|The Chiropractic Imposter
By Sharon Gorman, DC
I have been wanting to tell you this story for about a month now. Quite frankly I kept putting it off because I didn't want to offend anyone. Clearly that is not my intention but until I write about this patient to you, I am afraid the story will keep on haunting me.
I have a patient, I will call her Mary for arguments sake. Well Mary has been coming to me at least once a week for about 20 years. She has remained asymptomatic for most of that time except for a few car accidents she had and a few stupid things she did, overall she felt good most of the time. Mary is in her 80's now and she still works in a discount retail store full time.
About 6 months ago she fell at work. She broke her arm and hurt her low back. In our state an employee must go to one of the doctors on the employers workers compensation list for 90 days after they injure themselves. After 90 days if they haven't been released they can then see the doctor of their choice.
Mary came into my office almost immediately after her injury and told me of her plight. She told me she was going to go to the Medical group that her employer approved and that they had a Chiropractor on staff and that she would come back to me after they released her. She was planning to do whatever they wanted her to do because she was afraid that they would not pay her weekly compensation if she did not cooperate. I have seen Mary through several injuries and I knew she needed regular Chiropractic care along with any other treatment that she decided to participate in. I offered to continue to take care of her without charging her any more than what she usually pays on her monthly maintenance fee but she declined because again she was afraid that she would lose her compensation if somehow they found out.
A few times during the next three months Mary would stop by my office to say hi and assure me that she was going to come back as soon as she could. She told me that the Chiropractor seldom adjusted her and the few occasions that he did do something to her that he would only adjust where it hurt. He never gave her a full spine adjustment in three months. I know Mary's neck and her atlas can't hold an adjustment more than a week let alone three months let alone three months after a trauma. She would then turn around and leave my office subluxated again operating out of fear.
After 3 months Mary returned again. Now I explained about the 90 day rule again and she decided to stay. The only problem was that I wasn't sure if maybe by this time it was too late. Too late for what you are probably thinking. Maybe not too late for her back pain which incidentally remained but more importantly too late for her life. She looked more dead than alive. She was a physical wreck. She hurt everywhere. Not just her spine. She had all kinds of visceral pain too. She was totally depressed and convinced that she would never be well enough to work again which for her would be as bad as being dead. She had lost all hope. She had been dying for three months while she was under regular chiropractic care, or was she under chiropractic care at all? Was she going to an imposter? I don't doubt that the doctor had good intentions although truthfully I don't know this to be the case yet the point is that she was subluxated and when you are subluxated you are dying. Sometimes you die quicker than other times but if your nerve channels aren't open up then you can not express life or health to your optimum through your nervous system and you are dying.
The Chiropractic Imposter - Continued
We left off with Mary coming back as a patient in my office after not being adjusted for three months.
Mary had lost her will to live. She felt so bad physically that she had become severely depressed emotionally and every word that came out of her mouth was extremely negative and often sounded very desperate. After coming in to my office for several weeks she still felt terrible. She came in the office complaining about how she felt and left complaining. She had lost hope that chiropractic was going to help her this time and she couldn't imagine her life living as she had been living.
I have open room adjusting and I started to dread her visits. She would complain to any person who would listen. She would tell them that chiropractic had worked for her in the past but it wasn't helping her this time. She would tell the patients that it was nothing against me personally but she would go on to tell them how bad she felt.
One day a few months ago she came in the office and there were no other patients in the office. I said to myself as I entered the adjusting room - uh-oh. She will have me to herself. I will never get away from her. She will try to wear me down but I will again tell her how I think that she can still get well and she will again then try to convince me otherwise. She started on me from the minute she entered the office and talked through her whole adjustment and got up and complained even more. I had enough. I couldn't stand it anymore. I did something that I have never done in 22 years of practice. I raised my voice to a patient. I told her that if she kept talking like that then she was going to die. I told her that her mind believed what her mouth kept saying and that she wasn't helping her healing by not believing that she could get better. True I was tired of her talking about her symptoms but more importantly it was not doing her any good. If she didn't change she was going to die. She stood there silent and looked at me in shock. I had finally spoke up and stood up to her dis-eased mind. I took a stand for her. She was not her symptoms. She was becoming more and more sick because you get more of what you focus on. She stood there absolutely silent for a few seconds and then she burst out crying. I looked into her eyes and saw her pain and I burst out crying too. I walked towards her to give her a hug and she ran out of my adjusting room and out of my office. I truly doubted that I would ever see her again. Maybe asking her to change was too much to ask. I didn't call her. I stood my ground and I waited.
Two days later she walked in my office got adjusted and left. She hardly said a word. Every two days she came back. She didn't say a word about our previous conversation. A matter of fact a few months went by and she still hasn't said a word about that confrontational day.
Last month she returned to her job. Every week she gets better and better. Last week she came in the office with her new boyfriend. She was proud to bring him in to meet us. She is alive. Again.
Thank God for Chiropractic.