Seems like there’s a lot to talk about these days. If you’ll indulge me, I want to share a recent experience and hopefully you’ll find it valuable.
Since I started seeing clients in clinical rounds while I was still in school, I have taken some comfort in my own health challenges knowing they offer me more empathy and provide first hand knowledge of what my clients may be going through. Last week was a “punch-in-the-face” kind of reminder. I was busy around the house getting ready for a colleague of mine from Massachusetts to visit. How fun seeing a fellow ND I went to school with 16 years ago! Then, I got “punched”.
Towards the end of a lovely and mentally/emotionally-nourishing visit, I noticed some pressure in my left ear. The pressure began to build and build until I found myself in a fetal position on my bed, where I would stay for the next three days. So, as we know here in Charleston, pollen is seemingly its own season. In preparation for my colleague’s visit, I beat the pollen off of our outdoor cushions and swept the porch. Well, while I don’t have seasonal allergies, I got a lesson in what allergies might mean for my clients. Within hours, my eustachian tube had completely closed and 24 hours later my eardrum eventually burst. It was a rough few days and I am still waiting for my hearing to return. We pulled out all the stops… everything we would recommend for a client with otitis media and a perforated TM… immune support, onion ear muffs, induced fever, antibiotics, natural antimicrobials and saline washes. Granted, the pain made these modalities challenging to implement, but there was no shortage of ideas.
Now that I am past the pain, I have a new touchstone and connection to my clients that suffer from sinusitis, seasonal allergies and ear infections. I am also keenly aware of how grateful I am to be part of an integrative primary care practice. I was given a smorgasbord of treatment ideas from different practitioners with different types of training, both conventional and natural. I became the acute patient in an Integrative setting and I am grateful. Individualized, integrative care is why Dr. Kennedy, MD (internist) and I started our HER program seeing clients together. We wanted to bring the best of conventional, functional and nutritional care together for the unique person that sits in front of us seeking health.
I am on the healing end now, researching and collaborating with my integrative practice about thoughtful ways to speed up the healing of my tympanic membrane. I am starting gotu kola, collagen and Liposomal Vitamin C. I am also on a preventative plan to prevent a future histamine response with Quercetin-Bromelain Forté, something we recommend to virtually all of our seasonal allergy patients.
No less important but I have a new grasp of what it means to suffer from hearing loss. Life feels different. It’s harder to connect with the world and those around you when your hearing is diminished. If you see me in the next couple of weeks, feel free to loudly enunciate your syllables;-).
Sometimes we have to find the silver-linings. I am grateful for this experience.
Since we’re talking about getting sick, we cannot overlook the COVID-19 virus that is on all of our minds. Everyone seems to be getting out good information about safety and prevention. I won’t attempt to re-create what we’ve all likely been told about hand washing, coughing into your elbow, not shaking hands/hugging (this one brought my 9 year old into hysterical tears when she heard she had to dial back the hugs), limiting travel and attending large public events.
What you likely want to hear from us is what we are doing as a family and recommending in our integrative practice. While no one really has definitive research specific to what prevents or treats this novel viral strain, we are working with what research and clinical practice has deemed beneficial for preventing other viruses, like the flu. These proposed ideas for information only and must not be construed as medical advice. Again, these are ideas we will consider in our family and you should consult your medical provider before making any changes based on these ideas. Reach out to us if you are interested in learning more.
Crazy times we are living in but glad we all have each other for support, answers and community! If it comes to a point where we are needing to quarantine or you simply don’t want to make the trip out, everyone in our practice offers wellness-based tele-med visits, so no worries about receiving good care.
We hope to hear from you. In the meantime take care of yourself and those around you.
We got this!