Are you empowering your patients, or are you disempowering them? I felt it was very important for me to talk about this.
Empowering Versus Disempowering Your Patients
As healthcare practitioners, we can sometimes mislead our patients into being responsible. There’s a fine line between being responsible versus really providing them with hope. Understanding the knowledge base and the theoretical understanding of what is potentially possible for them in terms of miraculous healing that can potentially happen. So I’d like you to open yourself up to my personal experience. How it has impacted me as a human being first and foremost. Then I see the need for us to go in the direction of empowerment, self-empowerment, and becoming empowering health mentors versus disempowering practitioners.
Because I think we inadvertently subconsciously go towards disempowerment. Because we think we know so much, we don’t want to disappoint the patients. Well, having realistic expectations are important. Letting them understand that they’re in charge that this is their vehicle. And this is their faculties that they have absolute mastery over is what we’re teaching them. The possibilities of healing are always there for them no matter how tangible the labs’ results are.
My Story With My Autoimmune Disease Last Year
If you’ve been following me, last December was a tough month for me. Because over a couple of months, probably since about July. And by October, things were kind of not feeling good. I’m constantly tired, and something was always feeling broken in my body.
I wasn’t fully functional. And I couldn’t do all the things that I used to do. The energy didn’t come forth. And I was developing anemia, and there were just some strange things that were happening that were unusual for me.
So in December, think about how devastated I was. Devastated was an understatement when I found myself with acute kidney failure as my body was silently holding on.
I’ve never felt the polarizing effect of my body. Where my mind wanted it to do one thing, but it was doing another. It was clearly failing me.
All my life, despite the autoimmunity, medications, or even pregnancy and postpartum, my body always pulled through for me. But not this time.
What My Autoimmune Impacted Me
I swelled up 20 lbs within a couple of days with high blood pressure on my tiny frame. It was giving me throbbing headaches. I was carrying enough waterway to keep me debilitated and weak. When your kidneys fail, and a lot of protein is being spilled out, malnutrition can occur. But you’re gaining weight fast because your body can’t get rid of the water. Interstitial fluid is stuck between the cells. So you are dehydrated, but you aren’t getting enough hydration to hold on in your interstitial space. Which is just underneath the sub-dermis under the skin. So you can see the water just under my skin. It was just so heavy and difficult to move.
More importantly, toxins were building up in my body. The effect of that was unbearable. But my body was not responding to the heavy meds that infused into my veins.
It puzzled my doctors. It puzzled me.
The hospital atmosphere was at its worst. I’m no stranger to being in the hospital, but I didn’t feel safe this time.
Many private practices were being bought out by the hospitals during the pandemic. My nephrologist’s office was going through a revival post-pandemic. But unfortunately, my favorite nephrologist lost many of his partners and medical assistants. While I was in the hospital, his newly hired partners in the practice were overseeing me.
Due to my acute kidney failure due to my “lupus” I had to be treated accordingly. Meaning chemo and a high dose of corticosteroids to knock out the inflammation.
As a healthy “yogi” with no medical issues to keep me from doing anything I ever needed to do. This debilitation was a wake-up call.
Since March of 2021, I’ve struggled with progressively worsening fatigue, digestive issues, and mysterious aches. Pains that kept me from my everyday life. This was unusual as I was always able to recover quickly to my healthy state, but not this time.
One thing led to another, and I kept having symptoms.
So there I was in the hospital, feeling confused, anxious, and sick, wondering when I would get better.
I had multiple specialists pay a visit to me, including a cardiologist, nephrologist, gastroenterologist, and an internal medicine doctor who oversaw my care.
As my kidney failure progressed, my main specialist was the nephrologist. Since my normal nephrologist was out of town, two new nephrologists from the practice followed my care.
The Feeling That I Will Never Forget
I will never forget the way one of them made me feel. He spoke to me as if I was a
“Disease” rather than a person. His interactions with me made me feel less than a person. It was sad for me to experience this. And I was puzzled at what was going on because I’m not used to being heard.
As vulnerable as I was, I needed support, hope, compassion, and sensitivity, but I was met with the harsh truth that I was expected to accept and understand.
When asked about my condition, I sensed his frustration as I questioned my poor response and what all the values of the labs meant, what I could expect, and what we would do.
He prognosticated that my kidneys would never recover. That we would have to deal with the aftermath of the permanent damage to my kidneys.
This was hard to understand and accept for someone who had 100% kidney function months before.
My mood would fluctuate up and down while in the hospital. Finally, my internist, who better explained my situation, provided hope for my case. All I wanted was a chance to feel better and return to normal. But I didn’t want my Doctor to tell me what my future would look like. Like he didn’t have the full understanding of how my condition would play out.
This was when I realized the importance of our role as practitioners to “empower” our patients. Simply by understanding our patients’ emotional and mental needs. And not holding onto our “ego” and providing what we dutifully are there to provide.
It meant everything to me to have an ounce of hope to hold me along while my body recovered.
So the question to you is, are you “empowering” your patients or “disempowering” your patients?
How do you show up for your patients?
Are you full of self-importance and more concerned about getting through your day? Or are you really “present” for your patients who are struggling with their health?
Empowering Our Patients To Be Their Healthiest Versions
I understand patient care is overwhelming requirements and expectations as a health practitioner. However, I believe we are in the business of empowering our patients to be the healthiest versions of themselves vs. “treating” them for their condition as we are “taught” in school.
So I challenge you to think about your impact. Influence your patients, especially those going through some challenging life situations right now. Patients deserve a little compassion and understanding, especially when trying to heal from it.
So on this new path, the new generation of healthcare practitioners. Also, our vision for the Alkaline Method Academy is to change healthcare. Its trajectory for future generations to provide well-trained compassion, self or health empowering mentors. And not disempowering practitioners that think that we should theoretically understand everything. That is based on our knowledge—understanding of something tangible.
I think when we can meet our knowledge with intuition and understand our intellect is not everything. We heal our patients to be self-empowered to heal through our sensitivity, emotional intelligence, and compassion.
Our role is not of self-importance and ego. Where we boost our ego up to say we’re the healers because we’re not the healers. Patients themselves can be self-empowered to heal. And then that makes our roles so much easier. To be empowering health mentors that we need to be for our patients. So that we can guide them to be better. So please understand the importance of that.
Whether you’re teaching yoga, wellness nutrition, healthcare practitioner, and functional medical space, whatever the case may be disregard all that. You need to understand that we’re building human beings from the ground up to speed self-empowered to heal. Because nobody else knows your body more than you do. And unless we can elicit their enrollment in their care, nothing else happens really.
That’s all for this blog. Thank you so much for reading and please check out our new website, functionalyogamedicine.com for new online programs. And we have both services for, practitioners who are wanting to integrate all the things to have an empowering impact on autoimmunity and chronic inflammatory conditions, as well as to provide care for autoimmune patients as well.
I also want to invite you to join our upcoming Free Functional Yoga Medicine Bootcamp for Health Practitioners on April 11-15, 2022. I will share how you can shift your role from a Disempowered Health Practitioner to an Empowering Health Mentor who truly TRANSFORMS the lives you serve by learning to INTEGRATE all parts of the healing puzzle. Because that’s what I am and that’s what I do.
Thank you for taking your time to read and really remember to challenge yourself. Next time you have a patient in front of you. Please treat them as human beings that they are.