MY APPROACH TO TREATING CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASES
I believe that the interaction of numerous factors leads a person to succumb to chronic ILLNESS. Besides exposure to pathogens or toxins the patients is usually physically, emotionally, and spiritually depleted. They are overly stressed with their busy lives and have probably not been taking the best of care in regard to rest, exercise, proper nutrition and relaxation. Recovery from complex chronic ILLNESS is a complicated matter too. Unlike a simple infection, which can be cured quickly with an antibiotic, the treatment for Lyme, co-infections, and/or Morgellons disease is long, slow and requires patience and commitment on the part of the patient and the health care provider.
I treat tick-borne diseases according to the guidelines of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) which believes that antibiotics should be given for as long as it takes the patient to get well. We in ILADS believe that Lyme and co-infections are way more prevalent than the medical mainstream would lead us to believe and that they are extremely difficult to treat.
I believe in a team approach between the health care provider and the patient. I see myself as a facilitator for patients on their journey to recovery. They are the experts – about their bodies and their life values. I have tools to help them along their way and the experience of guiding others through the process. If a patient is interested in going to an all-knowing provider to whom they can hand over their bodies and say “cure me” they are not going to be happy with the way I approach things. I simply do not believe that this “hierarchical” approach to medical care is appropriate for treating patients with complex, chronic infections. I expect my patients to become very well-educated about their illness and provide me with information that will help me to help them. A provider needs to be open-minded and responsive to the constant feedback of the patient because each patient is unique. I am suspicious of any provider who thinks that their way is THE way.
I provide each of my patients with a handbook that I have written which provides guidelines for different approaches to strengthening the immune system. Even after the infection is under control, patients need to live the rest of their lives following these guidelines, SO THAT THEIR IMMUNE SYSTEM WILL STAY STRONG AND KEEP THEIR INFECTIONS IN REMISSION.
Most of all I believe a positive outlook is crucial for getting well. I strive to give my patients lots of hope, humor, hugs and love, because without these it is too easy for them to sink into a well of despair. My goal is to have my patients look forward to their appointments and feel better after talking with me. Nothing makes me happier than when a patient tells me I have achieved this.
Ginger Savely, DNP