Dr. Marny Morrison Turvill – known as Dr. Marny – spent her first sixteen years in medicine as a Board-certified conventional Pediatrician. During that time she enjoyed working in a wide range of settings, including suburban private practice, inner-city clinic, pediatric inpatient unit, and neonatal intensive care. She supervised pediatric residents and directed the third-year medical students on their pediatric inpatient rotation. She delighted in the relationships she built with the families that she served.
As the years went on she developed “normal” health issues – headaches, mild depression and anxiety, carpal tunnel syndrome, fatigue, asthma, and infertility. She thought nothing of taking birth control, Ibuprofen, anti-depressants, steroid shots, and inhalers because that was the standard of care. While she knew it was unusual to get asthma as an adult, especially with no family history, she never imagined that there might be a simple root cause that could be identified and eliminated. She gladly underwent surgery to alleviate her carpal tunnel syndrome.
Then in 2002, during her second pregnancy, Dr. Marny’s health fell apart seemingly overnight. After a mild 3-day viral illness, she suddenly had disabling Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. She knew what it was because her mother suffered from the same condition, but neither Dr. Marny nor any of the many other brilliant doctors she saw could explain why it was happening or come up with anything useful to do about it. Her sense of smell was beyond bloodhound, she couldn’t tolerate even the smallest exposure to routine household chemicals, and she became increasingly exhausted, irritable, foggy-brained, depressed, and achy all over.
In 2006, she had to give up the pediatric career that she loved. She was okay in her chemical-free home, but the chemical exposure at work was too high, leaving her trashed at the end of the day and unable to care for her very young children the way she wanted to or to be the loving partner her husband deserved.
That same year, after an unexpected invitation, she opened Healthy Green Goods, a local retail store selling chemical-free products for the home (personal care, household cleaners, paints, carpet, bedding, and mattresses) as well as air and water filters. She thought that working in a chemical-free environment would solve her problems and that the store would allow her to continue teaching people critical information about health and the toxicity of so many everyday products. Unfortunately, she just kept getting worse.
Finally, in 2011, she stumbled upon the key that unlocked her ability to begin to recover. She learned that Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is a combination of chemical toxicity and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with chemicals as the primary trigger. All her work at detoxifying couldn’t help until she dealt with the PTSD component by retraining her brain’s response to chemicals. Once she retrained her brain, she gradually started learning all the ways that the body becomes out of balance both just from living in our increasingly depleted and toxic world and from the ongoing assault of the constant fight-or-flight reactions of MCS. Slowly but surely, she learned how to bring her body back into balance naturally. She has now fully recovered from MCS and is healthier than she was thirty years ago!
In 2013, Dr. Marny started her own medical practice, which became Outside The Pill Box in 2015. She brings all of her traditional conventional medical training together with her newer functional medicine training and expertise in neuroplasticity, trauma resolution, and environmental health to bring you the best ways to quickly restore your health to the best that it can be.
Dr. Marny hasn’t just been through the health wringer herself. She’s experienced the failure of conventional medicine and our cultural norms with her children, her husband, and her parents.
In 2014, her then-11-year-old son Jack developed a mystery illness consisting of sleeping 20 hours a day plus headache, sore throat, and abdominal pain. One of Jack’s pediatricians did a bunch of conventional tests, found nothing, and said: “Well, it’s not normal, but I don’t know what’s going on.” That wasn’t very helpful. Jack ultimately missed 14 weeks of school and an entire summer of camp. Dr. Marny was belittled by other pediatricians in that group for seeking functional medicine help, including testing for gut health, adrenal fatigue, and food sensitivities. She was raked over the coals by the school system, where his new middle school insisted that he just had school anxiety and threatened her for keeping him home so much. Out of desperation, and while waiting for the results of his functional medicine comprehensive stool analysis, Dr. Marny took Jack to see a pediatric gastroenterologist. That doctor pronounced that this was undoubtedly “functional abdominal pain,” a term conventional doctors use meaning “we have no idea what’s going on and it’s probably all in his head.” Luckily, the stool test came back revealing a severe H pylori infection. Within days of starting the conventional double antibiotic and acid blocker therapy, Jack was back to normal, only to relapse severely within a week of completing the treatment. He then completely failed to improve on the stronger conventional “quadruple therapy” but ultimately responded quickly and completely to herbal treatments. It took him a full six months to regain his health, and since then Jack has been thriving with no signs of health problems.
In 2015, her then-16-year-old daughter Claire, “had a fight with a bus and lost” – at least that’s how she describes it! She hit her head 4 times while riding IN a coach bus on a school trip and ended up with a doozy of a concussion. Looking back they realized that this was actually her third concussion, but the only one with symptoms that lasted more than 10 seconds, and boy did it have symptoms! Because of that concussion, Claire had to drop two classes, basically quit the hockey team, and get an IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) for extended time on homework and tests. Thankfully, the brain retraining work that Dr. Marny first learned included developing expertise in concussions, so she was able to get Claire the help she needed to recover fully. Since then, Claire has had another four concussions (yes, she has quite a knack for hitting her head), and her brain is working better now than it was before her big concussion.
Tragically, in 2017, Dr. Marny’s husband, Ian Turvill, died by suicide. He had battled with mild depression and anxiety for over 20 years, treating them with increasing doses of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications that never seemed to help. He had had Type 2 Diabetes for six years and had been unable to make any headway in managing it because he couldn’t change his emotional eating habits and didn’t want to give up the foods he loved. He felt hopeless to improve his situation even though he had seen Dr. Marny fully recover her health. He had a very high-stress career as the Chief Marketing Officer for a mid-sized law firm in Chicago. He was brilliant, highly creative, and hilarious. He truly loved his work, taking delight in giving presentations (which he whimsically referred to as “performance art”), mentoring others, and serving locally and nationally in leadership positions in the Legal Marketing Association. Like so many driven professionals, he struggled silently taking great pains to be sure no one at work knew of his health issues for fear that such knowledge would cause him to lose not only his credibility but also his job. And, even though he was a fantastic dad, after all the energy it took to keep up his flawless façade at work he couldn’t hide his pain and struggles at home. He was coping with his issues until he wasn’t, and when he wasn’t it was too late. Ian is at peace and is sorely missed.
Dr. Marny’s personal and family health struggles, triumphs, and catastrophes have made her beyond passionate about helping others to understand their health issues and empowering them to restore and maintain excellent health. Are you ready for her to help you?
The University of Chicago, Pediatric Residency Program, 1990 – 1993
The University of Rochester, Doctor of Medicine (MD), 1986 – 1990
Williams College, Bachelor of Arts – Chemistry, 1982 – 1986
Evanston Township High School, High School Diploma, 1978 – 1982