The story of a nurse turned herbalist

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Want a little insight on the seed that started this site? This is a long one but if you want a peek inside my head this is the place to find it. Life is a journey and this is the beginning of mine. Through my frustrations I see a promise of better things to come. Won’t you join me?

How did I get here?

I wish I could pinpoint one reason but I cannot. I've always been a child of nature. I attempted to live a city life once, it was entertaining and adventurous but certainly not the life for me. I cared more for the simpler things in life and just could not wrap my head around the priorities of life in the city. This realization brought me fearfully back to my hometown. I was fearful because I knew opportunity in this area was sparse. But it was home and I knew I'd figure something out. I bumbled around the first few years back home trying to find a path. I found a husband, my best friend since early childhood became my sister in-law and we decided we should become nurses. Path found!

It was not a wild stretch for either of us. I was an EMT and on her suggestion I became a CNA like her. As CNA's we took great care of our patients, got to know them, help them in a hands on very personal way. We learned about their past, their present, and their hopes and fears of the future. We cared for them during their final moments. For me this was such a wonderful job but I was so frustrated at times with the nurses I encountered. My inflated personality trait that always tells me "You could do that better" reared it's big head, so off to nursing school I went. Sister in-law in tow, she was born to be a nurse! I, on the other hand, just became more frustrated! I finally understood first hand the frustrations of being a nurse.

 

Where the frustrations became clear.

As a nurse you have many duties. Caring for patients, charting, checking on the status of labs, orders, radiology, etc. You also have to be the security, housekeeping, the plumber, the maintenance crew, the secretary and more!  And this was all before our hospital started the tedious, inaccurate (in my opinion) e-charting. Mind you I'm talking about a small hospital that I started at and we were often a one man show. Many administrators who just could not comprehend why we couldn't operate the way larger hospitals did.

No wonder the nurses weren't caring for the patients the way I thought they should in my oh so wise CNA opinion. And while there is a real problem with staffing everywhere and nurses everywhere are expected to do much more than patient care, this is not where my largest frustrations came from.

I was frustrated with what we considered patient care.

 

How it really works.

I actually begin digging deep into herbalism while I was a CNA and I saw such promise through a natural, holistic way of care.  I was excited to see how, as a nurse, I could really help the whole patient. I couldn't wait to get out there and help these folks from the ground up! I apparently should have saved some money and became a health coach instead because folks the healthcare field is not about helping people in the way you think. Or at least not in the way I thought.

There is no continuity of care. There is very little open honest conversation.

There are not all these teams working together to educate and help the patients. No, these teams work together to DO plenty of things to the patients but that's where it ends. I am frustrated with our inability to see and help the actual patient.

We ask questions, check boxes, cover our butts with many over invasive tests. We pass pill after pill and check vital signs and pain scales and then we write it all down and start it all over again.

But nurses are the bomb!

The best nurses are very intuitive folks, they can see their patients if they have the time to look. They can map the path that caused the illness. They can say the right thing at the right time or know when to say nothing at all. Nurses are the bomb! So are many doctors, PAs, APRNs, and all the other staff of the healthcare field! You are all the bomb diggity!

 

 

So why is everything so wrong?

Maybe it is because we've put health care in a little box called the hospital walls. If you live or die it's on the folks inside those walls. So to protect themselves, they check boxes and CYA. They can no longer practice the art of medicine for fear of getting it wrong, getting sued and losing everything. Or even if they get it right, tick off the wrong person, same outcome.

Not to mention the business side of things, hospitals need money to run so there has to be a business portion of it, like it or not. But all of this is a rabbit hole I'm not going to go down today. Short story, we are all out of balance. Inside and outside of this box called health care.

 

What does any of this have to do with my story and why I do what I do?

These frustrations are my everyday story and I feel I have to do more than just complain. So I'll teach what I know about health and I'll share the knowledge I have about how to better your life through personal responsibility in health. But first I'm going to chat a little about how I think we got to where we are now and maybe how you can be a part of the change in the right direction.

 

My thoughts on behavior and medicine!

I am not wholeheartedly against all pharmacological methods. Not at all. I do believe there is a place for western pharmacology. However a pill is very rarely the answer. And it most cases it should not be the first resort. Somewhere along the way however our behavior became a pill popping one. The pill became the easy button. Have a problem take a pill. Did that pill cause other problems? Here, have another pill. Vicious cycle! And in this vicious cycle, that we all subscribed to, we pushed out all the more logical, reliable, natural ways of staying or becoming well.

I really don't know which came first, the chicken or the egg. Did our behavior inside the box of the hospital walls lead to our behavior outside or the other way around? Or was it just plain teamwork going both directions?

Behavior doesn't change because of one thing alone. As apparent quick fixes became easier to come by, it was much easier to whisper in the ears of society, here come this way, leave the old things behind. The world moves faster, food is faster, pills are faster, we however barely move. Advertisements for quick fixes are everywhere. And boy do we like instant gratification.

The science of pharmacology as far as I understand it, was focused on the creation of pills for health. I do believe there was good intent behind this in the beginning. But now because everything is based on someone's scientific study, medicine is based on the same. This isn't a bad thing but it is a complicated thing.

Scientific studies are not always all they're cracked up to be.  

We are finally seeing studies done on plants as medicine and I believe this trend will continue to grow. Although the way the studies are done are not always in line with the way plants as medicine are used. Either way, there is a shift coming, it has to. What we are doing is not working. With best intentions we try, but it is not working.

Long story short pills work, science says so. Herbs don't because there's not a scientific study that says so. Post it, Share it, Broadcast it and the masses believe it. Western medicine is right and true, alternative (yet the medicine of centuries) is woo-woo and wrong.  Money in the bank, check! (okay that was a little snooty, warning that happens sometimes.)

 

Black and white way of thinking.

I simply don't like black and white, right and wrong. I like connection, flow, a dance of all that is good, working together as a team. I wish we could all just get along. I don't believe all western medicine is bad but I don't believe it is without its dangers. I feel the same about alternative medicine it is not all perfectly safe because "natural". It is not all useless and woo woo because "no science."  Scientific study or not a cup of peppermint tea is a very soothing remedy!

I do what I do because I'm tired of the right and wrong mentality that society has subscribed to.

It's breaking us apart and if those of us on the ground level don't speak up, educate and share what we see, our behaviors will never change. We have to stop looking at things in black and white. We have to stop looking for the quick solutions. They are usually just a bandage on an amputation.

 

The most important part!

Which brings me to the most important part of why I do what I do. YOU! (and me)

As a nurse I have grumped and griped about lack of education of our patients. I educate the best way I'm able but the follow through, the home care. I can't go home with them, and even home health is limited. But even if I could go home with them, even if home health was able to be by their side 24/7, it probably would not change a thing.

We, as living, breathing human beings need to take some responsibility. Yeah the health care box has a way of promoting, encouraging and validating certain behaviors but they are not the only ones to blame.

We are responsible for ourselves. We need to stop passing the buck. We have to stop handing over our health to someone else.

We have to educate ourselves. We have to make better choices. We have to let go of excuses and push forward to succeed. We have to change the way we think about ourselves, our priorities, what is expected of us. You are the only one in control of you.

You are the one to blame but you are also the one that gets to take pride in the decisions you make for yourself and your loved ones! This is not to say that there are not situations that are completely out of our control. But starting with good baseline health places you a step ahead in these situations.

 

My Hopes

What I hope to do with my voice and this community is to help you with your baseline health and patient responsibility. My wheelhouse is first aid using herbalism. I will give you the tools and skills to try and avoid the health care box. I'll do this by answering questions and giving tips and education.

I can't make people change if they don't want to, as much as I wish I could. But if you are looking for a little feedback that's what I hope to give. I won't be diagnosing, treating or curing anything on this website but I do hope to help you understand a little about how the body works.

I want to help you take back control of your personal health. I want to help you understand more about what is an emergency and what is not. Allowing you to decide, through your own informed judgment, if you are capable of caring for yourself at home or if you need to seek more help.

There is much more to baseline health and patient responsibility than just herbalism and first aid. So I will also share with you the other wonderful folks sharing their expertise on healthy responsible living. This is a team project, we can't all know it all but we can all help each other to see the bigger picture.  

Now to you.

So now that you've read my long ramblings of why I do what I do I hope you understand my frustrations a little more and my drive to put this out there. I also hope you'll be a little lenient on me if my opinions get loud. I need to be a part of the change. I can no longer just sit around and gripe. And I cannot do this alone! So I ask again won't you join me?

How about you?

Are you ready to take some responsibility?

Are you ready to start changing behaviors. Be the change you want to see in the world right?

I am not coming at this from a pedestal of perfection. I have some behaviors of my own that need some work. I am in this right beside you. I've seen what handing over your health and responsibility looks like in the end and folks it ain't pretty. So let's do this! If you want to know how to take responsibility of your care both outside and inside the health care box check out this post about taking your own personal responsibility.