The subject of this post is near and dear to my heart for many reasons. This day (November 4th) marks a beautiful and bittersweet time that a few close people share. It is a very special friend’s birthday, who sadly, is no longer here for us to celebrate him together. It is also about traditional medicine and what drives many healthcare workers, and regular people, to consider alternatives.
My great and wonderful friend, Rod Morey, has an incredible story that I love to think about and share as often as possible. He writes it in his own words on his blog/website which I will discuss later in this post. Rod was an over 25-year cancer survivor when I was privileged to meet him and his life partner Susan, at a local farmer’s market. Rod was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer and, like so many Americans, was scared, misled, and swept up in the fear and therefore rushed into emergency surgery and traditional (AMA/ACA approved) cancer treatments. Left with a “hole in his neck” (as he always loved to say) and severe burns from radiation Rod was unable to eat and hardly able to swallow, juicing was the only thing that allowed him to nourish himself. With the whirlwind and fallout of what just changed his life forever, Rod began to study alternative treatments as he always had a love for medicine. But as he explains in his memoir the industry that he dedicated his life to (medicine and emergency medicine) had failed him. Yes, it “saved his life” but at the cost of the quality of life causing permanent health conditions that he believed, had he known what he was soon to learn, he could have still saved himself yet preserve more of his overall health such as his endocrine system which was completely hijacked and shut down by radiation, leaving him dependent on pharmaceutical medications to mimic thyroid function.
Rod set out to educate himself on health and medicine and soon found his true passion and gift in this life. He attended a highly accredited herbal academy and quickly learned to create his own recipes and boy are they effective! His love for helping people showed in every conversation and relationship he fostered, and continues even now. Rod was always supportive of people and helped improve every life he touched.
The other part of this post is about Rod’s wonderful life partner, Susan. Susan also found her calling in medicine and helping people. Susan has no family members in healthcare but always knew that she wanted to be a nurse. She began this path at the age of 14 as a “candy striper” at her local hospital. A candy striper, as you may or may not know, is a young person who volunteers at the hospital to help with patients and run errands for staff. Susan knew she was meant to help people and felt that nursing was the best way. In 1993 Susan earned her RN license and began her life in hospital work. Susan quickly found that hospitals were not conducive to her training as a nurse, which is to be “nurturing” and patient-oriented. “Hospitals and modern medicine are all about money, paperwork, pushing pills, and procedures. Nurses are not able to effectively provide care.”
Susan was disillusioned and left the hospital environment for home health in the mid-’90s which she describes as exactly what she wanted and was very happy doing. She was finally able to interact with her patients and help people the way she was trained and the way she knows it was supposed to be. She was able to care for people and teach them to care for themselves.
But as with everything else, the government saw an area to interfere, and profit, so Medicare was interjected and its many restrictions and human-less expectations. And so home health became exploited like hospitals demanding more and more paperwork and money with no concern for people.
“The healthcare industry is more like the sick care industry.”
Susan again moved on in search of a place in healthcare that she could honestly feel fit the name. She went into worker’s compensation as a liaison between injured workers and their doctors, attorneys, and insurance adjusters for settling cases. She enjoyed that as it allowed her to advocate for people in need and “work the system” for good. After many years and changes (never in the direction of helping people, but only furthering control and the stockholders’ bottom line) Susan found herself frustrated and burnt out.
“Healthcare in its current form is not allowed to be what it is supposed to be. Healthcare is such a misnomer, there is no “care” in the health you are given. No real diagnosis, it’s all about the algorithm and “care plan” to pile pills and if it doesn’t work, move on to the next algorithm” according to the newest approved medications and procedures.
Over the years Susan has spoken to many nurses who, overwhelmingly, are dissatisfied with their jobs and either leave to do “anything, but” or feel forced to stay for the money. More and more traditional nurses are showing interest, and trust, in alternatives like herbal medicine as they are becoming more aware of the control and for-profit focus that quite literally threatens dismissal, disbarment, and even legal recourse if a medical professional even discuss or suggests alternatives to the standard treatments. Amid Covid control and shutdowns that created an incredible burden to have billable hours, even working 12-14 hour days, Susan decided to leave her 30-year career.
Susan’s loving and supportive husband, Rod, encouraged her to quit her job as it was frustrating and no longer serving her highest good, or life’s purpose. Susan was concerned, as most people, about money and supporting their lives. Rod told her to trust, they will make it as they always do.
They decided to take the leap of faith and devote 100% of their time and energy to their business, Belfire Botanicals. Susan says she has not once regretted her decision to leave corporate America that “is all about metrics” and feeding the beast. Of course, the job provided for the life they enjoyed in the mountains of Tennessee and allowed her to share, what would be, Rod’s last year doing what they both love. Rod and Susan worked as such a beautiful team running their website, vending events full time, running classes, meeting people, hearing their stories, and providing care and “utilizing more nursing skills and judgment doing Belfire than in the last five years” of Susan’s time in a regular nursing job.
I encourage everyone to exercise their critical thinking skills and innate freedoms to do their research to find what may work best for you and your loved ones even if that means challenging the accepted narratives. Supporting local practitioners is another way to take back control over our lives, and unite to support one another. To learn more about this wonderful couple I have been so blessed to call friends, their life’s passion, and small batch apothecary of incredible made-to-order products please visit www.belfirebotanicals.com. Everyone has a choice and responsibility for their freedom and health. This is such an important and often overlooked way to gain a community that pays huge dividends.
“If you want to know who rules over you, look at who you are not allowed to criticize.”
– George Orwell