Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Patient Perspective, Virginia Stanley

By Virginia Stanley 
Meridian Integrative Health & Medicine Patient

For four years, I searched for a solution to my health problem: an overabundance of mucus production, causing me to wake daily at 4:00 a.m. with nausea and vomiting. This resulted in dramatic weight loss, sleep deprivation, significant hair loss, and depression. I always felt I was dragging around a huge amount of dead weight, making any activity difficult and unappealing. My life was nothing like “me.” My condition took away my joy and took a physical and emotional toll on me and my husband, who picked up the slack when I no longer had the energy to run our household.

Prior to this happening, I loved my life. Although I have scoliosis, which limits some activities, I was a willing, active, happy participant in life. While researching acupuncturists to try a new approach, my husband discovered Judson Chaney, N.D., L.Ac. at Hackensack Meridian Integrative Health & Medicine.  Without reservation, I can say that he was the first doctor to look at me and the whole picture. It was extraordinarily clear to me that he not only listened, he seemed to understand and promised to do whatever he can to try to get to the bottom of it and alleviate my suffering. Something that he said impacted me greatly; somewhere along the road, he saw the point where I went from "survival mode" to "living." Before him, I had countless doctors and associated repeated tests, with no diagnoses or plan for addressing the problem. “All good,” as far as their expertise went.

I subsequently met with Emma Stafford, RN, Nurse Practitioner, who is taking the lead in my quest. I immediately felt like I was meeting a kindred soul. Her knowledge, combined with her warmth and compassion have given me a confidence for a brighter future. I also met with Suzannah Sabin, RN, BSN, Health Coach, who has been instrumental in teaching me the importance of breathing techniques and tools to use under duress; and finally, Nicole Cerillo, Nutritionist, who has also been extremely informative (I thought I knew a lot…I was wrong!) and is working with me to get on a better, “cleaner” diet that can have huge impacts on mucus production. I am committed to the plan.

I am 70 years old and have had enough medical experiences to know the very good, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and cannot stress enough how, for the first time in my life (maybe good timing?), I feel I have landed in a place that is staffed with professionals obviously focusing on healing the whole person. I didn't even know a facility like this existed. The office is beautiful, but more importantly, it's warm and welcoming. A peaceful feeling of well-being enveloped me from my first visit on.

I have made huge strides. First and foremost, the mucus is dissipating, which it did not while taking three prescription allergy pills daily for the past four years. I am doing so much more, every day, whether it be housekeeping or socially. I feel extraordinarily lucky to have found Acupuncturist Judson Chaney, but also to be a patient at the Hackensack Meridian Integrative Health & Medicine facility. I look forward to getting better, stronger and more informed, thanks to them. This is a strong contrast compared to the many doctors I went to (who offered no advice), all the tests, and all the prescriptions I have taken (which gave me no relief) over the last few years. I could not be more thankful for the Integrative team at Hackensack Meridian Health.

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