy with lack of motivation.

She got weird dreams, like what ones in the movies. In one of her dreams, she was at work and through her window she saw a graveyard with dead bodies uprooted. They were in so much pain and it looked gory. She wondered, despite of being dead how could they experience so much pain. That woke her up startled. As they were being put back inside the grave she felt peaceful. She described another dream of giving birth to twins in a temple wherein she goes in another room all by herself and takes a picture with the two. They are both smiling.

She continued to talk without much questioning. She felt a lot limitation residing in Mumbai. There was routine, structure without much freedom to live. One could not come home late. She came from an open and liberal family. She had to reduce her work hours post marriage. She felt new people joining work were moving ahead. Her mother in law was fixated. She had kept separate drawers for western food items. She felt very restricted with those ideas. She also felt that her mother in law and husband got nervous when things were unplanned. She said, “I get excited with spontaneity, when things are planned. While my mother in law is more of a perfectionist, organized and a planned woman, while I am messy and inadequate.”

We see the issue of comparison coming up.

At times, she’d be high on energy and at times she would not want to do anything. Her lifestyle was not patterned. On some days, she would sleep early and on some she would wake up late. While travelling she ate healthy food but when in Mumbai, she ended up binge eating desserts.

She also felt when one comes home, there are maids. She was not using time productively and not doing anything concrete.

She would tend to procrastinate her work for later. She would not know where to start. Every Sunday she wrote a blog post but until the very morning she would not know what to write. She wanted to start a blog on travelling. She wanted to take up an online journal but she kept pushing it for later. She would not have deadlines and kept delaying it. She was habituated to exercising when in Mumbai; she would run, feel energized and sweat but now the whole act of going out was lazy. Her husband pushes her for it.

At her mother’s place in Bangalore, she lived in a joint family. Her mother was an asthmatic and would ask her to help her out with kitchen chores but she wouldn’t.

When asked to talk more, she said she was shocked when diagnosed with PCOS. She was eating healthy though indulging in desserts and coffee occasionally. Earlier her menses were always on time. They would come at the very same time as the previous cycle. She did not have any pain before menses. Nowadays, she did not enjoy sex and felt low on sexuality. She was addicted to Facebook and kept scrolling all the time. Occasionally, she felt bloated. She felt very small of herself like a failure, not good enough. She also felt that she did not look good anymore. Whenever she took a look at her travel pictures she felt she does not look good. She would bug her husband about how she looked, and if he praised her she would feel he was lying. She also complained of dry and cracked skin and severe hairfall.

The feeling of inadequate, feeling low and small about herself, as if she is not good enough, like a failure, as if she didn’t achieve anything, and not looking good enough came up repeatedly.

While travelling, she encountered fear of approaching new people. Though people from other countries came across friendly, she could not talk to them. She feared being boring and disinterested. She likes pleasing people generally.

Again she felt everything was a clutter; her laptop, unread emails, messages, files, pending lists, etc.  She wanted to clean it but couldn’t. Everything was a clutter and mess. Her room was always messy. If she took up anything she would not complete it and was left with many unfinished things. She was lazy to even brush and had number of dental issues.

We see issues of clutter, messy, unclean.

She had lack of clarity with her career. She did not have any goal. Post exams her friends were applying for jobs, but she had no clue. She went with the flow. All she knew is she wanted to do something in the social sector but did not know what. She would cover up if she told a lie. She did not want to be looked down upon.

So to cover up, to lie; with feeling of being looked down upon.

She felt she had not achieved much in life. Though she wanted to do something great but was not satisfied with herself. She did not want to do an ordinary 9 to 5 job. She found it small. She feared being mediocre and average. She wanted to do something different, have her own mark. She liked travelling and exploring the world. She said very spontaneously, “I don’t like to be part of this rat race! I want to create a special mark, unique identity and not be in the masses.”

Her parents were protective and did not permit alcohol and non-veg food. People in her house looked down upon people consuming alcohol and non-vegetarian food. Everyone at her school and college consumed alcohol.

She says, “I should have family values. I should not eat onion and garlic. But I also had a strong temptation! Everyone in the group was having a good time. They had alcohol, they had boyfriends, and they all felt I was too old fashioned. They were off their inhibition, off their guard. They would not feel comfortable with me around. They felt I was old fashioned. Once I did try to have some alcohol, just to know how it feels…that temptation! At that age, when you ars so close, it’s right there in front of you. It is right there in my world, just a sip away from me, just a sip away from me..just a sip away…”

This was an interesting part, where we see a conflict in herself. On one hand to follow family values, and on the other to give in to the temptation to be part of the community. Also the word temptation seemed quite interesting.

When asked about her dream again about seeing dead bodies uprooting, and to describe it in more detail. She said she could see them in pain and wriggling.

D: Describe this wriggling?

P: I felt disgusted. I wondered how they experienced pain while being dead.

D: More about this experience?

P: I felt like a cringe, shrinking (Hand gesture). Felt disgusting, eeky. Like everything inside me was stretching (her shoulders drooped), pulling from inside, stretched inwards, disgusted and dirty.

When asked further she said it was slimy, stinking, sticky and dirty. “It was like something you don’t like to see, don’t like to smell; don’t like to touch. It inhibited you, you wanting to remove it, clean it, so dirty, sticky like loose stool. You can see it in front of your eyes, lots of germs around, brownish, gluey, cannot touch it, stinky, dirty particles.”

We again see the experience of being inhibited, first when she feels the temptation, and now with the feeling of dirty, stinking, sticky and slimy.  

Further she spontaneously spoke about another dream of being by the sea side, watching a huge rainbow, extremely big, like a roller coaster and a boat starting from one end of rainbow and stretching across to the other end of the sea. The sea was rough with stormy waves. The waves were going up the cobblestone road and sloping down the curved road. In her dream everything was larger than life, beyond comprehension. Her experience in the dream as though was it was huge and big and she felt small, very small, miniscule and insignificant. She closed her fist (hand gesture), like a small dot, rolling into a ball and whole body becomes small (hand gesture), like a small part shrinking and shrinking and shrinking; becoming smaller and smaller and smaller; cringing; very small.

Issues of small and big, it is big and huge and I am so small. We see the words cringing, shrinking, becoming small in size, miniscule, like a small dot, rolling into a small ball, whole body becomes small, and insignificant coming up.

She also added how her father dealt with the clutter in her room before marriage. He would her ask to bring out all her things on Sunday and rearrange them off which she could put back only 90% of the things and 10% would still be left out. She would continue to pile on her ironed clothes in a corner and it kept accumulating and she would wear her clothes from there itself and shuffle it but not put it back in the cupboard.

(*At this point we ended the skype and decided to speak once again.)

Before the skype she emailed me another dream about her husband and she in a huge mansion converted into a guesthouse somewhere in Antwerp. There they meet a 91-year-old man who said he was about to die. She also saw across the mansion was a cliff where people were sitting and enjoying sunset. The old man had been there previously so they decide to go there too. While crossing the road, her image changed into a government school. They climb stairs but they are too many in number. Along the way they come across people and have an unpleasant conversation. And finally they reach the top and see no people there and realize they had taken the wrong steps. The feeling in the dream was that of being left out.

It was interesting to see the desire to give in to the feeling (or temptation) of enjoying the sunset, and then when they reach there it changes into something, with no people and a feeling of being left out.

She also discovered a ganglion on her right wrist which was painful especially while exercising and cutting vegetables.

In her following Skype session on the 24th July 2017, she had a lot more to say. She felt more open. She was not holding on and spoke about everything held in her brain. She felt she had been avoiding it and pushing it and it was freezing up inside like junk which had no value. But now having spoken everything she felt empty, relaxed, alone, quiet lonely and lost.

She spoke about her love for travelling, exploring places, off beat places, like an excursion or going for river rafting; walking around the streets, enjoying the local cuisine. For the first time she jumped into deep waters and the experience was exhilarating for her. She liked the local food, different people and seeing how they live; it was like building a box full of memories. What she liked the most about travelling was having a new house each time, setting it up and making it your home. She was very messy at keeping it especially the last day while packing the suitcase and then going to another house. This was exciting for her and out of routine. She also enjoyed driving through a rugged road, strangely calm, not a tourist place, with no Indians, slightly backward, off beat and be the first one to experience it in depth like locals.

Further she spoke about her love for food. The sight of food would make her excited. She loved try different items each time. She loved eating and cooking. She loved trying different flavors, watched online magazines on food; it was mouth watering for her. She said, ‘she wanted it’ (Hand Gesture) even if she had eaten it, she could still eat. She enjoyed food (salivating). According to her, her taste buds were versatile and anything could be delicious for her even a simple khichdi (preparation of rice and grain).

Along with travelling, we see an intense and irresistible desire (temptation) for not just food, but a variety of food.

She also said she felt sensitive to injustice. She did not like people who are not guilty undergoing punishment. When asked to talk more about punishment she said, “Punishment was being put in jail, locked up, being confined in a space, with no freedom, pay for your deeds, no way to get out.”

She again spoke about low sexual desire. She did not find it enjoyable. It was like a chore, routine, boring to do the same thing again and again. It was not exciting, there was nothing new coming out of it, it was mundane. There was no spontaneity. She wanted it out of the blue, sudden, surprise with excitement.

ANALYSIS OF THE CASE:

The above case gives us a lot of understanding about the patient as a person.

Essential highlighting points we get from the history are as follows:

  • Feeling small, inadequate
  • As if not achieved anything in life
  • The experience of – cringing, shrinking, becoming small in size; cringing into something very small
  • Like a small dot, miniscule, whole body becomes small, like a small dot, rolling into a small ball
  • Miniscule and insignificant
  • Temptation to food, alcohol, relationships
  • Conflict to give into the temptation or stay by your values
  • Inhibitions, letting off your guard
  • Need to belong to the group and feeling of left out
  • Addictions
  • Travelling, going from one place to another
  • Spontaneous and unplanned activities versus mundane, routine, structure
  • Messy, unorganized, clutter, dirty, disgust, stinky, slimy, sticky
  • Punishment, jail, locked up, being confined in a space, with no freedom, pay for your deeds, no way to get out

I checked the reference works:

Delusion/dream within three words of shrink/cringe in the same remedy as dirt/disgust in the same remedy as delusion/dream within three words of small in the same remedy as forsaken/left out (1): ratt-n.

On repertorizing I saw:

Mind; DELUSIONS, imaginations; smaller (60)

Mind; DELUSIONS, imaginations; dirt, dirty; he is, she is (26)

Mind; DREAMS; dirt, dirty (31)

Mind; DREAMS; men, man; old; lost and alone (1)

Mind; INDOLENCE, aversion to work (536)

Mind; WANDER, desires to (37)

Mind; WANDER, desires to; home, from, and ranges in woods (3)

Generalities; CONSCIOUS of body (94)

Generalities; FOOD and drinks; clean food, diet, desires (1)

Generalities; SLUGGISHNESS of body (376)

Female; SEXUAL, libido; desire; diminished (172)

Rattus

{MacRepertory –Complete 2015 Edition Zandvoort Millennium Repertory}

Then the understanding of the remedy seemed to be getting clearer.

The scientific classification of this remedy is as follows:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Rodentia

Family: Muridae

Genus: Rattus

We have 3 remedies in this group:

  • Rattus rattus (black rat)
  • Rattus norvegicus (brown rat)
  • Mus musculus (house rat)

A proving of Rattus rattus was conducted by Dr. Jayesh Shah in 1997 in Mumbai. Few excerpts from the proving:

  • One of the main themes in the proving of impulsiveness: shopping impulsively, giving into one’s impulses, eating very often, impulses to lie, deceive, etc.
  • Several provers also had dreams of shrinking, of becoming smaller and smaller, of having to become smaller and fit into a very small space. It seems as if the survival of the rat depends upon making itself very small to get into a very small space.
  • Being caught and wanting to escape were also strong themes that emerged in the proving.
  • Lustful, insane appetite, craving for very fancy food. Constant discontent with the taste of food, always in search for tastier foods.
  • Seeing a man smoking, I felt I should experience how it feels to inhale that smoke. Next moment I felt intensely ugly about the thought. [P1, 2, D2] (*Strange for a typical orthodox Indian girl)
  • Felt very lazy & kept avoiding to do work. [P12, 4, D26]
  • If I am not dressed up, I will not be accepted. Probably I need to show off. Otherwise they will say ” How dirty I am… Eeks… Shee. ” I need to present myself good. It felt like someone who walks in to a seminar straight out of bed, not brushing teeth, unbathed… uncombed hair… Would feel very odd, embarrassed! Conscious about my looks. [P15, 1, D4-23]
  • Everybody wanted to be away from me & I wanted to be with friends. Felt friends don’t want me, avoiding to go out with me. [P15, 1, D7]

Ref works, Rattus rattus, Dr Jayesh Shah proving: RAT BEHAVIOUR, some Interesting Observations Made In The Book ‘Rats And How To Destroy Them’ by Mark Howell:

  • Rats undoubtedly like a change of diet, and for successful poisoning it is sometimes necessary to pander to this taste and to change the flavoring, although bread or oatmeal is the best base to use for bringing the mixture to the required bulk. Tallow, cheese, oatmeal browned in an oven, biscuit meal, fish, cooked liver, blood and meat are all usually taken readily, and premises greatly infested with rats have to be cleared, poison mixed with different flavorings may be laid spontaneously, so that all the tastes are satisfied. [P.135]
  • Buck rats are bold and venturesome, and they will travel a long way in search of food and venture while the does (females) are more timorous and prefer to remain at home, as near home as possible. Where poison is used doe rats would appear to be the foremost victims, and where the traps mare kept set bucks are the chief sufferers. [P.22]
  • It must be remembered that rats move from place to place singly or in pairs. [P.26]
  • It must not be forgotten that the brown rat will take to water freely, and not only swim across a stream but also dive readily into it. [P.251]

Nancy Herrick conducted a proving of Rattus norvegicus. Few excerpts:

  • Remain hidden, didn’t want to be seen
  • Feel like I don’t belong or fit in anywhere.
  • Dirtiness

More about the rats and the correlation with patient’s behavior:

  • Rats are constantly feeding and nibbling on whatever food they get.
  • Rats are wandering in nature. Rats are known to travel from places to places singly or in pairs.

Difference between Rattus rattus and Rattus norvegicus:

  • The black rat is again largely confined to warmer areas, having been supplanted by the brown rat in cooler regions and urban areas. In addition to being larger and more aggressive, the change from wooden structures and thatched roofs to bricked and tiled buildings favored the burrowing brown rats over the arboreal black rats. In addition, brown rats eat a wider variety of foods, and are more resistant to weather extremes.
  • The brown rat is nocturnal and is a good swimmer, both on the surface and underwater, and has been observed climbing slim round metal poles several feet in order to reach garden bird feeders.

She received Rattus norvegicus1M  1 dose.

Follow up on 14th September 2017:

She had lost some weight. She felt good on the whole. She got her menses on time. The pain was less.

She also had fungal patches on her face and back. She was in Georgia then. She was enjoying mountain climbing, horse riding, loved the mountain, very relaxing, very peaceful, loved trekking. She felt calm, peaceful, spiritual and serene. She did not experience anger or any negative feelings.

She dreamt of her husband, uncle and aunt.

Follow up on 4th November 2017:

Feeling much better.

More positive, motivated. Have started work with NGO.

Menses have been ok. No pain.

Little stress since coming back to Mumbai as here things have to be planned and organised, compared to when was travelling when it was the opposite. But she was coping well this time.

Don’t remember dreams.

Skype follow up on 6th February 2018:

She conceived in January and on USG the Dr said the ovarian cysts were no longer present.

Emotionally she felt she was procrastinating again. Felt drowsy after waking and during day time.

RxRattus n 1M

Follow up on 10th March 2018:

This time she was 3 months pregnant. She complained of foul odor from mouth and bleeding from her gums. Her tooth had fallen off. She also had vaginal itching with discharge mainly at night. She was unable to drink water despite of being thirsty. She could barely take few sips as water tasted bad and sometimes she would throw it up.

She could not tolerate the sight of milk and milk products like curd, buttermilk, paneer. She felt like throwing up. Her sense of smell was more acute. She could smell a minty flavor. She could tolerate people coming close to her, not even her husband. She would feel like throwing up.

Cannot be very close to people, even if husband came close, she would feel like throwing up. It was not with the kids but more with the husband. She feared if everything was okay with the baby and would tend to Google. She was overly protective.

Her mother had an accidental miscarriage before her birth which was playing on her mind. She feared the same. It was gripping, an unknown state, where she didn’t know what was happening, whether the baby was growing normally or not? The feeling was blank. It was not in her power. She felt very useless and worthless and that she cannot do it well and that she was not doing anything of value and productivity. She felt she was losing time and had not taken charge of anything.

So we see again the feeling of her being inadequate, useless and worthless coming again in the case.

She felt disconnected with no sense of belonging. She was not doing anything for people for which they will need her. She said, she always had this feeling since her childhood, “I used to feel my teacher is talking to the rest of the class and not me. I felt out of the group. In a whole group of people I don’t know. I am not a part of the class.” Earlier it would make her sad but now she felt unique in her own way.

Her friend just wanted to have fun, go to parties. She didn’t feel close to them neither connected. She could not open up completely. She did not want her inner weakness to be exposed. Though she had many flaws, but she always put up a picture and tried to be nice on the front. No one ever had problems with her. She did not want to show her side where they would not like her. She liked to please them.

We see the same theme of belonging to a group, trying to fit in or being a part of one coming up again.

She had many dreams like those in movies, there were heroes and heroines and witty dialogues.

She got emotional when she heard a song from the movie Rang de basanti (Bollywood movie), where the son has passed away and mother is waiting..remembering my mother. She missed her mother a lot. She wept after that. She was very close to her mother. Her life revolved around her. She could not imagine her life without her.

We see a strong maternal connection and instinct in her.

At her mom’s place, there were issues with her sister in law. She found problem in everything. She would keep changing things and everyone lived in a state of fear. Her sis in law would make a big issue out of small things. “It was depressing (HG- both hands inwards towards chest), gripping, holding on tightly, no way of movement. I cannot see a way out of it. I feel limited… in a limited state of being, cannot do everything that you want to do… it was restricting… stuck in one place, no growth, no stepping ahead, holding on to me”. When asked about her experience, she said, “breathless, helpless. I cannot take control of this. I just move on to something else, being stuck like this (HG), limited, closed, no movement, no hope for something better.  I have become very lazy, there was no push from within. Proscrastinating small things again.”

On repertorizing,

Rubrics:

  • mind; SENSITIVE, oversensitive; odors, to (127)
  • mind; FEAR; controlled by a purpose not her own, being (1)
  • mind; DELUSIONS, imaginations; smaller (60)
  • mind; REMORSE, repentance (118)
  • mind; HIDE; oneself, desire to (83)
  • mind; SECRETIVE (36)
  • mind; SENSES; acute; body, of (18)
  • mind; SENSES; acute (418)
  • female; ITCHING; vagina (113)

Rattus-1

She received Rattus norvegicus10M  one dose.

Follow up on 31st March 2018:

She was 16 weeks pregnant.

After Rattus n 10M she felt much better. Fears had reduced. Her overall mind state was more positive.

She was much better. There was no fear. Her vaginal itching was better. She also reported the ganglion had disappeared.

After that she planned a trip for few months and has been away. She continues to be well.

About:

Dr Meghna Shah BHMS FCAH

A young, dynamic, dedicated, intelligent and sincere person, she is gifted with an extremely intuitive mind inclined towards research. She also possesses excellent managerial qualities with tremendous insight into human psychology. She is an ardent follower of Homoeopathy, and having trained under Dr.RajanSankaran for 10 years she is perhaps one of the best practitioners and teachers of Homoeopathy from among the newer generation. Dr.Meghna has worked in the Mumbai homoeopathic hospital after receiving her degree in 2000. Since 2001 she has been a physician in Dr.Sankaran’s clinic. She has organized video and live seminars of Dr.RajanSankaran and has been instrumental in starting the web-group ‘Insight-Alliance Homoeopathic’. She has been an active member in organizing ‘Wednesdays with Rajan’, one of the most successful programs in Homoeopathy. She has assisted Dr.Sankaran on the books:Sankaran’s Schema, Structure – Experiences with the Mineral Kingdom,The Other Song, and Survival – the Reptilia—which have all been highly appreciated and translated into many languages. She has spent two years researching the reptiles for this book, including a stay at the Reptile Park in Chennai, where she observed them firsthand and consulted the park’s herpetologists. She is currently working on Survival – the Arachnida, apart from being at the helm of affairs at The Other Song.

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