What Real Health Means to Me – Annette

Author: Annette Chlumsky, RN

When I was a teenager, my dad, at age 46, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease. He started traditional chemotherapy and continued for over a year, but the disease progressed. He decided the side effects of the chemo were worse than the disease, and discontinued treatment. As our family was preparing for his probable death, an acquaintance suggested he go to Mexico for holistic treatment. There he learned how food choices affect activity of cancer cells, started proteolytic enzyme therapy, many other supplements, and a specialized immunotherapy. Real Health meant having my dad live.

This family health crisis impacted my career decision to pursue the nursing profession. I was out to change the world! Real Health meant making patients aware of their choices and educating them about holistic approaches to their health. I have been so fortunate to have been employed by forward-thinking doctors in Wichita who help their patients find Real Health.

My husband and I raised three children to be aware of what they put in their bodies and how that affected their athletic, musical and academic capabilities, weight, allergies, and stamina. They definitely noticed they were not eating the same foods their friends were eating. To this day they are suspicious of what might be in a smoothie I offer them! Real Health means growing a healthy family.

I now have a daughter-in-law for whom I am so thankful and admire because she embraces natural birth, breastfeeding , and limits sugar and processed foods for our three exceptional (in Gramma’s eyes, of course!) grandchildren. Real Health now means being able to maintain energy and a level of fitness to help care for and actively play with the grandchildren, take my “grand dogs” for walks, and care for aging family members (including my dad who is now 92 years old and still living alone!), while holding a full-time job, and being involved in church, social and volunteer opportunities.

At this stage of my life, Real Health is still a passion and a continuous mission.  Even though I see my body aging and sagging, I want to continue to listen to my body, to make choices that are supportive of providing the energy and reserves I need for a very active life. Real Health also tends to the soul, continually cultivating a heart and spirit of gratitude. Real Health means not spending my “golden years” in various medical waiting rooms. My future maintenance plan is to continue to be a co-learner at Riordan Clinic in the ongoing pursuit of Real Health!

Each month we have guest authors write a column for our Health Hunters newsletter with the prompt “What Real Health Means to Me”. We’ve been blown away by the content, and the variety of answers, that they have provided. We know that Real Health is very personal and health goals vary. We hope that you find their stories inspiring and will share with your friends and family as well!

All “What Real Health Means to Me” articles

If you’d like to write an article of your own, please email us at newseditor@riordanclinic.org.