12. PARTNERING WITH MY PATIENTS

After nine years of working as an employee first at an urgent care then with an ob-gyn, I had a dream…to start my own holistic health care practice.

So I left a private practice seeing 27 or more patients a day as an employee to slow down and spend quality time with my own patients; time that they gratefully compensated me for and then submitted their completed bill of services to their own insurance. Finally I was independent of the insurance industry. Soon a trend began as patients invested in their care became increasingly more responsible for their health.

My dearest patients supported my entrepreneurial nature by following me into my new integrative medical practice—Full Circle Family Health. One day I was evaluating a woman with postmenopausal bleeding and had an uneasy feeling. A few years earlier my intuition led me to discover a rare growth on her liver. She trusted my feelings and did not hesitate to agree to an ultrasound. That’s when we discovered the tumor.

I had diagnosed patients with cancer before. I had even lost a few to the disease. But this beloved patient was different. Her cancer became our dance floor. I learned to partner with Barbara to the rhythm of her dis-ease, to the changing beat of her desire, to the symphony of her life’s purpose. I held nothing back, dancing with her through choices that I may not have chosen, orchestrating a care plan that fit her needs—physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I researched every option, conventional and alternative. She fought the good fight, but in the end…she showed me how to slow dance.

On the morning of her death, I felt Barbara as a bubble of delight floating through me. Not an hour later, her daughter called to tell me she had just passed. For the first time in 25 years of healing, I experienced the grace of death.

Like most health care professionals, I had viewed death of a patient as a failure and could not fully receive the gift of their passing. But hers, I embraced. I surrendered to loving her as a person, to getting close to her family, to being a part of her circle—truly Full Circle Family Health.

At the funeral, others commended me for coming. How could I not? I came to honor her, to support her family and to let her go. Like many of her loved ones, I shared my thoughts. Mostly I thanked her delightful spirit, free now from pain playing with her little grandson.
This is the way it used to be. Before insurance carriers and malpractice, we used to get involved with our patients. We knew their families, we birthed them, we helped them get through tough times in their lives, and we buried them. We understood the circle of life. They understood too. We respected one another; we were part of a community.

As I dance my dreams into reality, they expand to encompass all I love. Transforming my health care practice into one that supports my relationships, my health and my soul purpose—my LoveDance®—has allowed me to model a healthy balanced life which helps my patients achieve their goals. And those who are ripe for healing arrive from across the globe. They come because I dance their dance.

Excerpt from My LoveDance. Available on Amazon

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