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Who Cares for the Carer?

by June Sayer(more info)

listed in homeopathy, originally published in issue 275 - January 2022

In my last article I focused on homeopathy and mental health. I would like to further explore how homeopathy can help those people who are caring for others whether it be those with mental health problems or due to a family member suffering with a disability or ill health.

We are consistently reading about the delays within the health service due to the situation with Covid-19. When a person’s health problem becomes a cause for concern or deteriorates the first call to action is to contact the GP. Of course, this is essential so that blood tests, x-rays, or surgery when necessary can be carried out. This is because although there are some homeopathic practitioners who are also medical doctors, the majority of homeopaths are not medically qualified.  Homeopaths cannot diagnose health conditions but will have been taught an understanding of medical sciences throughout their studies so that they are aware of when a patient needs to be referred on for such tests.

However, once the clinical diagnosis has been determined the patient and their family will need to focus on coming to terms with the outcome.  If the diagnosis is a mild one, i.e. a minor respiratory disorder, antibiotics may be prescribed.  If it’s a broken bone, an operation may be required to reposition the bone and allow for it to be re-set. Other surgical interventions or health issues, i.e. addictions, chronic or terminal illness may require that the person needs to be cared for either in hospital, at a rehabilitation centre or at home.

 

Sayer 275

 

According to the NHS website;

A carer is anyone, including children and adults who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support. [1]

Homeopathy has a very high success rate at managing the symptoms of many ailments due to the fact that remedies are chosen to match the symptoms the patient is presenting with rather than the named medical condition. Homeopathic remedies can, if necessary, be taken alongside conventional medication.

I follow on social media a father who has two non-verbal autistic boys and he regularly posts about the ups and downs of his life, the challenges he has and continues to face and his fears for the future.  There is no way I can fully understand what he is going through because I have been blessed with two wonderful sons and five grandchildren who do not have problems with social interaction.

As a homeopath I have gained the skill of empathizing with my clients and when carefully guiding them through their consultation I am then able to select a remedy that suits the emotional problems they are experiencing. When I read the thoughts of the father with autistic children, I recognize some homeopathic remedies that could help to support him at various stages.  I believe he has explored many avenues to help his children, but I do wonder if he has the time or energy to seek help for himself.

Caring for a person who has a broken bone and is at home recovering can lead to frustration, both on the part of the carer and the patient.  We take for granted our health and it is only when something ‘stops us in our tracks’ that we realize how well our bodies function without us really acknowledging how marvellous the body systems work together in synchronicity.

Living with someone who has a health issue can be daunting to say the least. When the condition is first diagnosed a whole host of emotions can arise both for the person who is suffering and the carer. Disbelief, anger, frustration, sadness and guilt are just some of these emotions and there are homeopathic remedies that can help.

Should the person require admission to hospital the challenges faced will be travel, whether it be by car, bus, train or walking to ensure that the carer can attend during visiting hours and there may still be some restrictions following the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of the worries about daily care will be alleviated when the patient is in a hospital because the nursing staff and doctors will be the primary carers.  It is well known that sleep is affected when someone stays in hospital due to the continual activity on the wards, regular patient observational checks, medication, emergency situations etc. The hustle and bustle that accompanies the arrival of visitors can be tiring for the patient who is recovering from whatever ailment led to their admission and whilst they may look forward to seeing their relatives or friends, trying to put on a brave face can leave them feeling drained and irritable. Once they are discharged from hospital their sleep pattern can be erratic and it can take a few days or even weeks to get their body rhythm back into its natural cycle.

A client I have known for many years contacted me originally for a skin condition. At that time he was fully mobile. Now in his mid-90s his health is slowly deteriorating, mostly age related and I visit him at his home once every three months. During those visits, aside from some deafness his mental faculties are good and we enjoy conversations on a number of topics.

When he first became home-bound, his family, being naturally concerned for his welfare, had to arrange home care; I recall his frustration at having to become reliant upon others for his care. It took him a while to accept his dependency and whilst he has done so, he will often share his dismay when we talk.

 

Homeopathic Remedies

 

Therefore, I would like to review some homeopathic remedies that can help the carer and/or the patient as they come to terms with their health situation.

Aconite

This is a remedy that can be of considerable help when the person receives bad news. It helps to ease anxiety, particularly when the anxiety is felt in the region of the heart. Restlessness also accompanies the anxiety and any associated fear.

Arsenicum Album

Nervous and anxious about health and disease and a fear of death.  People requiring this remedy would be extremely fastidious particularly about disorder and dirt. If they experience a sense of despair about getting better, they become restless but are averse to any form of consolation.  

Cocculus

This remedy is so helpful when the carer is looking after someone who needs full time care and is on-call at any time day or night. Anxiety about the health of others. Sleep deprivation can lead to mental fatigue and the person can become very sensitive and intolerant to noise.

Gelsemium

Muscular aches, tiredness and weakness. Anxiety and complaints that come on after hearing bad news. Feelings of fear and apprehension with trembling.

Diarrhoea can occur after sudden emotions, fright or bad news.

Ignatia

The remedy to be chosen when the person is tearful, oversensitive and nervous. Suited to someone who is highly emotional. There is a feeling of a lump in the throat and the person tends to sigh. Headaches that are worse from the smell of tobacco. Sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach.

Nux Vom

This remedy suits a person who has an overactive mind. They can be angry and impatient and dislike noises, smells and light. Headstrong and easily offended. Feels worse for coffee and alcohol. Headaches with irritability or from constipation.

Phosphorus

The person is extremely sensitive and impressionable. Their fears are worse at twilight when shadows are cast around the room. They have a feeling that something bad is about to happen. Sympathy, consolation and reassurance is something they crave.

Staphysagria  

This remedy could help someone who is feeling angry and frustrated at the situation they find themselves in and can lead to outbursts of passion with a tendency to throw things. This can in turn lead to feelings of guilt.

These are just a few of the remedies listed in the homeopathic Repertory[2]and Materia Medica [3] that are available from health shops and can be used to help people during times of uncertainty. However, I would emphasize that it is important to seek the help of a professionally qualified homeopath to ensure the best remedy is matched to the needs of the individual.

Homeopathy is gentle, non-toxic and non-addictive and can safely be used by all ages and does not interfere with any prescribed medication.

References:

  1. https://www.england.nhs.uk/commissioning/comm-carers/carers/
  2. Murphy, Robin ND, Homeopathic Clinical Repertory 3rd Edition
  3. Murphy, Robin ND, Nature’s Materia Medica 3rd Edition

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About June Sayer

June Sayer DHom (Med) MARH MRHom DNTh DIridol Homeopath Nutritionist Reiki Master/Teacher became fascinated by homeopathy after seeking treatment for her children and herself some 23 years ago; this dramatic change in their overall health led her to train as a homoeopathic practitioner. She qualified from the Hahnemann College in 1992 and has been in practice since that date. She is one of the founding directors of the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths and has a practice in Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex where she enjoys training individuals in the art and practice of homoeopathy. She may be contacted on Tel: 01621 730664;  june@betterhealthnow.co.uk  www.betterhealthnow.co.uk   www.homeopathinessex.co.uk   

 

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