It happened to us in the clinic the other day. 3 moderately competent homoeopaths. A 1.5 year old baby girl presented with Fever.
High fever, burning, no perspiration and thirstlessness… I prescribed, Pulsatilla. Nothing changed. The next day, the parents took to the hospital for a check, and nothing found except fever. Manuel then prescribed Phos on the symptoms that had slowly added to the picture. Nothing…He then prescribed Sulphur, nothing.
He called me and on the slightly newer picture, I prescribed Arsenicum Album..Nothing.
I looked at the case again, and with the new symptoms, I wanted to give Mercurius. In the meantime, the father of the child, and the mother of the child and the baby sitter all came down with the same fever, but with the added SX of aching in the joints and a couple of other things. We noticed then that the baby made a whimpering noise when moving the arms or legs…Manuel prescribed Rhus Tox on the collective SX of what now appears to be an epidemic of this ailment, and now the baby is better.
That evening, I was called by a family member in England with her child having the same type of symptoms. I saw mercurius in her case, and even knowing that the general epidemic was RHUS TOX, I gave mercurius. The baby was better in 5 hours.
What can we learn from this case? When SX are in transition, there is but a small window to give the correct remedy. The Pulsatilla failed because the baby did not get the medicine for at least an hour after prescribing, and already the disease process had changed internally. The Phos and the Sulphur failed because again, the full SX had not been observed in the child.
In looking at hundreds of case histories from the archives of the masters, we can see this pattern time and time again. The State of the acute disease will only respond to the correct remedy at the correct time. Many times we have partial SXs and the remedy given is incorrect for that reason. Be prepared to chase the SXs until a remedy works.
So why did the mercurius work in the same illness in the UK? I think perhaps because I caught it in the right state for Mercurius…. A while later it would have been Rhus Tox.