The 2012 Act Three Journey of an Actress/Coach/Writer.

Day 75 Queen Stephanie

Posted by themirrenlee on 15/03/2012

I kissed a lot of frogs and froglets to get the Queen Doctor Stephanie I have now!

Queen Stephanie.

I saw her today – my wonderful doctor here in Sydney that has helped me through thick and thin over the past 7 years or so. She was originally recommended to me by a student’s mother, and I tried her because I was told she was also open to alternative therapies – rare for a mainstream doctor.

She has been unfailingly patient, creative in her approach to my endless permutations of chronic conditions, and is a fantastic lateral thinker in her approach to all challenges that I present to her. On top of that, she has the most wonderful office manager and reception staff, who constantly help me when I ring from Melbourne between visits with a request for something.

Today she agreed I should start back on the Cymbalta. I am doing so well in many areas with the Fibromyalgia, training the people around me to understand the routine I need to follow, and ready to get stuck into the exercise plan as laid out by Prince Marty, my more-than-a-chiropractor I wrote about the other night. However, my pain is definitely in the red zone, and I know the Cymbalta will give me relief with that. Stephanie and I are just crossing our fingers that it doesn’t cause my insomnia to come back. I say cross that bridge …

The main thing she has helped me with is the overwhelming guilt I suffered with my health problems, due to not being “allowed” to be sick as the eldest of seven children, and parentified from my earliest memories to look after everyone else. She actually called it not only anxiety disorder, but a form of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She got her first hint about my guilt issues when I constantly apologized to her for being sick!

She sent me to Sally, the wonderful counsellor who works in her practice (it’s a multi-disciplinary practice, with a naturopath, masseur, etc., which is also nice). Sally became my second counsellor, picking up where Sue left off. Sue helped me to extricate myself from triangulating all my own desires and wishes through my family, my husband and others, but my health issues didn’t come up. That often happens with counselling. You don’t realize there’s still a Button or two that needs adjusting until it comes up. For me, it didn’t come up until I got Fibromyalgia.

I feel on track with my health, which is such a wonderful feeling. No, not perfect; still with pain that needs better control; and a lot of work yet to be done to get to the functioning level I want to reach this year. However, we must always give ourselves a big hug for the progress that we DO make, and encourage ourselves to keep putting in the effort.

If anyone reading this doesn’t feel they have the best balance in their “health posse”, then keep searching until you’re satisfied. Having the right people in your corner makes all the difference in how well you’re looked after. Don’t settle for anything less than the very best – they ARE out there. The effort of looking for them is absolutely worth it. Take it from a veteran of thirty years of searching, and multitudes of various practitioners. Over the past couple of years, when not seeing Stephanie, I’ve been told the following things that were ultimately proved to be untrue:

  • My left knee had bone chips in it, causing the pain I was feeling, and I would need an arthroscope.
  • My sinus issues were caused by two maxillary cysts, and required surgery to fix them.
  • My lower right back pain was osteoarthritis, “normal” for a woman of my age (60), and I’d just have to live with it. (Evidently, ALL 60 year old women are having trouble walking. Who knew?)
  • If I had the right attitude and ate more porridge, my Fibromyalgia would get better!
  • Identical hormone cream can’t be recommended because no double blind studies have been done on its efficacy. (Untrue on two fronts because there have been studies; and if it works, who cares about studies?!)
  • I should take cholesterol lowering medication even though my “good” cholesterol makes up for my slightly high bad one. (When I asked if there was proof that the risk/result ratio was worth taking the drug, the doctor had to admit no, there wasn’t.)

That’s just a sampling of what I’ve been through. Value yourself enough to ask, ask, ask questions, and keep asking until you get the answers you’re satisfied with. Don’t just take someone’s word for anything. Do detailed research; be your own advocate and best friend about your health. Google is your friend! Good ol’ Google has made it almost impossible for doctors to hide anything anymore. Of course, be sensible about your research on it, but do use it, and then ask questions about what you find. Contribute to the team work between you and your health team.

You may not be able to cure WHATEVER condition you have (mentally, emotionally, or physically), but with the right people in your corner you can control anything probably better than you think. Everything is progressing at the speed of light today, and that includes health care on all fronts, both traditional and alternative therapies.

I wish everyone the progress I’m having. For those of you without any health issues, hug someone who’s suffering with one! And then say, “There but for the Grace of “God” go I.” (Or the Universe, or whoever you believe in, or maybe just luck if you’re an Atheist!)

I’m just healin’ …

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