Ends + beginnings

Dr. Dorninger is saving my life. Before becoming his patient, I’d been getting progressively sicker for years. I’d been to all kinds of doctors. I’d been hospitalized. I’d had procedures done. I’d been medicated. I developed a daily routine of incredible illness, pain, anxiety and depression that was only spiraling downward. I even became super familiar with what digested blood looked like leaving the body and for some reason everyone was still telling me there was nothing wrong with me. Take a pill, go home, you’re fine. I was completely lost. I was not fine. My mental functions started slipping. I was living in panicked confusion and massive brain fog. I couldn’t think, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat and became a skeleton. I started to believe I was dying and maybe that was ok. The entire world was making me feel like the only chronic illness I was suffering from was in my head. I felt completely, truly, rock-bottom hopeless.

Then I remembered hearing about the “Last Resort Doctor,” Dr. Dorninger. I sent an email requesting a consultation, expecting there might be a wait, or that he’d say he couldn’t help me like everyone else. Instead, I got a call from him right away. I’ll never forget what he said to me, it was the first time I’d felt hope in years –

“You’re not just in my wheelhouse, you ARE my wheelhouse.”

He spent far more time talking with me that evening than the expected 10 minute consultation. He really listened. He asked me about things that I hadn’t told a soul about – he knew what was happening, he expressed compassion – and acknowledged my suffering – I could already tell he had ideas, and that he was going to stop at nothing to help me get well. It was the first time I felt validation, empathy, understanding, and true intention to HELP ME from a medical professional, throughout my decline.

So I began my health journey with Dr. Dorninger. If it comes out of my body, we tested it. And oh my goodness did we get answers. Dr. D began my “findings" appointment by sitting me down and letting me know that I have truly been suffering from chronic illness, and this is serious, and this is real. I swear – this validation in itself began my healing process. The things we found through this series of tests have explained not just the last few years of rapid decline, but a lifetime of mysterious sporadic health issues. My lab results told an insane story of what’s been going on in my body. And it’s insane. Finally someone was acknowledging that I’ve been really, really sick…and it was way worse than even I expected. To say it wasn’t overwhelming would be a lie, but that’s where Dr. D’s compassion, knowledge and understanding, and the Roots & Branches team kicks in.

Dr. D gave me an action plan to kill what’s been killing me. It’s going to be a long + involved journey back to health, but I’ve got the most incredible support from the entire staff. Each of them is equipped to help me navigate through these confusing waters back to living life. There’s no way I could do this alone, and there’s not even a hint that I might have to. No matter what’s going on, they are responsive, knowledgeable, compassionate, and always make me feel like my health and wellbeing are their top priority. I truly feel like I have their total support on this journey.

Now that we have answers and a plan, a year from now I’m expecting to have found health, and know how to maintain it for the rest of my life. I believe I’ll be looking back on the last few years in disbelief that I ever went through this. And I can say this with confidence because I’m only two weeks in to starting this journey, and I’m already looking back on my recent existence in disbelief. The treatments are already showing me improvements, slowly but surely. It’s incredible. And we’ve only just begun.

I highly recommend Dr. Dorninger to anyone who’s been told they are fighting a ghost. He truly was my last resort, and that’s my only regret. He should be the first doctor anyone goes to for this type of suffering, not the last.