I had been seeing a naturopathic doctor in Sacramento for about six months when I started seeing my therapist. Adding a therapist to my arsenal of health providers seemed like a logical thing since I had been reading Healing Multiple Sclerosis, by Ann Boroch, and I was struggling with things like
“It’s essential for you to believe — to know — that you can eradicate this ‘so-called’ incurable disease.” (p. 13)
“I could no longer ignore that thoughts created energy — that each thought, conscious or unconscious, spoken or unspoken, translated into electrical impulses that in turn directed the control centers in my brain as well as my central nervous system.” (p. 21)
“The attacking agent for MS — or any disease — is not simply yeast, or a virus, or an organ system that has failed. It is much more than that. It is a culmination of the history of each individual’s thoughts, emotions, stress levels, spiritual connection, genetics, diet and environmental factors. The body’s cellular memory stores every element, and part of regaining health is to uncover it, release it, and restore vitality.” (p. 25)
“Though you may not think so, you have absolute choice over everything you think and feel. It’s your choice whether you let the diagnosis of MS devastate you — or whether you decide to beat it.” (p. 144)
“You have the power to change your reality at anytime.” (p. 158)
I knew that I needed help managing stress and getting my mental and spiritual selves healthy while also working on getting my physical self healthy. One of the main things I needed help with was letting go of maximizing my health.
“If I put in six months of work, I want to see six months worth of results,” I told my therapist. I didn’t feel like I had been working on a treatment plan for six months.
“Have you thought about seeing someone else and getting a second opinion?” he asked.
“No, I haven’t.”
“Because I feel committed to this doctor. I’ve already spent thousands of dollars with him and I’ve already spent six months with him.”
“But if you feel like you are on the hamster wheel with him, then maybe you should think about seeing a different doctor.”
“I just don’t want to waste the time and money I’ve already spent.”
“It’s not a waste if that time and money has taught you that he’s not the doctor for you. You always have the choice to change doctors.”
Choice. It always came back to choice. I can choose to keep seeing the same doctor or I can choose to see a new one. I can choose who I spend time with, and I can choose to say no when spending time with someone would be too taxing energetically.
Ann Boroch writes about how health is a choice. I can choose to be healthy mentally. I can choose to be healthy spiritually. And every time I put something in my mouth to eat or drink, I am choosing whether (or not) to be healthy physically.
I choose to write my story and share it without shame.
I also choose who will help me along the path to health. Just because I spent six months with one doctor — and it wasn’t working — doesn’t mean I have to stick it out with him. So earlier this year, at the end of April, Jeremy and I drove down to Los Angeles on a Sunday and stayed the night in this time warp of a hotel. The next day I had my initial consultation with Ann Boroch.
She is everything I need in a doctor. Kind of a drill sergeant — a straight shooter who cuts to the chase. Just the way I like it: no beating around the bush. Tell me like it is.
In addition to kicking up my treatment plan by like 10 notches, Ann also affirmed a lot of what I had already been doing for the previous six months. She told me that I was in better shape than most people when they come to see her the first time. She got me on track with an anti-fungal (a real one, because the anti-fungal I thought I had been taking turned out not to be an anti-fungal at all). She answered questions I had that my previous doctor couldn’t answer for me — like no, in fact, I shouldn’t be on the pill because of how it wreaks havoc on my hormone balance.
“The goal is balance,” Ann told me. “We have to start out extreme to get you back into balance, but after that it’s more about what works for your body than what I say you can or can’t do.”
“If you eat something you shouldn’t, just get back on track the next day,” she said.
She has this crazy computer program, developed by the NASA scientist who brought home Apollo 13, that scans the body and reads cellular energy. She told me to take off all my jewelry and put a band around my head that had wires coming off of it and attaching to her computer. It’s very sci-fi. At my first visit, my cellular energy was a 1. At my follow-up with her after four weeks, it was an 8. (Oh, and the sci-fi program can do its thing remotely, via Skype.)
“How did you do on the diet?” Ann asked right away at my four-week followup. “Just tell me approximately, 80%, 90% or what?”
“One hundred percent,” I said. (Perfectionist, much?)
“Really? No cheating?”
We continued with the follow-up while the sci-fi program did its thing, running the scan. We talked about bowel movements. (Yeah, that’s a thing I have to talk about now.) We talked about headaches and energy levels.
When the sci-fi scan finished Ann said, “Okay, let’s take a look at your blood — that’s usually where I catch people cheating.”
“You’re blood’s clean,” she said. “I guess you really haven’t cheated.”
It also measures crazy things like where there are weaknesses in the body’s systems and how quickly the physical body is aging. Of course at my first visit, the program read weakness in my brain and it put my body’s age at 37 (my birthday is in July so I was 33 at the time). After four weeks, there was less weakness registering in my brain and my body’s physical age registered at 35. Some other peculiarities: it told her that I’m a perfectionist (how does it know?) and that I had been experiencing lower back pain, when I hadn’t mentioned that at all.
The next time I saw my therapist, he said to me, “When it seems like there are no choices, I want you to start saying to yourself, ‘There are choices here, I just don’t see what they are right now.’ ”
I’m getting better now that I have made a better choice for my health. My body is proving that choice matters.