Leah’s Story: “Part Two: My First Appointment”
Author: Leah Chischilly, MSAc., L.Ac
In my first post, I shared some of the reasons I decided to become a patient at the Riordan Clinic. I didn’t get into the details about the program I’m doing, so I want to dive into that a little bit before I talk about my first appointment.
In order to establish yourself as a new patient and have access to all the different therapies provided at the clinic, you must start with one of their new patient programs. You can select a program based on your specific needs. You can learn all about the new patient programs here.
I opted for the Essential Program, which is best for people that want to maintain health, prevent illness, and treat everyday concerns (like my own fatigue, stress, etc…). They do have another program called the Living Well program which would also be good for this demographic, but the Essential program includes hormone testing which I have not had done before, so I wanted to include it.
Before you go to the page and get sticker shock (No, it’s not cheap, but it’s also not outrageous considering what you get) I want to share some insights with you. First of all, labs are expensive…period. If you are getting multiple panels done (which you should if you want a true picture of what is going on inside) it’s going to cost you no matter where you go. Insurance may or may not cover it based on your plan. I’ve looked into ordering my own labs and would not be able to do it for any less than what I was charged at the Riordan Clinic. Second, the program also includes two extensive visits with the doctor, a Vitamin C infusion, a treatment plan, an online portal where you can communicate with the doctor and view your lab results and then access to all of the therapies available at the clinic. Trust me when I say this is not your normal doctor’s visit and I feel like it has already been 110% worth the cost. Note: I am submitting some of the bills to our HSA to see if it can be reimbursed.
My First Appointment
Before I even set foot on the Riordan Clinic campus, I was sent my new patient paperwork via FedEx and the new patient coordinator was in contact with me via email. He provided a visit itinerary and checked in to make sure I had everything I needed. To say the forms were extensive would be an understatement, but after my visit, I can understand why. They covered everything including my main health concerns, health history, family health history, daily diet, exercise habits, sleep habits and supplements I’m taking. I was even asked to bring all the supplements and medications I am currently taking with me.
Interestingly enough, on the day of my appointment, I wasn’t feeling great. I had a raging headache, my back hurt and I just didn’t feel good. This happens to me on occasion inexplicably. I’m actually really glad that it did that day because it reminded me that some of the things that have become my “normal” may not be normal at all. It reminded me that maybe I really don’t feel as good as I could and it’s something that needs to be addressed.
I arrived at 9:00 AM for my appointment and checked in at Dome 1. I was taken back to another dome (8, I think) shortly after for all of my lab draws. I was so grateful they did the labs first because I was borderline hangry at this point and definitely ready for some coffee! Amanda, the phlebotomist took me back to the lab and we got to work. I provided a urine sample, a saliva sample and like 8 vials of blood (I didn’t count, but it was a bunch!). After the blood draw, she gave be a bottle of juice and a small bag of roasted almonds that at that point in time was worth the cost of the visit, Ha!
After my lab work was completed I was taken yet another dome that housed the office of Dr. Anne Zauderer whom I would be seeing that day. I checked in with TaNeisha, a medical assistant, who took my vitals and a few notes before I saw Dr. Anne.
One thing I really want to note is that the staff members are so helpful and friendly and I had the chance to speak with them quite a bit. Everyone I spoke with had been there for quite some time (which can say a lot about any company) and they all said how much they loved working there. They were truly passionate about their jobs. This was such a big switch from some of my usual doctor visits where I was lucky if I even got acknowledged by the staff and it felt like they were just going through the motions.
After my vitals were taken, I had a few minutes before my appointment so I sat in the waiting area on a small couch. It was weird, but I started to feel really emotional. Being there for my own health made me realize just how long it had been since I really asked for or sought out professional support for anything. It also made me realize just how important it was.
Dr. Anne came out to get me in a matter of minutes and took me back to her office. Dr. Anne is a true gem. She is extremely knowledgeable, instantly makes you feel at ease, and explains things in a way that makes it so easy to understand. I spent over an hour with her going over all of the information that I filled out on my intake forms. She asked a lot of questions and provided a lot of insights as to why I might be experiencing various symptoms.
I’ve been to so many doctor visits where it’s a 10 minute (if that) conversation (and by conversation I mean the doctor talking at me the whole time), a quick diagnosis based only on boxes checked on my paperwork, and a prescription for something to make my symptoms go away. My experience with Dr. Anne was the exact opposite of that and was so refreshing in so many ways.
After my appointment, Dr. Anne provided me with some lifestyle hacks to help with my hydration and a prescription for an adrenal support formula. She said that she doesn’t like to do any nutrient supplement recommendations without the lab results so we will go over a full treatment plan during my next appointment in a few weeks.
A Vitamin C IV was included with my appointment and Magnesium and B vitamins were added to it for extra support. I headed back to Dome 8 where I spent about 30 minutes hooked up to an IV and then I was good to go.
After my time there I feel like this is the way that medicine should be practiced. There is a time and a place for the conventional model, but for true healing (not just symptom suppression) it takes time, individual attention and a customized plan. Every person is different and therefore requires different therapies and interventions.
My next appointment is in three weeks and I am so anxious to see what my lab results show and how I feel after incorporating my recommended protocols.
Until next time,
Leah Chischilly, MSAc., L.Ac. is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Manager of Clinical Operations at Modern Acupuncture. She helps busy women go from stressed out, in pain and on edge to blissed out, pain-free and on their way to better health. Leah earned her Master’s degree in Acupuncture from the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture and has extensive training in acupuncture for pain and stress management as well as aesthetic acupuncture.
You can find her at:
leahchischilly.com | @lmchischilly on Instagram | Facebook.com/leahchischilly