Valerie is a full-time student, who currently sees three of our Tru Whole Care providers: Dr. Bos (Internal Medicine/Primary Care), Martin Ridley (Physical Therapy) and Dr. Shepelyak (Orthopedics). She became a patient of the center at the end of November, after a reoccurring medical issue was getting worse and no doctor was able to diagnose or much less treat her.
Valerie, how did you end up a Tru Whole Care patient?
Previously, I had a primary care physician, who wasn’t able to determine what was wrong. I kept jumping from doctor to doctor, from specialist to specialist. It was not only frustrating, but also quite scary, especially last November when I had to go to the Emergency Room because of unbearable pain.
What happened at the ER?
Ultimately, the doctors there couldn’t diagnose me. Their conclusion was, “We know it’s not critical or life-threatening, but we can’t tell what it is or why it’s occurring.” They just wanted to relieve my pain enough to get me walking, so I could leave on my own and function—at least for the day. That experience felt like the exclamation point to a frustrating period of feeling helpless in terms of my health.
Is that when you saw Dr. Bos (Internal Medicine) at Tru Whole Care?
Yes. I reached out to a family friend who introduced me to Dr. Bos by email. I remember it well because it was a Sunday, so I could hardly believe it when Dr. Bos replied within two hours and I was able to see him the following day.
When you’re tired and vulnerable, having a physician who is so accessible and responds so quickly means a lot.
What happened at your appointment with Dr. Bos?
Dr. Bos listened to my entire ordeal. Rather than trying to immediately diagnose me and send me on my way, he said that we first needed to tackle my sleep—which was terrible at that point. I was so sleep deprived. He felt it was important for get me back to a normal sleep cycle to make me feel a bit more human and less on edge. This was a complete contrast to what I had been experiencing with other doctors.
Once my sleep was under control, Dr. Bos and I started to discuss a plan to deal with my symptoms. Dr. Bos really listened and asked questions—not just the usual medical ones, but also about my lifestyle, like how was my stress level, what was happening in my life, how was my diet, etc. What was great is that throughout the entire period of my treatment, Dr. Bos was in touch with me regularly. Rather than just sending perfunctory messages, it was authentic concern. The best way to describe it is like the difference between, “Tell me how you are doing” vs. “I hope you’re doing well.”
After a few appointments, Dr. Bos recommended I see a physical therapist. Initially, I was concerned about a “hand-off” and the drop-off in information in having to get a new provider up to speed.
So, what was the experience of a transition to a 2nd provider at Tru Whole Care like for you?
The big difference was that Martin Ridley, my new physical therapist, was just down the hall from Dr. Bos. I can’t overstate the advantage of having all your health professionals under one roof. So, the transfer of information was seamless, and I immediately felt my recovery was a team effort with Dr. Bos and Martin.
After a few sessions, Martin asked if would be open to seeing the Tru Whole Care non-surgical orthopedist Dr. Shepelyak (“Dr. Shep”). Again, we only had to walk down the hall. No additional paperwork, no difficulty with appointment scheduling, no faxing and following-up on my patient history.
Dr. Shep was able to see me right away and Martin explained my entire case—starting from my time before and during treatment with Dr. Bos, and leading up to that moment. It seems like a small thing, but having your specialist remember and truly understanding your history is extremely reassuring.
Dr Shep and I spoke at length. Like all other health professionals I had worked with at Tru Whole Care, he really listened without making me feel I had to rush to cut my explanation short. He had a few recommendations and, given my inclination towards more natural options, he provided alternatives. At my request, Dr. Shep showed me the entire list of ingredients for one of the medications he suggested using. That willingness to be transparent and ultimately give me, the patient, an opportunity to ask questions and dig deeper on my treatment is something I’d never really experienced.
That’s great! Sounds like you’re getting the care you need?
Absolutely. Dr. Bos, Martin and Dr. Shep would all get an “A” in my book.
Today, I continue to see Martin for physical therapy and Dr. Shep for orthopedic treatment. The pain has decreased a ton and continues to become more and more manageable.
For me, this period was a pretty scary time and the attention, concern, and coordinated care I received at the center was incredible. It made me feel like I was being taken seriously, and treated as a whole person, not just as a combination of different parts and symptoms. When you’re stressed and anxious, having medical personnel who communicate with each other and treat patients collectively is huge. More importantly, as a patient at Tru Whole Care, I never felt like a bystander being dictated to and never consulted about my care plan. Plus the ease of not dealing with added insurance paperwork, coordinating appointments, and wasted time is what makes the experience even more stress-free.
Thanks for your time Valerie.
I’m happy to tell anyone how great this experience at Tru Whole Care was.