Friday, January 13, 2017

Brainstorming with Natalie -- Interview with former Nurse Natalie Van Dyke-Carey –

Maria Teresa De Donato, Ph.D.,
Traditional Naturopath, Homeopath, Life Strategist, Author

Brainstorming with Natalie

-- Interview with former Nurse Natalie Van Dyke-Carey

Those who have been following my blog already know that I consider myself first an Educator and then a Traditional Naturopath applying Classical Homeopathy and principles of Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, hence Western and Eastern Nutrition and Herbalism.  As a Life Strategist, I am also a passionate motivator with a pretty unique holistic and multidisciplinary approach to life in general and health in particular.  Although I do recognize that both allopathic/conventional/mainstream medicine and holistic/natural medicine might be helpful and have their own place and applicability, I also strongly believe that health should always be approached holistically. The latter method, in fact, by allowing the identification of the root cause of symptoms and disease, and by facilitating their removal, enables healing to occur naturally.  Furthermore, it’s worth mentioning that true healing can only occur once the root cause is identified and removed. As a matter of fact the simple disappearance of symptoms and disease should never be seen as a proof per se that healing has taken place.  In fact, if the root cause has not been removed, then symptoms and disease might have been simply gone into hiding at a deeper level. This means that their future manifestation and intensity might be more evident and aggressive.

It is very encouraging to witness, though, that in the last several years an increasing number of medical professionals have finally acknowledged the limits of allopathic medicine and, after having embraced the idea of a holistic approach, have also included natural, non invasive methodologies in their practices. Among these professionals we find both allopathic physicians and nurses.  Today, I would like to introduce you an amazing, caring woman and professional who after several years in the medical field switched to a holistic perspective.  Her name is Natalie Van Dyke-Carey and she worked many years as a Cardiac and Surgical Nurse.

T: Natalie, welcome and thank you so much for taking the time for this interview.

N: Thank you to you, Teresa, for inviting me.

T: Natalie, why don’t you start with talking about your studies and how and why you decided to become a nurse?

N: When I was 15 years old, I developed a rare blood disorder (autoimmune). At that point on all my dreams I cared to dream I thought were shattered. I wanted to be an Astronaut but, oh well. Sometimes we do not choose our path, I feel it chooses us.
     After I found out this was pain I would have to deal with for the rest of my life, I started to study the human body and never stopped since. My timeline in short goes like this…
My quest at first was to find a medication that was going to destroy this Dis-ease. Little did I know at the time I was destroying myself. 

I first became a Certified Medical Assistant and worked in GI [gastrointestinal] for 3 years and that is when I read about a potential cure for my illness. A strong immunosuppressant that would target the T-cells was what I was looking for. It was a chemotherapy agent and I knew it was going to be a risk. 
I was newly married and we waited no time to have children. At this point I was on prednisone for inflammation for 8 years and I was not getting better. While taking sometime to be a stay-at-home mom, I knew I had to keep educating myself, so I started a nearby Registered Nursing program. During this time I tried several immunosuppressant drugs without success. Then, in 2007 I had my daughter and began working on a Cardiac Floor for a large Corporation. I am trained in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and was really passionate about it for sometime. I loved my job but, my body continued to suffer. 
Between 2007 and 2011 I am not sure how many different chemotherapy drugs I tried to get my blood cells and flare up normal. Everything I tried that suppressed my immune system made my body worse, much worse. 
In 2011 the worst happened. I became so ill, I could not move. The pain was unreal. I had a rare form of meningitis at this point. By, the time they figured it out I made a turn for the worse.  
My parents were with me when I went unconscious with no breathing or pulse. My dad did not know what to do so he slapped my face and he said I started breathing. By this 3rd trip to the ER in 3 days they finally did a spinal tap and found it was a fungal meningitis. 
I survived 2 months in the hospital being infused with harsh chemicals to kill the infection. Had 2 brain surgeries and now have a permanent shunt to drain my cerebral spinal fluid. Needless to say, I have learned the hard way. 
After that I knew I was done with Internal Medicine so I started researching more on Holistic Medicine. I finally found my passion! In 2011 I really started diving into holistic healing. I began reading and listening to anything and everything that had to do with Natural Healing. 

In 2012 I was guided by a friend to a small local college that offered holistic practitioner and holistic life coach degrees. I learned so much. The program educated me on Herbal medicine, Nutrition, Mind-Body Medicine, Reflexology, Hypnotherapy, Aromatherapy, Directive and Non-Directive Imagery, Specialized Kinesiology, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Reiki Master/Teacher, to say a few of my favorites. In January 2016 I graduated as a Holistic Health Practitioner and Holistic life Coach. A few months later I quit my job as a Nurse and have been working on my own self-healing.   

T: As a Nurse, What part of your job you enjoyed the most, and why did you opted for Cardiac and Surgical Nurse trainings?

N: I enjoyed the thought that I was saving lives and helping people heal, as I was needing the healing desperately. I enjoyed Cardiac and loved to learn about the heart and what to do in an emergency if something happened. I wanted to be able to save anyone, anywhere if needed. The Medical and Surgical I did not enjoy so much as I saw so many people suffering from illness and getting worse. I found the more medication people were on the sicker they were. One surgery often leads to another and other. I have seen more defeat then progress and did not like it. I loved being there for people giving them hope and planting seeds of knowledge that I had gained along the way in my own trials and errors. 

T: While working as a Nurse had you already started questioning “the system”, and if yes, what exactly did you feel that needed to be changed and how? Could you give us a few examples?

N: I really did not start questioning “the system” until I began asking management if I could treat patients with Reflexology, Reiki, and Acupressure. I was seeing a great response with patients at night, especially very ill ones and ones withdrawing from alcohol or drugs. I tried to share all this information and positive results with people in management along with my ideas about how to help patients heal while in the hospital but unfortunately with no success: they were just not interested in possible alternatives or methodologies to be integrated to conventional ones. Everything needs to be changed. Everything, just everything. It is a total disaster in heath care in the USA right now. Holistic Medicine needs to start with Mother and Baby and that mother needs to teach that baby from start about how to care for his mind, body and spirit. Until we all start doing that on an individual basis we will be enslaved to the system. 

T: Thank you for sharing your experience, Natalie. In so many ways yours resembles that of most of us who ended up opting primarily for holistic care due to the failure of conventional treatments.  I wish you all the best with your health.

N: Thank you, Teresa. That’s very kind of you.

IMPORTANT! The above material is only educational and not intended as medical advice. Whatever your condition, please consult with your physician first.

If you wish to know more about how holistic methodologies such as Homeopathy, Nutrition and Herbalism (Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine) can help you, you can contact me at or