I recently sat down with Janet, one of my long-time patients, and asked her some questions about her heath journey and the role Naturopathic medicine has played in it. It is a really inspiring story and I hope that it encourages you.
Hi Janet, Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. I know it will help a lot of people. So first of all, how long have we been working together?
I started coming to see you in May of 2010. So, we have been working together for over 4 years.
Before you came to see me, what were your health issues?
My health issues at that time were fibromyalgia, exhaustion, never feeling healthy and many, many allergies. I had just been diagnosed with osteoporosis and there was no way I was taking the drugs my PCP wanted me to. I felt they were just too risky. Oh, I also have genetically high cholesterol
What sort of treatments did you try before you found me?
I had tried statins for the cholesterol. They either gave me hives or made my muscles hurt. I had tried a prescription for the fibromyalgia but it made me very lethargic and I gained a lot of weight. So, I ended up taking Tylenol for the pain. I switched to organic foods, which seemed to help. Drinking caffeinated beverages was the only thing that helped my exhaustion. I also saw a chiropractor to keep my spine aligned and that helped with the pain some.
How did you feel about your health?
I felt that my health was "broken and not able to be repaired". My PCP didn't seem to hear that and it was very frustrating. Before I had a staph infection of my blood system in late 1979, I had tons of energy. After the infection, which was "cured" by taking 2000 mg per day of a pretty heavy duty antibiotic for 2 1/2 months, I had no energy at all. I was depressed. I felt "broken." I also suspected that the staph was still lurking in me. I would still get symptoms of it from time to time. I was 29 years old and I felt 109.
How long did it take before you started to feel better?
It took me about a month to start feeling a little bit better. In the second month you started me on the detoxing program. By the end of the second month there was a noticeable difference in my energy level and my general feeling of well being. My husband, Herb, noticed and he decided to come see you too.
So it didn't happen all at once, did it? It was more gradual?
Yes, it was a gradual feeling of slowly getting better.
What did you notice when you started improving? Did anything surprise you?
As I mentioned before, it was after the detoxing started that I really noticed a change in how I felt. I remember one day, after about a year, waking up and I felt rested. It actually took me a few minutes to figure out what it was that I was feeling. Believe me, I savored that feeling! It had been decades since I had felt that way.
What is life like now for you with regard to your health?
My health is great. It is amazing to me that I can go through the winters without a cold. I feel great and energetic most of the time. I am able to hold down a part time job and work with my husband on our alpaca ranch. Before I started seeing you, the alpaca ranch was a very vague and far off dream. Now I'm living that dream!
What would you say to someone new to Naturopathic medicine?
Be patient with the process. You will have good days and you will have bad days. Talk to Dr. Reddy as he can help you through or explain what is happening. I found that he was great about returning my calls and being patient with me for which he deserves my thanks. Be patient with yourself. Healing takes time. But the patience you show will pay off. Patience is so worth it. Listen to Dr. Reddy. He is a wise young man and I found him to be very willing to share his knowledge and wisdom. He is a wonderful teacher. Ask him your questions and pay attention to the answers. I learned a lot about health from him and I am so grateful for his patient way of teaching.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
After two years, I went back to my PCP and had a blood test ran. My PCP, who did not like it at all that I was seeing a Naturopathic doctor, wrote on the papers of my lab results "Keep doing what you are doing. Don't change a thing!" And so I didn't. Now, here I sit on our alpaca ranch living the dream.