Terrorism, the FBI and a Fish Tank

Sometime in the early 1990s, before the first attack on the World Trade Center, I was visited by a most anxious patient. It took only seconds to figure out what he did for a living when I saw his FBI badge and his Glock sidearm. He had been referred to me by a family friend who was a patient. Oscar was a member of the elite anti-terrorism unit based in New York. He came for treatment of an infection of his right arm. The persistent swollen lymph nodes throughout his arm and and armpit had not responded to antibiotic treatment. When the antibiotics failed to cure the infection, his doctor arranged to have one lymph node biopsied. The results revealed that Oscar had acquired an unusual infection. It was Mycobacterium marinum. This bacterium is similar to the one that causes tuberculosis in humans, however, this species causes disease in fish. It wasn't until the 1950s that it was discovered that this bacterium could cause an opportunistic infection in humans, a condition known as aquarium granuloma. As the name implies the disease can be an occupational hazard in pet shop owners and fish tank hobbyists. This is exactly what happened to Oscar. Several weeks before Oscar had cleaned his fish tank when he had a tiny cut near the cuticle of one of his fingernails. If the antibiotics didn't work, Oscar was looking at the possibility that he might have to have extensive surgery to remove the granulomas. However, that was not what was making Oscar nervous. He was taking a cocktail of three anti-tuberculosis drugs, a regimen used for tuberculosis of the lungs. He researched the side effects of the drugs and realized that one of them could effect his retinas thus lowering his visual acuity. He was nervous about how the potential vision changes would effect his performance at the shooting range and how he might lose his position with his elite unit so he had stopped his antibiotic cocktail.

I took his case and decided to prescribe Calcarea carbonica 30C.   After several weeks of this treatment there was only slight improvement in his condition. Needless to say, this made him even more anxious. So to the daily doses of Calcarea carbonica I added a once weekly dose of Bacillinum 200C, a remedy made from a lung granuloma of a patient with tuberculosis.  At his follow up visit a few weeks later it was clear that his condition was markedly improved. I stopped the Calcarea carbonica and increased the potency of the Bacillinum to 1M, to be taken once every two weeks. Six weeks later, the granulomas were completely gone. I never saw Oscar again after that last visit. I was happy that by the practice of homeopathy, I was able, in my small way, to contribute to the war on terror.