Patients often come to us with complex, multi-system conditions, and are given comprehensive treatment plans to improve their overall health. Our holistic approach treats the patient, not the symptoms. Instead of a “quick fix,” we help you achieve and maintain optimal health. This type of care is patient-centered, meaning you play an integral part not only in determining your treatment plan, but also in achieving its success. To that end, there are some things you can do to help us best help you:
- Keep a daily log. At the end of each day, make some notes about symptoms you experienced, what you ate, what you did during the day, how you slept, and any changes in medication or treatment.
- Come to visits prepared. Before each visit, review your daily logs and write up a synopsis. What patterns have you seen over the last days, weeks, or months? What do you notice when you eat or eliminate certain foods? Are there certain times of day when symptoms flare or abate? Do you notice any side effects from treatment? Bring your synopsis to the appointment; it will help you to give us as much specific information as possible.
Be sure to also bring any questions you may have, and bring pen and paper so you can take notes.
It may help to have a friend, spouse, or caregiver come to the appointment with you. They can be an extra set of ears, take notes while you speak, and help you think of questions.
- Comply with your treatment plan and visits. It’s imperative that you follow your treatment plan, and contact us if any issues arise. Take all medications as prescribed, and follow strictly any dietary or lifestyle changes you’ve been given. Be sure to come to all appointments, no matter how you are feeling, so that we can track your progress and make necessary adjustments.
- Remember that your illness does not define you. The illness is a part of you that we are working together to ameliorate, but it does not define who you are. It may impose temporary limitations on your lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t the same person who once enjoyed your favorite hobbies and activities with zest. What core values make up who you are? Are you compassionate, funny, inquisitive? Even if you are feeling too sick to be your best self right now, your personality and values remain intact and will come to the forefront again. Illness may take away aspects of your life, but it doesn’t take away you. Your body will respond positively to this mindset, helping you to succeed faster with treatment.
- Practice Self Care. Beyond following treatment protocol, what are some other things you can do to nurture yourself? Think of ways to have fun even when you are sick. You might take a bubble bath, get a pedicure, listen to your favorite music, or watch a new TV show. Your body is working hard to get well; it’s good to indulge in these moments of “medical leave”—moments when you aren’t focusing on your illness. Just remember to continue to follow your treatment protocol while you are “away.”
- Remember that you are going to have bad days. Achieving optimal health is a process. With multi-system infections like Lyme disease, you may experience a Herxheimer reaction (when the bacteria is dying faster than your body can eliminate it, making you feel temporarily worse before better). Keep in mind that these rough patches are part of the long-term process, just small battles to get through in a larger war. You may also experience “negative” emotions like frustration, anger, or sadness. These, too, are part of the healing process. Acknowledging and working through the harder symptoms and emotions, rather than condemning them, will help you move along faster on the overall spiral towards health.
We look forward to working with you to help you achieve your best health. We will do our part to get you there, but need you to commit to doing yours!