This was taken by my mom on the second or third day after everything happened, and I was in a medically-induced coma.
This was about a week or ten days in, after they shaved my two+ feet of hair off because it was a bloody, knotted mass. I was no longer in a coma and had been speaking, but I slept a LOT.
This was taken the day I am writing this (10-21-23, just over 11 months after surgery).
“There is a joy in simply being alive. I have never had such peace and a feeling of being blessed as I do after this health challenge.”
Healing, It Really Is Possible
After a few months of giving myself the space and grace to focus on my own healing journey, I want to just once again reiterate how amazing our bodies are!
I am, blessedly, living proof! Some of you know I had surgery almost a year ago (a week before Thanksgiving last year) to remove the VP shunt from my brain that I had put in when I was unhealthy before starting school to begin my natural health journey. During my journey since 2013, I have healed so well that my neurosurgeon (the same man who put in) was willing to do something they never do–he suggested I was probably healed enough to not need the shunt and he would remove it since it was causing its own problems.
So we did.
I underwent surgery to remove the vp shunt with no plans of it going back in. It hasn’t, and won’t. However, I had another complication we didn’t foresee as being a likely problem–right after the surgery, they do a brain scan to check to be sure there isn’t bleeding. Well, I am blessed they checked because my brain did hemorrhage.
To give my body time to recover, they put me into a coma and kept me in the hospital for a total of 5 weeks (the last 10 days were in an in-patient rehab ward). I had some other complications (trouble breathing on my own and a strider meaning I was intubated and extubated multiple times before they could keep me breathing on my own, not eating, having to learn how to swallow again, having to learn how to walk again, and more), but I have overcome the odds and am not only still alive but am finally returning to work one year after the surgery.
I completely credit naturopathy and all of the work I have done. I would have died long before all of this, I am positive, without becoming a naturopath who walks the walk.
Blessedly, I have seen time and time again how this is the case for all people I work with who really put in the work. Because, I hate to tell you, it is work. However, everything worth having is work. Relationships are work and healing is work. However, it does become routine. And, the new normal you achieve is beyond anything you can often imagine. However, there is such a joy in simply being alive. I have never had such peace and a feeling of being blessed as I do after this health challenge. I wouldn’t change anything, I just want to keep improving on this path I am on.
What are some keys I still do daily (especially more now since I need to build badly still)? You may recognize some of them, you may not if you are new here!
Dr. Hartford’s Very Basics
These are good for everyone.
- WATER – 1/2 my weight in pounds in ounces of water daily, or at least 90 ounces of water a day. This is a MUST. I’ve talked about how important water is many times and will again, but just know it affects EVERYTHING in the body.
- EAT A RAINBOW – I make sure to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables daily. I aim for 8-12 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. In fact, I start every day with a green smoothie. I will share more about that again and have before.
- SLEEP – I cannot overstate this! When I was healing, I slept almost the entire 24 hours of every day. It is that important. It has been said that if you don’t get good sleep, you’ve undone EVERYTHING good you’ve done. Do not skimp on sleep.
- EXERCISE – I know, it has never been my favorite. I finally found what works for me now and brings me joy to do. Find something that you do most days a week that also brings you joy. I do a free-weight arm and leg routine (and started with just arms 1-2 days a week, added legs another 1-2 days a week, and walked. Now, I have added ballroom dancing for cardio with my husband. It works for us!)
A New Location
One of the most rewarding things I have done in my life is help others to find health.
I love sharing what I know and seeing how people are empowered and create their own healing journeys.
I will not be too flowery, but it is so rewarding and helps me to stick with my own journey. Yes, it isn’t for everyone. It is work. Some days suck. You won’t be perfect (and shouldn’t be).
However, everyone can and should do it.
I am going to start seeing clients again and accepting new clients!
My new location is within The Sanctuary Chiropractic and Wellness Spa in Livonia. I’d love to see you, whether we’ve worked together before or not!
It would be my absolute honor to help witness and guide your healing journey.
You are a doctor, why Client and not Patient?
As it has been a while since I have taken on new clients, I figure this is a good time to clarify why, if we work together, I will always refer to you as a client and not patient.
With full transparency, a part of not calling my clients patients is to avoid being accused of practicing medicine without a license. I am not, nor will I ever be a medical doctor. I have no intentions of going to a medical school where my books and curriculum are dictated by the pharmaceutical industry. I am simply a Doctor of Naturopathy who has years of training, continually seeks further education, and has been board certified. As such, because of the monopoly the medical profession has over certain words and over healthcare in the country, I wish to distance myself from it as much as possible. However, there are some other more important reasons which I will elucidate.
1. Recognition of the relationship
Using client rather than patient acknowledges, honors, and helps you recognize the relationship every doctor has with his/her patients/clients–a doctor is your employee. Yes, I said your employee. You hire them (whether me as a naturopathic doctor or a medical doctor) for their expertise and advice, but they are not gods nor do they know all. They perform within your parameters, and if they do not, you have the right to fire them and hire another doctor. You must be the expert on yourself and your body–they are simply experts on various forms of health care.
2. Personal responsibility
By acknowledging our relationship as doctor:client, it helps to clarify your responsibilities within. You have the right and even the responsibility to question your doctor until you understand any suggestions, plans, or treatments. Further, you have the right and responsibility to refuse any treatment that doesn’t align with your best and highest good. It is your responsibility to become an expert on yourself, as I stated previously, then it is your responsibility to make sure your doctor sees and understands you clearly. As your doctor, it is my responsibility to honor and respect our relationship and your expertise and to work within your parameters.
3. Mutual respect
As I expect the respect of you calling me doctor, I must respect you in turn. Patient has become a subservient relationship with a wiser person taking charge of a weaker one. Archaically, patient meant someone who is a victim or sufferer. I prefer calling you my client. You use my professional advice and receive the benefit of my education and knowledge, but you are not reliant upon me. We are equal and should both be respected. I, the doctor, simply provide knowledge and advice; however, you, the client, must act upon them and incorporate them into your life.
There is a clear and purposeful intention in my calling my clients clients rather than patients. Words have power. By defining our relationship as doctor:client, I empower both myself and my clients. I have the power to work freely knowing my clients are an equal and vital part of our relationship. My clients know they have control over their health outcome because they are an active, key part of the journey I walk with them. As always, intention is everything. My intention is to educate and empower every client who comes into Health Harmonized.
I’d love to help! Consider scheduling an appointment today! Give us a call or a text at (734) 480-8240 or click the button below.
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