“I used to look to doctors for the answers, expecting them to have just the right information”
When it comes to tick-borne illnesses, there is an ongoing stream of complaints about doctors, not just medical doctors, but healthcare providers across the spectrum into ‘alternative’ healthcare providers (OD’s, ND’s, DC’s, etc). There are also many praises sung for others in the same fields of care.
I do not propose that I have experienced it all and know it all, but this being my little soap box of a blog, I share here my thoughts on the ‘Doctors’.
I used to look to doctors for the answers, expecting them to have just the right information, to make no mistakes, and to be responsible for ‘fixing’ my body when it felt broken. This has changed over the last couple of years.
In earlier rounds of Lyme disease, I put the responsibility of my well being fully in the hands of my health care providers. Last year things shifted for me and I changed my stand. It felt more empowering to hold myself as the responsible party, to hold myself responsible for finding appropriate care, to hold myself responsible for getting educated about what was going on inside my body. From that place I experienced gratitude for what each of my healthcare providers offered in their field of expertise. After all this time I still do not feel like I am an expert in Lyme disease or other tick-borne illnesses and I’m far from considering myself a scientist with some great level of understanding for the brilliance and genius of the human body.
What I have learned though is to trust that my body is most likely the only thing that has the know-how to deal with the complicated process of healing itself, and my job is to do the best I can to support it in it’s job…and I rely on the knowledge and wisdom of those around me to support that. I have also learned to trust my gut instincts, although there are times I don’t honor them.
Life is short and it seems like a waste to spend time and energy lingering over the apparent inadequacies of some healthcare providers – those who brush Lyme patients off as being hypochondriacs, those who are too uncomfortable to stretch outside of their realms of expertise and listen to what their patients are saying to them, those who are simply overwhelmed because they feel they simply cannot make a difference, and still others who don’t have the staying power for the marathon it is to support a chronic Lyme patient back to wellness. It seems undeniably unfair that so many thousands have suffered for years, sometimes even decades dealing with these types of circumstances. It appears to impact people in different ways. Some remain angry and victimized, some become spokesman and public educators, and some become politically activated and are rattling the cages of the powers that be.
My experiences don’t come close to what I have heard others sharing about. Mostly I have been well supported in my learning and healing, and yet, I have also had times when I felt dismissed and where my commitment was not matched by the commitment of a healthcare provider. And when I take an honest look at those difficult times, I see that they offered an opportunity for me to learn something about myself…and so I work to make peace with them and consider that perhaps when I let go of my attachment to how people are ‘supposed’ to show up in my life, those experiences reveal an opportunity for a different type of healing. And at the end of the day, healing is healing, and it’s not always a comfortable journey.
What I find myself left with is gratitude for those doctors who give their all and stay the distance (Lyme literate or not), and compassion for those who aren’t ‘ready’ to step outside of their comfort zone to admit their humanity and learn newly, for overwhelm is not a pleasant experience for anyone. For those doctors who occur as negligent…I trust that in time they will have to face themselves for they are creating a future for themselves that will reflect who they are being in the present. The Universe provides that balance perfectly.
In the meantime, I wish for all patients to find the perfect blend of healthcare providers to support them along the path back to healing and wellness.
This article was originally published on Lyme Thriving by Jenny Swart Thrush. Her web site is about self-empowerment; what each individual can do for him or herself, particularly since there are so many who are unable to afford ongoing medical treatment.
Lyme-Aware is an independent organization and has no affiliation with this organization or individual.