“Hi, my name is Heather, and I’ll be your nurse today.”
I can’t tell you how many times this phrase has come out of my mouth. I’ve been a nurse since 2005. I was hired into a metro Atlanta hospital’s emergency department before I even graduated nursing school and spent the first seven years of my nursing career practicing emergency nursing. I LOVED it.
Unfortunately, as any adrenaline junkie can tell you, my body could only take so much excitement (especially after a lifetime of unhealthy eating). I started losing weight, and then became very sick. My lowest weight was 113 (at 5’8″ tall) and every body system had been tested to try to determine a cause. My husband later admitted being scared I had cancer and was dying. It wasn’t until after my primary care doctor suggested I had a psychiatric illness or eating disorder (!) that we were able to determine it was my thyroid revolting (and not bipolar disorder!). Eventually I would learn that I had developed an autoimmune condition known as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
Disappointed in the care I received (in the system I worked in!), and hellbent that I would not be on a dozen medicines for the rest of my life, I chose to look outside of conventional medicine for care. A naturopath in training offered to coach me and some of the stuff she suggested about food choices seemed really crazy! But what did I have to loose?
I implemented her suggestions in my life, and little by little, I started getting better! Who knew that what I ate mattered so much?! Or that moving my body and going outside could make me FEEL so much better. And so my path into holistic care, integrative and functional medicine began.
Eventually, as part of my path to wellness, I left the emergency department. I was fortunate enough to find a job in the Endoscopy Lab, which has taught me so much about the gut. My schedule there also allowed me to go back to school, and eventually I chose to study the art and science of health and wellness coaching. At the beginning of 2018, I finished the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy and I am now a Functional Medicine Certified Health and Wellness Coach (FMCHC). I am so excited to really make a difference helping others inch back from illness and/or pursue optimal wellness. And now, I can introduce myself like this:
“Hi, my name is Heather and I’m your health coach. How can I help you be well today?”