Back at my office, the situation grew worse. I learned that the insurance companies had never been billed for most of my work, including my last surgery. Patients were not billed for their portion for almost two years. I was very upset. I would awaken in the middle of the night with my heart racing. I contemplated quitting my practicing altogether, but felt an obligation to my patients. I became very resentful that I had to provide care and then had to fight to be reimbursed. It was a very stressful time in my life. I felt out of control and hated the feeling.
I continued to provide free gynecological care to underserved women through Catholic Charities and St. Vincent de Paul Village in San Diego and in Haiti.
Through writing books about integrative health I was able to serve my patients even better. My award-wining book Menopause Made Easy: How To Make the Right Decisions for the Rest of Your Life with a chapter on Healthy Aging by Louise Hay was published in 1999 and Natural Pregnancy A-Z in 2000.
My niece, Judive, graduated from Ohio University’s medical school on June 2nd, 2000. She had always wanted to be a doctor like her “Tattie” Carolle. When I walked with her to the podium to receive her diploma, it was the proudest moment of my life. To return home, I had a stopover in Dallas. There was a storm in Dallas so we were stuck on the ground, inside the plane, for a while. The pilot told us that no one was available to open the outside door because so many planes were landing at the same time. I began to experience fear, I was stuck inside and needed to get out. I could see workers placing luggage in carts through the small window of the plane. The longer we were stuck, the more I panicked. I tried to breathe slowly because it felt like I was suffocating. They finally opened the door, but it had seemed an eternity. I worried about the next leg of my journey back to San Diego, but nothing happened until I took another airplane trip.
Two months later I was on a book tour in New York, promoting my books. New York City, with its high-speed lifestyle, is not the
place for someone under a lot of stress. At the end of the tour I was staying with my brother, Lesly, his wife Louanna, and their three children. I could not sleep. It seemed to me as if the whole world was caving in. The next morning, I was needed to retrieve an important email. The computer was in the basement, but I could not manage the few steps that lead down to it. If I went down there, I thought I would be buried alive. Anxiety had gotten the best of me and I knew it.
I learned that panic attacks which come at a very stressful moment in life are one’s inner wisdom. My inner wisdom was telling me few months before I went through menopause that I had to stop in my tracks to listen to my body and soul, and heal the past. For a while I was being warned by experiencing anger and irritability whenever I had to deal with malpractice insurance companies, billers, and low reimbursements. But I continued dealing with them, feeling trapped. I did not heed their call, because I did not know the larger picture, and this resulted in the panic attacks.
Thus began my journey to find my balance. It was not easy. I had to let go of a lot of baggage, change my overall outlook on life, and cut a few umbilical cords. I had to gain perspective in order to make wiser choices. It had to be done, so I did it.
Since that time, I have learned that there is a lot involved in being healthy — more than taking care of your body – and also more than nurturing your mind and spirit. I discovered first-hand that the financial aspects of your life have a great impact on your overall health too.
I began to see the common thread connecting many women’s reported health problems — financial stress. Many women traveled from afar to see me because their own healthcare providers could not help them. In actuality, these women did not need more estrogen or testosterone, or herbs or sleeping pills to sleep; they needed to take charge of their lives. This problem can affect women from all walks of life, and at any age.
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