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Not Just a "Fender Bender" to this Surgeon
There wasn’t really anything special about that morning, it was the same old thing really. I was going to just drop the kids off at school and go about my day. But today wouldn’t turn out like other days. I guess the man behind me at the red light didn’t notice that I didn’t go immediately when the light turned green, so when he hit the gas he slammed into me from behind – hard enough to knock me into the car in front of me. Some people would call it a “fender bender”, enough impact to cause a little damage to the car. No big deal… until you find out just how much pain comes along with the impact.
Within moments I became aware of a stretch and strain in my neck. I could feel a headache starting immediately in the back of my head and the base of my skull. My head throbbed as my heart beat, with every beat causing pain.
Since I’d been a chiropractic patient for years, I knew what to do, get to my chiropractor. What I didn’t know was just how badly I’d been hurt. When my chiropractor evaluated me I was amazed how much damage I sustained from this accident. I couldn’t believe that being hit from behind like this could cause so much pain and dysfunction. But it did. By the time I saw the chiropractor later that day the headache, neck and upper back pain had gotten worse, and I’d started feeling pain in my left shoulder and arm.
Eventually I developed pain and weakness raising my right arm, as well as weakness in my right leg, I guess from slamming on the brakes. As a right-handed surgeon, precise and intricate right arm and hand movement is required. I became very concerned whether I’d still be able to perform surgery because of the pain and weakness in my right arm. And since I frequently have to stand in surgery for hours at a time, the weakness in my leg gave me reason for concern, too.
It took several months of treatment before I was back to feeling like I did before the accident. But it didn’t take long before I could see my strength returning and my pain lessening. And I enjoyed the treatment, it was pleasant and effective. I feel like the treatment helped my body to heal more quickly and prevented permanent damage by keeping up my mobility. I have referred dozens of my own patients to my chiropractor’s office, and I enthusiastically recommend chiropractic treatment for whiplash injuries like mine.
Christine Jordon, MD
Grandma Knows a Thing or Two
I know so many parents are faced with the decision on how to treat their child’s ear infections, just like my family was about a year and a half ago. The pediatrician recommends putting tubes in their child’s ears, but there is another option that your pediatrician will probably never mention, chiropractic treatment.
My daughter, Grace, was one when we started chiropractic treatment. She had been having ear infections every few weeks for about a 5 month period. If we went three weeks without an ear infection I was lucky. I was constantly missing work and was always in the pediatrician’s office. She was on and off different antibiotics (which of course have their own side effects, such as rashes, diarrhea, upset stomach etc.). I was frustrated; of course I was prepared for the next step… tubes in her ears. I was not happy about this BUT almost every kid has tubes… right??
My grandmother mentioned that maybe my daughter should see a chiropractor. I was against the idea and my husband, who is a nurse, also thought it was a waste of time, he said, “There are no medical reasons why that should work.” I asked my pediatrician what he thought about chiropractic treatment and it helping ear infections. He had no response, he just suggested tubes as the next step to solve Grace’s continuous ear infections.
I, of course, trust my pediatrician. I can go to him when Grace is very sick, has a high fever, and I am so nervous, but I leave his office calm and confident, knowing just how to treat her ailment. I love Grace’s pediatrician and completely trust his judgment and opinion. So, of course, I brushed my grandmother’s idea off… since the pediatrician didn’t recommend it.
A few weeks later, after yet another ear infection my grandmother mentioned the chiropractor again. I explained it was not something we were interested in to treat Grace’s ear infections. My honest thoughts were, “it’s not REAL medicine, it can’t work, and what if this ‘chiropractor’ hurts my baby.” Since I did not agree with my grandmother, and was not going to look into chiropractic treatment on my own, she did what any other grandma or mom does, she took matters into her own hands. My grandmother immediately looked up some chiropractor’s phone numbers and called me and said, “please just go see what a chiropractor has to say.” At this point I was hopeless, but still trusting the pediatrician and ready to settle with a decision I was not happy with I was preparing for Grace to have tubes. I still was struggling with the decision; I did not want my child to get tubes.
I was against the tubes for a number of reasons: they sometimes have to be redone over and over, Grace would have to go under anesthesia, she could never swim without having to worry about putting ear plugs in her ears, and the list goes on. I decided I would see what ONE chiropractor had to say (since I was off and it was convenient for me). After a quick consultation and demonstration on how Grace’s treatment would work my husband and I decided the chiropractor was worth a shot.
BEST decision we made! My daughter started seeing the chiropractor in March and did not get another ear infection… until the summertime, only due to a lapse in chiropractic treatment. (I am a teacher and stopped bringing her to see the chiropractor during the summer due to our lax schedule). I quickly realized the chiropractor was really working!! She had no ear infections until I stopped seeing him. Of course we then resumed regular visits and she has been ear infection free for the last year and a half. Guess grandmas do know a thing or two.
A Pharmacist Converts to Chiropractic
I never believed in chiropractors. I grew up in a medical family who referred to them as “quacks” or “Quackopractors”. When I moved away from home to attend Pharmacy School, I discovered that the two guys living in the apartment below mine were chiropractic students. They were really nice guys and all, but still, chiropractors? I eventually developed a great friendship with one of them named Ken, and we had many rousing debates (arguments?) about chiropractic versus drug therapy, and medicine in general. Still, though, I wasn’t swayed.
Chiropractic wasn’t for me or anyone as far as I was concerned! Ken and I had to “agree to disagree” on the topic to remain friends! Twenty-five years passed since the days of those stimulating conversations. As a pharmacist, I spend many hours standing. I began suffering from low back pain, radiating down into my right hip. I tried different shoes, thinking that might fix the problem. My feet felt great, but I can’t say the same for my back and hip! My doctor suggested a heating pad and anti-inflammatory medications. These measures worked temporarily, but the pain kept reoccurring. My best friend had gone to a chiropractor for years and suggested that I go see him. Are you kidding? Me, go to a chiropractor? Even though Ken and I hadn’t been in touch for several years, I was still reminded of our conversations. No way would I go to a chiropractor.
I continued to self-medicate with anti-inflammatory medications until the pain became so intense I could hardly get out of bed. I was desperate! I needed relief, and I needed it fast. Begrudgingly, I called my friend and asked for her chiropractor’s number. After several hours convincing myself to call him, I finally did just that. I was told to come right in; the doctor could see me that afternoon.
On the drive to his office, several different times I considered turning around and going back home, but the pain kept me on track. At the office, after completing the necessary paperwork, I was introduced to the doctor. I promptly informed him that I was not a believer in chiropractic, but I was desperate for help and had nowhere else to turn. Surprisingly, he didn’t kick me out of his office! Instead, he explained to me the benefits of chiropractic and how he was going to make my back and hip pain better. And that is exactly what he did!! It was amazing! My pain was gone!! He warned me that I might have some residual pain post-treatment, which would be resolved with a second treatment two days later.
I felt great!!! My back and hip hadn’t felt that good in years! It didn’t hurt to bend down to tie my shoes or turn sideways to look over my shoulder! I did have a little pain later in the day as my doctor had warned, but it was nothing like before.
I returned for my second treatment, which resolved the issue. Looking back, I realize now how narrow-minded I had been all these years. Why couldn’t chiropractic and drug therapy co-exist? After all, both share a common goal: improving a person’s health and well being. I now see my chiropractor four times a year, spring, summer winter, and fall, unless I’m having problems. He is a vital part of my health care team.
Now back to my friend, Ken. We had lost contact with one another for several years. He lives in Louisiana, and I live in Missouri. We both are married, have children, and careers, and our lives have gone their separate ways. After Hurricane Katrina, I felt a real need to reconnect with him, and finally, was able to do so. (Do you see where this is going?) He is our beloved Dr. Ken Pace. After sharing my story with him, I volunteered to write about it. To say he was pleased and surprised by my conversion to chiropractic is an understatement! Who would have thought? One thing for sure, though, he still isn’t the “winner” of our many heated debates; I am, in more ways than one.
Mary Jo Molumby
The Day That Changed My Life
July 16, 2000 is the day my life changed. Sometimes I wish I could remember more about that day, but usually I’m glad I can’t. I was serving as a missionary in Mozambique, Africa. That Sunday morning I was riding in the back of an SUV with four other missionaries from our area. We were on our way to Mozambique Island, but we never got there. Along the way the driver lost control of the truck. I remember one of the men beside me screaming, “God stop this truck”.
Everything else I know about that day I had to be told by others who were there.
No one knows how many times the vehicle rolled. My head broke through the glass window on the side of the SUV, and I was thrown out. The people with me found me in a field some distance from the truck. Though I was conscious, I was in shock. It was apparent that one of the other passengers and I would have to be flown to South Africa because of serious injuries. We were put on a bush taxi and sent back to the city for the flight. The accident happened at about 8 in the morning. We did not arrive in South Africa until 16 hours later.
I remember being in the hospital in South Africa, possibly hours or days later. I truly don’t know how long I was there. The doctors in South Africa treated me for bruises and broken ribs, but said everything else was fine. I returned to South Africa six months later due to increased pain, but was reassured that everything was healing fine and that I was lucky to have gotten out of the accident with as few injuries as I did.
One year after the accident, I returned to the U.S. in terrible pain and spiraling into depression. Within the first six months of being back in the states, doctors found significant scar tissue around 18 of my bones which had been broken in the accident. This included one of my hips, most of the bones in one shoulder, and one vertebra in my back. They also found that the upper half of my spine had been thrown into a straight line instead of its natural curve. Degenerative disc disease had started in my neck, and the accident had triggered post traumatic fibromyalgia.
I was in so much pain that I could not work or concentrate on the graduate classes I was taking at the time. I went through a number of specialists who offered little or no help. One told me that my head injury was too severe and I would never be able to finish my masters degree. Others simply wanted to put me on narcotic pain medications. Finally, I found an orthopedic specialist who suggested an anti-depressant, physical therapy, and chiropractic care to slowly bring healing to my body.
I decided to follow his advice, though I wasn’t convinced it would work. Physical therapy was painful. The anti-depressants were slow to work. My first chiropractor was great about telling me what treatment she was doing and what to expect, but I was falling into a deeper state of depression at the time and had made up my mind that nothing would help me. It took another six months before I began to feel a difference. The anti-depressant let me sleep at night, something I had been deprived of for over a year.
Physical therapy and regular visits to the chiropractor enabled me to begin working and continue with my classes. The following year I moved to New Orleans to finish my degree. I continued with physical therapy and chiropractic care along with a low dose anti-depressant for three more years. At that point I was able to do physical therapy on my own, but I continued seeing a chiropractor. None of my other medical specialists have been able to offer me more pain relief and permanent corrections in my body than my chiropractor.
In 2005, I had to have my thymus gland surgically removed because internal bleeding from the accident had settled there, and a cyst had formed. I had a great surgeon who encouraged me to use physical therapy and chiropractic care as I recovered. Only three months later Hurricane Katrina hit. I was forced to find a new chiropractor again when I returned to New Orleans. Those few weeks without care were a real setback. My current chiropractor was the first specialist on my pain management team when I returned to New Orleans, and his care has made a huge difference. All three of the chiropractors who have treated me, have worked to gradually correct the problems with my spine and bones and have brought relief from the fibromyalgia pain.
It’s been nine years since the accident. My doctors recently pulled me off the anti-depressant, which has increased my pain some, but not enough to change my daily routine. I still see my chiropractor twice a week and do my own physical therapy. I spend at least eight hours a day teaching middle school English. I received my masters degree in 2007. My husband and I lead active lives, something I would never have imagined even five years ago. My spine has slowly returned to its correct position, and the pain in all areas of my body is at least under control. I still have to pay close attention to my physical limits, but this doesn’t mean I can’t have an abundant life.
As a teenager, I experienced God’s miraculous, instantaneous healing. I know He is able to heal me. Yet over the past nine years, every time I’ve prayed for healing, God’s answer is always “no”. At first I blamed God for all the pain I was in. I didn’t understand why He would heal me once, then leave me in misery a second time. I didn’t understand why He allowed the accident to occur in the first place.
Now I’m beginning to understand some of the reasons God said no. In the past several years, He has taught me to seek help from other people whom He has given wisdom and ability, like my doctors and specialists. He’s given me a new direction and life vision in teaching. He’s also taught me how to take care of my body, His temple. While I would not wish this much pain on anyone, I can see how God is using it and the people helping me deal with it to shape me into the person He wants me to be.
A Little Impact, A Lot of Pain
It was shortly after 5pm on that Friday afternoon in April. The traffic was stop and go. I was wondering how late I’d be to meeting some co-workers at a cancer fundraising event. There was a two car accident that was delaying everyone in getting started with weekend plans. Turning right was our detour to getting around the accident. As I turned and went up the road a bit, I slowed and stopped to traffic. The car behind me didn’t stop. The impact was not at a high speed, but it was enough to push my body forward and shake me up a bit.
At the time all I could think to myself was, “Thank God I was wearing my seatbelt.”. Getting out of my car, I went to the car behind me. A seventeen year old girl stepped out with apologies, “I’m so sorry. I wasn’t looking where I was going because I was looking at the no left turn sign.” She was very upset because this was her third accident. The police were there in just a few minutes because they had finished up with the other accident that led us here in the first place. At the time, I thought I was going to be fine because she didn’t hit me hard. Nothing was broken. I wasn’t crying or screaming in pain. My car didn’t seem to have terrible damage. The bumper had been dented, but that could be fixed.
Getting hit was on my mind the whole weekend. Little by little, I felt a bit stiffer. Hoping that this was going to pass, I thought maybe I should really be smart about this and see my chiropractor on Monday. Why wait until I might feel horrible pain? Well, if that would happen. I didn’t know anything for sure. Before the weekend was over, I had placed ice on my neck and back. The stiffness was certainly there, but it wasn’t making me cry. Monday morning I called into work and let them know of my accident. I felt I needed to take it easy and see my doctor.
My chiropractor knew that even though I wasn’t feeling terrible pain yet, that we needed to do an examination and x-rays. He confirmed there was injury sustained. We started therapy five times a week. Although we started doing everything we needed to do, the pain would get worse before it would get better. It was smart to start treatment on that Monday because waiting would only delay the healing process. By Friday, only one week after my accident, the pain hit me hard.“Oh, my neck! Oh, my back!” I can’t tell you how many times I thought this, said this, and cried this statement. What I was feeling actually had me in tears. It was a stiffness that ached as if there were strong hands with a tight hold on my vertebra in my back and neck. The pain became constant and it affected my life. I had issues driving. Getting in and out of my car became very painful for me. Turning my head side to side was something I could hardly do anymore. Sleeping…I couldn’t even sleep very well. I remember waking up crying and frustrated. Depressing, it was.
What was I to do? I felt really good about having taken the first step of seeing my chiropractor and starting treatment. I knew I was in the right direction. Ice helped when I was hurting at home and at work. I continued my treatment. I had good days and bad days, but the good days became more frequent. After a few months, I was as I was before the accident. I could move my neck and back, get restful sleep and enjoy life…pain free. I was myself again!
A family member of mine had been in a couple of accidents in the past. She didn’t take the same route I did. She went the path most people do, the “regular” medical way. To ease her pain, the doctors gave her prescriptions and she has had several surgeries. This has been going on for about two decades. Not only is she still in pain every single day of her life, but she has a serious addiction to prescription drugs. It is a daily struggle for her physically, emotionally and mentally.
I didn’t have to face the struggles my family member has because I chose the treatment I did. My doctor helped me to receive healing without medications. Thank God, because it is awesome!
Trish Lindsay Ortega
A Lifetime of Chiropractic Care
As a young teenager, my menstrual periods were quite painful and I would usually have to miss two days of school. My maternal grandmother decided to take me to her chiropractor for adjustments. It
was remarkable how much the adjustments lessened the pain that I experienced. I quickly learned to go to the chiropractor as soon as my monthly period started. Thus began my lifelong visits to
Later in life, I would get adjustments every so often just to keep my body aligned…but, it wasn’t until August of 1984, that I met and came to rely on my current chiropractor and his tenacity to keep my body free of pain.
I was washing dishes that August day and I turned slightly to place dishes in the dishwasher. I immediately experienced terrible pain in the lower back and I could not move. I drug myself along my kitchen counter and reached for the telephone. The only person that I could reach was an uncle who lived nearby. He immediately came over and decided to call the orthopedist. He was told to bring me in to the office immediately. The orthopedist said that he was calling the hospital and having me admitted and that they would put me in traction and give me pain relievers. I said that I was going to do nothing of the sort and I left that doctor’s office and returned home.
I had previously seen a chiropractor that I felt performed good work, however, I did not feel comfortable with his bedside manner. I decided to look in the local telephone directory to see if there was another chiropractor nearby, and I found the chiropractor I would keep. I called and he was gracious enough to see me immediately. I could barely walk into his office. I was in great pain and I looked like my torso was sitting on one side of my hips.
The chiropractor immediately took x-rays and found that I needed to have my body realigned. He gave me an adjustment and some therapy and I was able to walk out of his office so much better than when I went in. Again, that was in 1984. I have come to rely on my chiropractor for other ailments such as headaches. One day I was heading to the dentist and I got a terrible migraine headache. I was nauseated and knew that I would not be able to sit in a dentist chair. I cancelled that dentist appointment and called my chiropractor’s office and was told to come in right away. Within minutes of my chiropractic adjustment my headache subsided.
I continue to have regular adjustments and have been pain free, especially of migraine headaches, for years. I firmly believe in the wonderful care that I have received over the years from my chiropractor and I know that his treatment is successful. Many of my family and friends have also come to rely on his treatments for other problems over the years. He is very cautious and makes sure that there are no broken bones before he starts treatment on a patient.
Many years ago, one of my sons injured his foot during football practice. The team doctor examined his foot and said that it was just a sprain. I called our chiropractor and took my son in to see him. He examined my son’s foot and felt that there was damage to the bone so he x-rayed his foot. Needless to say, the x-ray proved that my son’s foot was broken and the chiropractor said that he would not be able to treat him. We then went to the orthopedist to have his broken foot placed in a cast.
I highly recommend my chiropractor to everyone. He is a fine chiropractor and a fine individual who truly cares about the well being of his patients. Even though I moved to about 40 miles away 16 years ago, I still have so much faith in my chiropractor that I continue to travel to him for my treatments.