I have lost confidence in conventional approaches to medicine and been dissatisfied with the lack of involvement from doctors in exploring ideas of holistic health care. More often than not, a visit to the doctor’s office feels like I should consider myself lucky to sit for 20 minutes beyond my scheduled appointment, and grateful that I get to sit for some interminable amount of time longer alone in the windowless, clock-less examination room until the slightly distracted doctor pops in, asks brief questions about the symptoms, consults a computer screen, dictates a prescription and departs.
Recently I visited a Naturopathic Doctor because I had an acute problem (doctor term, that; it was Friday afternoon and I had a swelling in my lymph node area that was painful and worsening). I really was grateful to be seen on such short notice. I waited a few minutes in the waiting room, but that was because the doctor was reviewing my new patient information.
The doctor was thoughtful and considerate of my need to get back to my store. Yep, I had to close the store to get to the doctor; right at peak traffic time, too. She asked detailed questions and gave me something even as we were talking that had immediate effect. She asked me questions and looked at me while I answered, as if she wanted to learn something from me. That was different. I felt a little uncomfortable being face-to-face talking to a stranger about personal things, especially since she seemed to be listening.
I felt a little uncomfortable with the intimacy that developed. Um. Doctors are aloof and distant and too busy for that sort of thing…
We talked conversationally as she finished with the physical exam. She let me know I had an ear infection. Not what I expected since the glands in my jaw and neck were swollen and I didn’t have ear pain. She and I had already talked about immune systems and support and my work schedule and how that would contribute to the ear infection. Nice. I was getting the kind of two-way conversation about my health that I’d sought!
While I waited a short while in the waiting room, the doctor put together the medicine that was formulated just for what ailed me. Nothing that I’d seen advertised on T.V. to be sure. Nothing with a long list of possible side effects. And no “take this paper to your pharmacist” for more waiting. I left there with some designer concoction of natural stuff with instructions. And it worked. By the next day, I was already noticeably better and by the third day, pretty much the symptoms of the ear infection were gone.
It was curious to me that while I eschewed the conventional approach, I was initially wary of this new attitude too. Give me something different but something that I’m familiar with?
I’ve had time to reflect and begin to embrace this new approach, the very thing I was seeking. I don’t visit doctors often, since I am pretty doggone healthy, but I like feeling that the doctor is a partner in my wellness and accepting that I’d rather help my body heal itself and maintain my health through nutrition and lifestyle than popping pharmaceuticals to correct bad choices.