A case of painless labour

By | August 17, 2015

By Erastus  E. Case

January 9, 1898, Mrs. H. called on me professionally. She is about two months in her third pregnancy. Is twenty-eight years old, was born on the flats of the Arkansas River, in childhood removed to one of the most malarial parts of Texas, and afterward to the most unhealthy spot of California. She has been a short period in this city; the first time she has ever breathed an atmosphere not reeking with the cause of malarial diseases, so-called. Of course she has taken quinine, “bushels of it,” she says.

She consulted me because of “heart disease.” She had palpitation, aggravated when lying on the left side. I found no organic disarrangement. She shows the effects of the air she has breathed, and of the quinine she has taken. She has the thirst, the fever blisters, the craving for salt, etc., which makes her case a clear one for Natrum. mur., which I gave, one dose of the 30th.

February 11. She was better, but there is a return of the symptoms. Natrum. mur., cc., one dose.

March 22. Has a cold, with symptoms indicating Rhus., which I gave, one dose of the 30th.

May 18. Has another cold, with aggravation from motion of the aching pains through her system.

Bryonia, 30th, one dose.

August 7. Returns with Natrum mur. symptoms. One dose of the 500th.

September 16. Again she presents herself with Natrum mur. symptoms. One powder of the 5,000th.

She had her baby in due time. I was not present. She afterward told me, “it was just fun.”

Of course this was comparative, and perhaps exaggerated. On close questioning she said that her labor consisted in an involuntary straining. I reiterate the statement I made in my reports of two cases of painless labor to this Association that I have not succeeded in making all my cases thus easy. But I always feel my ignorance, and confess it sotto voce, when I stand at the bedside of a parturient woman in the agony of the ordinary labor, and I return to the study of Materia Medica with renewed vigor.

I wish that all of you who have had cases of painless labor would report them to put me in countenance.