I remember the day painfully well. I was 27-years-old and moving back home with my parents. I was jobless, single, depressed, and sick as a dog as I hobbled down my parent’s sidewalk on crutches. It wasn’t exactly how I had pictured my life going in my late 20’s…not to mention I also had 4 teeth extracted and was wearing a flipper (aka fake teeth that pop out).  Let’s just say that my toothless, crippled self was not in the line-up for the next bachelorette anytime soon. I remember laughing to myself and thinking, “This is what failure looks like.” I was defeated. I was suffering from Lyme Disease that had spread to my joints and brain, leading to some devastating symptoms.   

I had always been a healthy, active individual that loved to travel, laugh, read, and play sports of all kinds. Then, out of the blue, I was debilitated and my life was turned upside down. 

Unfortunately, this story hits close to home for many individuals. It’s called “chronic illness”. A state of prolonged sickness that leads to mental, emotional, and spiritual stress and is quickly followed by a loss of purpose and sense of self.  

One does not fully understand what chronic illness does to an individual until they experience it themselves. It is life-altering. Dreams, goals, aspirations, and the general zest for life appear to disintegrate alongside the physical deterioration. It. Is. Awful. 

One does not fully understand what chronic illness does to an individual until they experience it themselves. It is life-altering. Dreams, goals, aspirations, and the general zest for life appear to disintegrate alongside the physical deterioration. It. Is. Awful. 

What if I told you…

So… what if I told you there is a way out of that mess? What if I told you that no matter how despairing your situation feels, there is hope for healing?  What would you be willing to sacrifice in order to make that happen?

Like most patients who have been sick for a long time, I spent the majority of my days feeling sorry for myself. Other than swimming in a pool of self-pity and victimization, I spent hours searching the internet for answers. I had always been a very determined individual and although I felt like a mere ghost of my old self, I still had this faint glimmer of hope within me that catapulted me to search for a cure. 

As a Physician Assistant, I had some pretty decent knowledge about what to do in my situation. So, I tried it all. MRI’s, blood work, antibiotics, heavy metal chelation, ozone therapy, dietary changes, etc. I had mold remediation and followed a million different mold and Lyme protocols. I removed all of the amalgam fillings in my teeth. I had all of my root canals pulled and cleaned (hints the flipper I mentioned earlier). I traveled all over Texas and then, all over the states, seeing specialists in conventional and Integrative Medicine. I did everything and yet, I was still sick and miserable. 

Eventually, through amazing grace, I found the New York Center for Innovative Medicine.  I needed ONE person to give me hope. I needed ONE person to tell me, “Yes! I had that and now I’m healed and feel great!” That’s all I needed. And I found that one person. And that one person led me here. 

Related: Beating Chronic Lyme – Ben’s Story

When I got to NYCIM, one of the first things I told the medical team  was, “If you told me to shave my head because it would make me well, I would do it.” I did not care if I had to rock a shiny, bald head (exposing all of my extremely unattractive moles) for the rest of my life. All I wanted was my life back. 

I had this sense of peace that this was the right path and I needed to go all-in…and I was prepared to do whatever it took in order to fully participate. 

So, I lived with parents for a long time to save money. I sold my car. I borrowed money. I did all of that so that I could fully participate in the customized treatment plan that NYCIM mapped out for me. 

I knew that taking a financial hit and setting my pride aside to live with my parents for a season would ultimately lead me back into the life I wanted. I knew that in the end, doing whatever it took to follow this plan would be worth it. The value of fully living, enjoying relationships, being productive and working was worth every sacrifice. The way I saw it, I would never be able to have the experiences and life I wanted if I was still ill. So there was only one option: get well.

Related: Is NYCIM Right for You? Find Out with Our Patient Questionnaire
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About Heather Lowery, PA-C

Heather Lowery is a Physician Assistant that started working for NYCIM in March of 2019. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Abilene Christian University and graduated from Texas Tech University with a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies in August of 2014. Heather previously worked in a Functional Medicine clinic where she received training in oxidative therapies, hormone replacement therapy, and more. She also received training in Emergency Medicine and worked in an ER in Midland, TX. While she has always had an interest in a more holistic approach to medicine, her desire to pursue a career under the teachings of Dr. Thomas Szulc began after becoming one of his patients. Heather suffered from Chronic Lyme Disease for several years and was successfully cured by the team at NYCIM. After a long and arduous recovery, she decided to return to NYCIM, but this time as a Practitioner instead of a patient. Heather is passionate about guiding others back to health and encouraging them along the way, often with the proper use of personal experience and humor, of course. She enjoys reading sci-fi books, movies, running, being outdoors, and spending ample amounts of time with friends and family.
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