The Story of the Ugly Duckling – Cygnus cygnus
In December 2011. A woman of 64 came to me with vertigo that had started a few months earlier. She was tall and slender, very white complexion but not pale, light-blue eyes, gray hair. Her demeanor seemed formal but not haughty and she gave the impression of a person who is willing to cooperate.
I noticed her long and expressive neck and the way she holds it, – straightened, which gives an impression of dignity to her entire figure. She was dressed casually, sporting, hairstyle casual but distinctive, which also suggested her uniqueness. She took the seat farthest from me.
"In the morning when I get up in bed quickly, shake my head, I have a feeling I'm going to fall. I feel like the whole bed swings back and forth and I have a feeling that my bed is sinking…. during the day, too, when I suddenly stand up, and if I turn my head suddenly. During the day it is much less; the worst is in the morning. It is for sure from spondylosis. My neck hurts. I cannot turn my head to either side completely. I have to turn around from the middle of my back."
Then she asked me what more she should say to me. I told her to tell me what she wants. As a child, had seven sort of pox (variola vera was caused by a twice given vaccine), scarlatina and whooping cough. At age 21 – miscarriage; shortly after that, an accident on a motorcycle (husband was driving) – fracture of the right knee; since then a lot of pain in the knee: "In recent years, because of this I have difficulties when climbing up and down stairs and it hurts when I bend my knee. Both knees, but more the right. It is a dull pain, never sharp." Between ages 44 and 48: pericarditis, appendectomy and hysterectomy – due to metrorrhagia as a result of myomas on uterus. "Every 3 months I underwent explorative curettage. In that time I was anemic." After that period menses was regular, profuse, with big blood clots. She spoke calmly and without emotions, not even when talking about someone else, because normally she's extremely empathetic towards others' troubles.
She told me she is always nervous (which is not noticeable at first glance). I asked how she feels nervousness: "I feel like someone chokes me with hands." (She showed with her own hands- caught herself by the throat). The nervousness can calm down only if she does some kind of work. She was constantly washing, cleaning and tidying the house (even though she was regularly employed) and since she's older has no longer so much strength. She needs to constantly do something with her hands: patching, knitting, needlework. It also soothes her nervousness when she is walking outside.
She told me a lot about her childhood and schooling, and with pleasure recalled the situations and details. Several times during the year she goes to the city in which she grew up and spends a month or two there. She said she never felt accepted in the city in which she has lived more than 40 years.
As a child and young girl she was very dutiful and always tried to protect her mother and sister from hard work – she took it on herself.
“For my mom, everything she worked at was hard. That's why I always accepted the hard work, because I'm always the best and the most efficient. My mother and sister were similar and I was always different. The two of them were sleeping in one room, me in the other; their room was warm but even in winter I liked to keep the window open. My sister was always dressed nice. I always loved to dress comfortably, pants, sneakers ... My mother often criticized me, and once she said: "Now when you have a husband and a job, you have to come to mother nicely dressed."
She was quickly disappointed in her husband and marriage. She lived exposed to humiliation from her husband and mother in law. Although she was constantly employed, she lived in poverty. She endured stoically, never complained, her grief and indignation were too deep to be told to someone. Her dignity would not allow it. Her sons became the only reason for living and enduring.
With indignation she recalls the situations when her mother in law humiliated and insulted her. She remembers the details, although it has been decades. With bitter satisfaction she talked about how at the end of her life she took care of her – with compassion, but also with revengeful words: "She insulted me all the time, saying that I’m a wretch, and I told her: Madam, this hand will give you a last glass of water when you're dying. And so it was. However, when she was on the end of her life, she was in the hospital, where she died, and I was working at the time in the hospital. I was very sorry, I could not let her suffer so much. Two times a day I would go by her. I bathed and cared for her. I was the only one who cared for her until the last moment."
Her sons are grown men, but she still sometimes cannot sleep because she worries about their financial problems when they cannot buy something they need.
I asked her what she dreams and she said: "The most beautiful of my dreams are when I fly and watch the landscapes below." (She very characteristically moves her head and neck, while imitating the view of the landscapes from above.) Due to the characteristic body position and movements of head and neck, and how she showed me how in a dream she watches landscapes from above, I asked for her favorite animal. She responded immediately and pointedly: "Duck!" But then immediately, without my questions or comments, she added: "But small, a duckling. Of adult birds – the swan." When asked why the swan: "Because I love white, and it is dignified.”
The greatest fear? – "The most I'm scared is when I'm dreaming that I'm in water and cannot swim out, trying to come to the surface, I feel I'm drowning, but my legs are kinda short and not strong enough to push the water enough." (Ducks and swans have short legs.)
Asked when she usually cries, she said: "Never. I cannot cry."
She cannot stand people who act rude and inconsiderate. On one occasion, during a family lunch she told her daughter in law to go out of house, because she does not behave politely. She is tired and sad because of everything she suffered.
At the end of the conversation I asked her how she feels now, when the years of poverty, humiliation, fighting and all the troubles are all gone. She replied with a smile: "I am proud of myself."
In repertorization Sepia jumped out as the undisputed first remedy, far ahead of all other remedies in my shortlist. Of course, as all or at least most of us, I don’t count points mechanically, but consider remedies for which I have indications for consideration. In differential diagnosis I paid attention also to Lyc and Phos (where appeared several symptoms associated with the mind, vertigo and extremities) and even Nat-m which covered her deep and quiet grief. But when I comprehended the essence of her story, as well as the relationships of physical symptoms with mental-emotional responses to external stimuli, everything led me to Sepia:
- Mind; anger; events, over past
- Mind; anxiety; others, for; loved ones, for
- Mind; fear; suffocation, of
- Mind; grief; ailments from, agg.
- Mind; hatred; persons, of; offended him, who had
- Mind; mortification; ailments from, agg.
- Mind; sympathetic, compassionate, too
- Vertigo; morning; rising; after
- Many symptoms with extremities: pains in lower limbs during ascending and descending; pain in fingers agg. with motion; stiffness with pains
- Problems with genital organs (menses profuse and prolonged before climacteric period; hysterectomy)
Under small remedies there appeared Cygnus cygnus and I noticed very interesting rubrics, which Sepia didn’t fit:
- Mind; anger; events, over past; childhood (only Cygn-c)
- Mind; cares, worries, full of; money, financial matters, about
- Mind; confidence; want of self; inadequate, feels
- Mind; irritability; people, with; manners, their lack of (only Cygn-c)
- Mind; homesickness, nostalgia; country, for native
- Vertigo; sinking, as if
In my analysis and differential diagnostics out of the text, Cygnus cygnus prevailed mainly because she spontaneous showed the position of the body when flying in dreams. Also the issue about her favorite animal: of small – a duck, and the adults – a swan.
After many years, practically whole her life of grieving, non-acceptance, humiliation, worries for children, mother, sister, needing to take revenge for silent and the tacit grief, anger toward those who deeply hurt her feelings and concurrent sympathy with them – the ugly duckling grew up into a proud swan.
Cygn-c 30C, water solution, split dose
The first dose was given on 10 December 2011 in 30C potency. In the next few days the vertigo gradually decreased and 15 days later completely stopped. After taking the remedy when dismayed, she cried. She described it this way: "As soon as I see that no one is around, I start to cry, but am not saddened, tears just leak . Afterwards I feel very good and much easier." That lasted a while and stopped. In the next two months mobility of her head and neck improved.
Until May 2012 the episodes of vertigo in the morning appeared twice. Both times the remedy was repeated and the vertigo ceased. Her body weight increased by 11 kg, for which she mildly protested, but I had the impression that she liked it. Asked how she explains the weight gain, she said: "I eat with gusto and feel good. Particularly I have desire for sweets." She also told me that she became a bit lazy, does not work as much as before.
Cygnus-c is a small and new remedy. Except for the proving, I found only one article: "The deep Grief of Swan", excellent and touching article by Christine Price.
It is very difficult to get such a remedy through a simple repertorization. I am sure that Sepia, Lycopodium or Nat-m would lead to improvement, but this was a case where the client showed me directly (as with a finger) which remedy she needed. There is something special and unusual that sometimes happens between client and homeopath in the energetic field, and it is not so strange as it could occur in the lives of ordinary people. But when we deal with homeopathy, SRP symptoms are not only in repertories. There is something more that we should learn to recognize and appreciate. Modern science would not recognize this as a scientific point of view, but it is so, because it is in harmony with nature and man is an inseparable part of nature.
This confirms one the golden rules of homeopathy: if you find the Simillimum, you will cure the client, whatever ailment he or she has.