This article was written by Nicole Eckert, Holistic Nutritionist and the Owner + Founder of Holisticole. Check out her holistic living blog: holisticole.com for amazing clean-eating recipes, informative blog posts and online programs. Stay inspired by Nicole’s passion – follow her on Facebook & Instagram (@holisticole). BE vibrant.
Have you ever felt as if your medical doctor was missing details or neglecting the proper testing to determine your current state of health?
Melda Murray’s story is about to unfold and depict an example of precisely this. At the age of 76, Melda began experiencing severe stomach pain and weakness, the symptoms became so unbearable that she ended up in the emergency room.
On Melda’s ER visit, no tests were fulfilled and she was sent home with instruction to take Tylenol for the pain and discomfort.
These bleak instructions were not helpful to Melda’s worsening pain, and she found herself back in the ER for a second time shortly after. On this visit to the ER an X Ray was taken and a colon blockage was interpreted as being the reason for her digestive discomfort. No further tests were done at this time, or on subsequent visits.
On Melda’s sixth trip to the emergency room she rightfully received an MRI.
This MRI indicated her colon cancer diagnosis, and within 24 hours of receiving the diagnosis as discovered through the MRI, Melda passed away in an in-patient bed in the hospitals infirmary.
The doctor told Melda’s husband, Murray, that there was really nothing they could do. Murray however believed that a more in-depth scan, such as the fate bringing MRI taken the day before she died, should have been performed much sooner. The couple was making regular trips to the ER from May until November when Melda passed away, and in addition to the frustration and emotions he must have felt, Murray also recalls some of the ER staff reacting to their multiple visits in a dismissive manor.
While this story brings up many feelings in parallel extremes from anger to sadness. This experience is actually more common than it should be… According to a new study published in the journal BMJ Quality & Safety, each year in the US approximately 12 million adults who seek outpatient medical care are misdiagnosed. This figure amounts to 1 in 20 adult patients being misdiagnosed. Research further states that in half of these cases, the misdiagnosis has the potential to result in severe health risks and harm.
12 million Americans is a lot of people, and this is very serious. This number represents about 5 percent of the outpatient encounters. Getting 95 percent might be a good grade on an english paper, but this is not good enough for medicine, especially when there are lives at stake .
STAND UP FOR YOUR SYMPTOMS
The biggest lesson to take away from Melda’s story is that we need to stand up for our symptoms. Listen to your body and never give up searching for the answers, because there is always an explanation and solution for everything. You know how you feel and you need to represent yourself to create your best health. Often times with a diagnosis in western medicine, symptoms are isolated -we are referred to a cardiologist for cardiac health, a neurologist for neurological symptoms, and a gastroenterologist for gut concerns. Often times the symptoms for a complex illness do not align with a diagnosis for a categorized organ-system-based disease.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to heal yourself, the key is taking careful consideration in your story of symptoms and all of its elements.
THE POWER OF PREVENTION
It should be known that conventional western medicine is designed for emergency care. If you have a broken leg or a stroke, i’m sorry but there is no herb or elixir that is going to offer a modality for a catastrophic illness or trauma.
We need western medicines advanced diagnostic imaging and even their pharmaceuticals to keep up safe and alive in the case of an emergency, and that is what they are designed for.
Keep in mind that our medical system was not designed to prevent disease, address the root cause or even promote our best health for that matter. What the health care system has to offer, in many cases is not what the world needs. What we need is prevention, which is practiced through holistic living and nutrition, if you are going to your doctor to seek answers, in many cases we just end up feeling frustrated discouraged and sometimes hopeless.
Countless people have been told there was nothing that could be done for them, or that there was nothing actually wrong with them, or that they were making things up.
This doesn’t need to be the case for you.
KNOW THE SIGNS
In the case of colon cancer, there are many cases where no symptoms at all are experienced in the early stages of the disease. When symptoms do appear, they’ll likely vary, depending on factors such as the cancer’s size and location in your large intestine . It’s important to listen to your body and be aware of how you are feeling and any changes to how you operate day-to-day. Being self-aware is key in unveiling a diagnosis. The following are serious signs and symptoms of colon cancer:
- Long-term change in bowel habits, this includes diarrhea or constipation and change in consistency that lasts longer than four weeks.
- Blood in the stool
- Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramping, bloating and pain
- Feeling as if your #2’s are not fulfilling or a complete evacuation
- Weakness or fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
If at any point you notice any symptom of colon cancer, do not hesitate to make an appointment with your doctor and stand up for your symptoms and right to your best health.
HOW TO BUILD YOUR WELLNESS TEAM
CHOOSE YOUR PRACTITIONER
This takes some time but it’s important to find a practitioner that not only has the credentials, but also the potential to be the perfect fit for your needs. Whether you find someone locally or online, it’s worth the effort to find the right person who resonates with you.
CHECK THEIR CREDENTIALS
It’s important to look for a practitioner who is licensed and/or certified within their profession. While this cannot guarantee their passion and work ethic, you will find that references and word-of-mouth referrals to be of great value.
VALUE THE INITIAL APPOINTMENT
When you book your initial appointment with the practitioner of your choice. Listen to their story and their plan for achieving your optimal health and wellness. Pay attention to how you feel throughout this appointment. Are they listening to you? Are you on the same level? Are you confident and comfortable in the conversation? Do you feel like a partner in this relationship?
Do yourself and your practitioner a courtesy and type out your health story in chronological order from birth. Include all of your most significant life events, a list of current supplements and medication, a journal of how you’re feeling and your food intake for at least three days.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO MOVE ON
Regardless if this expense to see a practitioner is coming out of pocket or not, don’t feel like you’re stuck with them. If the relationship isn’t there, it may discourage you from continuing on this healing path! This is your life, and your health – when you are with your practitioner it should be like two working partners in a relationship. If the feeling isn’t right, just as with so many other scenarios in life – don’t be afraid to move on.
BUILD YOUR TEAM
Your team may have more than two players. On your wellness journey, many others may join your healing tribe. You should have a physician first and foremost. But it’s also of value to have a chiropractor, osteopath, massage therapist, psychological therapist and even an energy medicine practitioner. They all approach health and healing from different perspectives, and while practicing from different points of view, together they work synergistically. Discover 10 Healthcare Practitioner Options here.