You just let your family know you're heading up north for a surprise family getaway weekend. Just you, your wife, kids, even Fido is coming along for some relaxation and some fun in the sun. No work allowed.
"Where are we going, dear?" asks your wife. "To a beautiful cottage, it's right on a lake, has miles of hiking trails around it, and we will be kayaking, reading, roasting marshmallows and a whole lot more!" The kids cheer with excitement.
Friday morning comes, you pack the van to its limit and jam everyone in, barely leaving room for Fido. "Who's ready to have fun!?" you yell from the driver's seat as you pull onto the road.
"How long 'til we get there?!" is inevitably asked from the third-row seat.
You pause and reply with, "I don't know, I hope it's not too long!"
Your wife asks, "Seriously, are you not going to put the address in the GPS?"
"Nope. I trust we'll get there, I know it's up north, and my co-worker told me about some secret roads to take."
"You have to be joking." replies your wife with the previous excitement of the journey quickly fading from her face.
Okay, do you see where my analogy is taking us here? Let me break it down...
We can have an excellent plan for our health journey, that we will end up restored and back to feeling the way we used to. Whether it's Lyme, cancer, biotoxin illness, chronic fatigue or others, we all want to make the journey back to restoration.
But how hard is a journey that you don't have a map for? If we just drive north looking for our Airbnb cottage, we could come across it, but it will take a lot longer than if we had directions and knew what we were looking for along the way. Even if we're given random tips from friends and co-workers, it's still not going to help much without landmarks and a clear path, something measurable.
Getting labs done is the same thing. Functional medicine means testing, not guessing; we need to know what we're dealing with so that we can judge success and be sure we're heading in the right direction. The goal is to get there as quickly as possible, not just hope we end up there some time.
Time is everything in chronic illness. Suffering sucks.
Lab testing costs money, and the good ones are not often covered by insurance. Unless you're independently wealthy, paying for these things is a burden. Sometimes a considerable burden. It can mean cutting down on cell phone packages, tv stations, new clothes, family trips, second cars, and even borrowing money. Some people even have to move in with friends or family members.
But what do you do when it's your health, or a family member's health, and worst-case scenario, your child's health. You make the sacrifice.
Without directions, without landmarks, without entering your 'starting point' into the GPS, your time of arrival will never be known. Labs are an investment in your recovery and can significantly shorten the trip to restoration. Yes, they cost money, but it costs a lot more in time and by adding to the supplement graveyard without knowing what you're dealing with exactly.
Would you trade the cost of some lab work to shave months, and likely years, off of your suffering? The time you can't work, the time you can't take care of your family as well, the time you can't enjoy life and fulfill your purpose in life. All of that time has value, and it's much more than the cost of some lab work.
I'm getting to the point that I can't really help people in a timely enough fashion without a couple of labs to find root causes. I find I'm not just wasting my time, but I'm wasting their time and their money with best guesses. I want to help people who value their road to recovery enough to get a clear map, that want to do this with all the information possible so that it's not a meandering trip, but we get from point A to B as fast as possible.
You could take the scenic route and hope for the best, but why would you?
Functional medicine practitioner