The Unexpected Present


Heart of Gold

Hector Flamingo

Last week I went through a PTSD moment when we went to see the cardiologist for Yuri’s follow-up. I insisted on seeing the doctor and not just the Physician’s Assistant (the first time) or the Nurse Practioner (the second appointment). Neither knew anything about Yuri other than reading the “Notes” and I knew where that often leads– a misinterpretation of what is going on. Well, we did see the Doctor and it felt the same as it did in the ICU. Not much information, an authoritarian approach without asking Yuri how he felt and what’s been happening with him. A protocol approach. My lips pursed behind the mask.

The doctor and I collided head-on when I questioned the medication requirements and then a follow-up in six weeks. How would the doctor know when the meds need to be adjusted? What if everything is getting better as it has been on an accelerated pace because of some integrated therapies other than pharmaceuticals? The doctor seemed perturbed and said that there are patients that listen to the doctor and follow instructions blindly, some have discussions but ultimately follow the instructions blindly and there are those who can do what they want. Find another doctor. He won’t be offended.

Yuri saw fury blazing from my eyes. I said nothing. The doctor took it down a notch and eliminated one of the drugs from the list. He also approved of the renal doctor we will be seeing next week and requested to get the bloodwork report from his office. A bit of integration going on with another specialist makes me feel better. While authoritarian decisions are often what people want in a serious health situation, Yuri and I choose to be informed, educating ourselves, asking questions, and being involved in the decision-making. Upcoming: an electrocardiogram and an appointment in six weeks.

While we wait for the results of ECG Yuri’s heart (they tell us it will be a week) we come upon Dog Doc, (click to listen to the podcast with Dr. Marty Goldstein and Cindy Meehl) a feature documentary, directed and produced by Cindy Meehl, about integrated veterinary medicine. Dr. Marty Goldstein is a character right out of the 70s outlandish fashion, a laid-back approach, and an optimistic outlook. I remember that time very well. Coming out of the 60s with chemicals, pharmaceuticals, environmental pollution, the next step was to find wellbeing in natural healings, good nutrition, and a whole lot of tree-hugging. I’m still a treehugger.

Dr. Marty’s basic principle is good nutrition supported by a healthy immune system. Once you get the bloodwork and diagnosis, then with the right combination of initial treatment followed by home care and supplements, the immune system will take care of itself and the animal heals. Simple yet logical. What I found fascinating was one story of a little dog who got some kind of virus and when he was vaccinated, a bad reaction turned the virus into a rare autoimmune disease. What happens is the one size fits all approach. That same amount of vaccine is given to the 80 lb dog as it is to the 20 lb dog. How it affects the size of the animal and any preexisting conditions is not take into consideration. Over-vaccination is a huge problem in veterinary medicine.

Listening to the story as it went on, I understood it as a parallel of what Yuri had gone through step by step. Just as Dr. Marty stated that he is not anti-vaccination, Yuri and I are not anti-vaxxers. Covid and its variants are real and too many people have died from its voraciousness in attacking the vital organs especially the lungs. The vaccine is necessary to stem the tsunami wave, but there is the risk of adverse effects for certain people with a possible predisposition for an illness or disease. Fortunately, Yuri is now walking out of the woods and will soon find out if and what damage was done to his heart.

However, we did hear back from the doctor’s office within a day and it is good news. Yuri’s heart is structurally solid, with no damage, a strong foundation for the rest of his being. My immediate question relates to the medications which the nurse explains is still necessary for the impulses coming from his brain and nervous system for the healing processes. As we progress to full recovery, the meds can and will be adjusted. It all makes sense once explained.

What makes even more sense is the integrative therapy attributed to our good friend, Dr. Gladys Smith who drove up from Delaware on Yuri’s first weekend home to give him PEMF treatments that reduces the inflammation he had going on. It works on a low frequency stimulating his autonomic nervous system, part of the brain that controls healing and keeping health abilities on the right track.

It goes back to Yuri’s brain (as chairman of the board), encouraging the rest of his players to heal synergistically with the right combination of Western medicine along with non-traditional therapies. One of the best therapies remains his music. Over the weekend, a visit from a friend (shout out to Jeff Hays) who came with his guitar, stimulating Yuri’s neurological impulses for picking up and playing along on guitar. Just the other day he’s getting synergetic cooperation of stamina, stability, and muscle memory with plucking his violin. It’s all integrative medicine.

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