Empowering People To Be Well
Empowering People To Be Well
My name is Catherine DeOrsey, the Founder and Executive Director of Integrative Healthcare Solutions. This is my story.
One day in 2016, while living my seemingly ‘good’ life, my stomach started to hurt. I thought it was a stomach bug, so I passed it off as nothing and pushed myself to keep going. One day later, the general pain had progressed into stabbing pain; and after three days of living with horrible pain, I assumed it was my appendix and finally drove myself to the hospital. To my surprise, my appendix was fine (for now), but I was diagnosed with multiple ulcers, a fistula, and an abscess; and I had so much inflammation that my doctor couldn’t even get a pediatric scope through my intestines. After spending three nights in the hospital, I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease called Severe Crohn’s Disease, and I was immediately put on heavy-duty medications called biologics. I worked in healthcare all my life. I have a master’s degree in Physical Therapy and spent the previous 20 years working specifically in the pharma/biotech industry. I knew what this diagnosis meant, and I knew both the benefits and the risks of taking medications, especially biologics. This was not good and all I kept thinking to myself was “How could this be happening to me?”
On the outside, I appeared to be well. I had a beautiful family and home, good friends, and a great job that provided many benefits for my family. I had never been sick up to that point, and “being healthy" was a way of life for me (or so I thought). I ate good food, worked out consistently, and had a close network of friends and colleagues in the healthcare field. I believed that I was the epitome of health. But the truth was, at that time, I had no idea what living a truly healthy lifestyle really meant.
I had no history of disease or illness before my diagnosis, but what I didn’t know was that on the inside, my body was suffering from 30 years of chronic stress. I was living what I thought was a 'happy' life, but what I was really doing was running round and round on the hamster wheel; always ticking something off my to-do list, and always making sure that everyone around me had their needs met. For ten years, I was traveling extensively for work while trying to keep a household together. Married with two small children, a dog, and a home to take care of, I never took a break. I was always last in my life and I kept all my emotions to myself.
On top of the regular day-to-day fast-paced life I was trying to keep up with, I also endured a lot of personal stress and loss, including three of my closest loved ones. For twenty years, my family lived with my brother's addiction to opioids and alcohol until he fatally overdosed in 2008. My father was diagnosed with Small Cell Lung Cancer and he died only 8.5 months after his diagnosis on Valentine's Day 2005. My friend was diagnosed with Triple Hit Lymphoma in 2017 and died in 7 months.
I started to reflect on all these experiences and started to wonder if there was a better way. I noticed that holistic approaches were never even a consideration or discussed with me or my loved one for any of our conditions. It was only through my own experience as a patient and participating in the healthcare system from a different perspective that I wondered – “Are we approaching healthcare and the way we live our lives wrong?” I continued to wonder and kept coming up with the same answer: millions of people are suffering, and it continues to get worse every year no matter how much money we spend or the number of drugs we develop.
Deep down inside of me, I realized we can’t solely rely on scientific evidence and prescription medicine to treat pain and disease. My health crisis caused me to rethink everything I had been taught and thought I knew. I become curious and open. I started to research, read books, try different approaches to healthcare, and above all, got closer to God/The Universe. This new way of approaching health and disease challenged me about everything I thought I knew about health, what well-being is and why it matters so much. It also shined a new light on our healthcare system and opened my eyes to the fact that most people are not healthy.
Through determination and resilience, I found a better way! This better way utilizes all sides of healthcare – traditional and holistic. For me, this approach has brought me healing, and lasting health and wellness that I know I can sustain. Finally, I learned how to be well and I have dedicated my career to helping others find their own path to being well.
So what are my results after finding this new way of being well? It's been six years since my diagnosis and I'm completely healthy and on zero medications. My MRI continues to be normal, showing no evidence of disease. I've been off all medication for four years. Through my approach, I've had a 66% reduction in healthcare utilization and saved my insurance company $565,519 over a five-year period!
I AM HEALED!
I'm grateful for everything I've been through, for what I've learned, and for where I am today. It took me getting brutally sick to finally wake up and realize I needed to make changes to my lifestyle to become truly well. It inspired me to become a certified health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition so I can help others. The combination of my personal and professional experiences inspired and allowed me to create Integrative Healthcare Solutions for YOU!
Helping to bridge the gap between traditional and holistic healthcare and inspiring people to take care of themselves is my passion and mission in life. It's time to help our doctors and their patients. It's time to start taking care of ourselves and each other. Integrative Healthcare Solutions is putting PEOPLE FIRST so they get what they need to get well, stay well, and be well.
In loving memory of my father, Arthur Gott; my brother, David Gott; and my friend, Lisa Horne, please join me in our movement to be well.
Integrative Healthcare Solutions is a 501 (c)(3) organization.
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