The first 10 years of my private practice could not have been more satisfying for me; I dealt mainly with healthy patients and had the great pleasure of bringing life into the world. Patients generally got well quickly, and the use of toxic drug therapies was minimal — but the night call was grueling.
By my mid-forties, I began to develop insomnia, fatigue, joint pain, muscle pain, and all the symptoms that collectively pointed toward a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Frustrated, I tried to make sense of the situation. Night call delivering babies was certainly a factor in my illness, but other partners in my practice seemed to be hardly phased by it.
Development of chest pain and an irregular heartbeat suggested something beyond fibromyalgia, but a cardiac catheterization showing clean vessels and normal labs just added to my frustration. None of my symptoms added up, and my medical colleagues were equally puzzled.
With no other solution to turn toward, I eventually steered away from conventional medicine and changed my healing methods. I began shifting my focus from unsuccessfully searching for a diagnosis towards health restoration. I became extremely vigilant about my diet, adopted a moderate exercise regimen that my condition allowed, practiced meditation and learned yoga. I’d always had an interest in natural healthcare and began studying and experimenting with herbal supplements that were known to have restorative value. Thankfully, these experiments started to work; my health began to gradually rebound… until the “second” tick bite.
It was one warm July that a tick bite developed into a full “bull’s eye” rash and all the symptoms that I had experienced for years came back in spades. A Lyme test strongly suggested Lyme disease. I say “second” tick bite because I spent most of my youth in the woods and tick bites were common. I now realize that all my original symptoms were classic for Lyme disease. I can't help but believe that I harbored the bacterium for years and didn't become ill until my immune system was compromised by the stress of night call. Either way, I was back to square one.
I discovered a book called Healing Lyme by Stephen Buhner, which laid out a protocol for using a variety of herbal therapies in massive doses to overcome Lyme. I took a leap of faith; people around me thought I was crazy, but I got better. Within three months I felt human again, and by six months I was starting to appreciate life as normal.
Thirsty for more knowledge, I dug in my heels to learn everything I could about herbal therapies for health restoration. I read book after book, studied remedies that have been used for hundreds of years, researched clinical studies, went to conferences, and spoke with other professionals well versed in natural therapy. Over time, I developed a true appreciation for the difference that the quality of ingredients and therapeutic doses make in determining a supplement’s effectiveness. Everything I learned I applied not only to myself, but also to my clinical practice.
The rewards I’ve gained through my personal journey of health restoration have been worth all of the misery. Life forced me into doing something remarkable, and I've had the great opportunity of being able to share it with others and observe the benefits. The knowledge I’ve gained is certainly a different type than I acquired in medical school, but I'm a living testament to its importance.
For more information on holistic Lyme disease treatment, see my protocol here.
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