Tuesday, October 23, 2012

One More Thing

This year has been such a challenge for our family on the health front.  I don't remember another year where we have faced so many illnesses and emergencies and of course, it's a year when we decided that we weren't going to the doctor enough to justify our high monthly rates to have lower deductibles.  So a lot of what we've been through this year - medically and dentally - has been out of pocket for us. 

Needless to say, we'll be switching back to a higher monthly rate and lower deductibles next year.  I'm hopeful that means that none of us will get very sick in 2013.

Anyway, with just over two months left in this year and our elections already made for next year, I was hoping and praying that we could all just hold tight till January.  But, no.

God decided that we were ready for another challenge at this point and so I'm trying very hard to keep my eyes on Him through this and hope He will provide the means to cover the costs in the meantime.  I mean, seriously, we still owe for a lot in medical bills from earlier in the year!

On Friday, a pain in my lower back started coming back.  It's like the one I felt after sitting poolside with the kids back in the spring.  I went to Physical Therapy and turned down pain medication, but eventually, it started feeling better.

I learned that if I sat on the floor for more than 20 minutes after that time, the pain would come back.  I guess, once a back injury, always a possible relapse, or something.

Anyway, the funny thing is that I don't remember sitting on the floor for long or doing anything crazy (I wasn't out back doing cartwheels or whatever) and the pain started coming back.

Then Saturday, the pain expanded down into my left thigh-cap and the fronts of my thighs were kind of vibrate-y and weird feeling.  I had a headache all day.  (I tried to keep smiling though, it was J's birthday after all.)

By Sunday, when I got out of bed in the morning, it was as if someone had cruelly stolen my thighs in the night.  I mean, I'm not all attached to my particular thighs - or tree trunks - but I do kind of expect them to be there in the morning when I went to bed with them the night before.

So when I stood up, I felt my feet hit the floor and then my knees buckled and I stumbled because between my knees and my hips it felt like there was a big gap of nothing!  What the hey?!

It was scary though.  Not funny, like I'm making it now. 

On top of that, my back now hurt all the way up to my neck and on both sides of my butt.  I could barely turn my head or move in general. 

We'd planned to attend a wedding "reception" (they termed it a First Day of Marriage Old Fashioned BBQ) that afternoon, but I finally decided that I was not well enough to go.  I felt really bad, too, knowing that we are a big crowd of RSVPs that just bailed and left them stuck with extra food.  (I did text and they were understanding and forgiving, though, so thank you, God, for making them that way.)

At another point in the day, the thigh disappearing act happened again as I got out of our van.  This time I was in tears.

I didn't want to go to Urgent Care or Emergency because I worried they'd just load me up on pain killers and friends, I am just not into that.

I talked with C about what to do.  I did some research online.  I prayed.  A lot.  Then I prayed more.

By Sunday night, I was resolved to call a Chiropractor on Monday morning.  I had a name picked, but by Monday morning, something wasn't sitting right with me about that particular doctor, so I ended up finding a different office to try.  I called them at 8:01am (not knowing they actually open at 7:15am) and they fit me in later that day for a consultation.

I don't know how my readers feel about chiropractic medicine.  I wasn't even sure what I felt about it.  I had heard a lot of stuff about it that kind of turned me off from thinking they were more than just "doctors" or "quacks" (as opposed to actual, educated, qualified doctors).  Even some of the stuff I read online was discouraging.

What I did know is that the last time I had a back problem, my doctor just wanted to medicate the pain - I actually asked for additional options, which led me to physical therapy.  I wasn't satisfied with it then.  This pain and numbness in my legs was a bigger deal.  I did not feel like it was a good plan to go back to my regular ol' doctor for this.  I needed to try something more and different.

C attended the consultation with me.  I wanted him there because he has a very analytical approach to just about everything and I needed him to be my eyes and ears in case anything seemed suspicious.  Just in case.  I went into that office feeling really skeptical still.  I had a certain level of peace about trying this route, but not a good sense of security about it resulting in anything good.

The doctors and assistants were extremely knowledgeable and kind.  They answered all of C's questions thoroughly and patiently.  The testing they did was comprehensive.  They do not do any adjustments on a person until they have really evaluated every test result.  So I left the office still in pain.

They fit me in again, today, to go over results of my tests.

Once again, they were very good about explaining everything to a level our dog might understand.  They answered all our questions and they provided us with copies of everything - my x-rays, my test results - along with materials about what my back is supposed to look like if I were normal.

No comments, please. Ha.

But I'm far from normal.  My spine is so crazy misaligned it's amazing I can still walk (most days).  By the end of the follow-up consultation, they offered me my first adjustment.

What I learned about this doctor (the owner of this particular office) in our time with him is that he is a father to nine children and one grandchild (so far).  He and his wife adopted their youngest.  They homeschool all of their children. 

Not only this, but he referred to God's creation and God creating us two times (that I caught), had a picture of a praying man in the front lobby and a giant picture of Jesus on the wall in his office.

None of this was stuff I knew from the website.

I allowed him to adjust me based on his thoroughness in explaining things, based on his warmth and kindness and based on a pretty good assumption that he believes in the same God I do.  That's what gave me peace.  That's what gave me hope that God had led me to this doctor's office for a reason.

C was there with me and helped me feel like it was a good decision, but ultimately it's my body, my decision.

After less than 30 seconds, he had done my first minor adjustment on my neck.  My neck and lower back are where I have the biggest problems.  It was very weird.

Following the third movement, I felt like a whoosh of air enter my brain.  I suddenly felt airy, lighter, clearer.  It took me a while to know if it was better or not, I just kept smiling and saying how weird it was.

An hour after this, I found myself naturally turning my head to look over my shoulder without hesitation or pain.  I didn't really think about it, I just suddenly could.  Yesterday, I couldn't even look 90-degrees to my right or left.

Tomorrow, I go for two separate adjustments (morning and afternoon) and then I should start feeling more relief on the rest of my back.  Just in time for a lengthy drive and hotel room beds!  Ha.

He put me on a 90-day plan for now and asked that I come in three times a week for that period of time and then they might be able to decrease it.  He insists it's a long road ahead, but he's telling me that he thinks these adjustments will do more for me than just help my back.  My asthma and hypertension and sleep and weight issues ... these might all be helped through this process.

It's hard to imagine.

You mean to tell me my back will stop hurting and I could feel better in other ways, too?  I might not have to take four hundred pills every day just to remain standing?  How is this possible?  I don't get it.

But I like the sound of it.  So we're trying this.  I have high hopes that maybe this will help me and maybe it took my getting to a point of desperation to branch out of what I've always done and try something that for some sounds a little bit crazy.  I have C's support, too, thankfully.  He feels the costs are worthwhile even though we already have more than plenty of bills to pay.  So I'm trusting his judgement on the financials.

I'll keep you posted on my journey and my progress...


  1. So sorry to hear you are going through this. I'm
    praying this will work for you.

    Twice I almost went to a chiropractor, but changed my mind. Please do let me know how your treatment progresses. I've heard suggestions that it could help with my migraines.

  2. Thank you, Mom. From what I am learning, I think it's possible they could help with your migraines. I think there are different schools of thought among chiropractors, too. Mine deals with subluxation (I'm still trying to understand this).

  3. I didn't know you had such an old-school way of looking at chiropractors! :P You're part of my generation, are you not? I have lots of friends who use them, and a chiropractor visits my work all the time for cheap adjustments on coworkers. I would have no philosophical problem visiting one, but I always feel weird about the idea of them messing with my neck and stuff, just because I get weirded out even watching someone pop their own neck. Blah. I'm afraid I'd get all nervous and pass out. Haha. Anyway, I'm glad it was a positive experience! My friends always rave about them, and one friend takes her toddler to a chiropractor (and has since she was a baby).

  4. My sister has serious, chronic back problems (bulging discs) so I'm well acquainted with this type of thing. Did they give you any sort of diagnosis when you went to the ER the first time? I'm glad the chiropractor is already helping you. My sister has benefited from it in the past too, but it's not a long-term solution to her problem. Just prayed for no more scary episodes!

  5. Jessica, Yeah, I'm pretty old school all-round. :) My chiropractor has adjusted all of his kids since birth! Apparently seven of them have never had to take any medications. (I know, what?!)

    Brenda, I'm sorry about your sister's back issues - that sounds really painful. To clarify, I never went to ER for my back - just to my Primary Doctor. He didn't have much to say, but the Physical Therapist called it something ... I can't remember now, but maybe it was in that old post about my back and PT in the Spring. The Chiropractor disagrees that the sitting for long caused the problem and said it was probably an aggravator, but it seems like I've had the problems for a long time (maybe since childhood).