When Kay Engleson first met with Dr. Anderson, she said she was a mess. She had gotten both hips replaced and had shoulder issues so was in pain often. Because of the pain and because Engleson was afraid of her hip popping out again, she wasn’t moving.

“Last year I pretty much baked cookies and sat in a recliner. If I were to keep that up, I’d probably be in a wheelchair,” Engleson said. “I didn’t think I was going to see my 60th birthday.”

Engleson’s hips and shoulders weren’t the only challenge. Since 2004 she had also dealt with terrible constipation and that was affecting her quality of life, leading to severe pains and stomach aches day after day.

In addition to her joint and gut issues Engleson dealt with a lot of family drama and dysfunction that had exhausted her and was affecting her physically. “I needed help,” she said.

Engleson already knew she didn’t want to be on all the medication the doctors were prescribing when she first heard about Thriven Functional Medicine. She also knew she needed guidance so Engleson made an appointment and met with Dr. Anderson.

“I was a mess at the first meeting,” Engleson said. “I had aches and pains and worries and concerns. I wouldn’t go into public. I didn’t love myself. I was always taking care of somebody else and never myself.”

She decided to commit to the program and began the long process of healing her gut. Engleson began to learn how to nourish her body and, with the help of a new physician’s assistant, she realized she wasn’t going to hurt her hip with movement. She set her first two goals as:

  1. Taking control of what she put in her body.
  2. Trying to move regularly.

“I put a dent in my mother’s couch, a dent in my bed, a dent in my recliner last year. I need to keep moving for my hip health,” she said.

Equally important, or perhaps even more important for Engleson’s improving health has been her work toward a healthier emotional life.

“I think I’m starting to love myself again and am able to talk about things openly,” she said.

Engleson has found a confidant who cares about her, someone who listens to her and respects her. She has also been able to see that she needs to separate herself from the drama of her family.

“My life has been chaos. But no more, I need to separate from the chaos. It’s not easy. I’ve never had the tools to not let the drama consume me.”

Working with Dr. Anderson and Engleson’s health coach encouraged her to grow in her self-confidence and that has led to her third goal:

  1. Taking care of herself and loving herself.

“I was my own worst enemy,” she said. “But I’m getting stronger. It’s time for me to spoil myself.”

She also made the choice to see physical therapist, Jodi Knable, for visceral manipulation and Jodi talked to her about choices.

“That was huge. I’ve dealt with this my whole life, my whole life of dysfunction. I have choices. I can’t be raising my kids and my grandkids like my mom did. I’ve helped out but it’s time to enjoy myself.” Now she wants to travel and have some fun.

Engleson said she is still working on things, including her gut health. Her constipation has improved because of changes in her diet and she feels much better. Still, she wants to keep working and plans to get back to her binder.

Despite backward steps every now and then, one of the biggest changes for Engleson is now she knows it’s going to be okay.

“I feel like they saved my life. I’m seeing things differently,” Engleson said. “Feeling peace is so special. What a gift.”

“I’m very thankful. I’m really very thankful for this.”