I had practiced Traditional Medicine for nearly 40 years. Initially I wanted to become a plastic and reconstructive surgeon and thus went into the research arena of this area before entering a surgical residency.
In the midst of my surgical internship I realized that Anesthesiology was a better fit for me. During my four year residency in Anesthesiology at Vanderbilt and the University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital, I also moonlighted around the United States as an Emergency Room Physician. Often times I would get on a plane on Friday afternoon and fly to another state to work for 36 hours and them fly back to Florida.
For nearly 40 years I practiced Anesthesiology both teaching as a Professor and also in private practice. Most of my career was doing cardiac or open heart anesthesiology. However I had performed every type of anesthetic procedure for every type of surgical case.
Then the wheels came off!!!! In 2016 while working at a local hospital another anesthesiologist whom had an unknown contagious respiratory illness coughed right in my face. Within 7 weeks I was rushed into the local hospital here in Melbourne confused and disoriented. All I remember was being told that I had pneumonia and needed to be admitted. Within 24 hours I developed Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and was intubated. I lapsed into a COMA for 6 weeks, suffered 2 cardiac arrests and developed organ failure. I had a tracheostomy at some point and surprising awoke after 6 weeks. The physicians that took care of me were making decisions to let me go “ pull the plug” during that time period.
I spent six weeks in a rehabilitation hospital learning how to walk again and two more years in out patient rehabilitation rebuilding my body.
Over that time period I developed several symptoms of various magnitude. Mostly I had an uncontrollable cough. I went to see several physicians and was given another prescription medicine. My home looked like a Walgreens Pharmacy.
I started looking into all the side effects of the multiple medications and found that some of the side effects were worse than the symptoms that I was having.
I thus looked into a more holistic approach of treatment with natural remedies along with taking nutraceuticals. I started watching my diet and exercised on a daily basis and rebuilt my own physiology.
I realized and was told that it was a miracle that I survived and while I can no longer assist the infirm through their surgery I have been tasked with helping those whom are interested in the prevention of their own diseases through Integrative and Functional Medicine.
Yale ( Yoel ) R. Smith, M.D.