Now that I am basically spending more time with patients then I am with books and lecture halls, I am going to re-focus this blog to discuss naturopathic therapeutics and perspectives.
Going to be quite interesting for many to see what the life of a naturopathic medical student sees in clinic rotation.
So - my first post will begin this evening - or rather right now.
I am sitting here partially in my pajamas and partially in my clinic attire. My shift ended at 9:15pm this evening and began at 4pm.
This evening the energy was everywhere.
First patient was a woman with a headache for 2 solid weeks. After we did a full neuro exam and ruled out a tumor - at least for the evening - not entirely - we discovered she had 4 cervical vertebrae that we severely limited in rotation and extension.
The lead student clinician - [Im just a peon until summer quarter] - is big on energy work -which is not taught at my medical school. She began performing craniosacral on the patient and discovered family issues.
Very odd to me but Ill keep an open mind. The scientist in me has a hard time with energy work. I wanted to get in there and adjust the patient's C3, C4 and C5 vertebrae - and C2 was out as well. I also wanted to simply prescribe magnesium 200 mg TID prophylactically to help prevent further headache attacks.
The patient was remarkably better after the energy work so something must be said for it. The patient is big on it herself so perhaps that is what is needed - pure belief in the treatment.
In a couple days, we will follow up with the patient and see if she is no longer needing the 4 tablets of aspirin 4 times a day - that will burn a hole in your gut pretty fast at that dose.
Magnesium works wonders also - especially if one is drinking caffeine, stressed and eating sugar. So that leaves about...100% of Americans. In fact my web designer had severe headaches for years until I thought he may want to try taking magnesium. No more headaches.
Second patient today was unconsciously tough for me.
A early 50's man with a glioblastoma - a form of brain cancer.
He recently had surgery to try and remove all of it but the surgeon did not want to take all for fear of damage his speaking ability - the tumor is growing on Broca's area. So 25% of the tumor is left. Working with his oncologist is a leading ND who specializes in oncology along with a surgeon, primary care MD and us.
Us turned out to be the lead student clinician. He had heard of her energy healing abilities and sought her out. Our supervising physician referred the patient to work with another physician who knows and understands energy work better than he - which is a smart move. The patient fully understood. I am hoping that all goes well for him.
He was receiving chemo in the form of Tamoxifen - which is basically attacking the tumor via hormone pathways. I had no idea that brain tumors could be fueled by hormones. Quite interesting. Ill have to research that one.
The most eye-opening occurrence this evening is when the lead clinician asked: "So how are you doing?"
Patient asked: "With what?"
Anything you want to talk about - what is going on? How are you doing?
Such an open ended question like that is gold in medicine. It allows the patient to take the floor and speak what is really ailing them thereby allowing healing to take place. The problem there though this evening is that she started with such a beautiful question and she kept interrupting him with more. Not good in my book. I would have let him go and go with it without interruption allowing him to delve deeper into his thoughts and speak his mind.
He was almost in tears before she interrupted him - that could have been incredibly healing for him. I hope that time comes again during a visit with us. Sometimes clinicians and physicians get uncomfortable with silence - but they must learn to accept silence as it may lead to the most powerful outcome - and I believe that would have occurred this evening.
The patient stated that he was overall comfortable with the amazing situation he was in - yet if he looked at in within the moment - the present context - he was full of fear. That is where he got interrupted. How major that could have been to let him roll with it.
Yes - we all learn from observing. That moment told me to remember to maintain the silence and allow the patient to ponder and collect thoughts - and then the treatment will progress beautifully - sometimes.
His oncologists give him 6 months to live. +/- 3 months. I find that hard to believe as he looked so good. No one would ever know he had brain cancer unless he took of his hat - a huge indentation in his forehead from the surgery and balding from the chemo.
I did not realize how the evening affected me until I began walking to my car and driving home. I turned Morcheeba up louder and louder and louder with such a desire to accelerate down I5 North as fast as my car would go.
Was I racing from the patient's brain cancer? Was I racing from the evening's crazy energy? It is a tough field medicine. One sees numerous patients that may make it, heal completely or die right in front of you.
I feel that I do not take the patient's baggage onto me. Yet I must. This evening reflected that as I was driving home.
It is no wonder that oncologists are the first medical specialists to retire, become alcoholics or commit suicide. Oncology is a tough profession without many effective tools.
The most effective tool against cancer: PREVENT IT.
That is where I am headed - environmental medicine. Our planet is toxic. A toxic planet leads to toxic living beings. Toxicity breeds instability. Instability breeds cancer.
Watch what you eat - please. Limit the crap you ingest in terms of smoking, drugs, alcohol, fast food - I see the outcomes of these bad habits every day. They are not nice results.
I think we only live once on this planet. Keep it long and healthy.
On a good note is what we learned in family medicine. According to a research study:
Optimists live 18% longer than pessimists. That is huge when one is talking that the average life here on Earth is 72 years or so. 18% of 72 is another 13 years.
My patient was this evening. And he had a huge mass of cancer in his head.
Thank you for sharing your courage and optimism with me this evening. A true inspiration.