I recently was at the hospital for a kidney transplant and educated the staff that was willing to liste. I am a physical therapist by trade, a yogi and Reiki master. I also know my body very well and educate myself on Chinese medicine, alternative natural medicine and holistic medicine.
When I was a child my father was a nurse anesthetist and he believed in holistic medicine. We would go as a family to Toronto for Laughter and Play conferences. This is a conference that had many holistic practitioners. They included Reiki, yoga, acupuncture, hypnosis, clowns and vendors that had alternative and holistic products. We went to cancer seminars with Bernie Seglal MD, who was noted for alternative medicine ideas for that period of time in medicine in the 1980’s. Bert, my father, also believed in hypnosis for some anathestias. Believe it or not my dad was a monk in his lifetime and also went to a university for psychology at one time in his educational career.
I was raised in that environment and even was allowed to enter the OR with my dad during surgeries of all kinds. All we needed was the doctor’s permission to scrub in and I stood at the top of the operating table. This happened when other kids went to the movies with their parents.
I was always an advocate to be a teacher of knowledge and be a healer. I have been interested in learning and gaining knowledge. I have been excited about both Eastern and Western medicine. Over that year I went for training at the Ayurvedic Medical Institute in New Mexico when I learned about my end stage renal disease seeking answers for treatment. India was considered by me as a place to get a new kidney transplant but Medicare would not care for the new kidney when I came home to the States so that was not an option for me.
Being a life coach and now a transformation life coach with life coach training through the Global wWorld of Listening and Communication with Dr Carol McCall. I am not trained as a nutritionist or dietitian. I do not claim to be an herbalist, MD or nurse. I do know my worth and being an educator , I teach.
Let’s get back to the topic of my question: Do you take on the role as an educator when you are the patient if the Medical staff is willing to listen?
When I was at the hospital getting my kidney transplant, I educated my nurse who was willing to listen. She came into my room asking me to try a strawberry Ensure. I said I would try it knowing very well all the ingredients I did not want to ingest. First couple of ingredients were sugar and corn syrup. I showed her the box and the list of ingredients. She was surprised. Maybe she learned something that day.
Then when I returned to heal after surgery at my cousin’s home, the transplant nurse called me for my first interaction after leaving the hospital. She explained that if I drank a can of diet coke or a regular coke ,it would raise my phosphorus level now that they were down since surgery as my labs indicated. I discussed with her that I would not start drinking sodas . They were not healthy for me. I explained I did not want the chemicals in the diet soda and not the chemicals and sugar in the regular soda. So we would reassess after my next set of labs and seek an alternative if necessary. Again maybe I taught her something. Trust me I practice following the medical community of my transplant team since they care for me in dialysis and after a transplant, however I also speak up. I always feel I have a choice with kidney disease. I either follow the rules and get a transplant hopefully or do not follow the rules and then do not get a chance at a new transplanted kidney. Still I have a choice.
So again I pose the question: Do you educate the medical providers? Or do you follow their recommendations and orders without questioning them? During my first interaction with my doctor after my transplant at the doctors office, the nephrologist “ Do not trust anyone, not even me!”
My decision is that if my medical team is willing to listen I try to educate them on a personal note not as a licensed professional out of my scope of practice as a physical therapist.