My Health Story

“What?  You take NO prescriptions?  That is amazing.”  Those recent comments from an insurance investigator were actually the result of a resolve I’d made 5 years ago as I approached retirement, and several personal experiences.

Not wanting the same “breakfast bowl of pills” like many relatives and colleagues who’d already retired, I interviewed them to see if there was anything I could do to avoid the same scenario.  Several admitted they needed medication for conditions they could have avoided if they had not succumbed to imbalances like excesses of food and drink or lack of nutrition or activity.  Others had medication solely to treat side effects of other medication that treated the result of their imbalanced lifestyles.

It sounded crazy, but I understood because thin bones sent me to a specialist who was startled when I refused a medication and quoted its known reactions and poor results. She admitted the research was correct, then recommended another medication for a symptom I’d not yet developed but was expected to according to her evaluation.  Initially shocked to be advised to ease into a prescription until my body got used to it “like you got used to wearing glasses,” I took the prescription to the pharmacist. When he named the symptom, which I did not have, and the side effect of severe depression, I asked if I could refuse to take it and was told the patient always retains the right to control his/her own healthcare.  I don’t think many people know that and feel they have to do what the doctor(s) tell them. I felt empowered to refuse medication for symptomatic purposes and vowed then to only take natural products as needed.

Off-the-record conversations with medical staff (a doctor, nurse-practitioner, pharmacist, and nutritionists) about an anaphylactic reaction to medication also changed my direction for healthcare.  I asked how they would treat themselves or their family and was made aware of probiotics to prevent secondary infections when taking antibiotics, natural substances to build immunity, and alternatives to vitamin prescriptions with high incidence of liver damage. It was disheartening to hear that doctors were prohibited from sharing simple solutions like probiotics restoring good bacteria, magnesium relief for leg cramps, and any other non-prescriptive or non-FDA-approved treatments no matter how well they might work.

Results convinced me, and my doctor. When required blood tests, for example, expected to show liver damage (from synthetic vitamin D) instead showed increased vitamin levels, I admitted I was taking a natural instead of the synthetic prescription and was told whatever I was doing to continue it as results were better than expected. When I requested 2 weeks to treat a pre-cancerous skin lesion before surgery the dermatologist was interested to hear of the natural oil I’d used that cleared the skin damage.

Our daughters, Laurie and Cheri were also researching natural and integrative care.  Laurie grew her own herbs and made cough drops and natural medicine for her family. Some jokingly called her a pioneer until the flu season hit and her children were the only ones remaining healthy and not missing school.  Once a severe digestive distress was about to hospitalize me when Laurie called and suggested a natural tea.  Hours later the danger was resolved and I was on the road to recovery.  Cheri’s purpose was even more urgent as her son, David, had been diagnosed with incurable cancer.

Once again I was startled into action as nurses whispered that many patients died from the treatment for cancer instead of the illness, and doctors shrugged their shoulders at my questions about chemotherapy saying “Well, it is a poison.”  Another time I heard a doctor say he expected to see the secondary cancer from the chemotherapy, and a friend’s oncologist straightforwardly told her that her treatment (radiation) was known to cause cancer.

Even more than those comments, the realization that nothing was in the protocol to help the body’s defense system fight off disease or counteract the deadly reactions of the medication, made me fighting mad to be honest.  Our experiences revealed how many doctors’ decisions and recommendations were employer controlled. You know of David’s story, I’m sure from the Fullness of Life Foundation website, and how treatment at Envita brought many improvements and extensions to David’s life.  How we wish we’d known of Envita right from the beginning of his illness.  However, we each took what we learned there and began to apply it personally.

I made a list of concerns from symptoms I’d experienced, the little family history I knew, and looked for what I could control.

Journaling one weeks worth of nutrition and exercise was very revealing as well as convicting.  I discovered present things I could change (dizzy or sleepy from skipping breakfast and eating salad or mostly carbs for lunch).  Taking a walk at break or doing a few minutes of Oxycise (deep breathing isometrics) also kept me alert through the evening.

A rash the doctor said could be herpes or varicella-zoster virus related, and had no treatment, were eradicated in a few days with a salve made from comfrey and plantain.

Since I began taking elderberry supplements at the first sign of a cold or virus, I’ve not gotten a full-blown case of either in years (and I have never had a flu vaccine). Other family members who have similar symptoms (muscle cramps) found my remedy worked for them as well. Bone density tests after supplements and exercise showed growth instead of expected loss. Supplements also healed esophageal damage from initial prescription for bone loss. Dietary changes greatly reduced my husband’s psoriasis condition and sauna and other detox treatments have helped us avoid or curtail other illnesses.

Things I could not control, I took to natural or traditional doctors.  Dizziness from looking up is a common senior ailment, but mine was eliminated after a few Prolotherapy treatments.  A torn meniscus was also treated with prolotherapy and I was able to avoid surgery.  My physical therapist was so impressed she is now studying and recommending the procedure.

Results such as these are convincing my traditional doctors to work with natural doctors recommendations, respecting my desire to maintain my health as naturally as possible.  It’s taken some time and some effort, but then anything worthwhile does.  What could be more worthwhile than life itself?

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