The case of the violently itching vagina in a 4 year old – yes, you read it here first.

Every now and then when I have the time and wherewithal to write up a case, I’ll do it. Let me tell you, what a long strange trip it’s been this winter; I’ve been treating acute illnesses non-stop: influenza, not-influenza-but-something-that-looks-just-like-it, strep, effects of strep, stomach virus, sinus infections, and now…. THE CASE OF THE VIOLENTLY ITCHING VAGINA.

Yes, my 4 year old daughter was twitching madly, calling out and crying and pulling at the crotch of her pjs in her sleep. The whole thing escalated as she ever more loudly and increasingly restlessly tossed about her bed. She shares a room with her 2 year old sister, so my anxieties about a) what could be afflicting her, and b) waking up her sister – were neck in neck.

My daughter, whether she is having trouble pooping, has a 104 degree fever, has a hangnail, stubs her toe, or in this case, experiences a strong itch, reacts as if she’s being tortured. It’s just who she is in the world. She’s intense and loud. So this went on for a good hour, as I desperately rifled through thoughts of remedies that might help her. First I started with Candida Albicans, just jumping at what might be the actual culprit – yeast. However, this is not good homeopathy – as a matter of fact, I rarely am grounded enough to do good, systematic homeopathy when it comes to my own family since I’m often too close to see the picture clearly and evenly, and there is an element of desperation felt, mostly by them though admittedly a bit by me too. Hence I completely understand when my young clients’ parents are worried or freaking out. It’s just so stressful when your kids are ailing.

I examined her for worms – none, thankfully. A bit of redness, but everything looked normal. So after no change with the candida remedy, I thought of Cantharis – the Spanish Fly, and one of homeopathy’s great urinary tract infection remedies, known for burning pain and extreme restlessness with the UTI. Hazel was practically jumping out of the bed with these periodic, violent stitches. I asked her, inside the body or outside? Inside. She yanked her underwear off, she put it back on, she wanted a tissue to use to itch it; she wanted to itch it, she wanted me to itch it. Not burning, just itching she said. We drank water together, we went to the bathroom. I compiled her symptoms in the program I have that gave me basically 20 remedies to consider and Cantharis was in there. I gave it.

Guess what? No change at all.

I looked back at the other remedies that came up on my original compilation of her symptoms and there was Rhus Toxicodendron, made from the poison oak plant. So, so restless. This is a remedy often used for restless sleep and skin rashes…. but I saw it had violent, female itching of the vagina, labia, and in between. (What’s the diff really?) But that all described what was going on. I gave one dose, and she was quieter longer, able to move through itching episodes with slightly less of an outburst. Then I gave another, and she was quieter still. Then she screamed again in extreme restlessness once more. I all but gave up, thinking, what would my mother do? As a homeopath, believe it or not, I can get too focused on a remedy picture and forget to take the whole picture into consideration. I had put cream on her, but was there something obvious that could help that I was missing? As a child, I had recurrent bladder infections, and I remember my mother getting up night after night, rocking me in her rocking chair and drinking tea with me.

“Do you want to have tea with me?” I blurted out. Yes, she said quietly. Amazing, as she’d rejected all my previous suggestions of sitting up with me, rocking in my arms, etc. I went to put on the water for a small pot of chamomile tea. I came right back in to check on her and lo and behold, she was fast asleep in my bed. Was it the Rhus? I think so. And am I up writing this post and drinking tea? You know it.