If it has not happened to you yet, it probably will.
Either you or a loved one experiences a symptom. The process begins.
What is causing the symptom? (Name this DISEASE) What do I have to do to make the symptom stop? (Give me a DIAGNOSIS) What effect will the symptom (or the cure) have on my current lifestyle? (DECISIONS!)
You begin the process with questions – mostly trying to find out who has answers. And better yet, who has answers I understand and incorporate into my current life?
I experienced this process.
In 1998, my hemoglobin rate deceased. During a routine doctor visit, my medical physician noted the drop. At the time, her comment held no value to me other than the numbers on the chart had changed. There was no direct impact on my life style. She named the DISEASE: Anemia.
A healthy hemoglobin range for women is defined between 12 grams of hemoglobin per deciliter (12 grams per liter) of blood and 15.5 grams per deciliter (155 grams per liter). As my hemoglobin continued to drop, I began to feel the effects: the anemia caused me to tire easily and constantly. All I wanted was sleep.
I began seeking a DIAGNOSIS. Bouncing from one specialist to another, taking time for independent research and questioning alternative options, I grew more and more weary, feeling desperate. Although my condition had a name (anemia), I had no diagnosis, no plan of action to ‘fix this’.
Finally, my hemoglobin level reached a low level of 4.0 grams per deciliter. My medical team (basically me moving from one medical doctor to another – I never really felt as if I had a ‘team’ other than an incredibly supportive husband) completed six years of invasive procedures with no diagnosis.
After six years of searching, my last stop was the oncologist. Although I had no signs of cancer, no other physician could assist me. Depending on the diagnosis, the options were bone marrow transplant or iron transfusions. Because my oncologist could not find justifiable data for the bone marrow transplant, he opted for iron transfusions.
Iron transfusions differ from blood transfusions. I signed a document acknowledging I may die from the transfusion. Nurses are not allowed to perform iron transfusions – the medical doctor has to conduct the one hour office procedure. My oncologist inserted the IV and began the process –he sat and stared at me for one hour – waiting to see if I was going to die or not.
I didn’t die.
I also did not improve.
In desperation, my doctor asked me if I had sprue. Unsure of the question, I asked him if I could invite my supportive husband to the next office visit so he could help me understand a possible diagnosis.
Next visit, my oncologist explained sprue was also known as celiac disease – although it was not truly a disease as all symptoms disappear once the diet changes. A simple blood test with results back in two days confirmed the diagnosis: my DISEASE of anemia was cause by sprue. The DIAGNOSIS was simple – diet change. Diet change? All I have to do is change my diet?
Knowing my diagnosis, my next step was making a DECISION. Do I want to make a diet change to improve my hemoglobin level? No surgery required? No medication? Just me changing my diet? YES!
Within one week of adhering to the altered diet, my hemoglobin returned to within normal range.
One week! Back to health!
How magical it would be if all symptoms could end with the seemingly simple process – even though my process took six years! Admittedly, changing my diet was drastic – no wheat, barley, or rye the rest of my life. My new diet included no cakes, no cookies, no pasta (!), no English muffins, no licorice, or other foods toxic to me. Any cheating on my part results in immediate reaction and one year for my body to heal.
As our family now moves along the similar path for another family member, I reflect on each stage of this process: Disease; Diagnosis; and Decision. What disease is causing this symptom? What diagnosis is available? What decisions have to be made?
I realize we each have a life to live. And the life ends at some point. For some of us (5%, based on 2014 report from Center for Disease Control & Prevention) we will never go through this process – our deaths will be labeled ‘accidental’. No medical professional will label our symptoms, provide statistics on our probability of living, or offer possible solutions we have to consider. The 5% die without having someone provide probabilities and alternatives to prevent death a bit longer.
However, the vast majority of us will seek the name for the cause of our symptoms – what Disease do I have? And we will receive a Diagnosis – a probability of life expectancy based on prior patients’ experiences. Then the Decision – which path do I want to follow? Do I decide to seek alternative methods, accept this diagnosis, or continue with a proposed plan?
Or I could decide now, today, to take my health into my own hands? Can I find eight minutes a day devoted to extending my life? How can I manage my FITNESS: the air I breathe, the food I eat, the liquids I drink, the way I rest, the way I move, the thoughts I think?
Fitness! For your life balance! Regardless of your current fitness status, we can each improve. Are you breathing clean air? Is the food you eat healthy for you? Do you drink sufficient water to allow your body to operate at high levels? Are you providing sufficient rest for your body to recharge? Do you exercise 60 minutes a day? Will you identify your negative emotions and work through them using EFT or other modalities so you can think clearly? FITNESS is critical to your sustainable living. If you are unsure where to begin to improve your FITNESS, consider reaching out to me for assistance.
Contact me (DrNallSpeaks at gmail) for more information on how we can work together for you to stabilize your FITNESS for your life!
CR8 UR F8 (create your fate): The eight facets of life to observe and determine preferred outcomes which include: F1: Function – how we spend our days; F2: Foundation – our education & experience to prepare us for our Function; F3: Family – individuals who helped shape us as we grow; F4: Friends – people we select to be around outside of our Family; F5: Finances – the money we earn, spend, and save; F6: Fitness – the air we breathe the food we eat, what we drink, the way we rest, the way we move, the thought we think; F7: Faith – our belief in Something beyond ourselves; and F8: Fun! – how we enjoy life!