Letters

Letters 10-27-2014

Paging Doctor Dan: The doctor’s promise to repeal Obamacare reminds me of the frantic restaurant owner hurrying to install an exhaust fan after the kitchen burns down. He voted 51 times to replace the ACA law; a colossal waste of money and time. It’s here to stay and he has nothing to replace it.

Evolution Is Real Science: Breathtaking inanity. That was the term used by Judge John Jones III in his elegant evisceration of creationist arguments attempting to equate it to evolutionary theory in his landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education decision in 2005.

U.S. No Global Police: Steven Tuttle in the October 13 issue is correct: our military, under the leadership of the President (not the Congress) is charged with protecting the country, its citizens, and its borders. It is not charged with  performing military missions in other places in the world just because they have something we want (oil), or we don’t like their form of government, or we want to force them to live by the UN or our rules.

Graffiti: Art Or Vandalism?: I walk the [Grand Traverse] Commons frequently and sometimes I include the loop up to the cistern just to go and see how the art on the cistern has evolved. Granted there is the occasional gross image or word but generally there is a flurry of color.

NMEAC Snubbed: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is the Grand Traverse region’s oldest grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Preserving the environment through citizen action and education is our mission.

Vote, Everyone: Election Day on November 4 is fast approaching, and now is the time to make a commitment to vote. You may be getting sick of the political ads on TV, but instead, be grateful that you live in a free country with open elections. Take the time to learn about the candidates by contacting your county parties and doing research.

Do Fluoride Research: Hydrofluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6, is a byproduct from the production of fertilizer. This liquid, not environmentally safe, is scrubbed from the chimney of the fertilizer plant, put into containers, and shipped. Now it is a ‘product’ added to the public drinking water.

Meet The Homeless: As someone who volunteers for a Traverse City organization that works with homeless people, I am appalled at what is happening at the meetings regarding the homeless shelter. The people fighting this shelter need to get to know some homeless families. They have the wrong idea about who the homeless are.

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My disillusionment with traditional medicine

Nicole Wildman - March 3rd, 2008
My disillusionment with traditional medicine started shortly after I quit my job of four years as a hospital unit clerk. I began to see for the first time just how much the medical community at large is motivated by fear.
That fear leads some doctors to micro-manage every symptom, treating everything with a different pill. I saw patients taking pills to allay the side effects of their other pills. Then there was the failure I saw taking place in my own family. I watched my husband taking Naproxen every day for the “arthritis” in his wrists (he’s 28 years old); I saw my kids having repeated ear infections, chronic coughing, asthma, constipation... and the very unpleasant side effects of the repeated antibiotics, oral and inhaled steroids for a three-year-old... and still, the problems didn’t go away.
Then there was my own poor health. My body has become hypersensitive to all kinds of drugs, even Ibuprofen. I have numerous food allergies, and just feel sick and weak all the time. I’d seen a few doctors, but got no answers. It seems that most of the time, if doctors don’t know the answer to your problem, they just tell you it’s “stress.”
One doctor told me to exercise. That was the extent of his treatment. Never mind that exercise made me feel like I was going to drop dead, but the doctor wouldn’t know that, because he never really listened to anything I had to say.
On top of all this was the harassment from the nurses at our pediatrician’s office, who could not get over the fact that my husband and I, after careful research and consideration, are among the many concerned parents who have decided not to vaccinate our children. I knew I had to find something better for my family.
Then, this fall, I heard of a branch of medicine that was new to me: naturopathic medicine. I was fascinated by what I heard. These are doctors who use only natural methods of healing, and treat the whole person by finding the root of illness, helping patients to find overall good health. I knew this was what I’d been praying for.
I did a little searching and found Dr. Nathan Olsen, N.D. A native of Traverse City, he received his Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine at Portland, Oregon’s National College of Naturopathic Medicine. I was excited to find out that, yes, he is a real doctor. We met with him for a 10 minute “meet and greet,” which turned into a 45-minute discussion.
I initially had a few doubts about starting on this path. I wondered if I could trust this person with the health of my children. I had heard that herbs could be as toxic as drugs. I worried that he’d just want to get us taking all kinds of supplements.
As a Christian, I’d always been warned that holistic medicine usually incorporated spirituality that would clash with our beliefs. Dr. Olsen quickly put my mind to rest. He treats children on a regular basis. His homeopathic medicines are FDA-tested and approved. He only gives supplements as they are needed for healing. He will incorporate whatever spirituality the patient is comfortable with.
I had also wondered if he was qualified to diagnose diseases, such as diabetes or cancer, and if he could run blood tests. The answer to this was also affirmative. As a licensed physician he has access to labs.
A few weeks later, my youngest got her first ear infection of the year. So began our journey into natural healing. Instead of prescribing antibiotics, the doctor gave us some homeopathic eardrops, and helped us adjust our children’s diet to avoid future infections. The eardrops worked wonders. My older daughter has never developed the horrible chronic cough and asthmatic symptoms that she usually has from November through May. This is almost definitely the result of simply removing dairy from her diet for the winter.
I was a little put off by one thing though. None of us were weighed and measured. I thought, maybe he forgot. I know better now; it’s really not beneficial to keep such careful track of those things in a healthy person, and many people are much too focused on numbers on a scale or growth chart, rather than just being aware of a person’s overall condition. Any drastic changes in weight or failure to thrive will be obvious without the use of a scale.
This kind of attitude gave me a sense of freedom and peace. As we continued our visits, we started to really feel the benefits of Dr. Olsen’s approach. We are never rushed. He really listens.
My husband and I also began to receive treatment. My husband’s so-called arthritis turned out to be nothing more than a few bones out of place. He had also suffered for a long time with stuffy sinuses and very loud snoring, and he seemed to get sick often. The doctor formulated an herbal tincture for him, to boost his immunity and open his sinuses. He saw results immediately, with no side effects. He can breathe freely now, and the volume of his snoring has decreased.
As for myself, I finally found someone who understands my health problems. We have not solved them yet, although Dr. Olsen is confident that we will, but we have made good progress through regular counseling.
This incorporation of emotional and physical health is a dream come true for me, as my health problems are very intertwined with my emotions. Our doctor has started to feel like a true friend to our family, someone we can trust and depend on. He’s not motivated by money, but truly cares for us. I can’t imagine what life would be like if we had not found him.
There are a few downfalls though. Since naturopathy is considered “alternative medicine” in Michigan, it is not covered by most insurance companies. However, I find the price to be affordable even for a young family of four, with every one of us seeing the doctor regularly; and we live on one income.
Then there is the fact that even though the doctor can legally prescribe drugs, he chooses not to. In the event that a patient does need antibiotics or other drugs, they are referred to a traditional doctor.
Dr. Olsen tells me that most people usually seek out natural healing as a last resort. I think this is a sad fact. It makes more sense to me to seek out naturopathy as the first form of treatment, and seek help from traditional medicine only if it proves necessary, since traditional treatments seem to have more shortcomings and side effects. I’d encourage anyone looking for a healthier way of life to look into naturopathy. I’m so glad I did. Some good websites to check out are www.naturopathic.org, and www.michnd.org.

Nicole Wildman is a resident of Traverse City.
 
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