Columbus Day - indigenous people's day, also the day that falls around my birthday each year.
Raw Food Journey
Here is a list of eventful times relating to my raw food journey:
- Purposeful transition, as an adult, 2004 after being diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells, resulting from an untreated past diagnosis.
- 2004 homeless and moved into a domestic violence shelter with my 2 toddlers.
- Started receiving Medicaid insurance after being uninsured for years including during pregnancy two times. I was able to get my teeth cleaned and repaired, a PAP and other health care at free or low cost clinics including Outside in and at naturopathic student clinics and with a practitioner Dr. Wendy, which took me over 1 year to pay my bill for 1 visit in which I was told that her services would be too expensive and time consuming; and that I should receive conventional care AKA surgery, which my insurance paid for.
- In 3rd or 4th grade, Mr. Ross told us that liver helped to detox the body and that toxins can be stored in cow liver - that got me out of eating liver ever again, after telling my mother.
- In 2nd grade on, I was concerned about being fat, having fat thighs and a flat chest. I had started puberty very early at age 6 and think back on what xenoestrogens that I was exposed to including, hair moisturizer designed for black hair.
- In 2004 I was living in the transitional housing program apartments formerly known as, Turning Point. I had developed walking pneumonia and kicked myself for cancelling my acupuncture appointment. I rescheduled and drove myself to the clinic and received acupuncture and a paper bag full of herbs, in which I stayed up all night boiling down as instructed and drinking as prescribed. The herbs worked and previous to this I had read Dr. DC Jarvis' book on Fold Medicine - I was hooked on "alternative health".
- As a teen I had hoped to go to conventional medical school, then join the Peace Corps so that I can end up in a place where people lived in grass huts, did not speak English, and have them teach me how the native plants are used as medicine.
- I was not raw but had incorporated a lot of whole foods and super foods to my diet, buying food with food stamps at Wild Oats grocery store and Fred Meyer.
- College bound (again).
- Sunrise Place, moved in 2005, on my son's birthday
- Cambridge Court, moved in 2006, on my son's birthday
- ...life began to change even more, yet eating out of food boxes and working a low paying job while attending college paid for by student loans. The children and I shared bananas, slices of smoked salmon and cans of sardines. It was too expensive for everyone to get there own serving, but I wanted them to be strong and healthy and I wanted to live well into their adulthood.
- To be continued...
I write for a hobby, mainly fiction and some autobiography. I got stumped on a love story that I was writing last fall, when I realized that I could not convey what the characters, a man named Mark and woman named Pica were going through during the relationship that involved feelings of love. I have personally lived in toxic situations and had survived this long, feeling little unconditional, family or intimate love. I felt ashamed that I was denied this type of relationship with another human being, and set forth my research. I checked out library books, movies, watched YouTube videos on how couples met and fell in love. I listened to elders tell me about how they met their spouses and I even signed up for online dating (as an experiment) in Sept 2018. I have been single and raising children alone for more than 14 and 1/2 years. My family consists of 1 daughter, 1 son, 2 guinea pigs and 1 rabbit. I don't have a friend to cry on their shoulder or them mine...so I gave myself a week (ha!) to learn from others how to work on a chapter in my story that included love and dating, and at the time last fall, I realized that I had never actually dated anyone in my entire life. I did meet 1 guy at a movie once as a teenager after getting a ride with a group of friends after being denied by a parent to be able to go with the guy himself. That "relationship" was a disaster by the way.
So, I watched fiction and fact on hetero, homo, bi, and whatever kind of love stories, the universe brought to me. It's Feb 2019 and I have not touched my book (I've thought about it). It's as though I cannot just make up my own words for my own novel if I do not have experience with the topic. So, I am basically ignorant in the topic of love, and am willing to learn. Willingness is one of my keys of happiness and joy as I can look forward to changing myself in baby steps without feeling overwhelmed. Becoming willing comes after learning what is lacking and making a move toward committing to make a change without committing to make the change, yet.
I pray that I can be the character in a real life love story and that I will be thrown into a pot of love, as far as dating, romantic, intimate love and that it won't just be for my own desire and neediness but also to share this miraculous gift with another human being, and be able to finish my novel and share with the world a feeling that makes their hearts throb. Until, then, and who knows maybe it has already began to happen during this experiment, I will use my spirit person to help me show love to the rest of the world. If you have found love, learn more about how this affects your love. If you are searching, like me or have given up; please do not feel alone. We are not alone, for whatever reason some of us have not entered the right season to obtain this relationship. What can we do now with self-care, and non-selfish self-love that can help us to be better people, to love ourselves and lose fear of being loved by others? We have today and tomorrow is not a guarantee, so nurture, seek and never give up! Namaste.
February Black History Month and Love.
When I was a child my mother would take me onto Wurtsmith AFB to watch a black history month show being preformed on stage. Later, as a student at Michigan State University, I was a member of the Charles Drew Enrichment Laboratory which helped anyone but especially minorities who had a lower graduation rate after successful entrance, to graduate. We would have weekly circle groups where we each read our report about a minority, it opened my eyes to all the achievements that I never ever learned about before. I believe that it was at MSU or maybe PSU that we would have MLK day off, in January, and notices were sent out to have a "day on" not a day off, in which you were requested to volunteer in the community and give back. Since then I rarely hear anyone talking about MLK or Black History month and it makes me feel very sad! I do not hear of events. This past week I was told that I can watch a MLK celebration that took place at Beth Israel, in NW Portland recently, online. I would like to attend their event next year. I was so grateful that someone from the Jewish faith, after so many years, had informed me of an event and acknowledged history that so many people do not care about. I am not blaming anyone. I remember being a medical student and spending the whole MLK day in private clinics, sure kids and college students were out of school and the US mail was not delivered, but could we put up a sign somewhere with a group of diverse people having a peaceful time, pictures are worth a thousand words. I say that I am woke then casually "forget" that I can have my own celebration. That no one is stopping me from learning and relearning my history, not just of blacks, but of other ethnic groups, that I did not learn about in standard history courses or even about women, or silent heroes. Life as a minority can be so discouraging. I am a single mother and have very few "friends". There is so much racism in the world that it takes me doing a lot of prayer and meditation each day just to face the world. What I would like to see is love. Love for self, love for others and recognizing that each of us is an individual not a product of a stereotype that media attempts to portray. Peace; may you find yourself in good health.
Currently, I am being hired by clients and patients who are considered low income by society's standards, in the USA. My clinic is run by me alone and I have multiple jobs in order to be able to remain a physician for my patients and to raise my family as a single mother. I had multiple opportunities a couple years ago, where I could work at other clinics for a salary and earn more money that I ever had in my life. Something did not feel right about those opportunities and more than 1 was "just plain shady" and I could not allow myself to be dragged into that type of environment for any amount of money.
After experiencing years of homelessness in between my medical school and pre-medical education; I made a note to myself, after being treated poorly by multiple health practitioners based on demographic and yes they stated how they felt about my demographic...to-my-face- and in-front-of-my-children; I wanted to do what I could, God-willing, to be able to treat other human beings with R-E-S-P-E-C-T. I was raised to be polite and to respect my elders. I am frequently treated with disrespect and I turn that mess into a message. My message is loud and clear if you know me as a person or have been one of my clients.
On am on plan Z with my life. Paper to pen, I am going to go back through the alphabet starting with double A and double B. My body wants to give up and my mind wants to give up; thankfully my spirit has the faith of a mustard seed.
More will be revealed in this journey we call life. I share this painful truth, as others before me have done, leading to another glimmer of hope that all is not lost and a reminder to keep on trudging.
Contact me for more information about my other services offered outside of my primary care medical clinic, Tower of Health, LLC. I am a certified birth/labor and post partum doula. I offer support during pregnancy for individuals and families, I offer labor support and post partum services including helping care for homes, pets and other children. Please contact me for more information about this. I offer services in Oregon and in some areas of Washington state. I can help you find out more information about insurance coverage including OHP, Oregon Health Plan coverage. This service is as a birth coach and not as a physician or midwife. Contact me about physician services separately firstname.lastname@example.org. Cell during day time hours 503-464-6911. Free consults available to see if we are a good match. I have received my training as a Full Circle Doula through ICTC; the International Center for Traditional Childbearing and have received additional training in cultural competency. I have worked with many cultures and grew up as a person of color in a rural town located in northern Michigan and have resided in Portland, OR since 2001, raising 2 children and due to unsafe conditions as a single divorced mother since 2004, in which time I have completed licensure for my naturopathic physician license Oregon and am close to turning in my packet for Oregon licensure for naturopathic midwifery, in which I completed 2 additional years of hands on and classroom training. I am not a midwife...yet but I will keep you posted on this. I volunteer regularly in the community including the last year continued weekly volunteer services with geriatric patients admitted to a local hospital. I am a business woman who has started on a shoestring budget and I believe I possess a lot of empathy for others; in this fast paced digital world that we live in. I consider myself a person of extremes including in health care, where I would like to offer well rounded services that I call "old fashioned" yet using technology and modern science to offer modern support and sharing of current knowledge.
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See video on youtube.com https://youtu.be/J9rodvm52uY
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The Birth Experience -Every Birth is Different: The Goal is the Same.
What to Expect in Natural Births, C-sections, VBACS and Preventing Preterm Births
By Michelle N. Brown-Echerd, ND - June 2015 Portland, OR, USA
Natural Births: A choice for many and defined differently; natural, vaginal, low risk births can occur with little intervention. There are many options available; be prepared for plans to change and be ready and educated, in advance, in case an urgent situation arises.
What will you do if you are preparing for a birth after having a prior C-section?
C-Sections: “Cesarean Sections” Many are planned in advance; some are urgent. Be educated prior to your due date about policies present at the place that you would like to deliver. Hire a doula for support. Make a birth plan.
Preventing premature/preterm labor and births:
This blog post is for entertainment and educational purposes only. It is not intended to take the place of medical care and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure any disease or condition. See your healthcare provider for health related issues.
The Birth Experience Every Birth is Different. The Goal is the Same.
What to Expect in Natural Births, C-Sections, VBACs and preventing Preterm births.
By Michelle Brown-Echerd, ND and provisional doula ICTC
Natural birth is a process of delivering vaginally without any interventions. This can occur in a variety of situations, including in hospitals, at homes or in birthing centers and unfortunately, but not the end of the world, sometimes occurs in cars, while people are on the way to the hospital or stuck in traffic.
There are various types of birth workers around the world including doctors (MD/ND), midwives, nurses, doulas, perinatologists, neonatologist, lactation consultants, massage therapists and other practitioners that have special training in birth related treatment including chiropractors, counselors and Reike practitioners.
Preventing preterm labor and births: