In the summer of 2015, a few months after my gallbladder removal, I decided to travel 2 hours to Hestand, Ky to visit “The Amish Doctor”. There in an Amish community I would find Dr. Rueben Schwartz and his apprentice Jake, trained in the medical field of Iridology.
A year or so ago, I wouldn’t have messed with traveling 2 hours of back roads, just to visit an Amish man who would look into my eyes to diagnose me with ailments. But things had changed. My recent experiences had caused me to lose most of my faith in Western medicine. I was ready to try something else. Anything else. (Read about what was going on with me here.)
I arrived, drove down a long gravel lane. I passed a horse and buggy driven by two boys and two girls, all under 10 years old. I waved. I came up to a small building with chairs all around the front porch. It was seven in the morning, a small chill still in the air. I opened the screen door. The inside was a bit stuffy. There was no electricity, and the bathroom was in a separate building. I signed in and sat down next to a wall of Iridology posters. I examined the posters, looking at how many parts the iris was broken into and which part of the body it corresponded with. I watched the Amish woman in the back stock the shelves and label bottles of their homemade liquid herbs.
When it was my turn, I walked into the back room to see the doctor. He was exactly as you would have pictured an old Amish man. I felt completely at ease. He asked my name and wrote it down on an index card in beautiful, cursive handwriting. He didn’t ask what was wrong or what symptoms I was experiencing. The doctor grabbed a little magnifying gadget and a flashlight and looked into one of my eyes. Within 5 seconds he put the gadget and light down.
“It looks like you have severe endometriosis.”
He raised his instruments back up for a second look. And back down again.
“It is severe. I’m not sure you will be able to have children. But of course that is in God’s hands.”
When he said this, I knew he was seeing the Adnenomyosis. I knew then that there was something legitimate to this form of medical practice. How else would someone with no idea who I am or what is wrong with me, be able to know this? (Read about my Adenomyosis diagnosis here.)
He went on to point out something really wrong going on with my digestive system. And that my hormones, thyroid, and adrenals were all out of whack. He wanted to focus on the issues with my hormones and thyroid. Perhaps if we could get those straightened out, the rest would fall into place. He could see that I had anxiety and stressed a lot, but he was confident that we could straighten it all out.
I took the index card full of information to the woman at the front desk. She totaled everything up, and a month’s supply of everything was much more than I could afford. The herbs were pure and relatively inexpensive. An average bottle was probably $10 for a 2-3 week supply. Very affordable in comparison to high quality products sold through large companies, but there were so many different herbs that I was in need of that I had to narrow the list down. I bought a month supply for a few different herbs. Something for my digestion, something for my thyroid, something for my reproductive organs, something for my low blood pressure, and something for my adrenals.
On my drive back home I thought a lot about the Amish community I had just visited. Their way of life really resonated with me. Of course the way they were living was hard and it made me grateful for all of the things I had and took for granted. But at the same time, I envied the peacefulness and simplicity of their lifestyle. They grew and ate their own organic foods. They had their own natural medicines. The people seemed so healthy and happy and laid back. Something I’m not used to seeing when going out into the general public. Here was an entire community living without modern amenities. They just ate healthy and used natural remedies, and there was something to be said about it.