Recently I began seeing a new doctor at Integrated Health Solutions in Indianapolis, IN. Of course, I was skeptical from the beginning. Anybody with a chronic illness or disabling condition knows that going to the doctor can be a time consuming, stressful, and many times a disheartening situation. Doctors in America are conditioned to strive for billable hours. Our society revolves around the almighty dollar. In a capitalistic society, making a buck is important, but it’s not as important as maintaining your humanity.
Doctors offices these days are often overbooked and understaffed. The wait time alone can be disheartening, but when your doctor doesn’t understand your disability (or even know how to pronounce it), you often leave with few questions answered. Your doctor may not even believe anything is wrong with you, and will recommend you see a psychiatrist. I can’t count the number of times that happened to me over these last 20 years.
Our medical system in America is not designed for people like me. It is not equipped to handle the random symptoms I encounter on a regular basis. I am sent to multiple specialists to manage my disorder, but I’m left with continued chronic pain and disabling symptoms for which nobody has the answers. Could the treatment at Integrated Health Solutions be any different? My visit today proved that they are different. Not only do they understand me, but they have not lost their humanity.
You don’t really know me unless you are in my “circle of trust”. Just like Jack Byrnes‘ character in Meet the Parents, I too have an inner circle of people who have the privilege (or burden) of knowing exactly how my disability affects me. Aside from restricting my ability to process protein, inhibiting my ability to generate ATP (energy), and the multitude of symptoms I manage as a result of the dysautonomia it causes, my disability also has the potential to cause chain reaction muscle spasms and cramps throughout my entire body. Only a handful of people aside from my husband are trusted by me to deal with such a situation. Most people freak out and call 911; sending me to the hospital with doctors who don’t know what to do, and leaving me with nothing but more medical bills to add to my accumulated pile. There’s nothing more embarrassing than having your entire body contort into unimaginable positions in a full body muscle cramp around strangers. So, of course, that’s exactly what my body decided to do today at my appointment at Integrated Health Solutions.
The doctors at Integrated Health Solutions are not the same run of the mill physicians one typically meets. I knew this on day one when my doctor, not only knew how to pronounce 3-Methylglutaconic Aciduria, but he knew what it was, and how it affects the body. This is already more advanced than the majority of my doctors and specialists. When my body suddenly decided to become what I refer to as “Pretzel Lady” during my appointment, 911 was not called. Instead, my doctor sought the assistance of the other doctors, and together they assisted me through my first of many spasms. They contacted my husband who assured them this is “my normal”, and directed them on what to do. I had a multitude of muscle spasms and cramps during the two hours following my appointment. Another doctor met with my doctor’s patients for him while my doctor stayed with me until my husband could arrive and I could safely leave.
The entire time, my doctor treated me with dignity and respect. His attitude toward me did not change as a result of this event. He did not look down on me, or see me as less than human, as most people have done when put in that situation. Today, my doctor and all the other doctors and staff at Integrated Health Solutions earned their place in my circle of trust.
It turns out that these are the doctors I was looking for. My doctor understands my condition better than most of my other physicians, the treatment I receive is the only treatment I have found that significantly reduces my pain, and the doctors and staff have not lost their humanity. They seek to better understand each person’s unique needs, and they do their best to care for those needs. For me, they made an incredibly embarrassing and painful situation a little more bearable. I will continue to return to Integrated Health Solutions for as long as I am able, and I strongly urge anyone dealing with any chronic pain or disabling condition to do so as well. If all doctors in America could be a little more like the doctors at Integrated Health Solutions, the world would regain a little more of its humanity.
Find out more about Integrated Health Solutions at https://ihsindy.com/