The One Where I Go To The Chiropractor

— 1 —

Ever since I moved from “herniated disc – easy to fix” to “WHAT THE HELL?!” in early 2009 I’ve tried to keep an open mind about doctors, treatments, and therapies.  I’d been a cardiology nurse for twenty years, so considering anything outside the clear-cut medical world I practiced in made me very nervous very quickly.  But being in constant pain that sometimes had me praying for the strength to stay upright and not crying or throwing up for just the next ten minutes changed my view a bit.

— 2 —

If I had a nickel for every time I rolled my eyes when a patient mentioned their chiropractor, acupuncturist, pain management doctor, chronic back pain, resistance to all but the strongest pain meds, or, God forbid, disability for back pain I’d have . . . well, enough to pay for my chiropractor and not worry so much about appealing my disability denial.  But God has a sense of humor and karma is a bitch.

— 3 —

So I’ve let doctors who flat-out told me they thought the pain was all in my head stick needles in my epidural space, I’ve sat through office visits where the nurse practitioner spent more time asking for job referrals than actually discussing my case, been under the care for many months of a man I have still never met, had acupuncture on Mickey Mouse sheets, and listened while a physical therapist wondered aloud how to give me aqua therapy without drowning me.

— 4 —

For a very long time, I’ve said I’d happily see a witch doctor – face paint, beads, bloody chickens and all – if it would help my pain a bit.  I long ago gave up on “pain relief”.  I’d just like to get it down to a level where I’m a little more functional.

— 5 —

So then my husband added a stop to his courier route.  A chiropractor who was in a hard neck brace after breaking his back in several places racing his dirt bike.  And they got to chatting.

— 6 —

And the next thing you know there I am, most recent MRI and extensive medical history in hand, seeing a chiropractor.  After all, my neurosurgeon isn’t even returning my calls anymore, so what have I got to lose, right?  I did tell Michael I was drawing the line at handling snakes.  I don’t care what grandiose promises anyone makes about decreasing my pain I will not handle live snakes.  We all have our limits.

— 7 —

So I’ve had two sessions with this guy, with Michael present both times.  Having only one functioning car means he’ll be going with me every time.  I go to the doctor alone by preference, so having Michael and the doctor chatting away during my treatments just makes them even more surreal.  But I have felt a difference, I saw no snakes, and so with Michael’s encouragement I’ve signed away everything in our bank account for a twenty-visit treatment plan that should take about six weeks to complete.  I’ll keep you posted.  I just realized I probably should have asked for a “no snakes” clause in the contract. Hmmm.

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8 thoughts on “The One Where I Go To The Chiropractor”

  1. I’m skeptical by nature, but there’s bound to be something to it or so many people wouldn’t swear by it. Here’s to a little relief for you! And honestly, if they bust out the snakes, I say go for it. I visited a church one time where they anointed people with a can of motor oil (30W, if you’re interested) and I came out the other side mostly intact, so whatever works, I say.

    1. I really could imagine lying face-down on the table, feeling a weight drop onto my back, and hearing this guy say cheerily, “Fred, my trained boa constrictor, will now wrap around you and re-adjust all those mis-aligned vertebrae. Oh, is that the phone? Be right back!” I’d have no problem with the motor oil annointing as long as it was unused. We Southern girls must keep our standards high 😉

  2. I visited a chiropractor years ago – to date I refer to him as “the slimy straddle”, don’t ask why. Then, I ended up as office manager for a chiropractor years later cuz I needed a job. It ends up he was amazing, he was hands-on, no fancy gadgets, snakes or snake oil. He treated day-of-birth babies to the most frail of elderly clients, and anything in between. And, he brought them relief. He stressed good diet, exercise, simple things like ice, heat and vitamin C. Nothing fancy, no trickery and it worked. When it didn’t work, he referred them on and followed their treatment. In every profession there are honest, genuine experts and there are quacks. I would daresay, you are on the right path and I wish you well.

    1. After going through a few treatments, I can well imagine what the “slimy straddle” was like – ICK! I’m more impressed with this guy every time I see him, so maybe I’m in the right place 😉

  3. I was reading an article on snake-handling churches a few weeks ago (where the guy was interviewing the pastor in his “snake room”) and the pastor made a comment about how “we’re not freaks — we’re Christians like you”. My response: “Actually, you kind of are [a freak].”

  4. I’m a paralegal who spends hours each week reading medical records of folks who have disc problems. I too am skeptical by nature and have heard all too often of people who do not get well until a green poultice (money) is applied. However, I know people who have gotten a lot of relief of pain from chiropractors, and I know that a trip to the OR does not automatically equal pain relief. Good luck.

    1. I laughed myself silly over the “green poultice” – never heard that one before! Of course I’ve always been on the nursing end of things, where they come in specifying the IV pain meds they want 😉 I’m starting to feel really stupid that it took four surgeries for me to figure out that surgery doesn’t necessarily help the pain, but maybe I’m finally on the right track!

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