by Helene Leonetti, M.D.
These last two years have been a very curious time, since leaving corporate medicine after 50 years. I had some doubts that I could make it on my own after being an employee of a medical center all these years. Now I would be without the cocoon of protective chairmen of the many disciplines that surrounded me; Obstetrics, Gynecology, General Surgery, Oncology, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Neurology, Psychiatry, to name but a few of the myriad of specialists that care for the patient. Moreover, I had everything being done for me, appointments made, fees collected, marketing, malpractice. Now it was just me and I was scared, however, it became a time of growth. I learned how to be virtual by skyping all over the world as well as seeing patients in my Pennsylvania and Florida practices. I also surrounded myself with skilled assistance. I am proud that I have walked through the fire, and have achieved an enviable freedom and lifestyle that affirms the divine mission that I was given. If I can do this at age 70, I challenge that anyone can, as long as we dare to dream and not lose our primary focus.
Ah, the operative words: primary focus. It is always gratifying when patients are ready to make regaining their health their primary focus! Recently, a lovely patient visited me who had suddenly developed severe pain in her neck, shoulders, arms, fingers, about 5 months ago. The pain was so severe that she needed to take vicodin. This is an addictive pain medicine that can cause constipation, drowsiness, and not indicated for long term pain.
A visit to her family doctor and endocrinologist gave her the diagnosis of polyarthritis rheumatica and she was given prednisone, a potent anti-inflammatory medicine that affects our bones, our glucose metabolism, our emotions, our weight, and importantly, our adrenal glands that keep our immune state vibrant. Ah, yes, it makes the pain better, and it is a wonderful band aid for one of the hundreds of diagnoses that we have with ‘no known cause, and no known treatment,’ other than cortisone and pain medicines.
Not only did she receive no information on the many side effects of this potent medicine (she had to explore them on the Internet), but more importantly, she was given no guidance and help on what may have started the pain in the first place. I am delighted to report that this wellness warrior has had the courage to look at ALL aspects of her life, and has made notable changes. She is back to regular exercise; she has begun purchasing her animal protein hormone/antibiotic free and free-range; whenever possible, she buys AND grows her vegetables organically without harmful pesticides. In addition, after a lifetime of soda, she is finally off it entirely and makes water, her drink of choice. Finally, one of my greatest joys is that she stopped the Crestor (statin drug) to lower cholesterol, which has been implicated in causing pain, weakness in joints and muscles, besides causing aggressive behavior, depression, suicide, and cancer. A wonderful MD and NASA scientist, Dr. Graveline, wrote a book about his own journey using statin drugs where he developed global amnesia, which is the inability to have referenced point to past, present or future. Food for much thought.
Courage and fearlessness are the qualities of a wellness warrior. They are able to fire doctors that do not listen, after we try to teach them about natural healing that does not use drugs for chronic life issues. The last piece of this wonderful patient’s journey is the most difficult. It is understanding that EVERY NEGATIVE THOUGHT, EVERY NEGATIVE WORD, as well as every negative behavior, creates a molecule in our body, and has identical effects on our cell tissue as if we had an accident, a heart attack, or stroke. Harboring—often unconsciously—stinkin’ thinkin’—envy, anger, resentment, hurt, jealousy, non-forgiveness—of self, and others is responsible for dis-ease that no doctor can touch: only the doctor within—the one whose pharmacy produces healing hormones: oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine. Negative emotions produce, on the other hand, inflammatory cytokines and pain causing prostaglandins.
The last thing we spoke of before she left: get back to lovemaking with your beloved: this generates happy hormones AS WELL AS morphine-like pain killers, and bathes our immune state in healing.
I am not telling you to stop going to your physician to see what is wrong: just remember, when all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail. Until my profession develops courage to tell the pharmaceutical and insurance industries that it will no longer be held hostage and keep our patients victims of every chronic disease without teaching how to prevent them, there will be no partnership between physician and patient. That is the only way we can have a win-win situation that we all deserve.