After my two-day vacation, I woke up ready for the clinic.
When I arrived, Luna was just finishing up her shift.
“Dr. Villareal?” I asked. “Have you got a few minutes?”
She chuckled. “Charlie! Why so formal all of a sudden?”
I’d been thinking, over my break, about how much went in to becoming a doctor–all that study. All that experience. It only seemed right to acknowledge that.
We sat together in the lobby.
I felt hesitant at first to bring up the topic of integrative medicine. From what I’d heard, Luna was the most respected physician at the clinic, but she lit up with enthusiasm when I mentioned Tia Berry’s herbs.
“I’ve long wanted to introduce organic herbal remedies,” she said. “My nana used to keep us well with old balms and bitters handed down from her grandparents.”
She encouraged me to keep researching to discover the scientific principles behind the successful remedies.
I spent the morning analyzing the effects of various organic compounds on viruses, comparing them with the effects of analogous synthetic compounds.
In the afternoon, the doctor on duty called me to accompany him on his rounds.
“You’ve got a good bedside manner,” he whispered to me as we were leaving one of the patients’ rooms.
I chuckled–it seemed like such an old-fashioned observation. Hadn’t we established generations ago that genuine friendliness facilitates the healing relationship between physician and client?
But I guess I shouldn’t object to valuing the old-fashioned common sense practices, seeing as much of what I’m hoping to integrate into my practice are the old folk remedies.
So, I kept my smile through the afternoon. I didn’t have the answer to all the patients’ questions, though.
“I’m not sure what’s causing your symptoms,” I told one man, who was worried by his headaches. “We’ll run tests on these samples, and I’ll refer your case to one of the physicians.”
I wanted to tell him not to worry, but since I didn’t know what was wrong, I didn’t want to be inauthentic, either. “We’ll let you know what we discover,” I said, doubting my bedside manner for a second there. “You can trust your doctor to do his best.”
I realized while I was checking the results of my morning tests that what I wanted to say was, “You can trust your body and the healing power of nature. This is just an imbalance. And whatever’s happened to cause this imbalance, your body’s own natural healing abilities can cure, once they get the assistance they need to re-establish that balance.”
That’s what I believe, at least. I’m hoping this belief proves right, even with tough cases.
Keep the balance of health, as a preventive measure. Then, if imbalance occurs, restore it. Think of the complexity of the body: white blood cells, fevers, lymph nodes–all geared up to fight infection. Think of the myriad processes that occur in this miraculous system that is our body, every moment of every day of our lives. That’s the power of healing we want to leverage.
As I was finishing up my shift, I got a call from Jake the Gardener. “We’re heading out to the bluffs to watch the sunset! Meet us there!”
Soon as I got off the ferry, I jogged over the bluffs. There was minha linda mãe.
Jake grabbed me in a big hug, too.
“I’m really proud of you, Charlie,” he said.
It got me, that Jake would be proud of me. Ever since I was a little kid, and I met him on my big adventure day, he’s been like a tio to me. I’ve never really tried to make him proud, but hearing him say he felt that way, it sort of choked me up a bit.
We talked while the sun went down. Being a gardener, Jake knows all kinds of things about plants and their natural healing abilities. He’s going to be a good resource, I can tell.
As dusk fell, a DJ started playing tunes over in the clearing. We danced while the fog rolled in. The music was still playing, and the women were still dancing, when I left. I wanted to get to bed early. I had a full day at the clinic to wake up for in the morning.