Why I Do What I Do

I want to thank @Joyful_Sparrow for recently asking me on Twitter to share how I got started doing what I do. Since I’ve never really shared the road that led me here, I thought it was a great idea. In the simplest terms, I do what I do because I love it. There is no greater joy than helping someone heal and regain health, especially if that person hasn’t been able to find help elsewhere. Have you heard the old saying about never working a day in your life if you love what you do? I’m living that quote and am incredibly grateful to have been given a gift that allows me to help others. For more information about my philosophy, read my post, What Makes Me Different from Other Practitioners.

The less simple answer takes a bit of telling. I got into this field after being so ill for over 15 years that getting out of bed was a challenge and taking a shower exhausted me for the rest of the day. During that time, I had some wonderful doctors and I had some horrible doctors, but none of them could figure out what was wrong with me. I saw every specialist under the sun, including multiple oncologists, hematologists, endocrinologists, infectious disease specialists, nephrologists, Pamela HS4aneurologists and multiple internists. I had bone marrow biopsies, liver biopsies, a multitude of CT scans, MRIs and ultrasounds, even more blood tests, and many other invasive procedures, yet none identified the cause of my exhaustion or severe neurological symptoms. Instead, my doctors diagnosed me with chronic fatigue syndrome, with cancer incorrectly once, and with multiple sclerosis incorrectly three times. They patted me on my head while shaking theirs and sent me on my way, hoping I’d give up and they’d never see me again. More than one recommended I seek psychological counseling. The rationale appeared to be that anyone who had symptoms they couldn’t fit into a diagnosis obviously wasn’t sick. One infectious disease specialist diagnosed me with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, told me there was nothing he could do to help, and prescribed Prozac. He explained the Prozac by saying: “You’re not depressed, but the Prozac will make you not care about not feeling well.” He was wrong.

The bottom line was that it was completely up to me to determine the cause of my symptoms and figure out how to eliminate them. Trust me when I say that much prayer went into my research and many prayers for healing were uttered. My desire to reverse my symptoms necessitated that my hobby of studying herbalism and natural remedies become a dedicated passion. I not only studied alternative healing but also studied many of the same courses MDs take. I soon became more knowledgeable about endocrine disorders than many of my physicians. I progressed from doing self-directed research and study to taking formal classes. Over time I received multiple  natural health certifications. In the midst of my research, I began to identify and eliminate the causes of my symptoms. By God’s grace, most of my symptoms disappeared. For the first time in a very long time, I was able to function normally. The fact my healing came from simply identifying what my body lacked and replacing it was a huge confirmation of everything I had studied.

During this time, others began asking for my advice related to their own health. While still working in the corporate world, I realized one day that I had spent more time providing health advice than I had doing my real job. I also realized that providing health advice and empowering others to improve their health brought me far more joy than managing IT projects did. Shortly thereafter, my company lost a government contract and many people were downsized. I was given the option of being downsized or joining another department. I gratefully accepted the offer to be downsized. I think I was the only person in the downsized group who was happy to lose their job and who actually chose to be downsized instead of moving to another department.

On a short term basis, I used my knowledge of herbs, physiology and toxicity to launch a natural skincare company while I evaluated what I wanted to do long term. I also begin receiving invitations to speak nationwide, which I loved. After closing my skincare business, I began working as a consultant in a health food store. Throughout this phase of my life, I continued studying and receiving additional certifications. I also experienced some new minor health challenges, which only served to help me learn more. I can honestly say I’m thankful for all the health challenges I’ve had, because each one taught me much and provided insight into what my patients and clients are experiencing. Being able to honestly say, “I’ve been there, but I found my way back” is often very encouraging to my clients.

I completed one doctoral program in Naturopathic Medicine and am currently completing another. I am also working to become a Master Herbalist and a few other minor certifications. I hope to be done soon. I have an office located in the heart of Broad Ripple where I see my clients and hold classes. I also accept private speaking engagements. Please feel free to contact me if you’d like to schedule me to educate and inspire your group.

I still love what I do and take every possible opportunity to learn more. I’m currently evaluating what my next training focus will be. I’m considering medical school or becoming a Physician’s Assistant so I can provide the best of natural and mainstream options to my clients.

I guess the best answer for why I do what I do is, quite simply, because it’s my calling and I wouldn’t be happy doing anything else. To not use this gift and share it with others would be wrong.

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Dr. Pamela Reilly is a Naturopathic Physician dedicated to helping people improve their health and eliminate symptoms using natural, integrative methods. She has over 25 years of experience and has helped men, women and children improve their health using a holistic, client-centered focus. She sees clients in Indianapolis, does house calls, and also conducts consultations via Skype or telephone. Please feel free to contact her or visit her Consultations page for more information. Dr. Pamela speaks nationwide on a wide variety of health topics and welcomes speaking invitations.

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2 Responses to Why I Do What I Do

  1. Ellen says:

    I consider you one of God’s great blessings in my life. This posting serves as further evidence that my being drawn to you for treatment is a divine appointment. I also had my life turned upside down by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in 96 then Foreign Accent Syndrome in 2009 & always the drain of chronic pain. I miss all the great activities I used to be able to do without even thinking about rebound exhaustion or conservation of energy. I am very excited to try your approaches to facing these challenges in a new way. I also am very passionate about patient advocacy. I hate it when the traditional medical fields minimize the input that patients have in their own medical diagnosis, treatment and outcomes. So I am not only “on board”, but ready to help captain the ship! I, too, am researching and want to use information to help others.
    It sounds like you and I have a similar path. 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 talks about blessing God of all comfort who comforts us in ALL of our afflictions so that we can then administer comfort to others, obviously in a much more understanding and compassionate manner having been comforted ourselves. May you continue to grow in God & heal in His power 😉

    • Thanks so much. I have no doubt God allowed me to experience what I did specifically so I can help others while knowing how they feel emotionally, spirituallya nd physically. I wouldn’t have chosen that path, but I can definitely give thanks for it. God bless!

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