A patient commented on my cast on my right arm, “It’s probably good that you had this experience [referring to my broken wrist] so you can relate to your patients’ pain.” I said, “True, but I’ve had my fair share of health concerns as well”. I will get into those details later… and yet this short interaction made me reflect deeply – how easy it is to judge a stranger based upon their appearance. Unless the damage is visible, such as a broken arm or a missing limb, we simply don’t notice silent conditions.
Just the other day I comforted a patient who hates blood draws by saying, “See? I did a blood draw on myself the other day”. They responded, “Why did you need a blood draw? I imagine you are really healthy”.
That’s the problem, isn’t it? We can’t see how healthy or unhealthy someone is unless we are trained and even then us doctors can miss it.
My personal journey towards a healthy life began as a teenager. After being a Varsity Athlete and High Honor Roll student in middle school, the unexpected happened. I began to suffer from signs of depression and chronic fatigue during my freshmen year in High School and beyond. Fatigued without a true diagnosis even after many doctor appointments all over New England, and being such a young patient, I frequently visited the heavier life questions, “What is wrong with me? How do I prevent & cure this unknown condition? How do I want to live? And how do I want to die? How do I want to spend the last ten years of my life?”
My Chronic Fatigue Syndrome didn’t end after being prescribed synthroid (i.e. – levothyroxine, one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the USA), and counseling sessions, nor consulting with a world renowned Naturopathic Physician.
I continued to suffer through high school and college with extreme fatigue. Soon after I graduated from naturopathic medical school, I finally received a diagnosis of Chronic Lyme Disease with Lyme Co-Infections and Reactivated Mononucleosis and Cytomegalovirus. I had seen many doctors in Seattle and none of them tested me for this disease. I was shocked yet relieved. How could I have this disease? When did I get it?
I grew up in New England and pulled many deer tics off my legs after running around in the woods in Vermont. I had seen the movie Under Our Skin while in medical school, and never thought I would be one of the hundreds of thousands of people with Chronic Lyme disease. Now that I knew what the cause was I became 100% determined to beat Lyme Disease, and no longer let it hold me back from being active and engaged in life.
Today, Chronic Lyme disease is still a controversial diagnosis. I share my experience with you so you understand, that we all suffer, myself included. This path of adversity continues to inspire me to become the best physician possible with the skills and treatments to heal people from Chronic Fatigue and Chronic Diseases.
Maybe you also have days of looking out the bedroom window, while sick in bed wondering, ‘When I will be able to go outside – hike, ski, or travel soon?’ When you are chronically ill you don’t have the energy to over analyze treatments, and you are willing to do whatever it takes to get well, and get out of your disease confined routines.
Once you are feel supported, have more knowledge about your health challenges, you will do whatever it takes to reach your health goals. All the doors to your life will simply open up. What we do today impacts how we age later in life.
Naturopathic medicine has allowed me to create a daily life I dreamed of. I am currently on a wellness plan that allows me the energy to exercise on a regular basis, cook my own meals, and enjoy hiking and skiing adventures in nature. I currently use prescription medications, and botanical medicines daily to maintain a state of health.
The blood draw I performed on my own arm that I described earlier was for a test which revealed there is no longer detectable Lyme infection in my blood. My immune system is fully intact and responsive today. Naturopathic medicine can return your health and vitality to you, empowering you to create the life you could previously only dream about.
I would like to partner with you as your doctor and health guide. I will utilize my personal experience to understand you better, and promptly find the correct diagnosis and most efficacious treatment(s) for you.
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