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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.