Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The squeaky wheel gets the chiropractor.

When I was about 17 years old, I started getting headaches. Because I went from having no headaches to having headaches all the time, I assumed the worst: obviously a giant tumor was growing inside my skull and taking over my brain. I mean, what else could it possibly be?

I broke the news to my mom. She wasted no time at all debunking my diagnosis in her very best Arnold Schwarzenegger voice: "It's not a tumah!" (I really appreciate that Schwarzenegger is in spell check.) She had had enough of my borderline hypochondria over the years to know that my best guess was usually more like a worst case scenario. Like the time in 4th grade I called her from the school nurse complaining of a double ear infection and she left work in the middle of the day to rush me to the pediatrician to find out that I actually had nothing more than sore muscles from hopping around all night on my new Pogo Ball.

Good for building neck muscles and pissing off moms.

If it hadn't been for that time in 1st grade when she almost sent me to school with a stomach ache from "eating too much damn Easter candy" and it turned out my appendix was about to burst, she probably never would have believed I was sick EVER. But once you give your mom a scare like that, you've pretty much got a free ticket to the doctor for life.

So when the headaches started, she was as eager as I was to find out once and for all what was going on. Fortunately, the doctor ruled out a tumor right away. Unfortunately, once she crossed that off the list it was as if she had absolutely no idea what else it could be.

"Great news! There's nothing wrong."

"But I wake up with blinding pain in my head like four times a week."


It was really annoying (and sort of made me feel like a nut job).

Many months later, my mom saw an ad in the Reno Gazette for a chiropractor who claimed to be able to help with headaches. Now, typically I wouldn't think my mom would go for something alternative and hocus pocus like a chiropractor, but she had read about it in the local paper. That's practically like her bible. I mean, if it's printed in the paper, it must be true.

(A few years ago I got an article published and was so excited I called to give her the news right away. I also happened to mention that there was a picture of me and Liam in the free neighborhood newspaper that week. Guess what my dad called me later to congratulate me on?)

When I first went to the chiropractor, he did some x-rays that revealed my neck was all kinds of messed up (probably from being dropped out of a cheer leading stunt the year before...I mean, I did kind of land on my head). He came up with a treatment plan for me that, in retrospect, must have been the absolute slowest way possible to fix my neck. He suggested I come in three times a week like, forever, which I actually went along with for quite some time. Then one day I added up all the $35 checks I had written to the good doctor since I started seeing him and almost died from sticker shock. I mean, being a college student and babysitting once in a while was lucrative and all, but I could think of a lot more fun ways to blow my hard-earned money.

Years later I found a different chiropractor who was AWESOME and could crack my bones and fix my problems without making me mortgage my soul or promise my first born son. He totally renewed my faith in all forms of alternative medicine. If I could I would have standing weekly appointments with a chiropractor, an acupuncturist and a massage therapist for no other reason than it feels so good. But, since this stay-at-home-mom gig is not exactly bringing in the big bucks, these types of luxuries are few and far between.

Yesterday, for the first time in a long time, I got to see a chiropractor. And, wouldn't you know it, it wasn't even my bones getting cracked. It was THE DOG'S. Yes, that's right - I took my dog to a chiropractor. It was Bill's idea. Evidently her pacing all night and accidentally pooping when she walks to the back door each morning had made him wonder if we were doing enough for her bad hips and arthritis. When he read an article in the paper about a local chiropractor who worked on pets, he made an appointment right away (At last! Something he and my mom have in common!).

In the car on the way there I told her how lucky she was to be getting such special treatment. "Cloey, trust me - just relax and enjoy this. Your body will feel feel so much better when you're done. Almost like you're taller or something. It's awesome - you're gonna love it." But as soon as we arrived at the vet, it became painfully clear that she'd been ignoring me the entire time. As we walked toward the front desk to check in and pay our $60, she showed her gratitude by dropping a steamy trail of poop that Liam promptly walked in. "Hi, we're here for our 10:00. Also, my dog just pooped on the floor and my son tracked it all over the room. Is cash okay?"

The appointment itself went a lot better than our entrance and it did seem like Cloey's back legs were a little taller when we left than when we arrived (she usually looks like a giraffe with her hips several inches lower than her shoulders). She's been pacing less than normal and has spent time in the back yard without barking (a vast improvement). We have to go in again next week (of course...) and after that the vet will decide how often she would like to see her. And I guess after that, we'll decide how often we're willing to drop sixty bucks on the dog.

(I swear I'm not heartless; just jealous. Of the dog. Oh boy...)


Dr. Ross Carter said...

Yeah, Chiropractic treatment is the most powerful natural curing method. I also like this natural method because it, the most viable treatment method than any other treatment method.
Chiropractor Buford galingral

Stacey McBride said...

You really got yourself a good chiropractor! I'm a bit as skeptical as you did before, but still did a few searching and reading testimonials - the real, unsponsored ones. Long story short, me visiting a chiropractic clinic ain't far from happening soon. And then, your account of having this for your dog. Wow.

No Mommy Brain said...

we took our baby (to a different chiropractor, obviously...) when he was newborn and colicky and it totally helped him adjust (har har) to the outside world. : ) if you find a good one, it can be really great.