My family celebrated the New Year in one of our favorite spots, Colorado. The mountains have a special place in my heart.
I can still hear the screams from my mom to slow down as my 3-year-old self had no fear straight lining down the mountain - some things never change.
This year was different. On December 30th a family member started to feel a bit of numbness in their arm and jaw. We did the normal homeopathic, herbs, and acute relief supplements to improve the pain as we thought it was from a tooth that was pulled the previous month.
As we celebrated with other family members, the pain didn't improve. It got worse.
So, we had an honest conversation and during a whiteout snowstorm we drove to the closest emergency room.
By this time it was 11 pm on a holiday weekend at a completely full hospital. Our family piled into the waiting room and got cozy because intuitively we knew it was going to be a long night.
The nurses rushed us in to do an EKG. Normal.
They took the blood pressure. 220/130. Pulse 115. That's not a good sign.
Troponin levels. Elevated.
Retake troponin levels 30 minutes later. Still elevated even after medication.
Likely a heart attack.
The ER doctor on call comes into the room and breaks the news. It is time to get down to Denver, now.
A few of us pile into an ambulance and make the frightening 75-mile trek down the mountains to Denver in a foot of blowing snow. As we get to the hospital around 9 am, the ICU cardiologist on call puts us first in line to get a stent into one of the branches of the right coronary artery.
We knew something had to be serious as we skipped the 12 other people waiting to get a similar procedure.
The first procedure went silky smooth. The following day, they had us come back for a second stent to be put in.
However, that day things felt a bit strange. One of those experiences where your stomach feels 'off' but you can't quite put it into words.
With our stomachs churning we check the clock. 30 minutes pass. 45 minutes pass.
Then a janitor tries to come to clean the hospital room communicating in broken English that on her board, the patient had been transferred. That's weird. We didn't hear anything. So we rushed to the nurse's station. No word.
The ICU nurse finally comes down. We are back in the ICU. The first stent that was in place was blocked again due to a reaction to a non-activated blood thinner that they commonly use, Plavix. The cardiologist comes to talk to us.
In his direct but caring Grandfather tone he says, 'Well, things didn't go as planned. Come on, patient, I expected you to do better."
Well, this story has a happy ending. The following day our prayers were answered. On his day off the cardiologist came into the hospital to make sure the third procedure went according to plan and our family felt supported.
A deep sense of peace washed over us as we saw our family member being carted back into the ICU room after a successful procedure for another 24 hours of monitoring.
Conventional medicine works.
For acute care settings to prolong or save a life - it really works.
Our country has one of the most sophisticated and successful systems for this type of emergent care. There is no question about it.
However, what happened after the procedure is far too common. Now our family member is on a handful of different medications with a myriad of side effects which include fatigue, gout, and headaches.
The mindset of all the specialists was and continues to be to use pharmaceutical medication to lower the cholesterol to as low as possible even though the evidence shows that the individuals with the lowest cholesterol (the lowest 10% of the population) have a 2-3x increase of all-cause mortality.
Meaning that even though their cholesterol is the lowest in the population they actually have a shorter life span because they die of other diseases such as cancer, strokes, suicide, etc.
There was also little to zero conversation about nutrition or lifestyle changes that can support the cardiovascular system.
The recommendation was to avoid salt, however, the evidence confirms that the proper ratio of sodium: to potassium (which is commonly found in sea salt) improves cardiac conditions.
Well, thank God that our family had access to this type of care to save the life of someone we deeply love. It shined a spotlight on how needed this type of medicine is in our world.
This type of medicine was traditionally called Allopathic Medicine. Which by definition, is a system in which medical doctors treat symptoms and diseases with the use of drugs, radiation, or surgery. There is a direct intervention to suppress the symptoms and is certainly needed in situations, but as long as we understand that with it comes consequences.
However, how can we transform our lives so we don't get into this situation in the first place?
What can we do every day to educate the masses that there is a different way to live, so we don't need to rely on this type of medicine?
This is called Naturopathic Medicine. This type of medicine is the best form of medicine for the prevention of chronic illness. With this type of medicine, we understand that symptoms are the body's intelligent response to an underlying disturbance.
To change the symptoms, you first must relieve the body of the disturbance while working with the symptoms to facilitate healing. To work with the symptoms you can observe nature with different herbs, nutrients, or other therapies to understand what is needed for the individual.
God has already instilled in nature a framework for us to follow - the blueprint of what we can do to prevent many of these life-threatening situations from happening.
Conventional medicine is effective. There is a reason that we must have it in our world. However, there is another way if you are suffering from a chronic illness like the 200,000,000 million Americans who are (CDC Chronic Illness)
I hope this year brings you the clarity that you need to follow nature's blueprint to achieve the health that we all know is possible.
Hospital Food Images Below.
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