Welcome. You're here for a reason.
I'm glad you are.
Depression. Exhaustion. Anxiety. Pain. Mood swings. Frustration. Autoimmune issues. Loss of sexual desire. Body shame. Migraines. Disinterest in life. High blood pressure. Fibromyalgia. Prediabetes. Insulin resistance. Blood sugar issues. And on. And on. Does any of this sound familiar?
They are signs that your (very wise) body is speaking to you. In medicine, and as a culture, we have learned they are problems to be fixed. In this culture, we have been taught to seek answers to medical issues in the form of symptom management. If you have high blood pressure, you take a blood pressure pill. If you have migraines, you take pain meds or preventive meds. If you have heavy periods, you take birth control. If you have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, you start with metformin. If your diabetes isn't well-controlled, you progress to other drugs and, unfortunately, then usually to insulin. If you have fibromyalgia, you aren't taught about the impact of your nervous system and lifestyle on your pain; you're usually given Cymbalta and Gabapentin (more pills). Then you're treated with additional meds for sleep. Then, when you complain to your doctor that you feel terrible on the meds, you're told it's all your fault because fibromyalgia possibly isn't real anyway. (it is real; I put mine into remission, but it's oh so very real. Many providers just don't know how to treat it).
The current medical model is broken.
So many "experts" out there think they have the answers. Maybe those answers didn't work for you. Maybe you find yourself resistant to following their rules, even if you suspect they might be helpful. You just don't know why you can't feel well. You don't know why you keep failing. Something inside of you knows there is a better way; you just don't know where to start.
All you do know is that you are ready for a change.
My story of healing and why it matters
I dealt with chronic illness from an early age. Depression, anxiety, Hashimoto's, IBS, migraines, fibromyalgia.
I was a sick kid. Three sets of ear tubes and a tonsillectomy by age 4. My parents both smoked which obviously contributed to my illnesses. They divorced when I was 5. I had chronic stomach aches and headaches throughout childhood. I missed a lot of school.
My mother got involved in cocaine and alcohol consumption when I was young. Briefly, we lived with my maternal grandmother where my uncle sold drugs out of the basement. I slept on the couch where men would walk by me at all hours of the night seeking drugs. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 7. She eventually succumbed to the disease when I was 12 (she was only 36). My father was diagnosed as having bipolar depression. He was hospitalized for a suicide attempt when I was 5 and he escaped from the mental hospital, showing up at the apartment my mother had moved us to and I remember feeling incredibly confused and scared. I knew he tried to love us, but he never really became an adult, at least not while I was a child. The divorce from my mother impacted him in a deep way. My paternal grandmother became burdened with taking care of us after my mother died, and it was clearly too much for her.
I became involved heavily in a dogmatic, shame-based Pentecostal church during a very pivotal time in my life right after my mother died. I was brainwashed that I was going to hell if I "sinned" in any way, including feeling alive and expressing my inherent sexual energy. The pastor of the church actually told me it was my duty to lose weight for my future husband.
I often felt body shame as I had been in a larger body my entire life. My body was often the topic of conversation by my father and other family members. I was shamed for my enlarging breasts and protruding stomach. By 3rd grade, I was well over 100 pounds, by 7th grade, I was over 200 pounds, and by high school, I was 280 pounds. At one point, my eyebrows fell out and my hair got really thin and I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in my teens.
By my mid-20s, I was nearly 400 pounds. I could barely move. I was depressed, anxious, fearful, in pain, and completely exhausted. I should mention here that I was also in a toxic relationship with the man who would later become my first husband and the father of my two children. I slept 16 hours a day. I saw psychiatrists who put me on more and more meds that made me more and more numb. I was put on medical leave from work several times. Not once did they mention my traumatic history or my toxic relationship. I considered permanent disability, but I could not face that. I was not yet willing to see myself as permanently broken. My body was breaking under the impact of my traumatic past. Something in me knew this. I didn't have any medical training at that point, but I started researching. Eventually, I learned that my physical body weight, depression, and chronic pain was the culmination of the distress that my body, nervous system, immune system, and endocrine system had endured over many years.
I started on my journey of healing in my late 20s. Therapy, gentle movement, and self-compassion. I had to reparent myself. I had to learn to forgive myself. I had to recognize that I really had done the best that I could have done given my circumstances. In fact, given my history, it was a miracle I was educated and not on drugs. Studies bear this out now. I didn't know this then.
When I got healthy enough, I eventually decided I wanted to help others heal themselves too. I didn't know what to do. I just knew I needed to start somewhere. I had a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, so I had to return to school to get all of my science courses. By the grace of God, I applied to one PA school (Wayne State University) in 2009, and was miraculously accepted into the program matriculating in 2010. During this time, I was in an emotionally abusive marriage, already had my daughter, and ended up getting pregnant with my son the second year of school. I had my son, contracted sepsis, and got very ill and knew I could possibly die. But I made it through.
Since graduation as a physician assistant in 2012, I have worked in multiple medical settings including surgery, family medicine, internal medicine, geriatrics, and psychiatry. While I did not understand why I had chosen the path of PA (as I have been heavily disgruntled with the declining state of modern medicine), I finally understand it.
It's so I can combine all this experience, as well as the years of independent study and courses/trainings in mind-body medicine, functional medicine, integrative medicine, energy healing, and medical intuition into this amazing hybrid I finally understand I was called to create.
It was a very, very long road for me to get where I am now. I want you to know I have been where you were - and honestly, probably worse. I am sure, deep in my heart, that all my pain and all my struggle was meant to create this beautiful opportunity I have to help others now. I would not trade my journey for anything.
I am telling you this because we must look at our past to treat what is going on in our present. Our stories matter. Trauma matters. Our bodies store our pain. Our bodies do the absolute best they can to return to wholeness, but sometimes, it is just too much and dis-ease is created by a body merely trying to do its best. It does not mean we ruminate on the past, talk about the same things over and over, or live our lives through the lens of our past. It just means we really understand where we came from and use this as a lens to guide our present approach to treatment.
The above examples of my past are just some of the struggles I faced. I never felt safe until I met my now-husband, Troy. In fact, I am still learning to feel safe and trust others. I still feel awkward when people tell me how much I mean to them. I never felt I mattered. I know, deep in my heart now, that I do.
My story matters to you because I have walked your walk. I know the frustrations you face. I have been in so much pain I could barely move. I was drugged up on multiple antidepressants, antipsychotics, pain pills, anxiety medication, and even blood pressure medicine at one point. This doesn't mean your story is the same as mine; it just means that I know how difficult it is to truly believe you can heal when all the evidence of your current situation is saying otherwise. I needed help from the right healers and therapists and the medical providers too. We are meant to heal and connect. Healing occurs in this connection, when we are given the permission to be seen and witnessed just as we are.
The InnerWild Wholistic Medicine & Coaching Approach
A long time in the making
I am a rebel, entirely irreverent to the current state of modern medicine when it comes to treating lifestyle and chronic health concerns. Of course, for acute emergencies, modern medicine is amazing! If we break a leg, get an infection, or have an acute heart attack, I wouldn't want to be living at another time.
That said, I don't buy into the current approach to medicine where you match a symptom with a drug. People are getting sicker and sicker and most illness is stress-related. The current medical system cannot fix this. It's time for a new way.
InnerWild is our often forgotten innate body wisdom that we use to guide healing. We remove the blocks and let the body heal. And so we begin the work of unraveling what led to the dysfunction in the first place, supporting the body with whatever it needs to return to equilibrium. We get to the root cause, which is different for each person. We order labs as needed. Sometimes other tests too - if you desire. I don't think you have to spend a fortune to heal, though.
Sometimes we use supplementation or medication; sometimes we challenge ingrained beliefs, old mindsets, or unhealthy lifestyle patterns; sometimes we introduce more play and fun. It looks different each session and for each person.
The important thing to do now is see if this is right for you. I especially encourage you to book a call if you're not used to taking up space. This is your time. We get to dive deeply into your needs.
Modern Medical Conditions Revisited Through a New Lens - A Unique Approach to Healing
Using years of clinical experience in multiple medical specialties and the principles of trauma-informed mind-body medicine, functional & integrative medicine to help you FINALLY return to you.
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
If you are considering working with me - even a little bit - click the button below. If we are a good fit, I will customize a package for you. If we are not, I will do my best to give you a referral to someone I believe can help you.
Initial consultation is complementary
Healing happens in relationship with each other. There is never a charge to see if we are a good fit.
Root cause approach
We don't just treat symptoms; we get to the root cause of your illness.
No body shame allowed
You will never be judged because of the size or shape of your body. Gaining weight is a side effect, not a cause.
It's important that we can address the emotional pain you store in your body.