The following is a short story I wrote to demonstrate how strongly people often bond…like a marriage to the treatment philosophy of their doctor, and the struggle that often takes place when that marriage breaks apart. In Sickness and in Health…Married to Your Doctor!
Plum blossoms covered the trees on the hillside overlooking the house and garden. A warm breeze sent thousands of petals swirling up into the blue sky like a synchronized flight of white butterflies. As the breeze abandoned them aloft the flight broke apart into graceful catchers of sunlight as they drifted down eventually settling in a delicately scented caress on her body as Su Lin lay on her pallet in the garden as part of her prescribed treatment.
The physician leaned over her administering his potent tea of carefully selected herbs. He would not be paid on this visit. The year is 821 B.C. and during the Zhou Dynasty of China the physician only gets paid if you stay healthy. It had been ten years since Su Lin experienced any symptom at all.
She was just ten when her parents hired the physician to teach the family what to do in order to remain healthy. He was just as much a member of their family as her uncle who seemed to only come when he needed something. As the physician cradled her head in his hand and put the cup to her lips she thought to herself how ageless and wise he seemed. Though there were a few gray hairs in his otherwise black hair, she knew him to be over eighty years of age.
Su Lin’s mother had told her that he had taken an oath to teach them how to enjoy the same degree of health as he himself had learned from seven generations of physicians in his family. The Physician had taught them how to eat different foods at certain times of year, how to maintain strength and agility through their daily exercises, how to view life and maintain control of their emotions and live harmoniously with others, and how to be observant of the body, mind, and spirit and notice the earliest signs that imbalance was imminent and which herbs to add to their teas to avoid symptoms. Su Lin drank in the warm bitter tea and felt the genuine love and care radiating from the heart of the Physician. That she loved him was unquestioned, he was there much like she knew in her heart that her future husband would be…loving her in sickness and in health.
Sue Lynn gingerly opened the door of her new 2010 Lexus coupe and sat contemplating how best to get out of the car with the least amount of pain. She took a moment to unplug the iPhone which played the music she had turned way up as a distraction to keep her mind off the pain while she drove to the physician’s office. She touched the screen with a wince as the effort caused pain in her finger and wrist just to tap the screen. Her daily planner was what she was looking for at this moment. Since the birth of her third child her boss had forced her to return to work at full schedule, and the family dynamic was hanging from a thread from utter chaotic ruin.
This was the twenty-third physician she had consulted in an effort to determine what was wrong with her. The best anyone had figured out was that she “might have Atypical Lupus,” a best-guess diagnosis given by her conventional medical doctor. That she was frustrated was a huge understatement. The fancy blood tests and drugs of twenty-two previous doctors had only left her feeling worse.
Sue Lynn looked at her sore arm, still black and blue from all of their blood tests and wondered when it would all end. Sue Lynn felt some real fundamental issues were at the core of her life of problems, but who could teach her how to get out of the mess that was her life. She had graduated top of her class in college, went to church “religiously” but still she knew that major change was needed to get her out of trouble.
She felt betrayed, and her life had taken a horrible unforeseen detour through a living hell. She had not seen this coming at all. From what she had read about this new physician, he was someone who ten years ago when all this started she would never have considered as even credible. Now she would stand on her head and walk around on her hands if it would fix her!
She gimped her way into the healing center, her pride not allowing her to show her true condition. She was dressed smartly in her favorite business clothes, though she had been tempted to wear her worst house clothes and leave off makeup, since so many of the previous doctors had told her “You are too pretty to be as sick as you say you are!” offering her anti-depressants. She wanted to scream at them, “I wouldn’t be depressed if my entire life wasn’t upside down from feeling so bad for so long!” Sue Lynn could feel a tangible difference in this clinic. The air even seemed lighter and easier to breathe. The way she was greeted was like the staff genuinely wanted her to feel loved. “So this is American Biological Medicine…I like it better already!” She thought.
Although he reviewed her previous blood work and ordered a few more, the Physician performed many new types of testing that looked odd, but as he tested he actually was able to anticipate and tell her what many of her symptoms were before she even told him anything! As the Physician talked to her he looked right into her eyes and she had the feeling that he was truly listening like he had nowhere else he would rather be at that moment than listening to her entire saga from start to finish. He seemed to grab onto things that all the other doctors just blew off. The heart of the physician was obvious and confident with the kind of grace that comes from years of living in high personal integrity. Sue Lynn thought she had never met any doctor who seemed to understand so much and be able to communicate it in such a way that even her illness damaged brain could understand. His eyes held a confidence and gentleness that seemed to notice everything, like he was reading her entire life-struggle by what he observed. His intelligence was evident almost immediately and she began to feel a glimmer of real hope.
Sue Lynn wanted to believe that this unique physician could help her, but his methods were so different from the conventional doctors and their pharmaceutical drugs, that her college-trained brain just couldn’t accept it completely. She would give it a try, she decided, but she would still look for the next thing…after all she has “Atypical Lupus!”
For two weeks Sue Lynn saw the Physician daily for an hour. The hands of the Physician reminded Sue Lynn of the hands of a skilled musician as he dynamically tested and treated her body, mind, and spirit. As he treated her, he taught her the realities of how to balance her mind, emotions, and all areas of her life. It was almost too much to take in but she was beginning to understand how blood tests and pharmaceutical drugs were so simplistic in comparison to all of this. She spent several hours a day at the clinic on the various therapies and watched selected DVD’s that further taught her how to take charge of every aspect of her life again. Before coming to the Physician, she had felt like her life was going 70 miles per hour but she was stuck in first gear. Now her body was shifting gears more smoothly in every respect…her brain struggled to let go of the lingering fear of Atypical Lupus and the “what if it doesn’t stick” concept that hung over her like a dark cloud.
Two weeks of a myriad of different treatments came to an end. It was decision time. “Do I keep up with this or go back to my conventional medical doctor?”
Before this nothing had even helped her and she knew it…now in just two weeks all but one of her 16 symptoms were at least fifty percent better. A couple symptoms had actually disappeared! Over the two weeks she had learned many new things that she would still use…but she had been brought up with seven generations of her family doing conventional medicine. She hadn’t told her family or friends what she was doing. It was disconcerting to her at the Physician’s calmness when she told him she would not be continuing his treatments even though he had been the only one to help her. “I talked to my conventional medical doctor and he hasn’t heard of American Biological Medicine.” She told the Physician. “My doctor goes to my church and delivered my children and I don’t want to upset him.” She went on to say.
“Listen to your body instead of your head. Your improvements did not come from masking your symptoms.” The Physician implored. “Only by restoring the optimum function and integrity of your body, mind, and spirit can this much improvement happen this rapidly.” Sue Lynn understood that her fear alone would prevent her from ever returning to this gentle physician…but she had already essentially married her conventional medical doctor’s beliefs…in sickness and in health…’til death do us part.