Health Care Provider Toolkit

The Offended Toe

I walked into the treatment room for my scheduled reflexology appointment. As I walked in I commented that I had broken my little toe, so if she could be careful when working on my feet.

What she told me next blew me away. How was she able to put together such a complete and accurate picture of my situation? I hadn’t told her anything after my first comment. While I hadn’t made any other comments she did read some additional information.

Her response to my comment was, “So that’s why you have a headache.” I was surprised that she knew. She had deduced from my body language that I had a headache. And so she explained that my broken toe disrupted the flow of my lymphatic system. The disruption in my lymphatic system caused a blockage in my neck which caused a build up of pressure in my skull, giving me a headache. Headache meds would not bring relief. The toe needed to heal in order for my headache to clear.

It’s amazing how the two pieces of information enabled her to accurately complete the picture.

The Other Side

A few days before my reflexology appointment I had gone to the hospital emergency room to determine what was causing my headache. My headache had persisted for over 3 weeks, something totally out of character for me. By the end of my 6 hours of ER procedures I was prescribe some anti-inflammatory meds and told I had minor swelling in my neck, but no explanation. (It wasn’t something that an anti-inflammatory med could have remedied.) A day after taking the meds I had an allergic reaction and discontinued taking them.

When I compare the two visits it’s interesting to see how different things were. The six hours in the ER involved a very expensive infrastructure and a patch to deal with what looked like an inflammation. However, no direct cost to myself thanks to a government funded health care.

My experience with the reflexologist gave me a full understanding of how the different symptoms played into the body system that was affected. Without the use of any sophisticated equipment I came away with a comprehensive picture of what my body was dealing with. To top it off, this additional insight was part of my hour long reflexology treatment session. I pay out of pocket for that, but no additional charge for the helpful insight.

Making Choices

This experience made me realize that I need to determine the nature of my health concern before choosing a medical services that I think will best understand the issue and be able to offer the most effective treatment.

Over the years I have made the choice to get a diagnosis and treatment from a chiropractor, iridologist, reflexologist, dentist, family doctor or surgeon. I make these choices on a case by case basis.

How I broke my toe is a story for another day.


Author: Jasper Hoogendam

After 36 years as an educator my career ended due to a TBI. Renewable energy as part of 'walking lightly on this earth' has been and continues to be my interest since my teen years. Since early 2015 I have been learning to live with ABI (Acquire Brain Injury). I don't want to let my ABI limit the goals I set for myself. I'm living with a different brain, not a lesser brain. In sharing my day to day successes and struggles, I am better able to understand how my life had changed and begin to accept the change. In sharing my experiences I'm hearing from caregivers and fellow ABI's. I'm encouraged when my experiences are helping others understand some of the complexity of living with ABI.

6 thoughts on “Health Care Provider Toolkit”

    1. You’re probably right. As you saw in my post, they wouldn’t have been much help. If I came in once a week with persisting symptoms they might have scheduled a battery of tests – all for nothing. Hard to say. Though one know one’s own body and has a sense when something serious is developing.


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