A New Approach to Treating Hard-to-Cure Illnesses

If your body knew what was wrong, what would it say?

Carla came to see me a few years ago after four separate physicians had failed to help her.

When she shuffled into my examining room –the first appointment of my day– I could see right away she wasn’t well.

Stylish clothes hung loosely on her 5’11’ frame, suggesting she’d lost considerable weight, and she winced settling in her chair, as if the simple act of sitting pained her joints and muscles.  I was struck by the stark contrast between her tall athletic body and her obvious weakness.

Carla’s grey-green eyes were tired and her pretty oval face, even with lots of makeup, looked weary and defeated. Her shoulders slumped as she spoke in a halting voice. “Please…forgive me if I wander. I can’t seem to hold a thought in my head long enough to speak it.”

I nodded, giving her time to collect herself.  She went on.

“I can’t sleep, have no appetite and no energy for anything.  My wrists and knees hurt.” She stopped there, burying her face in her hands as she wept very softly.  There was something in the unnatural quiet of her sobs that made me think she’d been crying a lot lately. Thirty years of medical practice had taught me to remain somewhat detached with patients, but a deep sadness came over me as I observed her muted desperation.

Originally Published on Psychology Today

© Dr. Chris Gilbert, MD, PhD

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