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Hit by a Car! - Homeopathy Today, March/April 2006
Octogenarian fights her way back to health
     by Valerie Sadovsky

One beautiful summer morning last year, 86-year-old Regina stepped out of her house to get the newspaper. Crossing the street to her mailbox, she retrieved the paper and turned to head back to her house. As she stepped into the street, she was hit by a car traveling at full speed. Regina was rushed to the hospital with a severe head injury, swelling of the brain, broken clavicle, broken ribs, and multiple lacerations and bruises.

I visited Regina in the hospital four days after the accident. She was lying in bed almost motionless. Her left forearm and the left side of her face were purple-black and swollen, and the right side of her face was pale but looked dirty or discolored somehow. Her left eye was completely shut, and she wasn’t responding to people talking or touching her. Since the accident, her bowels had been inactive, and she had a urinary catheter.
     Since I hadn’t met Regina before the accident, I asked her daughter and granddaughter to describe her. They told me she was a very strong, independent woman who had lived on her own and was very active in her community. They were hoping I could aid her recuperation through the use of homeopathy.
     What homeopathic remedy should I offer? I could have given Regina Arnica right away, since Arnica is our main injury remedy. Arnica helps with trauma to soft tissues, bruises, contusions, and head injuries. A person needing Arnica typically doesn’t want to be touched and pulls away from a person trying to help them. Someone needing Arnica may be restless and have difficulty finding a comfortable position. But was Regina in an Arnica state?

Unresponsive and almost comatose
I gently pressed on Regina’s bruised forearm—no response; I pinched her hand a little—no response; I talked to her—no response. I didn’t think Regina needed Arnica, because she didn’t appear to feel any pain, so I sat by her bed just watching. Occasionally, her facial expression would change to one of anguish, and she would moan. Her left eye was shut, but she would occasionally open her right eye and look right through me. She had deep frown lines on her forehead. Her mouth was making a constant chewing motion, and she would frequently swallow. Sometimes she would lift and drop her right arm. When she wasn’t moving, Regina looked like she was in a deep, nightmarish sleep.
     I decided to start her treatment with the homeopathic remedy Helleborus niger. Helleborus is indicated after injuries and blows to the head, especially when there is stupefaction of the brain, stillness of the mind (no emotions), sensorial depression, and slowness of all body functions. A blank stare, rhythmic motions of the limbs and mouth, and moaning are characteristic signs of the need for Helleborus. I dissolved several dry pellets of Helleborus 1M in water and put a few drops into Regina’s mouth. Soon, the chewing motion intensified for a few minutes, then completely stopped. Her complexion acquired color, her pulse became quieter and fuller, and Regina’s daughter commented that her mother was starting to look “more like herself.” Within an hour, the swelling around her eye had diminished considerably, and within two hours, Regina began to look at people in the room with some expression and awareness.
     From that point on, Regina’s improvement was rapid. She was no longer in a terrifying state of sleepiness. Over the next few days, she started to eat, had good bowel movements, and began trying to communicate with family members and visitors. In the first two days after taking Helleborus, she would communicate by smiling, nodding, and pointing. On the third day after taking the remedy, she began speaking in simple sentences, and her family was thrilled to “have her back.”
     Once she was communicating again, Regina began to complain of pain and a headache, so I started her on Arnica to help with the head trauma and soft tissue damage. I instructed family members to give Regina a dose of Arnica 1M in water, three times a day if possible. I visited her a number of times, and her improvement was steady. Ten days after the accident, Regina was discharged. The bruising was almost gone, and the lacerations on her head and forearm were healing nicely. Although she was weak and still in pain because of the broken bones, she was calm and communicative.

Deteriorating mental state
One day after Regina left the hospital, I visited her at her daughter’s home to see how she was doing. I didn’t like what I saw. Maybe the stress of moving from the hospital was too much for Regina. In any event, her state of mind appeared to have deteriorated greatly. She seemed to be completely in her own world: constantly straightening the sheets or picking at them—and then putting some imaginary item in her mouth. She tried to leave her bed several times, even though she was not able to be up on her own.
     Regina’s speech was almost unintelligible, and she took a long time to reflect on a question. She prayed and said she was dying. She kept throwing the covers off and lying in bed with her legs completely uncovered. Her granddaughter had heard her giggling earlier, and Regina was making chewing motions with her mouth again. Her abdomen was hard and swollen, and she was constipated.
     Was this a new state requiring a new homeopathic remedy? A lot of the symptoms she exhibited pointed to the remedy Hyoscyamus, which can help a patient who is restless, picks at bed sheets, giggles, and exposes herself. On the other hand, Regina seemed to be displaying symptoms that would indicate the need to repeat Helleborus. Helleborus can aid a patient who thinks she is going to die, answers slowly, relapses into stupor, tries to escape, has no bowel movements, and picks at the bed sheets. Despite the fact that Hyoscyamus seemed to match many of Regina’s symptoms, I decided to repeat the Helleborus because it had worked beautifully the first time she’d taken it. When a remedy works well and is still indicated, I have found that it’s better to try it again before moving on to another remedy.

Improving in every way
Repeating the Helleborus was the right choice. Regina started improving immediately. The chewing motions, picking at bed sheets, and muttering stopped within minutes. A few hours later, she had a bowel movement. By the next day, all the disturbing new symptoms had disappeared, and we could understand almost everything she said. Her bowels were functioning normally, and she even got up to use the bathroom without assistance for the first time.
     Over the next 20 days, Regina steadily improved. She received a few more doses of Helleborus when she had accident-related headaches and because she sometimes couldn’t remember words and struggled to get them out. After a month of recuperation at her daughter’s house, Regina was back to normal and moved back home to live on her own again. Her family was amazed at how quickly she’d recovered and how fast the brain swelling had gone down—much faster than the doctors had predicted. Regina’s speech and physical therapists were also impressed with her progress.
     I visited Regina 5 or 6 weeks after the accident, and what a huge difference! If I hadn’t known who she was, I wouldn’t have recognized her. The last time I’d seen her, she was still mostly bedridden. This time, she was all dressed up, wearing make-up, and moving around. We had a very nice talk, and she was absolutely coherent. She didn’t remember the accident, being in the hospital, or having seen me at any of my previous visits.
     “I just woke up in this room at my daughter’s, but I can’t remember what happened before that. I thought I was going to die, but now I know that I can fight it. If I want something, I fight for it,” Regina said emphatically. As I listened, I thought to myself, “The right homeopathic remedy brought Regina back from the brink of death and gave her the will to fight for her life. What could be more rewarding to a homeopath than recognizing the right remedy and using it to save a life?”

About the Author

Valerie Sadovsky has been studying and practicing classical homeopathy for more than 10 years. A former software engineer, she became interested in homeopathy when it helped her recover from a chronic condition she’d battled since childhood. She attended the Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy and has studied with and been inspired by a number of practitioners including Miranda Castro and Krista Heron. She has a private practice in Kirkland, WA, and can be reached at or


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