Kendra Mellinger, my guest on the third episode, wrote the below review of Autoimmune Adventures on iTunes. I am re-posting here because I think Kendra raised a number of important points and brought a welcome level of awareness and critique to difficult questions. Many thanks to Kendra for her well thought-out comments.
And if you also enjoy the podcast, I would so appreciate a rating or review. Reviews do not have to be on this scale, even one line can be helpful for someone considering whether to listen. If you’ve gained an insight, found inspiration and hope, or learned a valuable tool on an episode, please let the iTunes world know. See this post if you need quick and easy instructions for leaving a rating and review.
On to Kendra’s words:
Disclaimer: I was interviewed for the third episode of this podcast, and am friends with its creator, Julie Stiles. That having been said, I want to share my thoughts here to help others who are considering this series.
I have listened to these episodes with a skeptic mind, anticipating what others might think or how they might interpret what is said. A repeated message in several interviews is, “Follow your instinct and do what seems right for you.” Alternative medicine gets a bad rap at times for promoting that approach to self care. Critics rightly point out that, in some situations, deadly decisions can be made if the consequences and risks of certain courses of action are not properly disclosed. Ethics are of the utmost importance in healthcare in any form, as is expertise.
Yet the people in these interviews state that they make their own health decisions after meeting with several healthcare providers, doing internet and anecdotal research, and paying close attention to how their treatments work (or don’t work). Alternative medicine does not negate or discount traditional Western medicine. It provides complementary approaches to healing a complex system. No decisions here were made lightly or ignorantly.
What makes Autoimmune Adventures a significant and valuable resource is that it places authority and respected expertise back into the hands where it rightly belongs–into the hands of the individual seeking optimal health. Where we have handed over that authority and responsibility to a single doctor in hopes that they can alleviate any pain and cure disease without our having to do any more work than take medicine, AI Adventures gives us support, direction and inspiration to take charge of our own health, and be our own best advocate.
No one knows me like I know myself. Only I can determine what an illness or diagnosis means to me, and only I can determine what responses will best meet my needs, accommodate my lifestyle, and allow me to live the life I want to live. The medical doctor has her or his place in this process, but even their best work won’t cure me if I don’t take my rightful place as the owner of my well-being.
I have to admit, I rushed to download Episode 5, where Kelly Basinger’s doctor said her brain MRI looked like that of an 85-90 year old. I’ve had similar CT scans and MRIs. I wanted to know the cure! What made her better, and returned her scans to normal brain age? The answer I got is the answer Autoimmune Adventures will repeatedly drive home: do my own work! Schedule the appointments, gather the information, look everywhere to find sources of help, motivation and expertise. Go inward and ask the big questions. Be courageous in determining your own expectations and your own prognosis. And finally, clean up your diet and get some exercise–there’s no avoiding those two.
The message of Autoimmune Adventures is unique, profound and invaluable. Illness is often a call to amend our ways, and treat ourselves better–both as individuals and as a species. Julie Stiles is brilliantly gifted at tenaciously digging for concrete details of how to’s and why’s. She sincerely believes and practices what she promotes, treating all of life’s ups and downs as an adventure, and enjoying life along the way. I thoroughly recommend this podcast, and wish you well on your own adventure.