Friday, June 10, 2011

Breaking Through

Today as I left the chiropractor I felt emotional.
As I drove out of the parking lot I realized that I had felt the same way when I left last week too. 

This was my third appointment. 
Upon arriving home after my first appointment I cried.
As I was talking to Mark, I realized that Dr. Brady was the first
in a long list of doctors I've seen since my bike crash that gave me hope.
Hope that I would feel "way, way, way better" than I had been feeling
... and I believed him.

My second appointment was a week ago.
Saturday morning when I woke up I had no pain in my neck
and not because I was moving carefully... 
I could move my head in any direction I wanted, even quickly without pain. 
Mornings are usually my worst time of the day.

At my first appointment I was told not to massage, stretch or pop my neck AT ALL.
This is a big deal. Popping and stretching my neck and back have provided
me with relief, not just since the accident but since I was in high school. 
Give me exercises or stretches or something
but NO popping or stretching... that was HARD.

But I've been good, very good. 
Although today I also discovered I had been cheating a little bit.
I had kind of suspected it, but today it was affirmed.
No more.

My tender feelings were more than a desire
or hope to be completely well again, but I felt baffled.

He takes my head in one hand and with the other he feels along the side of my neck and shoulder until he finds a sore spot. I never tell him where they are, maybe he can tell because I wince a little when he presses there, but it seems more like he knows where to look and can feel it there. He massages it a little while he moves my head around. Then he pops my neck (or back) and sweet relief follows. Then it's time for biopuncture. Small needles with vitamins and herbs in my neck and back. It's not painful but does involve a small prick, sometimes a little sting and in the afternoon my neck and shoulder feel a little achy and sore. 

When he first comes in the room I have already had a somewhat painful massage and I'm laying on a heating pad. He greets me while looking at my chart, sits down where I can easily see him, closes my chart and says, "talk to me". I tell him about my new freedom of movement, lack of pain in my neck, my new aches and pains, what seems to bring them on and how I deal with them (no popping involved). As he begins to work I tell him what I've done during the week that may help or hurt my progress. He asks questions and the conversation continues while he works on me. At times when I have a hard time talking through the pain he reminds me to breathe and relax. It seems he can often tell how well I've followed his instructions by my progress and how my body responds. 

Today I told him about a way I kind of stretch my middle back... which often brings a popping sound...(but not in my neck). He was not happy and explained more clearly why it's important not to stretching or pop my WHOLE back. I would have to give this up too. Then he said, "Sounds like you have control issues" It took me by surprise and I immediately began to dispute his statement, but stopped. "Maybe I do have control issues" I replied. He laughed a little and said, "I think we all do". 

There was something about that insight and honesty; raw real honesty from someone who is concerned about my long term benefit, that is both painful and freeing. Someone who desires my best outcome. And when I also desire it enough to be willing to take a sometimes painful look at myself and be willing to make some hard changes, I have good reason to hope... hope for a brighter future. One with less pain and more freedom. 

That's a big deal.


Celisa said...

It sounds like he's a good chiropractor. I'm so glad that it is helping you feel better!

Franklin Family said...

Chiropractors are amazing. There is almost no other word to describe them, than magical. They sure know what they are going, even if their instructions are hard. With my 2nd pregnancy, my sciatica was so bad that I went to go see one every other day for the last 2 weeks. Once I reached 39 weeks, he popped me in a certain way that put me into labor! I am glad he is so insightful because what you are going through isn't ordinary. Best of luck.