Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I can't breath!

Tonight, took care of a 15 y/o who was running in the school hallway and fell backward. I thought he was screwing around but turns out another team had the gym so the indoor track team had to run in the hallways! I used to do this in the 70's during winter track and this was before technology was developed for sneaker soles. I remember seeing the "waffle" sole for the first time and wondering how in the world can anyone get good traction with these soft rubber nipples sticking out from under the shoes. Well, now in this high tech time of protein supplements, 200-300 dollar running shoes, internet running clubs, high tech water......there are still schools that have their runners train in the hallway! I shared this memory with the student and his parents and of course gave some free advise about running and performance enhancement with his running and football training.

What is more online for tonight's problem is about an asthmatic that came in after being seen 2-3 days ago for asthma. Given an albuterol inhaler to help breath temporarily (4hours) and a steroid called prednisone to speed up the lungs fixing the inflammation that was causing the wheezing. She worked for a nursing home as an assistant and made a little money. Unfortunately, this was enough of a paycheck to not qualify for a medical card. She was now responsible for paying for an emergency room visit last time that came out to 400-500 dollars. And now again since she was slowing getting better but still having problems breathing, has to come in again to get reevaluated to make sure nothing was wrong. I was wondering why the previous doctor didn't maximize on her medicines and give her everything possible to "cool" down the asthma so she would turn around fast. Well, I did what the other doc did and after evaluation, gave her a nebulizer treatment with medicine steamed through a small hand held machine with a liquid medicine going straight to the deepest portions of her lung tissues. This makes a faster difference than the 10 dollar inhaler she is using every 4 hours. Inhaled steroids would be good...yeah so I wrote a script for something but called the pharmacy and found out one little inhaler costs 200 bucks! Asked about a few different older ones and all were 100-200 each! Tried to get her a long acting albuterol inhaler so she wouldnt have to hit the rescue inhaler so often but that also was 100-200 dollars! I couldn't find anyone even walmart or kmart discount drugs to cover anything. I felt so bad for this lady but exhausted all I knew to help her get better medicines. I even tried to give her a nebulizer which I did find medicines for that walmart had for 4$ only but the nebulizer machine itself was 100-200$.

How do people trying to make a living support not only their health but the lives of their kids? In Illinois we have an All Kids Program. Even before that, how can a medicine that lasts a month and saves lives cost 100-200dollars? Really I know the answer but it sounds powerful to throw a rhetorical question out in anger. In business weekly I read of how hospitals are joining with finance companies to collect from people who visit and get care without health insurance. Not that hospitals shouldn't charge for services rendered but when will the escalating prices ever plateau? Drug companies arent helping either. Listening to Suze Orman in the background she is touting not to discount yourself to others. When you undervalue yourself to the world, the world with undervalue you! So I also should not give out care at a discount and learn to charge top dollar since not too many doctors do what I do.

Bull! I always tell my daughter hatred is infectious, mob mentality is infectious, the less you know, the more you can be influenced. This countrywide problem of healthcare is too big to stop. But you know what, I will not play the same game, that lady will be spending alot to turn off her asthma in the next 1-2 weeks but I will get her to make some changes with diet and exercise so next winter she hopefully wont get sick and if she does, she will have the knowledge to calm down the lungs before they flare up to the point of having to come to the ER which is probably the most expensive way to see a doctor quickly. I also tell my daughter smiling is infectious so is a good deed. I see she always goes out of her way to protect her friends and as long has she doesn't make naive choices, I will continue to support her for being giving. Hopefully my teaching has already paid off and she can make a bigger difference in society than me.

The Saguil Approach to asthma-

avoid smoke
improve on omega 3 fishoil intake
decrease alleric response with stinging nettles
improve bowel function the entrance point to many of the triggers for asthma (probiotics)
the antiinflammatory diet....whole grain, decrease animal protein, decrease dairy
increaseing lung volume, deep breathing exercises breath holding (swimming, yoga, meditation)
biofeedback, emotional freedom technique for psychotherapy
change the environment; pets, flowers, molds, cold, dirt, dust, food.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Head in the clouds

It was a chilly day in Chicago and my family was in post turkey slumbering. We had a birthday to attend and it was a pool party! (Indoor of course) I haven't swam since august and the anticipation of doing "laps" got me excited but at the same time, I didn't want to injure myself with overusing muscles I haven't used in a while. I had done the usual work out the 2-3 days prior of aggressive weight training (heart rates into the 160-170 range) for 30 min followed by 40 min of cardio (bike and run with heart rates in the 130 range). I pride myself on being able to mix up the weight training with a little crew team type station to station exercise with the "300" type work out. This is where muscle hurts with lactic acid build up but the dry bronchial tube pain reminds me of the feeling from school track practice with repetitive sprints of 100, 200 yard for what seemed to be hours. Gives you a kind of razor in the trachea type feel while breathing in cold air. I feel a 45 if I can do this without injury and still notice muscle bulk increases, a 20-30 something should be able to kick my butt. Watching my wrestlers at UCF go through a workout just puts me to shame and collegiate athletes are not only muscular but ripped to shreds. (low body fat for you non-athletes) If they can do it then there's no reason I have to see guys talking and joking around waiting between sets and staring at themselves in the mirror. One of my pet peeves is when I see guys walking from machine to machine in between sets... staring at themselves as if something is going to change! After watching the extras part from the movie "300" and seeing how the personal trainers got the actors in shape for the movie.....the principal character stated many times he would work out to the point of barfing. That's the good old days measurement of exhaustion....not pulse rate taking but vomiting. You know you had a good work out if you threw up.....and only the best athletes vomited after a lift or a sprint! As a warning, there is the theory of overuse when it comes to exercise but come on....in this day of ultramarathoners, triathletes, iron men and olympians....is there is a new standard by which we can push ourselves in a gym or at home. I just think we get too delicate once we hit 30 for fear that a heart attack may emerge from nowhere so we take it easy. I plan on encouraging my older patients that have been cleared by me to push the envelope with heart rate and exercise and set a new standard.
As I was saying, I was looking forward to doing some laps and after my boy swam a little and my wife had time to socialize, got my goggles and swim fins and hit the 25 meter pool. Did some slow laps and had my cousin join me for a few....by the time I was done, 30 minutes went by and I covered about a half to 3/4 of a mile. The adrenaline wasn't spectacular but just being able to tackle the distance after being out of water so long put me on a high.....then I went on to the dinner table and saw a few pork dishes and ended up going with a little roasted pork (no skin) with a plate full of peanuts and grapes.....no guilt! The rest of the night was all the same, I actually was amazed I didn't feel sore at all. This is the kind of feeling with yoga, not the adrenaline rush of weight training but a more euphoric feeling with a feeling of being impervious to outside insult or trauma.

I am a big proponent of tai chi and yoga with stress reduction, hypertension, arthritis and depression. It is always a difficult sale to someone from a society built around getting self reward for breaking a sweat in front of a mirror over 60-90 minutes and feeling a "pump". With most of the baby boomers hitting 50-60, they will probably have a basic knowledge of the 2 forms of exercise with a picture of an short old chinese guy or a man in a turbin exercising. Truth of the matter is is you look in any local YMCA or health club, they will usually have a female instructor in yoga and a male instructor in tai chi. (Yoga seems to be the big craze now). When done properly and continued for 30 days or more, one will usually see the benefits of the gentle movement sports over the hard hitting exercises for heart health. Just takes a little encouragement to make it to the point of gaining the benefits.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fear of Flying

I was flying back from a lecture in Clermont today and sat next to a wonderful young lady. She had been trying to flag down the steward before take off and the urgency in her voice made me think she was a little worried. It was headphones she was looking for to relax. I know the feeling. Several years ago about the time of the 911 tragedy, I used to have a fear of flying. I would take a xanax (fast acting valium) to relax. I think it came from years of flying back and forth to the Philippines during winter when the storms over Japan were harsh. Imagine, 2 hours after take off from a tropical island and then snow storm in Narita Japan....then only 16 more hours to fly before getting home! Needless to say it was either alcohol or drugs and drugs were cheaper. When I learned acupuncture, my instructor said he would take needles with him to France to start treating jet lag before he would even step off the plane. (The needles are so small they don't even set off security alarms) I tried this once and placed in 3 needles to relaxation points and landing didnt even phase me. From that point I was encouraged by my daughter to not stick needles in my self on a plane cause it looked "weird". I went onto acupressure techniques and breathing with meditation. (More recently I added aromatherapy-lavender- and piece of cake.

I quickly offered my seat mate a whiff of my lavender bottle and explained how it is used. Before I knew it we were up at 30 thousand feet and talking about all kinds of things. She had so much energy and life, it was inspiring to me. Usually the sick I see are worn down with a medical issue and chronic stress. Here is the perfect picture of someone with gobs of energy and life with some medical issues from not controlling or harnessing the power she wields. Stressed, on a medicine from the OB for anxiety/depression, never suggested to see a therapist, no experience of biofeedback. I forgot to ask if she ever was tested for thyroid disease of vitamin imbalance. Got a little diet hisorty from her but not enough. She also leads the typical life of a twenty something living single in "wrigley-ville". Alot of freinds and going to bars and parties. (ahhhh the good old days) What was a red flag for me was she had indicated a doctor placed her on Wellbutrin which she states helped her tremendously without gaining weight. But the doc never sent her to behavioral health. Here she is far from her initial stressor but still on the same dose.

I stressed to her that although she is feeling great with the low dose of the medicine and she uses it every day, more stressors are coming. Theres's always going to be stressors during christmas holiday, tax day, birthday and new years. God forbid she develops a sickness from Chicago winters in addition to late night partying on weekends. If she is being maintained on a level dose and a larger stressor comes up..doc is going to increase the dose or add another med. May I add that a rather large stressor for single women in the US is coming up.....30th birthday! So I gave her my advice for breathing exercises, yoga (although she sounds like an adrenaline junkie) aromatherapy and possibly acupuncture/tui na. Luckily Dr Leon Chen of East West Healing Center in Lombard also goes to Chicago and may be able to help her. Turns out there is also couple other problems typical for a person of her level and she would benefit from kidney clensing with probiotic.

I am a walking example of what I preach, The Saguil Approach-

-plan to wean off meds 2-3 weeks, have a substitute in place to help control the original issue, add a few more interventions with alternative medicine that will help control the flare up that always happens when stopping potent perscription medicines.
( although I dont think the alcohol is one thing she will give up)

Moral of this story is not to just accept a medicine as a cure. Always work to get off what you are on...whether it is a script or an herbal medicine. Nutrition and exercise are always the basis to treatment even if the doctors dont remember. I will keep an update as to how she tolerates acupuncture, anxiety sufferers dont do well and usually go to alcohol for its depresant properties. No coffee, caffeine, guarana, tobacco. She should also try carb rich diets. I usually suggest protein for breakfast and lunch then carb for dinner. In the anxious case, carbs for dinner with an evenly distributed prot/carb breakfst and lunch is good to go. Suggested breathing technique and reading into drweil.com for some pointers.

Alway insist the doc treats the mind, body and soul. In eastern medicine its all in the same package. Only in america does the body get treated without consideration of the mind. (and visa versa) serotonin that acts on the mind also is big in the colon so docs have no choice but to make it work with a multi faceted aproach.

kava kava
lavender aromatherapy
emotional freedom technique with psychology
diet and multivit changes.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Da Bears!

I saw one of the staff of the Chicago Bears Organization today. Funny, I met him a the Naperville Mercedes dealership in the parts department. So this huge guy that reminded me of a professional wrestler, had a 3-4 week problem with his nondominant hand. The guy exercised regularly till the injury and it showed with the size of his deltoid alone. (All during the time I was talking to him, I was thinking to myself, if I had to use and acupunture needle to his shoulder, I would have to order a special long one just to get through that muscle.) Well, it wasn't in his training he was injured but in a 20 second move of a firepit. (Again my mind wandered....was it a firepit or an entire chimmney he moved?) Problem was that since it was a small muscle in the forearm, it prohibited grip, pinch, and wrist rotation. A "dud" left arm ment he couldn't do symmetrical lifts in any of his exercise movements. Not good to be off a lifting program if job performance depends on size whether to use force or just intimidate. (Alas my mind wandered on to think... if I didn't come up with a diagnosis, he could pick me up and throw me to the otherside of the Mercedes dealership!)

I always tell my lecture audiences that 80% of the diagnosis to a problem will be in the history of the ailment. Thus a good reason to seek a doctor that listens and isn't pushed to be out of the room in the "magic 10"-(the 10 minutes it takes to listen, feel and write out a prescription with most of the talking being on the side effects of the medicines being given). Well, same here with this BEAR of a man; the sudden pull, the degree of twist the fist was in while he reproduced the motion he went through while pretend pulling the firepit and the lack of anyother defects in mechanics for this "athlete" pointed me to a common ailment in the forearm......tennis elbow. It is acutally a misnomer, you don't have to play tennis to get it. It so happens that tennis players often get this from trying power backhands. The front hand on the racket gets alot of vibratory stress suddenly with impact and the muscles don't like it. Stress leads to microscopic tears in muscle and blood acumuluates to start healing but the forearm can never be truly rested so we continue to tear it in everyday activities. In summary, it's the initial sports shock that usually causes the injury but its everyday actions that keep it going. Here we have a single pull in a very muscular arm (that is used to lifting enough iron to make a little mercedes c class) being used the wrong way. Now that little muscle is shutting down the motion of the entire beefy extremity. He's rested it for 3-4 weeks already so now its time for me to step in.

Here The Saguil Approach is to actually, leave him in the hands of a capable therapist with further suggestions of continuing his multivitamin, taking an antiiflammatory medicine, cross training for now to keep cardio up and substitute the endorphin rush he is used to, adding herbs like turmeric, boswellia, white willow bark to the diet, and stretching the forearm in positions Steven Segal would be pround of. If all else fails, I bring out the acupuncture needles but I may have to order to extra extra long needles from china.

Something for me to stress to those interested, just going which ever physical therapist is covered by insurance isnt an option. In my experience with college level, olympian or just average joe athletes, a therapist can make or brake a musculoskeletal problem. Just like doctors, there are ok therapist and there are great ones. For something easy like an ankle or a knee, standard PT is ok. For something complex like a neck or a shoulder(-my favorite), if the therapist isn't used to measuring scapular slide or can't do manual therapy to a trigger pointed trapezius, the 2-4 weeks in therapy may just result in a failure and it's one step closer to pod cutting, (orthopedic surgery)


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What really happens in Concussions:

Here's me, Sherrie Payton(Mrs Walter Payton), Gabrielle(my daughter) and Brandon(my son) at the talk.

I was at Healthplex in Aurora giving a talk on concussions. I met a great person that had old fashioned parents. The good kind of parent that was down to earth and followed a proper diet and got to bed on time. She seemed to have very good balancing skills with multitasking and most of all, very good at choosing and sticking to a healthy diet. Seems like her kids respect her and are following her ways of watching what goes on her plate and in her arteries. She unfortunately has some stressors typical for a high profile woman in the millenium but also has plans to deal with the stress. (I wanted to suggest more immunesupport, and antioxidants while in stress in addition to yoga and breathing classes-that defensive postion, in tolerating stress places most humans into a two fist forward, shoulders forward, back flexed chin down postion. This is the usual set up for neck stiffness and pounding headache, chest pain that comes with stress easily fixed with deep breathing and chest opening!)

The reason I bring this chance encounter up is that we are seeing a few of the baby boomers now getting in great shape. Seems like the 50's age group now is getting a taste of health with the advent of 5k's, healthclubs associated with physical therapy, numerous supplement companies, (some of them very good while many others crappy, with poor bioavailability). In the populations I have come in contact with from the Wheaton-ites of Dupage, to the newyorkers transposed to Florida, to the developing cities of Aurora and Oswego Illinois, 50% of all I see are with a BMI of 25(overweight). 40% are normal or close to overweight and 10% are in good shape. Most of the answers for the 10% club say they are doing good because they want to stay off medicines, most of the 50% say they dont know what a BMI is or that they dont have insurance so they havent seen a doc in a "long time". Bottom line is we are a very unhealthy nation leaving our health essentially in the hands of the fast food people hoping these companies and restaurants are doing a good job at declaring "fatfree" or "caffeine free" or "no transfat". Well, guess what, all that great tasting stuff is taken out with the addition of something else synthetic sugar substitutes...places still need to sell and "hook" buyers so they will pay and return to pay again. Doctors have great intentions to watch our risk factors and reverse them once found.....but that is usually it. ONCE risks are found, medicines can be used but you are now taking a pill every day for the rest of your life. It should always be a temporary bandaid while we make changes in life and diet. I have had the worst risk factor laiden patients get off most meds with a major reversal of diet and health habits. It's hard to keep up but once used to the diet schedule, and more over, once you get a taste of "this is how I felt when I was 20 years younger" now that is addicting and it is worth suffering through not eating that crispy cream donut and instead going for a fresh crispy fruit or colorful veggie. As I have said before about the millenium doctor office, time is money and the average visit with all medical algorithms in place only lasts for about 10-15 minutes. Not much time to figure a dietary diary over the last two weeks then come up with changes to work into the weekly grocery list. Again I say that insurance should pay for nutrition visits but seems only covered nowadays is you already are manifesting diabetes or refractory cholesterol control. (I remember once when high blood pressure was used to pay for a visit a dietician).

The "Saguil Approach" would be to find a nutritionist or napropath who knows food and pay out of pocket, visits would be finite, eventually the learning curve will plateau and one should be able to continue on alone. Patient should be able to apply the charges to a health savings account for tax free benefits. On the doctor side, billing for face to face time and counseling is LEGAL but one would have to document topic and time spent. Front desk would also have to be creative in scheduling the up coming patient for counseling dietary habits and using more time than 15 minute slots. (Certainly seems like an extra 15 minutes doesnt amount to much but if 75% of the medical problems need nutrition counsel, 75%of the schedule has to be lengthened and that translates to a 12 hour day of just patient contact. Add on 2 more hours of paper work and 1-2 hours of rounding at a hospital or volunteer work and you have broken the 15 hour work day!..hoooray!) I can only tackle one problem at a time and now it is "intellectual marketing" as Paul Pilzner refers to teaching. If enough people get taught nutrition, enough can write a letter to their insurance companies and maybe an insurance company may change what is allowed for dietary visits. I'm dreaming .....but me and Martin Luther are allowed to.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Turn your head and Look Away

I was told to not write scripts for physical therapy while working as a doctor in the emergency room because therapist will call to discuss cases and we arent built to answer primary care issues with patients we see for one visit in a year. The general idea of and ER is to "treat and street", take care of immediate issues and if not life threatening, send them back to primary care. Problem is that many people who cant afford insurance use the ER for their office doc. Even people with public aid will have ER visits paid for but primary care may be paid for but will be difficult to get into.....thus they also see the ER for primary care. Then there are the well established doctors who have very full schedules and cant pack in patients for same day appointments so send them onto the ER for what "sounds like it needs an ER visit symptom". Since I have been working in the ER I have noted that the average patient may wait 2-4 hours. This is a wait that will range from sore throat to chest pain.

One of the reasons I write is to kinda of gripe about the need for efficiency but the resitance for change. I have training in sports medicine and medical acupuncture more than most of my counterpart family practice breathren. This doesnt win me a bigger paycheck or a higher position in a hospital. Ney, I get paid the same paycheck at everyone else but I may get patients cleared of their disease state faster. More due to the fact that I combine physical medicine with conventional medicine. A regular primary care doc would probably be able to come up with the same diagnosis but an extra step or two is saved due to the fact I dont have to get another consult to help with ongoing care or treatment. (example: if ortho is needed, it will usually take about a week to get one to see a patient and that is after the right test is ordered)...that could translate to a week of lost wages or a week of a mom staying home to care for a kid that could have started physical therapy sooner.

I digress, in the ER I see alot of sprains and strains. I know how to send off and I even write specific plans and orders on the script to physical therapy. The option is always to start it and just have them follow up with primary care if they still need something after a few weeks or if the patient suffers a set back while in PT. So I save the patient, save the primary care docs office the hassel of seeing the patient after the accident or trauma and then prescribing the same script they would have written in less detail, saved the patient time at home doing nothing waiting for a call back from the primary care doc or ortho docs office, saved the work from paying for a temp to come in and do the work of the individual for his or her time off. But ....if it goes off the grain of standard procedure I shouldnt do it. Dont get me wrong, The administrator is doing the right thing by saying to hold it cause the system isnt set up to follow these people I am helping (an I am doing it at a discount since I am not getting paid for giving my expert opinion on the topic of how to care for a specific injury).

To expound on the topic, I have alot of nurse freinds who have been trained to be managers but it is just too much hassel and political red tape that even with training they step down to routine "grunt" work because the excessive frustration isnt worth the extra few dollars on the paycheck. Also a higher liability, since one that is higher on the food chain is also accountable. (more of a scapegoat when needed)

Patients know this and they will pay extra just to be in the care of a doc that knows their particulars. This concept is growing of "concierge medicine" which used to be called boutique medicine since it seemed to cater to those who needed foofoo care and hand holding. Truth now is that patients know faster care and more efficient care can be managed if the doc knows you and is willing to cut corner in caring for you, whether it is in time to see him, time to get to talk to consult or time to get out into a procedure. The catch is a family usually has to pay a "retainer fee" to be in the docs small circle. Doc usually takes 500 patients only to devote more time to each one. (this compared to the 2500-3500 patients needed per year to break even with the expenses of a 1-2 man office) Imagine a family paying an extra 1000 -1500 dollars a year on top of medical insurance bills.

I believe this is also the reason people are shying away from docs and conventional medicine due to the doc doesnt spend time to listen since he or she is so busy that they only spend the bare minimum to hear a select symptom or two and make a great diagnosis to prescribe the standard prescription medicine and have them follow up. Patients are never one medical problem now a days. With all the pressure today and 50-60 hour work weeks, dual income families, poor eating and poor health, even if they only complain about one thing, there are two more to address that have to be postponed until 1-2 weeks when the next opening is available. The proverbial 15 minute slot has to be followed or a practice with go belly up paying for all the extra people needed to take care of the paper chase that the insurance companies create to keep money in check. Well, I do what I am told and dont write scripts for PT anymore....tonight was painful because a patient whom I was treating could have used physical therapy quickly but now I had to send her back to the clinic that couldnt fit her in tonight for a simple sprain. And she will probably spend 3 days getting an appointment, then another 3 days to see a specialist, then another 3 days to get to PT. At least the nursing manager said the idea was good but it has to be approved by all primary care docs before I could do it and the other ER docs had to agree. I'll submit it to the house to be approved by the senate just to be veto'd by the higher ups......oh well! Just do your job and turn away is what my wallet says.....but my heart says help the sick! Where is Hippocrates when you need him!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Whats the deal? Tonight I had two patients,one in for an infection and the other with chest pain. Both had difficulty with controlling their individual problems. No other complaints told to the triage nurse and I attempted to take care of the two separate issues, but upon discussing what to do next with each of them, something told me to check a sugar level and....both of them were in the 300+ range and both were obese. Both were admitted diabetics for at least 10 years each. It turns out both were on insulin. The gentleman had insurance and wasnt checking sugars daily but stated he was last in his doctors office about 6 months ago. The ADA states to get a hemoglobin A1c every 3 months, so thats at least a visit for a blood test. I asked what is daily calorie intake was and he said about 3000. After I picked my jaw off the ground, I mentioned that a normal person is 3000- 3500 cal per day. He says it's "hard". I gave him the reality scenario of having silent ischemia from heart disease and diabetes and that dont count on doctors missing his heart, he will live and doctors will have him on machines and medicines. He will live a lousy life if it gets to that point and it will unless he changes his goals. He was more worried about getting a pain shot for his low grade back pain than the bronchitis in his chest or the chest pain. I explained that the muscles in the back and the bones in the back wont heal if sugar is constantly floating around in the blood stream and not getting into any cells the heal.

The young lady was in for a new absess to her neck and was a very nice person, she had a different story. Alot of stress lately with death of her dad, no insurance since then, no job. Had last vial of insulin but couldnt pay for new vial. Had been losing weight and was at about 100 lbs. off since 1 year. Told her that infection is the begining, with the sugar being so high and not being able to get one drop of glucose into the little white blood cells that fight infection, I could virtually give her all the big gun antibiotics in the world but we wont win since the white blood cells cant finish the job. She broke down and cried and obviously was in alot of stress. Last lecture I gave had a topic of stress and I explained how stress brings on more free radicals that produce damage to cell membranes. This leads to poor gland functions, poor organ functions, poor thinking. also opens to infection, worsening diabetes, and cancer. I explained how if sugars arent stabilized and given to the body in regular increments, all organs fail (but they do it very slowly).

Many of the problems with diabetes, blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, amputation happen due to free radical formation. When diabetics get sugars under control, great but this subset of the population does exceptionally well with antioxidants. Magnesium seems to be depleated due to the high influx of insulin stimulating the membrane cells to change permeability from the failing pancreas so this supplement also help curb wide sugar variations. Finally Chromium and cinnamon seem to make the cells more sensitive to the circulating insulin. The basics always hold true and those would be decreasing total calorie intake in addition to not hitting the body with massive amounts of food followed by times of famine. The presence of food/glucose in the blood stream will start the usual chain of hormones to be released, serotonin, insulin, growth hormone.....when the levels of glucose vary at the extremes of the scale, the hormone response will be in extremes. Think of being in a fight or flight panic, several times a day. Not healthy and would eventually depleat all the hormone supplies causing poor sleep, poor concentration, anxiety, diarrhea, hallucinations. Remember vietnam vets and post tramatic stress disorder. Not just the mind but also led to poor health, poor social skills and poor tolerance for change.

Diabetes is a growing epidemic, almost one in three are overweight in the US. Usually the big three always come together; diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol. And guess what....all related to diet. And guess what else, doctors usually dont have time for nutrition counsel but have just enough time to discuss medication side effects and new prescription use. We werent trained properly in school and residency. And the good nutritionists arent covered by insurance. Thank god for diabetes.org and all the info on the website. Whether on insulin injections or pills or nothing at all, food and diet are always supposed to be the basic building blocks. With all the medicines in the world, if diet isnt changed disease will continue to deteriorate. I am really worried for both of them.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Thin is In

Yesterday as I was finishing my shift, I was about to leave (had to make a meeting for the Medical Reserve Corp of DuPage County and this is going to be an interesting post so watch for it). I saw a chart that was next to be seen by the incoming doc but it was an ankle sprain for which I have a "Saguil Approach" of handling. I decided to take it for the thrill of seeing how fast I could guess the diagnosis and be correct before the tests came back (little game I play while working to keep things interesting-sorry...sounds conceited). Name sounded familiar and by the time I entered the room I figured out where the name was from. As soon as the curtain was drawn, I heard a big...."Dr Saguil!". One of my old patients from the Wheaton office, and her mom and dad were very fond patients of mine. We talked and I gave her an update but apparently her parents already knew I was back in town. Her mom and dad were such great patients. For the non medical person, a great patient is one that has made a lasting impression mostly for some kind of success that was achieved. I can say that the majority of my patients are great. I can usually get a patient to listen or try something I teach in the exam room, (should be called the lecture room since most of my time is spent teaching). To me, if a patient trys something once, then I figure they trusted me and that is a success. I was always a terrible salesman, during college years, I would usually end up giving things away due to some inherent guilt I felt when telling someone about a product I was representing. Anyway, as I found out the exam room gave me a captive audience for 10 minutes (according to medical insurance reimbursement), I decided to groom the way I presented myself when trying to "sell" a healthier lifestyle. Again I refer to the "Saguil Approach" that seems to work for the patients I see. I thought it was just my patient population in DuPage County but during my 18 months in Florida (that just happens to coorelate with a certain restrictive coventant a hospital lays down so as the doc leaving will not to steal all their patients), I applied the same concept and low and behold!....people got healthier and it wasn't just DuPage. May not have worked for everyone...but given another year, I would have had 50% of my population off of at least one of their medicines.
Sorry for the rambling, this one family was always so good about follow up and trying to exercise. The great news and point to this post was mom had lost 40+ pounds since I left! She had a few small short term goals that were easy to achieve and each one "sling-shot" her to the next level of losing.
That day, talk about positive attitude attracting more positive outcomes, I was listening to Paul Zane Pilzner give his ideas about the wellness industry. He's an economist who wrote several best sellers the latest is "The Wellness Revolution", I heard him spout a line that shocked me. He said a few decades ago, poverty was associated with being thin and having nothing, wealth was associated with being fat with alot to eat. Now with 25% (actually 33% with recent stats from the CDC) of america being overweight, the upper crust is thin, exercising and trying to preserve youth at any cost while the middle and lower classes are tipping the scales with a BMI of 30 or greater. (BMI refers to body mass index, read about it on www.diabetes.org). I just gave a talk in Florida and one of the topics was diabetes which is a growing epidemic in the US-mostly due to the high numbers of people falling into the overweight/obese categories. Next time you are at a public function, pick 10 people in one part of the room and look at how many "appear" overweight. It will be 3-4 friends, coworkers and loved ones. Some researchers will tell you the majority of the health issues in the United States are due to nutrition deficiencies. I agree and it is getting worse. Modern medicine is probably not helping due to the amount of training we lack in medical school and residency for nutrition. In addition with the short time we have to spend in the exam room, it is easier to write a perscription and talk of side effects than it is to evaluate and discuss nutrition and diet. And insurance doesn't pay for a dietician unless you have developed diabetes. One of the hardest things I found in private practice was balancing time, I had to see patients that called in with injuries, educate the sick on how to get better and stay healthy, run the office and make sure I was spending time with my family (my cornerstone). I would usually cut out sleeping and eating. Not a healthy way to set an example and one of the reasons I decided to leave the hospital.

Suffice it to say, I am now happy, spending time with my 3 year old, making up time with my 13 year old, and falling in love with my wife again. Not to mention I now fit into my highschool track and field uniform....(if you ever see a black warm up jacket with Eustace Track on the back...that's me!), never thought I would see my six-pack again. I always, always told my patients "a major lifestyle change has to be made or your health will fail"....I even spent extra time doing this to get my point across so hopefully they would see how important it was. That was all at the sacrifice of my own health and until just recently, I didn't even realize I was also a victim of the same poor nutrition, poor rest and lack of exercise. It took a CEO change at the hospital to get me to wake up and it will probalby take a major catastrophy to change the way US healthcare is today but why wait till then. By exercising right, eating right, sleeping better we can inspire others to want to do the same. Living healthy and happy is "infectious", find someone who watches their diet or fits exercise into a busy schedule and hang out with them, you may get "bitten" by the habit. We can all make the world a better place.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Hitting the Wall

To continue on the same discussion as last posting, I saw a patient who had been a "frequent flyer" to the ER for pain. Headache, back pain, arthritis pain.....here she is again and as soon I lift the chart, there's a long list of previous visits and all the narcotics that ended each visit. Taking a few clensing breaths, I entered the "cage". Me versus the evils of narcotic drugs, no holds barred, no referee (aside from the DEA) and hopefully I can stay calm and use my doctor know-how to put a finishing move on this evil and rescue my patient.
She had a headache that was 10 out of 10. Lights were off due to her sensitivity to light, neck was stiff, position was in an embryonic defense. Like one fighter approaching another, chin tucked down, shoulders forward and curled in, arms close in, eyes being hid and forehead wrinked like a chinese shar pei. Husband was sitting in the corner, patiently relaxing but there was a little look of frustration and a kinda "here we go again" face. I interviewed her and drove down all those roads that would pick up stroke, seizure, head trauma but all seemed negative. Physical exam was normal aside from the description above. The MD in me wanted to cut to the chase and see what would happen if I just gave her a shot of something and maybe she would go. The ER was backed up at that time and people were poking their head out into the hall looking for when I would come see them next. I decided to order something "different", an alternative that no one may have tried before just in case she was going to say "it's still a 10". For chronic pain caused by muscle, I have used capsaisin, a pepper derivative formulated in cream that is strong enough to distract the perception of pain and divert the patient to concentrate more on the burning of the pepper. (Science also says it depleats substance P in free nerve endings) After getting to a few other patients, one of the nurses stated she was unchanged and wanted an IV of narcotic medicine. At that point, I went in but noticed she wasn't as curled up as before. Glasses were off and she was laying down in bed. Husband also came out to tell nurses she was looking better. Physical exam revealed a softer trapezius and more supple neck. I asked her to relax her forehead, take some deep breaths and try to pull her shoulders back and unclench the neck muscles. She was able to do so and for that fleeting moment, she looked like a normal grandmother. After explaining the theory of muscle relaxation and the ways narcotic pain killers can actually cause a headache, she started to frown again but I came right back and told her to fix it. I also asked the husband to consider giving her a mirror to carry that would help her with biofeedback. She soon unleashed an emotional cry for all the things she has been through for headache help. She had been to the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago, University Hospital in Chicago and thento a Pain Clinic at Mercy Hospital. All the docs had done a million dollar work up and started her on a few pain medicines. While talking she had developed dry mouth and I figured it was from one of the muscle relaxers we give for chronic pain. I tried to keep her on track but she did elaborate all this in about 10-15 minutes. I looked her in the eye and said there is another way of medicine she hasn't tried yet. Two minutes into her monologue, acupuncture immediately came into my head as an alternative. I thought she would make an excellent patient for traditional chinese medicine. I repetitively mentioned an herb shop down the street and the last time I visited there, I found an acupunturist name and number. (This was 2 days ago...funny how positive things happen for a reason.) I told her it would probably take about a year to get good results but even one medicine bottle in the garbage every 2 months would be a success. I explained to her that she has to change her concept of temporary success in the ER from bringing down the level from a 10 to just having a softer muscle or a more mobile neck or being able to take off the glasses. Short term success can keep a patient going till the next goal. This versus telling them get off pain medicine by next month.
The interesting thing about last night was I remember not giving her any further medicine aside from the shot and cream 1-2 hours earlier. I also remember walking her out with her husband carrying her purse (the thing weighed 2-4 pounds). She was also smiling and joking about seeing me outside the hospital intead of inside the ER. If I played the usual treat her and street her, she wold probalby be back to another ER or pain center in a day or two. Don't know if she will follow up with what I suggested (the power that narcotics has for altering lives in a bad way is unimaginable). Put it this way, if she continues on this path, she will probably have a major complication from the list of meds, husband will leave her or she will attempt suicide. Sounds very morose but with no balance in her life and her only savior for 1-3 hours being a strong narcotic pill and the doctors that give her this saying there nothing else that will help her.......what would anyone else do?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

American Nightmare

It was a beautiful day in the western suburbs of Chicago. I got in early to rearrange the doctors office (the feng shui was messing my day up) and the trickle of patients came in gradual. I remember hearing a "stat " overhead page for the emergency response team to assemble ......then the operator said to go the the sidewalk outside the office. A little unusual, but I kept on working. Soon came accross a patient who was complaining of a multiple body part injuries. If there was any space on the sheet for chief complaint, she needed to add about another sheet for everything that hurt her. In the ER, it's common knowledge that if a patient comes in with multiple problems all at the same time, they may be looking for strong narcotics. Now here comes the mentality of todays doctor; in the office where we are supposed to heal the sick as our primary goal in life, it has turned into practicing speed medicine as the primary goal. To pay for the nurse, receptionist, carpeting and all those other fufu things in the office that attracts a good crowd, I am supposed to be efficient with time. It boils down to the insurance companies reimbursing as little as possible for them to be profitable. (Then me seeing and billing as much as possible to stay afloat.) And they take their que from the government who pays the least of all insurance companies to doctors and hospitals -and until recently didnt pay for medicine. (What an irony........we work hard to get to retire but when we get their our health fails from neglecting it for so many years and the insurance we need, pays for the basic minimum.) It wont pay for a dietician for high cholesterol but it pays for a bypass surgery. It wont pay for exercise and physical therapy for obesity but it pays for diabetic insulin pumps. So to make my office and all the bills generated from hiring people to call the insurance companies for approval or paying for the guy thats sole purpose is to copy charts that are submitted for audit by the insurance company, to make sure I make these payments I have to see so many people in a block of time. Forget 9-5.....forget lunch....forget weekends with the family....I must pack as many people into an hour of patient care that I can. To be efficient, other docs have come up with streamlining a treatment plan once the diagnosis is made. That way I am in and out of the room and if a common treatment plan is established, my nurse can go in and discharge the patient. There are some young guns male docs who claim they can see 40-60 patients in an 8 hour day. Just calculate it yourself, thats 5-7.5 people an hour. Thats 10 minutes a patient. I have to get a detailed history, examine, order labs tests and discuss treatment and follow up all in 10 minutes. Well those young guns are sooooo good if its a cold or cough and nothing else is going on but wait....what about the elevated blood pressure in the guy who had a cold. "Oh, its just white coat hypertension" so "watch it". We can wait till an organ shows damage and you get symptoms, then we'll take more time. Or perhaps you can take time off from work and come in 2-3 more times so we can take care of the other 2-3 more ailments. Or get a babysitter so we can get you in to show you on paper that all your tests are normal even if we could have called but malpractice says you have to be scheduled in the office so we can document you received results

Wait....I digress. This lady had the audacity to have more than one body part to complain about in one visit! You guessed it, she was the one who fell outside on the side walk and couldnt get up due to her bone on bone left knee and multiple disc diseased lumbar spine and the fact she is obese and suffering from "fibromyalgia". (...in this disease state every muscle is stiff and painful, she gets no sleep and probalby depressed). Well, she was on her way to an orthopedic doctors office since her primary care doc couldnt give her more than 3 months of narcotic medicine and recently cut her down to one month with less pills and no other substitute for complaints. She has public aid and they dont pay for a pain clinic visit. The old orthopedic surgeon wouldnt operate on the left knee until she lost weight but public aid wont pay for a dietician, and physical therapy is also hard to find to accept the card.

Of course after I evaluated her, no fractures to left shoulder, elbow or back. Immobilizer wouldnt fit her knee, she felt little better with sling to the shoulder and a shot of toradol (injectable antiinflammatory) in addition to two darvocets (narcotic analgesic). She was able to stand with crutches and as she attempted to get to the bathroom she held her balance well, (even without the help of her son who was sitting in a chair with a blanket over him....what happened to chivalry?) I am well experienced with sportsmedicine and have multiple patients with fibromyalgia so I started her on a cocktail of morning steroids, evening antidepressant and darvocet......yes I gave a refill on the same drug that her primary care doctor wanted to deny her......but......I also gave her a script for physical therapy specifically to design a core exercise program and work on her gait. Also told her of a local herb shop where she may consider starting valerian and st johns wort in addition to a multivitamin and turmeric. Also told her about how neurotransmitters in the brain get depleated after a few days of stress and then the brain senses everything as painful. Not sure if she can afford everything but at least I was able to give her some options instead of going straight for pain medicine. This is one of those times when a little explanation may help the patient understand her own disease process and help them seek out alternatives since current economic status will not be able to protect her from spiralling downward. Not the American Dream she was envisioning when she was growing up!

Turmeric- is known for its antiinflammatory properties...excellent and is thought to stimulate some of the same pathways as motrin and celebrex without the side effects

St Johns Wort- approved to be used in mild to moderate depression. Mechanism is thought to be settling to the depressed mind due to its serotonin increasing properties.

Valerian- considered a tonic herb. One that works to settle nerve ending, thought due to gaba receptor action like benzodiazepines.

Fish oil would also be great for her with recent studies showing usefulness in depression and heart disease and arthritis/inflammation.
Omega 3 would be choice but it would have to be a balanced fromula between omega 3 and 6.

St Johns Wort and Omega 3 have been the most studied herbal supplements and you will notice I said "thought to work" because FDA doesnt do multimillion dollar studies on "food supplements" (the category herbal medicine falls under). Ther are many good supplement companies out there with excellent results but for every one there are 3 that are not putting the ingredients in the bottle stamped on the label. Bad people will always try to make money to get to their American Dream also, even at the expense of the sick.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Looking for the White Elephant

I get in tonight and the place is hopping. My partner that is to leave shift has one person to tell me about that will be staying extra long. 26 year old teacher with ongoing diarrhea for last few weeks. Seen by her primary care doc about a week ago and supposedly no sick contacts at that time. She does work in a primary school and there are sniffles going round but no stomach bugs. She actually did ok with that episode and it cooled down in few days. She remembers that didnt bother her much after that until hubby took her to Olive Garden. Soon after the whole thing started again. Diarrhea, few times a day with mostly water. Last few days it seems it got worse and was associated with nausea and fatigue. Patient admits to alot of issues with "her stomach". No alcohol, only occasional coffee, no tobacco. Mother was in room and she stated she herself has a consitpation issue and patients sister is bad with stomach issues.
Her primary care doc wanted to rule out parasites and C. difficile ( a special bacterial that usually follows antibiotic treatment and leave the patient with bloody stool) He even wanted to check for norwalk virus in addition to the 20 other lab tests he wanted done in the ER. Girl was tired with bags under the eyes, pale, cracked lips and thick saliva on the toungue. Couldnt get up from lying down. Obviously dehydrated with orthostatic changes during standing.

I gave her 2 liters of fluid and a tagamet pill. I had talked to mom about using "slippery elm" and once the gut was a little stronger to consider resupplying the colon with acidophyllus. We started to talk about how the 36 feet of tubing from mouth to anus secreates, digestes and moves. When a small infection occurs....this is one of the only body systems that can protect itself. Just let it do its thing and the toxin, agent, chemical, bacterial or virus will usually be pooped or vomited out in minutes. Even with something as harsh as Salmonella, no need for antibiotics with gut just finds the closest door and pushes everything through it. Well, her gut was probably doing just fine and healing up. No doubt the Olive garden has two things that are bound to have alot of acid....vinegar and tomatoe. (salad dressing and pasta, there goes your whole meal right there.....and dont forget the dairy dessert to follow). I explained when the gut has to move fast to protect itself, that delicate lining of little finger like projections in the small intestine get sloughed off and pooped out. Like an abrasion on a knee, it takes about a week to get things healed. You throw food like that mentioned on a roughened lining and it wont like it....thus the return of the diarrea. Just think of the colon as a separate living thing trying to protect itself from further irritation. Its gonna move just like it did when it started 2 weeks ago. ALthough the initial thing that caused all this to start isnt there anymore, the bowl movements will seem exactly the same. Thus the reason the doc is looking for a white elephant instead of concentrating on the regular elephants that are right in front of him.

After the water she was acutally seen standing up walking to the toilet, not dizzy, red lips, moist tongue and smiling. I told her no need for fancy tests at this point. Need to just go home and stick to fluids over the next 24 hours. Also suggested the slippery elm as stated above. No dairy, No acidic foods, no caffeine. Further evaluation reveals she is a full time teacher, going for a night degree, taking care of her own child, and helping her husband with his line of work. I discussed with her the need to carve out 10-15 minutes a day of medication. Told her to consider ginger root in addition to slippery elm. May consider kavakava or valerian in near future for stress reduction. Told them no need for the fancy tesing esecially if she feels better. Also told them that many times, we in conventional medicine will not know the exact diagnosis but while sick we'll get alot of tests to look for something....anything. Gut doesnt need a fancy name or treatment plan, just needs some healing time before being battered with the next bout of being unhealthy and eating poorly. Girl walked out with mom, smiling and looking forward to visiting the herbal shop in town tommorrow. Mom then preceded to ask me about other "remedies" for her ailments............but that for another day.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Why generic isnt always good!

......So I walk into the room and this guy is pale and lying down on the gurnee with a monitor on his finger. He has a little accent and asks if I "habla". My good filipino looks always fool people into thinking I am hispanic. Well, I tell him "poquito"and he proceeds to use the spanish dictionary on me. Comes down to: chest pain for 6 months and now he's fatigued. I get a family history of father with heart attack, he used cocaine snorting it 3 months ago but it was only a "little". No fever, cough, weight loss, chest trauma or nighttime awakening. He is holding his left chest. Pulse rate is slow in the 50's but no sweating, cough or shortness of breath. No ankle swelling.

I get the usual tests and ekg, chest xray are ok. CBC shows little anemia but no infection....."ok, this must be the reason for fatigue but why chest pain?" He denys any bleeding and states he eats ok. More tests come back and looks like his liver is backing up! Hummm....maybe its hepatitis....ordered a hepatitis panel and asked if he used IV drugs or had high risk sex...no IV and no sex for 7 months. (OUCH!) Get his thyroid test back and "BINGO"...he's got a slow working thyroid. But why the anemia and chest pain? And for that matter....why the liver back up? Physical exam is all normal exept for the pale skin and big round red marks on his back. [I knew he saw an acupuncturist cause we do cupping to the back]. I ask, what did the acupuncturist give him and he said 3 bottles that he took for 2 weeks but he doesnt know the names. Also, he can't vocalize why he went all the way to downtown for this guy. [Did I say he has a hoarse voice also?]

So we have a 20 year old mexican-american, 6 months of chest pain, fatigue -and all worse in the last few days. Low thyroid, anemia, liver congestion and slow heart rate.
Final test comes back ...... he has full blown "rhabdomyolysis"! This is where the muscles of the body "denature" and start to leak into the blood stream...if gone unchecked the big proteins in the blood will block the kidney from filtering and kidneys shut down. (By the way his kidney test came back and yes he was in stage 2 failure.) Got the family to bring in the meds and here they are, scanned:

Looks like some back door manufacturer of traditional chinese medicine. Called my pharmacy friend, Clell Fowles out of Utah but it was late and still waiting for call back. In the mean time due to the muscle enzymes being the highest I've seen in a few years- (last time was with a patient who did the chicago marathon and got to 26 miles where he saw the finish line but then he woke up in the ICU 3 days later due to severe dehydration and hyperthermia -from not drinking enough during the course, leading to muscle breakdown). Only thing, in this guys case is that the thyroid issue and fatigue are explainable, maybe a little anemia also ......but massive tissue break down with backed up liver. Got to be from the herbs.....not necessarily from the specific component but from the "God only knows where this bottle is from" part. The "vitamin shoppe", "gnc", "walmart", "walgreens" and "target" are real cheap but one in four bottles acutally has the active ingredients it states. If quality control in the US stores is sometimes questionable...imagine a third world country importing their supplements to smaller stores. Work up is under way but I think the guy is out of the woods since he came in "early", (kidneys would have been shot by the morning). In summary he truely had a low thyroid state and anemia but unfortuatelywent to get treatment with acupunture (for that I applaud him) but happened to take herbs from a person that imports straight from the mainland (China) and stuff he took had a side effect. FDA can't regulate supplements so all those bottles really don't have to contain what the label says. Good established companies are always safer. Long standing herbal shops with active in the community herbalists are good. Especially if the company offers to fly distributors out to see where things are packaged. ........Buyer beware, over the counter supplements can kill!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Luke....the force is not with you!

When I was working for Central DuPage Hospital, I really thought I would be making an impact on the families in Chicago's western suburbs. I believe I did, and the heart-felt letters from my patients when I left in '05 proved it. The hospital looked at numbers back then and me, my office partners and many of the other primary care offices were not turning a profit with the amount of patients coming through our doors. No hospital administrator ever showed me a spread sheet for the procedures I sent patients for at the hospital or the therapies I would order to "rehab" my injured. Not to mention over the 10+years I worked for them that every time I proudly stating I was a "Central DuPage Hospital" doctor, patients would trust in the hospital choice I gave them to have their kids or get surgery for their parents or even just tell their neighbors to go to that hospital.
I know my families appreciated me and it's uplifting to hear everyone looking for me even before I open my new office. My committment will be to the community I was taught to serve. The hospitals won't go away, we need them. What I teach my patients about health and wellness won't go away, in fact, I am hoping it gets passed to the next few generations. Those that ran the system and influenced it to be accustomed to wallstreet like mentality.....those people will get older. When you get older and carry a negative disposition and a calloused personality...........well, you get sick. And their lies the irony, I may have to care for the person that destroyed my bond with a good community.........see you soon!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Reinvented Me

This weekend I went back to Clermont to guest lecture with Clell Fowles, a pharmacist from Utah. We had been invited by The Herb Shoppe to discuss 6 topics. A good mix of ages and sexes attended in addition to at least one other MD. It was a challenge to attempt lecturing to a wide audience with broad topics but the reviews were all positive. Judging from the Q & A after each topic, people were eager to learn and they were following along with me. My only wish is that the medical community could instill this fund of knowledge to each and every one of it's patients. I believe there are some physicians who have a passion for teaching and allowing the injured or sick to learn about the disease they are being labeled with and take hold of it and fight. Once a patient knows how things work with disease and the body, it's not so "foreign" to understand and the plan that I suggested can be faithfully followed without question. Not knowing where the road turns makes a driver slow down and take extra precaution. When a disease takes hold of the body, time is so precious. Just ask some of my cancer survivors or the families of those that didn't.

Dr. Joseph Helms from UCLA taught me there are other ways to care for the sick that have been around for 3000 years. When his technique of placing a chinese needle into my torn rotator cuff, (that I has a sportsmedicine physician with my network of extraordinary physical therapist and my collegues from downtown who put shoulders back together for million dollar baseball player), returned my shoulder back to full painfree range of motion even with an mri documented labral tear.....it made a believer out of me. This is when I began to accept alternative medicine. I dove further into it with traditional chinese medicine then the teachings of Andrew Weil, MD. Applying the theories these guru's have taught me and working with the herbalists in Florida has improved the quality of life for any patients. I feel it's my calling to bring this positive way of healing to other patients and doctors. The way healthcare is structured in this country is not working, I am on the front line and I come in contact everyday with people who are suffering. I am going to make a change and whether it affects one family or all the families of the United States, I have to do it............God please continue helping me!