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On Safari for Health!

February 23, 2012


I have to admit, I don’t trust doctors much.  Probably stems from the MD with bad breath who said I’d never walk again when I was 6.  I don’t bear a grudge, especially since I regained ambulation when I was 9, but I have since then questioned how much they really know.  That view hadn’t been changed by 5-minute meetings with primary care doctors who never remembered why I had been there before, for 2/5ths of the meeting was reviewing the chart.  In the 3 minutes remaining, any rushed discussion of medicine was expedient but rarely helpful.

All that changed when I met Dr. Scott VanLue.  Well, not really, because I still don’t trust doctors, but I do trust this one.  My first appointment with Scott was almost a half-hour.  He is the only doctor I’ve ever met who is still excited and passionate about medicine (and I’ve met quite a few, coming from a medical family).  I came out of the meeting knowing more about the root causes of not just medicine but biological foundations of the body.  I learned more in 30-minutes that was relatable, relevant and empowering than every before.

But this post isn’t about me and my trust or lack thereof, it’s about my wonderful life-partner Lynette.  She had been a gymnast with a gymnast’s body, petite and abused by impacts and twisting that no body should go through.

So when she began experiencing pain, oh, 15 or so years ago (maybe more, her pain threshold is ridiculous), we chocked it up to gymnast’s body (like tennis elbow, but everywhere).  We tried homeopathic stuff, which work sometimes, but only for awhile.  She saw doctors who suggested yoga, others who said “it’s not arthritis or inflammation, or maybe it’s both…).   She’s been pricked, prodded, and operated on (giving her the worst night of pain ever.  All that screaming and moaning made sleeping difficult!).  The operation, for Cubital Tunnel Syndrome gave her a wicked looking scar but no relief.

Our PC physician told her it was all in her head.  Another said it was because her upbringing was stressful.  We don’t go to either of them anymore.

And so she gave up.  She put up with the pain for years and we should have invested in Tylenol and Advil because we supporting platoons of their employees.  She resisted my strong suggestions (re: yelling) to see a doctor.  Until finally, the pain radiating down her arm and leg and finally her spine was too much, even for her (child-birth story; after the birth of our daughter she said, “That’s it? I could do this again.”)

She went to Dr. VanLue, who ordered some tests after a thorough discussion of her condition.  When she went back, expecting the usual head-scratching and hem-and-hawing of uncertainty that had become her standard medical experience, she was surprised and overjoyed to see Scott beaming.  “We can get you healthy!”

He sat her down, went over the tests… tests no other doctor had apparently done… and explained each of them.  He applied his experience to some of the results.  “This one is on the outer fringe of acceptable, but I’ve found that range to be exaggerated.”

I think that’s one of the things that make Scott different than other doctors.   Those established ranges are important to other doctors because they were set by insurance companies.  If it’s in this range, we won’t pay for it, they said, and so doctors live and their patients die by that range.

You see, Scott is a real doctor.  He understands how the body functions from the glandular/hormonal level to the squishy stuff, and he uses his brains and insight rather than insurance guidelines to diagnose and treat the root cause of the problem.

While this post is about Lynette and her safari to health (that I will report on as we go along), it’s also about the state of healthcare.  It’s broken inAmerica, hopelessly out of whack.  I was despairing of ever finding anyone who could chart a better course (I can’t, despite my opinionation on everything else inAmerica).   Scott VanLue gets it.  He knows how to fix healthcare.  His vision, passion and commitment are whatAmericaneeds.

Scott’s not running for office, but I pray his message gets out to the country and others take up the banner.

Check back for reports of Lynette’s progress.  We’re so excited!


One Comment leave one →
  1. February 27, 2012 8:30 pm

    This sounds very encouraging. Looking forward to good reports in the near future.

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