Cathryn Carruthers Calgary Mother gets the healthcare she needs

Calgary mother finally overcomes long-term health challenges

Having a private health team on their side has transformed Cathryn Carruthers and her family.

Not only did Copeman Healthcare Centre pursue her “mother’s instinct” about her daughter’s hip dysplasia, it also supported Carruthers through her own series of health challenges.

For the business strategist who runs her own company, that has meant a return of energy for both her work and family life. She says the “team” is bringing her back to health after suffering a concussion, thyroid and adrenal issues, chronic inflammation, food sensitivities and a generalized hormone imbalance since the birth of her son a year and a half ago.

The concussion, which she suffered while playing at a park with her children, made all her other health challenges worse. But the clinic took everything to account.

“Copeman looks at you as a whole person not just pieces to fix. It’s very holistic; not just about medication but getting at the root cause,” says Carruthers, 36.

Sometimes that means alternative medicine, administered by a Copeman doctor with expertise in the field.

“Conventional medicine treats you like a car,” says Carruthers. “You raise the hood and pull something out.”

At the clinic, all options are looked at. Her switch to the private health-care system began in 2013, after the birth of her daughter. Carruthers was sure her daughter had hip dysplasia that had never been diagnosed in the public system despite tests and exams. She pushed for an ultrasound and joined Copeman to “get access to a different perspective and have a whole team working and advocating for us.”

The ultrasound showed a mild case of dysplasia in both hips. Copeman referred her to a specialist at the Alberta Children’s Hospital and because the dysplasia was caught early enough, her daughter avoided surgery — and eight months in a cast. Instead, she had to wear a hip brace for three months.

“At Copeman, there is a person whose job is to deal with referrals so there was always followup. They called the hospital and checked with me, making sure I knew of the appointments. There was constant communication. They talk to each other and with the family. They are very proactive.

The whole family, including her engineer husband and their two children, joined Copeman, an expense they pay themselves.

“It is very inexpensive to have a child as a member when a parent is. They keep a close eye on the kids, ask questions about their development. They know everything that is happening in the family.”

Carruthers also appreciates that a doctor is on call 24/7, “even if you have had to call at 3 a.m. on Sunday” — something she has done.

There are also other services, including a dietician and kinesiologist that Copeman offers, along with on-site lab work.

“I need a lot of bloodwork at the moment and everything is under one roof. And because (Copeman) has centres in B.C. and Alberta, they have a deep faculty of doctors they can collaborate with.”

Carruthers says the centre’s help has been life-changing.

“I am still a work in progress, but have a diagnosis and treatment plan. My health has improved — my energy level has increased, my sleep and mood have improved and the world seems a brighter place. I was not able to work much last year; now, I can work and be with the kids.”

She says the family is fortunate it can afford private coverage, “but you can’t put a price on the care my family gets. The team has our back — it is worth every penny.”