More of My Story: How Integrative Medicine Saved My Life

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integrative-medicine

It’s kind of funny– I get the best response from you guys when I talk about things that are personal to me, and yet I tend not to write those kinds of posts. It’s hard to talk about your own medical stuff, exceedingly difficult to talk about it and not get caught up in it, and sometimes I simply forget that people want to know my personal experiences. It’s such a part of my life that it recedes into the background. I forget about it. I’m just Amie! But when I write about my own battle reclaiming my health, and my journey navigating the American health care system, I am reminded just how important it is to share these kinds of stories.

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It is my hope that my readers leave my page feeling validated. It is my hope that my readers may learn something from what I’ve gone through. It is my hope that by sharing what works for me, others can find a lifestyle that works for them. For me, finding an integrated doctor I could trust was one of the first crucial steps in beginning my healing process. Finding out what’s “wrong” with us is such a daunting and exhausting task! Just the verbiage leaves little to be desired. And you know me, I don’t think anything is “wrong” with anyone—we’re all just on different paths to determine what works best for our unique bodies.

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What a rocky, twisty, turn-y path it can be! I can’t tell you how many times I have wanted to bury my head under the covers– seriously. I’m not ashamed to admit that figuring out one’s health can be an incredibly overwhelming endeavor. The screenings and tests, the endless time spent in waiting rooms, the needles, the missed diagnoses, the PAPERWORK! Oh, my gosh, the paperwork. I learned quickly that I had to treat taking care of my body like a business: I needed to be thorough, organized, and relentless. Because of this tactic, I found my integrated doctors, who found my heavy metal poisoning, Lyme disease, PCOS, Hypothyroidism, IGA Deficiency and Adrenal Fatigue- which was far more than any Western medicine ever found. Plus all of those food intolerances that were the impetus and inspiration for The Healthy Apple.

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I traveled the country to seek the advice of the nation’s most reputable physicians, searching for the answers Western medicine could provide, but I’d always return to my apartment in Manhattan drained and empty handed. They did not have the answers, and they weren’t willing to admit they didn’t know what could be plaguing me due to some sort of blinding hubris—they’d rather tell me there was nothing wrong with me or that it was all in my head despite mounting empirical evidence suggesting otherwise.

The second I walked into my first Integrative doctor’s office, I knew I was home. The staff was personable; the room lacked that typical sterile feeling without sacrificing cleanliness or professionalism. When I was called in to see the physician, the doctor truly took the time to get to know me and not just my medical history. I know when I make an appointment that the visit will be thorough, that he or she knows me by my name and not just by my file or lab results. My integrative medicine doctors take all of the time necessary for whatever brings me to the office that day, instead of cramming as many patients into that day’s working hours as possible resulting in 15 minutes or less in the exam room after more than double that time in a waiting room chair. Because of this commitment to being accessible as well as comprehensive, every visit is a valuable use of our time. We get things done. And I’ve used “our” and “we” for good reason—my doctors really listen to me, valuing my opinion, because they know no one knows me better. This kind of trust is irreplaceable and priceless in my opinion.

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I know it’s hard to see a new doctor when you feel like all of your free time is already devoted to visits. I know seeing a new physician probably doesn’t rank very high on your to do list. I’m sure you just want to forget all about what ails you and move on. But you probably know that something has got to give. A change needs to be made to beget change. If you’re looking for that first step and you haven’t done so yet, I’d recommend looking into a functional, holistic doctor’s office near your home. Their impact extends beyond the medical—they can offer healthy living and eating tips and services, exercise and alternative therapy recommendations and so much more.

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If you are looking for a fantastic medical group and happen to live in or near the New York, San Francisco, DC, Chicago or Boston areas (and soon LA), I would suggest you check out One Medical. They are reinventing the way the nation experiences medicine. One Medical is an innovative, intuitive (and environmentally friendly, technologically savvy) provider that offers all-inclusive care from primary to urgent, utilizing a balanced approach that incorporates Western and Eastern philosophy in buildings that offer their own services from nutrition to lab work. By seeing fewer patients each day, personal attention is imperative– it is even possible to see your doctor the same day you call or book an appointment online. In conjunction with your insurance One Medical allows its patients to “experience health care the way it was intended”, which is a right every person deserves.

Thank goodness for my functional doctors. Not only did they diagnose me, arming and blessing me with a name to call the hurt I was feeling and a term to become educated on and begin to treat, but for having faith in my gut feelings as well as offering hope when my own was dwindling. Thank goodness for my alternative doctors, who should be defined by any word but alternative—their practice should be the norm. Without whom, I would be utterly lost. I certainly wouldn’t have gone back to school and gotten my degree in integrated medicine! So much of the life I am living now– down to the very work I do– is a direct result of my understanding and involvement with holistic healing. It’s truly become not just a piece of my life, but a part of me. Which is why I’d like to start taking the time to write these “hard” posts. Because you’ve asked, and I’m listening.

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For more information about One Medical, check out their website onemedical.com/nyc/, blog onemedical.com/blog or follow them on Twitter twitter.com/onemedical (@onemedical), Facebook www.facebook.com/onemedical, and Google Plus plus.google.com/+Onemedical.

If you’re interested in learning more about One Medical, you can receive three months of membership free (25% savings on $199 fee) with code THA3MO if you become a One Medical member today. This offer is good for new members only and expires December 20, 2013.

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57 replies
  1. Lori Williams
    Lori Williams says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. Great information. Also great encouragement to not give up. Thanks again too, for all your giveaways. Would love to win the Go Veggie prize pack! Have a great night!

    Reply
  2. Jeanine Thiede
    Jeanine Thiede says:

    Amie, Your post was encouraging! I have been searching 5 years for what ails me. Decided, the doctors can’t pinpoint it, I need to fine this ailment for my self. I am sure some of my issues ARE due to the foods I have grown up eating and that I need to retrain my brain. Looking forward to reading more of your articles and trying recipes. Thanks for your work!

    Reply
  3. JoAnne Proger
    JoAnne Proger says:

    I’m about to check out the website Abesmarket.com. Never heard of it until reading your post of Facebook! 20 gifts for 20 winners! I will be sharing your post. Thank you!

    Reply
  4. Shannon
    Shannon says:

    Thank you for sharing the great information and giving us others hope that we can find someone to “help” us in our area. I have been to so many doctors that have no clue about my health – pretty sad. But I will not give up! Thanks again for another great article.

    Reply
  5. Lauren
    Lauren says:

    I have shopped on Abe’s market a handful of times and need to decide on a site to order from this week for pantry items and such since it is too snowy to go to whole foods this weekend. Great giveaway!

    Reply
  6. Rachel Webb
    Rachel Webb says:

    I really enjoy learning about new things from you like recipes, products, or places like Abe’s Market. I had never heard of them before so I went and looked at it and it looks like a great place to have a wonderful giveaway gift to in order to kick start the shopping cart. Trick will be not overflowing that virtual cart :) I would enjoy winning a gift card to them though to help at check out. Thank you very much for the work you do to collect all the giveaways for your followers.

    Reply
  7. Julie
    Julie says:

    Really informative article Amie, thank you! I so enjoy reading about you, your healthy and creative recipes and following you on Facebook. Thanks for being such an advocate for true health! I would love to win one of your prizes and try for myself some of the products you recommend.

    Reply
  8. chelsea
    chelsea says:

    Great article. I am 1/3 of the way through a 6 week elimination diet that was specifically designed for me by my naturopathic doctor. I love that she has a real medical degree but focuses on treating the whole body not just my symptoms. And thanks for the opportunity to win a gift card!

    Reply
  9. Mary Leming
    Mary Leming says:

    I admire you for sharing your story. My daughter has Lyme Disease, as well as many other illnesses you mentioned (adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues, and the many, many other symptoms that go along with it). She was also recently diagnosed with Severe Endometriosis so she’s seeing yet another specialist. It must be so hard for you, but I really appreciate reading your story. I’m anxious to see if my daughter to ask if any of hrs doctors are integrative. She travels 3 1/2 hours each way to see her LLMD. I hope you’re feeling well and can enjoy this holiday season.
    Sincerely,
    Mary Leming

    Reply
    • Amie
      Amie says:

      Thank you Mary; so nice to hear from you! Working with Integrative Doctors is the only way I healed. Hope she can find one. My page ‘How to Find an Integrative Medicine Doctor’ can help you locate one in your area! oxxx

      Reply
      • Mary Leming
        Mary Leming says:

        Amie,

        Thank you so much for your reply with that information. I will pass it along to her! She loves your cookbook and website and led me here, not knowing you too suffer from similar health issues. You are in my thoughts daily. I pray for you as I do for my daughter that you will fully regain your health and well-being. Happy Holidays, and thanks again.

        All the Best,
        Mary Leming

        Reply
  10. Angel
    Angel says:

    Thanks for sharing this! I visited a naturopath a couple years ago and while it was a really nice change and loved my doctor, I didn’t feel like I got what I needed out of it. She was a trained homeopath and prescribed me homeopathic remedies…and I haven’t had much luck with them, back then or recently. I’d love to visit a doctor of integrative medicine where I can get my bloodwork checked and such to assess possible issues that you can’t determine just by talking.

    Reply
  11. Todd Bliss
    Todd Bliss says:

    It is so nice to lnow that we all have to find our own way through this medical world and it is nice to know that i am not the only one fighting my way through

    Please enter me in the peanut butter giveaway

    Reply
  12. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    Thanks for sharing your story!! It makes those of us with food issues feel connected and no alone!!
    The almond butter giveaway also looks delightful!

    Reply
  13. idara wolf
    idara wolf says:

    Thanks for sharing your story, Amie!

    It know how difficult it can be to go through the testing. It is good to find out a name to what ails you so we can be our own detectives and find out how to fix problems and share our stories!

    Many blessings <3

    Idara

    (Would like to enter in the almond butter contest)

    Reply
  14. Jaime
    Jaime says:

    I am so thankful for my holistic doctor. She is working so hard to figure out why I have the health issues I have

    The almond butter looks wonderful!

    Reply
  15. Sherry F
    Sherry F says:

    I have IgAN and my nephrologist has decided put me on a gluten, dairy free low antigen diet I was at a loss of what to do until my sister suggested I like on you on FB. By reading your story it hits home so much I too had been told nothing was wrong with me that I was seeking attention, if I was seeking attention instead of paying medical bills I would have gone to a spa.

    Reply
  16. marlies
    marlies says:

    Your story is so inspiring!! I’ve been lucky not to have serious health problems, but my mom has plenty and dealing with traditional doctors can be so frustrating!! She always feels more at home in integrative medicine, as well. I’m so glad you’ve been able to heal yourself this way! :)

    Reply
  17. Jennilee
    Jennilee says:

    I forgot to mention last time, the pictures in this entry are amazing! Simple food, simple beauty.
    I am entering for the almond butter giveaway! :-)

    Reply
  18. Sharon Geer
    Sharon Geer says:

    Natural Almond nut butters sound delicious! Would love to try them! Thanks for sharing your story. I also heard you speak at the Moms Meet Summit in Philadelphia in October. Love your website!

    Reply
  19. april
    april says:

    Thanks for sharing! Its a good reminder and inspiration to not give up. To remember that a typical doctor isn’t trained to find the cause but rather treat the symptom. Changing what we eat has made such a big difference for me and my family, some with major health issues and some not. A big thanks to you and others like you who are helping to lead the way for people!

    Reply
  20. Jessica
    Jessica says:

    I’m currently a med student and really want to practice more holistic medicine. Thanks for the insight and thanks for all the giveaways.

    Reply
  21. Mary Beth
    Mary Beth says:

    I would love to win the box of larabars! I have recently been diagnosed with a gluten intolerance and it’s hard to find snack items that i can eat whenever i have sports events or just a quick on-the-go snack!

    Reply
  22. Lori Leal
    Lori Leal says:

    Hi Amie,

    I am always inspired when I read your story because I can relate to so much. My mom and I discuss your courage in sharing your story, your integrative approach to healing, your recipes, and your website in general!

    I hope you are feeling well this Holiday Season. Thanks for all you do! :)

    Reply

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