I have been an Registered Nurse (RN) for 30 years and for the last 16 years I have been an Advanced Practice Nurse as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. So from this you can gather that I am very familiar with the medical model of healthcare. Since I found nursing as a career, I have always enjoyed working with newborns, mothers and families. Yet through my personal health journey and the health of my family, I recognize that the medical model can be limited for most people.
Let me go back so you can understand. As a teenager I was active, happy and outgoing. Each time I tried for something it seemed to happen for me. I was a cheerleader, dancer and student officer. High school was full of great times and memories. Academics came a little harder I was an average student and never had any plans to attend college. While I kept busy and active, I was nothing of an athlete. I was flexible and coordinated, but slow and couldn't jump off the ground more than 8 inches. I was not overweight but always struggled to maintain my weight, especially in my hips, calves and thighs.
After high school I worked in a professional office in accounting. I reached a point where I knew there would be no further growth without a college degree. At 20 years old I quit my job, left my parents house and started college. One semester in and it was becoming clear I didn't want to work in accounting for the rest of my life. After a career aptitude test I found a new road - nursing.
I loved learning about the body. I was fascinated how each cell was created for a specific job and each cell knew how to do its job. How all the cells worked in conjunction with other cells to function as a whole body was really amazing. Since becoming a nurse, and now a Neonatal nurse practitioner, I have loved caring for babies, mothers and families. I also really enjoy teaching other nurses in infant and women's care.
From 20 to 50+ years old, weight and digestion continued to be my chief complaints. Life continued, I worked night shift in a Neonatal ICU as an RN. I got married and later had 2 kids. We moved from California to Arizona in hopes for a less stressful life. The adjustment to day shift RN was awakening. I had no idea how much better I could feel once working the same shift as the sun.
During my first year in Arizona, I became very sick with respiratory infection, fever, terrible joint pain. I was off work for 3+weeks. The doctors said I had bronchitis and put me on triple antibiotics. Unfortunately, the medicines didn’t seem to work as expected. We drove 200 miles to see doctors in the big city to figure out what was wrong. They tested me for several autoimmune diseases. The diagnosis was borderline Lupus. I didn’t know what to do. I researched everything I could on Lupus. And honestly, I didn’t see the correlation.
A few years later, I was getting repeated strep infections. My white blood cell count was down to 3,000. A chest x-ray found a nodule in my right lung and I was given the diagnosis of Valley Fever.
Two more years, and 6 months after having my 2nd baby, I got a small bump that popped up on my right cheek. The biopsy came back with Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma. How could this be, I felt fine. With no time to understand, that same afternoon I was getting a bone marrow biopsy, full body MRI, and started a 6-week course of radiation. I was told I had weeks to months to live. I was making plans for my family after my death. That was 19 years ago, and several full body MRIs have never found any signs of cancer. Even though there was never any correlation and no other evidence I had this fatal condition, I still can't get the medical community to amend my records and admit that I was misdiagnosed.
A few more years later, I was in graduate school. I was having terrible migraines. Guess what I am diagnosed this time? Multiple Sclerosis. Really! I walked out and didn’t stay for a lecture about the drug regimen they wanted to prescribe.
All these years, all of these diagnosis that didn't make sense to me. Still the unrelenting chronic complaint of constipation, digestive issues (bloating, cramping and gas) and weight control had never been addressed. These chronic issues had become my normal. Was it just how I was meant to be? So other than taking over the counter band aids, I lived with it. Then came the bladder issues, with stress incontinence and what seemed like frequent UTIs. Of course, I was given repeated courses of antibiotics followed by Diflucan for the inevitable yeast infection I would have to endure. I had a total hysterectomy at 40years for the abdominal pain and ‘endometriosis’ and then bladder sling placement x 2. While the sling helped for incontinence, I continued to have severe bladder spasms and pain. I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis. I changed my diet and started a ridiculous prescription protocol that even involved having to instill meds in my bladder daily. By this point, I was emotionally spent and becoming depressed.
All these diagnoses and yet the surgeries and treatments rarely worked, especially long term. Each new diagnosis and no correlation. No healing therapies were ever introduced. My energy was drained, my memory was foggy and getting worse, I felt older than I was. I was feeling helpless and began accepting this as what getting older is all about.
Then one day I listened to a Doctor of Homeopathy on the radio. Something clicked with me and I knew I needed to see her. This was the first time I had really tried something outside of conventional medicine. While she took my medical history, she asked so many questions that seemed to have nothing to do with my health. They were questions about my spirit, my habits, my encounters and experiences. She looked at different labs (adrenals, inflammation and hormones), that had never been assessed in all the times I had been to the doctor. She started me on a ‘homeopathic sublingual remedy’. Within 6 months, I was not taking pain pills, stopped the bladder instillations, and shortly after stopped all of my oral medications. For the first time in decades I felt I was finally starting to HEAL. That was about 12 years ago, and I occasionally have a mild flare up. But I know what to do Naturally to return to feeling better.
Now the bladder issues were history, but my nearly lifetime complaint of constipation and weight control remained. Unfortunately, my Homeopath moved out of state. I returned to the Mayo Clinic for medical care. They would do all the scans and procedures to make sure they didn’t find anything life threatening, but for wellness care I was just told to eat more fiber and less calories. They didn’t understand I had of course tried that 100 times over. I wanted to know how to heal my gut and learn the ‘Why, or the Cause’ of my chronic issues.
Outside of my personal health story, I had family around me that shared their health concerns and frustrations with me. Since I’m a nurse, they look to me for answers. My mother had become severely weaker and more depressed over the last year after having a ‘heart attack’. (Which by the way does not correlate with anything in her history or labs or diagnostic test.) She was given several new medications. That brought her up to 18 medications, each with a long list of side effects. At my daughter's high school graduation, my mother couldn’t walk from the curb into the venue. (Oh she is going to love that I am telling this story). She would tell her doctors and they would just threaten her that if she didn’t take the meds she would have another heart attack. I just felt there were some better options for her.
My mother-in-law had been rapidly worsening with dementia/Alzheimer’s. Medicine didn’t seem to want to try to heal her. Her doctor just prescribed pills and suggested placing her in a memory home costing tens of thousands a year. They even told the family- anything they do will just prolong her living in this state. It is terribly sad the way the medical community treats people suffering like this. Well now looking forward for the rest of the family, they want to make sure they are doing everything they can not to have this same devastating existence. There is so much that can be done to prevent and even reverse Alzheimer's.
From a professional point of view…I have been working in nursing for 30 years and the last 16 as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP). I have been increasingly frustrated with medical politics and the drug pushing, cookbook approach to medicine. Also, the limited time any physician is given to listen, discuss and followup with the patient. And of course the hours/schedule of an NNP (I work 24hr shifts) are not benefiting my goal of optimal health. For at least the last 5 years, my major goal became finding an exit strategy from medicine. My next career and adventure.
My search for something better landed me on a site for Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. Every video or lecture I listened to just connected or seemed like common sense. I was taken by the idea of treating holistically, non-specifically, to allow the body to heal and function optimally. I was confident that as I learned more my family and I were going to live healthier, happier lives. I grew confident I could teach others to live healthier, happier lives. FDN was more than my answer to healing and living better, it was my answer to working another 15-20 years, enjoying my work, continuously be learning, and teaching my interest to others while improving many lives.
It has been less than a year since I started changing my diet, lifestyle, habits, and routines. I feel better than I can ever remember, I have energy to work all day, my mind is sharper, I rarely have stomach or bladder issues, and the weight has been dropping without starving or over exercising. Others in the family are also seeing weight losses. My mother is slowly getting her medication count down and she sleeps better and wakes with energy to get through her day. She is walking all over the place and getting out of the house every day. She is getting back to the mom I aspire. I look forward to continued healing, optimizing my health, staying healthy and living a fulfilling life. I want to help others learn how they can overcome chronic ailments or complaints and live their optimal lives.
Whatever your reason for reading my story, I want you to know that I am here for you. I want you to find the same self awareness and learn to heal your body instead of using temporary treatments that add to the toxic load in your body and only treat the symptom.
Are you not feeling like yourself? Have you been diagnosed with a chronic illness but it doesn't feel right or you don't know how to eat or live so you aren't suffering? Or maybe you simply are looking to learn to live your best, healthier life following a natural approach. Don't use the 'this is just the cards I ws dealt' excuse, because it doesn't have to be that way.
FDN (Functional Diagnostic Nutrition) is a foundation of healthcare that uses functional lab testing. Looking at systems like Immune function, Hormone balance, Adrenal response, Digestion, and Detoxification. Functional labs together with a very comprehensive interview allow me to delve under the surface and find the causes of your ailments. FDN does not diagnose nor treat individual symptoms, we go deeper to find the cause of the symptoms and design lifestyle protocols to correct the underlying cause(s) and heal so you are once again able to respond and function in harmony. Protocols are geared around reducing or removing stressors and toxins that are often the source of the malfunctions in the body.
Book me for your complementary Discovery Call today. Let's learn more about what can be discovered and gained by working with me. This call could be your start to a Happily Ever After!