Swept away by the tsunami while sleeping

case report, September 2005
A young mother visits our office in Sainthamarathu with her six year-old daughter. Her husband had left her during pregnancy. She presents with paraesthesia of the legs. Both of her legs feel numb, especially while sitting and walking. Despite the numbness her legs hurt. She also suffers of vertigo that increases in sunlight. She has headaches, left sided chest pain and eye pain. The soles of her feet are painfully fissured.

All of her complaints started after the tsunami.

Upon careful questioning the young mother admits: “Yes, I was in the tsunami waters.” She and her daughter had been torn from their sleep and swept away by the floodwaters. She had been able to hold on to something for several hours together with her daughter before the water resided. During all this time her only feeling was fear of not being able to hold on and loosing her child. When the water had finally resided she found herself lying stark naked on the beach between the demolished houses; it is custom to sleep covered only by a sheet in this warm country.


She had shared the same fate as many. From the partly contaminated floodwaters many people developed skin rashes. The young mother too suffered from prurigo for several days after. Along with the terrible fear of death she had found it very troubling having no clothes to cover herself after the long hours in the water. She was able to cover herself with some clothes that had been carried out of the houses by the floodwaters and lay scattered everywhere, but only after three days was she able to wash herself and put on clean clothes.

Due to the suddenness of the catastrophe, the fear of death, and the physical symptoms with vertigo and headache we prescribed Aconitum Napellus. Our experience after the tsunami showed us that the people in this region were very sensitive to the remedies so we started with Aconite C30 and later we prescribed Aconite C200. In general, the patients reacted so sensitively to the remedies that even at C30 they showed strong reactions, several having intolerable aggravations when using a C200. Therefore, we concluded that our experiences with homeopathic potencies in Germany were not necessarily applicable here, so we had to be quite careful when prescribing. We enquired into the reasons, wondering if it was due to a great weakness after the tsunami or if the people here may generally be more sensitive to the remedies. The short period of study and the lack of comparative data to other catastrophes do not allow a final conclusion.  
Unfortunately, we do not have news from the patient after the treatment for quite some time. In May of 2010 the mother follows our invitation extended to the previous patients that had visited our office. We asked her how she had been following treatment. She reported that all her sicknesses, the vertigo, the pains and even the numbness had rapidly improved after the homeopathic treatment. In the meanwhile she had remarried and had opened a small vegetable store. She says she is doing well and rarely thinks about the tsunami. 

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Sri Lanka Info

Area:65 610 km²
Population:app. 20.5 Mio, 80% Sinhalese, 10% Tamils, 7% Sri Lankan Moors, 0.8% Burghers

Buddhism 70%, Hinduism 15%, Islam 7.5%, 

Christianity 7.5% (source: Wikipedia)

Languages:Sinhala and Tamil, English as language of education and commerce
Life expectancy:72 years