A fresh look at Adaptability

Adaptability Is Defined In The Entegrys Competency Dictionary As “Demonstrating personal flexibility and effectiveness with changing environments, tasks, responsibilities and people.”

As someone with a genetic condition that has the potential to be life-threatening, it’s important to me to take good care of my body and to be around to raise my kids. The quickest route to managing this condition is medication. However, like much medication, this one has potential short- and long-term side effects. My husband and I also share a belief that foods and supplements that come from the earth as unaltered as possible are generally better for our bodies, so we are drawn to the more “natural” therapies like high quality supplements, chiropractic and naturopathy.

In the past, I’ve often witnessed a disconnect between traditional medical specialists and alternative ones, to the point where I feel they view me as naive for considering input from one side or the other. Of course the side differs depending on whom I’m meeting with at any given time.

So back to the present. After taking a break from medication to have our children, I knew it was time to get back into treating my condition more aggressively. Yet I found myself avoiding it. I was afraid on one hand to call my doctor and explain that I wanted to find out the impact of a supplement I’d been taking before starting back on traditional medication. On the other hand, I cancelled an appointment I had made with a terrific naturopath because I was afraid of the cost of naturopathic supplements, knowing that the traditional medication would be mostly covered by my health plan. To boot, the naturopath mentioned he wasn’t a fan of the drug I was to take, and that he would want to treat me with supplements until the lifestyle changes he would prescribe had kicked in.

So here I was, paralyzed with fear, afraid to call either practitioner, and feeling like a ticking time bomb in the meantime.

Finally, I got up the courage to call my doctor. He was on leave. In the meantime, the nurse would work with me. I told her the whole story, how I hadn’t yet filled my prescription because I was trying a supplement first to find out its impact on my condition, how I wanted to work with a naturopath, and yet I was afraid of leaving my young girls without a mother and wanted to get my condition in check as soon as possible. She listened. She didn’t criticize me. It was amazing. She did express the same urgency I felt about getting things in check quickly. So together we came up with a solution: take a blood test to monitor my condition, fill my prescription right away and get things under control and begin seeing the naturopath to work on the lifestyle changes he would suggest. She was willing to correspond with him, and she told me she would order tests as often as I needed them. As for my doctor, she explained that he is rather “medical-minded”, but she would advocate for me and explain to him that I’m on a journey. I cried tears of relief after that conversation.

Next on my list was to talk with my naturopath and see if he could be on board with a plan that involved my being on a drug he disliked rather than buying a bunch of supplements from him. So I called him and told him my decision and the reasons behind it, then asked flat out if he was still willing to work with me. He said definitely. He also affirmed my decision to go on the drug in order to get my condition under control quickly, and he told me I didn’t have to apologize for doing so.

Due to the willingness of two medical professionals from completely different streams to be flexible and adaptable, to listen to me, and to respect my own knowledge of my body and my own risk-tolerance, I am now confident and empowered to move forward in making positive changes for my body, and I no longer feel like I have to “hide” the treatment I am receiving from both health professionals.

Leave a Reply