Ugh!!! I’ve had upper back/shoulder/neck pain for longer than I can remember. It’s always been a pain in the neck (ha!), but a few years ago, it became simply unbearable. I took pain medication, saw my general practitioner, tried massage, etc. but it only made a dent in the misery I felt. When it got to the point that I had daily headaches, couldn’t sleep because of the pain, and found myself leaving work early, I took some action. At the time, I had recently had some success with physical therapy on a leg problem, so I decided that it was the way to go for this too.
After a few months of constant PT, I really wasn’t feeling much different at all. I didn’t know what to do, so I tried another physical therapist. Same process, same results. What is a woman to do? That’s easy; I gave up. After some time, I managed to ignore the pain and, sadly, grew accustomed to it.
I was not really handling it as well as I thought I was, though. I was cranky, tired, increasingly pessimistic and generally not much fun to be around. It was like I was this different, miserable person. This made things very difficult because all three of my jobs (Events Coordinator, Theatre Music Director, Church Choir Director) revolved around being upbeat, energetic and personable. I struggled through and then one day, it got worse. Adding nausea to my list of problems from all of that pain made carrying on daily through my jobs almost impossible. I didn’t know what to do.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. (Insert flashback scene.) I met Dr. Z when he presented a discussion about spinal health at Fredricksen Library, where I work. I attended purely as part of my job, not even thinking about my own health problems. After his presentation, he handed out referral cards, which I gave to a friend who had a long history of suffering from lower back pain and a long list of chiropractors who couldn’t ease her pain. She had immense success with Dr. Z and was grateful for the referral.
Before that encounter, I really had a somewhat negative outlook about Chiropractors. My sister had some bad experiences with “useless” chiropractors in her youth and that always stuck with me. I hadn’t really experienced a success story until Cindy. I thought my problems were purely muscular and sure didn’t understand that chiropractic care is about much more than the spine, but decided it couldn’t hurt to at least try out chiropractic and see.
Dr. Z, who has one of the sharpest minds of anyone I’ve ever known, met with me and really listened. He was able to repeat back all of my symptoms at the end of our conversation. I was impressed, but could he help me?
He could and he did! The first few weeks offered slow, slow, slow progress. Dr. Z had warned me about this, so I was prepared, but I am not a patient woman. I began to get a little antsy. I was whining (yes, I admit it) to my husband about how slowly things started and he said to me, “Yeah, but when was the last time you had to come home early from work because you felt nauseous from the pain?” I… I… Well, heck! I couldn’t remember! That’s some perspective for you! (Husbands are good at that.)
I have been a loyal patient and a firm believer in chiropractic ever since! The amount of care I get from the staff is wonderful. Every now & then I do something that sets me back (even sleeping strangely) and Dr. Z will not rest until I feel back on track. It’s great to have Dr. Z, Josh, Ashley & Darby on my side. It’s one of the few places I’ve been treated (for anything) where I get such personal, avid care.
Even now, I get people who say to me, “But don’t you have to keep going back?” Sometimes they get that smug look on their faces that says I’ve-heard-plenty-about-chiropractic-care and why-doesn’t-Jess-know-better? I tell them that I do visit frequently, but the staff works hard to extend the amount of time between my visits slowly so I can stay healthy, but need them less often.
“Besides,” I tell them, “I want to go back! It works! Nothing else works for me. Why would I want to feel horrible again?” The smug look goes away and they don’t have an answer. But I have an answer. I just pick up my things and head out the door. It’s time for a visit to my friendly neighborhood chiropractor. Lucky me!