I always wanted to be an athlete. I found running a natural way to disconnect from daily stress. Unknowingly this was my first experience with nature therapy. I remember having the feeling of being in the moment and would retreat to that space during difficult times of my childhood. Then came the interpretation of movement muscle energy. I studied human mechanics and physiology of muscle growth and movement. My dear mother always pushed me to be a physician but deep inside I wanted athleticism and to express it in my calling. Fast forward I went to the Philippines for what I think was the best old school traditional medical education I could get AND I met my beloved wife. Jumping through the usual gauntlet of medical school, internship, residency I was able to attain my medical degree and make Mama and Dad happy but I wasn’t satisfied.
Definitely getting into a physician practice I felt “this can’t be it?” I did the usual job of a doc, rounded at the hospital, dictated charts, taught assistants, volunteered with local community with a sense of satisfaction AND unanswered stress. The running didn’t cut it, the working out with iron didn’t cut it…then I started getting sick.
First diagnosis = hypertension.
Second diagnosis = atrial fibrillation.
Third diagnosis = depression.
Then fibromyalgia. Screw this!!!
Over the course of about 10 years I was placed on a heart medicine, a blood thinner, shocked in the ICU, given an antidepressant and finally the threat of a cardiac procedure to burn my heart chamber. I did what any red blooded American would do… run from the doctor and stop all medicines. Discouraged with the changing dynamic of insurance based medicine I left my position of 10 years and just became a Dad in Florida.
Life was good there but healthcare was lacking (sorry Orlando) so I was introduced to alternative medicine, aromatherapy, nutritional intervention and HOPE. Funny realization occurred when I was contacted by an old patient desperate for answers to a terminal illness. Then other former patients started reaching out. So turns out I DID make a difference in the community and wasn’t just an underperforming primary care employee compared to the rest of the country (hospital administration “speak”) So I started the journey back to Illinois. It has been a tough road of humility but NOW I am in touch with an inner wisdom that helps me to see a way out of suffering. Practicing mindfulness brings the contemplative skills needed to vision what I call “life maps”. I consider a successful office encounter one where I can sit down, ask the right questions, allow the real answers, tease out success and provide a personal template on how to change the course of life. I believe suffering is part of being human BUT some individuals have an overwhelming burden of disease AND/OR multiple diseases stacked on top of each other. In what I call “millennial medicine” if you only have a hammer, any disease that presents itself is hit like a nail. I have become a witness to how the wisdom of the human body can repair itself IF given the correct ingredients. Everyone has an individual recipe for healing but it takes the a guide with the right tools to bring it out and show the path. Give me a chance and I will do my best, if I can’t construct a way out of suffering, then we assemble a team. One way or another, there are options more than just hammers.