Terry Lynne Hale

Practicing the Art of Perseverance

If you read my June 1st post titled Another Reason We Have To Be Our Own Health Advocate, you’d likely be surprised by this post.  I am overjoyed with the outstanding experience I had with my new Primary Care Doctor. 

My PC of about 17 years retired last summer. I needed to find a new primary and after some research, I chose a DO (Doctor of Osteopathy,) a woman, and one twenty years younger than me. (Don’t want her to retire before I do 🙂 ) I am thrilled with my choice!

My annual wellness visit (2nd time meeting this physician) was very thorough and there were zero-time constraints. Dr. Tree told me her care team is not focused on time but on the patient’s needs. I provided her two sheets of paper with numerous links and while I explained I didn’t expect her to read it all, I wanted my reasons for not accepting her referral to an osteoporosis medication, and my choice to wean off yet another medication, in my medical record.

As a former Board Certified Patient Advocate, I wanted the rationale behind my choices to be part of my medical record. I also wanted to demonstrate to this physician that I am a researcher who does due diligence to find the underlying cause of whatever my search is and does not disregard medical advice lightly but sees the limitations inherent in today’s crazy-busy world. I am also a cynic because while DRs recite the Hippocratic Oath, apparently reciting is where the understanding of what it means ends for most. (Refer to an old post featuring Hippocrates for my perspective on this.) It is an oath of ethics, but I’ll stop here because this is clearly a detour.

I’ve struggled with autoimmune conditions for a few decades. At first, it was hypothyroidism which as more details emerged, it is actually Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. My Immune system attacks my thyroid thinking there are foreign invaders it must save. (There are many uncomfortable symptoms with this condition but since my body’s temperature is always freezing, I tend to focus on that. I wear double layers throughout the year because while outside it may be 90 degrees, every store, restaurant, bank, etc. must believe we need air conditioning set at 65 degrees! I spend most of my daily life overdressed but have begun golf lessons and relish the time outside in the sun & warmth.) Working with a functional provider to find THE right dose and type of thyroid med has proven to be a very elusive journey.  Between manufacturing problems, supply chain issues, and our government’s clear preference for pharmaceuticals over Mother Nature’s natural medicines, getting well and maintaining optimal health is a humongous challenge. (I knew decades ago our elected officials had no business passing laws that lined their own pockets – and it gets worse by the day.) Additionally, I have malabsorption issues that have been unresolved for years.

Then, I was diagnosed was osteoporosis. I’ll be writing about this in greater detail in a later post.

I was diagnosed with iron-deficient anemia about 12 years ago. I used to give blood regularly because mine is the universal blood type and it felt good to give back in this way. My numbers have been too low for many years so iron infusions must be done – seems like about every 5 years. I had one this morning. No one had ever discovered the root cause of my IDA. Not my long-time primary care doctor, not the Oncologist/Hematologist who ordered iron infusions, or the functional provider I’ve seen off and on for years- ever pursued the root cause. Until Dr. Tree. She had the foresight in my fist visit with her 12/2022, to order labs (that would be taken in July 2023) that included a test for Celiac Disease.  Unbelievably, I tested a very strong positive. CD is an inherited disease, so I don’t know which parent had it and they didn’t either.  I knew nothing about CD until I read it on the order and then did a bit of research.  Dr. Tree got to the root cause of nearly all the medical conditions written about here, in two visits.   Turns out CD is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.  I’m hopeful that getting this under control, restoring the villi in my small intestine so that I can actually absorb the nutrients eaten and the supplements that are intended to assist with food. 

Now, I’m back to working with Jackie of Restoring Our Health, to dig deep into all the foods and beverages consumed but also every skin care, medication, supplement, personal care, and cosmetic I use to make sure they are gluten free.  I’m about 65% GF now – having learned of the dangers of GMOs (or if you prefer today’s euphemism : Bioengineered or Derived from Bioengineering) several years ago. Today, gluten can be found in nearly everything – a cheap filler like sugar, it’s everywhere.

The topic of food labeling and changes the Trump administration spearheaded will definitely find its place in another post of mine later this year.

Back to basics – clean, whole, healthy food.  Grass-fed, pasture raised.  Goodbye to the NA beer I adopted 17 years ago.  I will really miss you.  I will especially miss you when & if I am able to enjoy Mexican and Italian food again. 

No time for the pity-pot.  I finally have a root cause and can thank my new physician for that!