March 7th., 1879.
As the result of a cold, I had been deaf in the left ear for ten days ; the ear felt stopped up, with singing therein ; the watch applied to mastoid processes was heard equally well on both sides ; but when held before the ears there was a marked difference, both in the distance at which it was audible, and also in the degree of clearness with which it could be heard at the same distance from either ear. At first, the deafness was only in the morning, on and a little after waking, I took Silicea CM. (Fincke), but without result.
Then the deafness continued the same all day; I then took Arg. Nit., which only slightly relieved the singing for a time. For the last two days, when exposed to the noise of traffic in the street—the louder the traffic, the more marked was the symptom—I heard bells chiming, always with the left ear only. The bells were heard when riding in a tram car or train, or even when the car was still if the street happened to be noisy and also from walking where there was much noise from traffic. The other symptoms were worse. I now took Amm. Carb. 200 (one dose).
8th. After the first dose, taken at 8.30 p, m. I was a little better, the bells not quite so loud, and today I could hear watch at a greater distance than before.
13th. Continued the Amm. Carb. with improvement till the 10th, after which I took no more because an aggravation of the deafness had occurred, though on that day I heard no bells while on the train.
The symptoms now increased again; the bells were more troublesome than before; for the last few days, deafness was momentarily relieved by the boring finger in left ear, or by pressing on it externally; at times slight deafness also in right ear, relieved by boring with the finger. As the symptoms were increasing, and even extending to the other ear, in spite of leaving off the Amm. Carb., which seemed to have first relieved and then aggravated, I concluded that the last remedy had now done all it could and that another must be selected.
The italicized symptoms, which were the latest, and so (caeteris paribus)** the most characteristic pointed to Phosph., of which I took one dose CM. (F. C, Skinner) at 9.40 a. m.
At 10.55 a. m. there was a remarkable change. I could hear the watch at a greater distance than since my deafness, and much more distinctly. At 5.15 p. m. heard the bells but less; ear felt more natural; less singing; hearing still improving. In evening bells nearly gone; hearing nearly natural.
14th. On waking and a little afterward, increased deafness and singing; this soon subsided and by 10.10 a. m. there was scarcely any singing, and the hearing was nearly natural; no bells all day.
15th. Deafness and singing on and a little after waking, as before; soon improved. In afternoon there great noise of traffic heard the bells once.
16th. No aggravation on waking left ear still a little deaf.
18th. The old symptoms on waking returned; at 10 a. m. rather more deafness of left ear; no more bells.
19th. No morning aggravation; hearing nearly natural. 22d. Watch sounds a little sharper when applied to right ear than when applied to left; no other symptom.
29th. Perfectly well.
June 26th., 1881. Have remained quite free from these symptoms to this day, and I am thankful that the fate of Irving's " Matthias " is no longer mine, thanks to Homœopathy.
(1) The earliest symptom, the deafness in the morning on and after waking, which was the first to appear was also the last to disappear, as Hahnemann teaches.
(2) . The aggravation in a noise is peculiar, and, as far as I know, is new to the Materia Medica; verifications are solicited.
(3) The first three prescriptions failed because a complete picture of the case had not been obtained ; in these cases where a partially homoeopathic remedy has been given, new symptoms often arise ; these are of the greatest importance in the selection of the simillimum ; they are the voice of Nature pointing out the physician's error, and how he may rectify it.
(4) The slight aggravation after the improvement which Hahnemann points out was manifest in this case; under such circumstances, the remedy should always be allowed to act without change or repetition.
**Ceteris paribus or caeteris paribus is a Latin phrase meaning "other things equal". English translations of the phrase include "all other things being equal" or "other things held constant" or "all else unchanged".