Hi! It’s Dr. Carri Drzyzga from Functional Medicine Ontario. I hope you and your family members are doing well and staying safe. Here in Ontario they’re just starting to loosen the restrictions. They still want us to shelter at home and maintain social distancing when we’re out there in the public. Just recently it was said that it was safe to start opening up naturopath and chiropractor offices for patients. So that’s all really good news.
I wanted to give you a quick little update on what’s been happening here at Functional Medicine Ontario. Again, we’re really fortunate this week that Ontario has decided to start loosening some of its restrictions and that naturopaths can start seeing patients in the office. But I have to tell you that I’m not ready to start seeing patients in office. I don’t feel comfortable taking that step just yet, because it means that I’d have to be in full PPE from head to toe, with a mask face shield, gown, gloves, and all of that needs to be changed between every patient encounter that I see in my office. So I’m not quite comfortable with that step. What I’ve been doing this whole time, and what I’ll continue to do is offer appointments via telemedicine. It’s been working out well.
We have a secure video platform that we use so that we can see each other during our appointment. If we experience technical issues, which sometimes can happen, then we’ll just use the old fashioned telephone. This has all worked well as I have been able to continue to help patients, to continue to help keep them on their path, and working toward the health goals that they’re looking for. So know that I’m still here. If you need to come see me, I’m still seeing patients. I’m still accepting new patients. But because I’m doing telemedicine, only if I feel that the case is appropriate for a telemedicine type of appointment. Otherwise I would recommend, and I would tell this in person, too, that I’m not the right doctor for you right now. So we can either wait or I can refer you to one of my colleagues. So the next question that I often get is about testing and specifically blood work. The local lab that I use here is LifeLabs. Patients are often concerned about safety. Is it safe to go for a blood draw and is LifeLabs even open? I leave that up to the patient. If you’re not comfortable going for a blood draw, then don’t to. We can wait for the most part. Nothing is so critical that it can’t just wait another month or two. But I also want you to know that LifeLabs is still open. They are still doing blood draws and they have modified their procedures. You can’t just walk in off the street. You do have to book an appointment online and they’re doing everything that they can to make it, as COVID 19 friendly as possible to reduce the risk of infection. Regarding any other testing above and beyond basic blood work from LifeLabs such as doing a stool testing or urine testing, we can just mail those test kits to you. You fill them up at home, the Purolator guy can come to your front door, pick up the pouch and then take it out in the mail. We’re still doing that and it’s quite easy to do. Some of the test results are a little bit delayed and that’s just how it is right now.
The other question that we get is “Dr. Carri, can I come in for supplements?” Until now, we’ve only been mailing supplements for these last two and a half, three months. We’ve only been mailing supplements and that’s really to try and keep a COVID-19 just to try and flatten that curve and stop the spread of it to try and keep us safe and you guys safe, too. Now, since they’ve loosened up some of the restrictions and they’re allowing people to start moving about a little bit more in Ontario and able to come see their naturopath. So now we do offer curbside pickup. We want to keep you as safe as possible and then as things change in the future, I will let you know. I will always keep you updated.
I’ve been trying to keep myself busy during this COVID-19 situation. This week I got a veggie pod container garden and I’ve been working on it. I’m so looking forward to doing some gardening, which is something that I’ve always wanted to do for years and years. Every springtime I think about growing a garden and then life just gets in the way. So I guess that’s kind of a blessing of COVID-19, that we’re thinking about things differently, trying to see the silver lining of the situation that we’re in. So, yeah, I’m excited about hopefully growing some lettuce, beans, tomatoes, and fresh herbs and whatnot.
I also hope that you’ve also been out there exercising. If you live here in Ottawa, specifically in Orleans, you’ve probably seen me out there walking my Basset hounds. I love taking them for a nice long walk because what happens is people will look down, they’ll be like, “oh, look at those two cute little bassets” and they’ll have a smile on their face. And THAT just brightens my day, walking these two little Basset hounds and seeing how they cheer other people up, because they’re just so darn cute.
Again, I hope that you and your family are still doing well, that you’re not too bored, and that you’ve learned some new hobbies during this time. Maybe you are playing a new musical instrument, reading some good books or even gardening. Whatever it is, I can’t wait to hear all about it. I look forward to seeing you again very soon.