Friday, January 29, 2010

Is it working?

Today I have a lot of time to write since I'm in clinic w/ Ethan. So I'll give an update on my chiropractic appointments.

I've been seeing the chiropractor for three weeks. The first week I went every day. The second and third weeks I've gone 3x a week.

The very first adjustment I had, I felt sure it was going to help my leg. Sort of hard to describe, but when I was doing physical therapy, I was told that my groin would start popping when things started repositioning. That happened to my right leg, but not my left, the one that hurts. The morning after my first adjustment, I got out of bed and POP went my left leg. Also, that first week, a couple times when I got adjusted in my back, I could feel sensations going right down into my leg where it hurts. These two things made me think that the adjustments were indeed hitting the affected area.

Since then, I haven't had total improvement, but I'm not getting any worse and some things are definitely getting better (my neck and lower back). My leg still feels off, and the chiropractor said that would be the last thing to get relief. I don't know if he just said that b/c he wanted to reassure me, or if it's really based on evidence. Anyway, it seems to make sense, but at the same time, it's discouraging to me to hear all the stories of people who've tried chiro care and haven't gotten help. So I'll just keep plugging away, hoping insurance kicks in at some point so I don't have to pay all out of pocket, and go the full course - 4 more wks of 3x a wk, then 6 wks of 2x a week. The doctor said we're fixing a leaky roof rather than just patching it, which would have been my other alternative w/ less adjustments.

My adjustments feel good. They use a machine called the pro-adjuster. If you want to see it, just look it up on WebMd, there's a video. The thing I like about it is that it measures how much adjustment my body needs, signals when I've had as much as I can handle for the day, and graphs my progress overall. I get a sort of pressure/vibration applied to my spine at my neck, my middle back, my lower back, both sides of my sacrum, my outer hip, and then down my bad leg. It takes about 3-5 minutes.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fallenness vs. Health

Knowing that our bodies are aging, and that this is God's signal to us that something isn't right with the world and that we are ultimately to hope for heaven, how much time, energy, and money should we put into our health? Should I be paying out of pocket to get my body healthy when insurance isn't covering the cost, should I be spending my time in doctor's offices, etc.? Should my ultimate goal be to get healthy?

Well, yes and no. I think you probably see where this is leading. There are extremes to everything. My worldview tells me that right now I should be more concerned about the suffering and dying in Haiti than my leg pain. I should be praying for others' salvation and for revival rather than reading through pages and pages of WebMD. You get my point. At least if you're a Bible believer, you do. If you are of another persuasion, you may be clueless or reject what I'm saying. Let me speak to you for a minute - fallenness simply means that man and the world is in a state of suffering due to Adam and Eve's original sin. Yes, I actually believe that.

Our society puts a huge priority on personal health. This may shock you, but I've even wondered if Danny Thomas's philosophy was right, that no child should have to die in the prime of life. Millions and millions of dollars go to St. Jude. You know how thankful I am for that. But in the big scheme of things, even though I'm thankful that God has saved Ethan through this means, what are the implications? All the charitable giving that goes to St. Jude COULD potentially go to save other dying children across the world. What do we do about that? It could go to support people who are giving their resources to reach out to the lost, in the 1040 window or wherever. Then again, maybe God has a plan for at least some of those St. Jude kids and they're going to be the ones He'll use to give of their resources to advance His kingdom in the future. Wouldn't that be awesome?

Well, I need to run (to a chiropractic appointment, haha). So far, that's going fine but it's still too early to tell if it's really going to fix my leg, which is my goal. And so far I haven't gotten approval from my insurance but I'm forging ahead.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Chiropracter visits

Hi, as you may recall I had a neck MRI to see if there was some reason my arm/hand EMG was indicating a pinched nerve higher up. That came back normal. I concluded from that that the next best step would be pursuing chiropractic help, since I don't want to settle for medications to manage my pain rather than fixing whatever's wrong if possible. Since months of PT haven't resolved things, I've felt I need to take this step, being pretty sure my spine is somehow creating at least some of my symptoms, if not all. Interestingly enough, the last week or so I've started experiencing neck pain along w/ the thumb pain and aching in my arm I started having a couple months ago. The symptoms just seem to be moving up higher and higher.

One of the things that has held me back from seeing a chiropracter is not knowing if insurance would cover it. I found out that my company will cover certain parts of it, but I still need to get my primary physician to send a referral. I couldn't get in to see her till next week, but since the initial consultation w/ the chiropracter is free and ex-rays aren't covered by my insurance, I went ahead and got the ball rolling this week.

My consultation and exam were on Wed., and I went back today to go over the ex-rays. At my first exam, I watched a video, then they sent home another video, then showed me a third one today. So I'm now educated in the basic approach, which views your nervous system as the basic key to good health. Since I've known from the beginning that something was askew with my nervous system, it seems to fit w/ my needs.

Seeing my ex-rays gave me a clearer picture of what's wrong. The lower third of my spine curves to the side. My neck has a couple problem areas as well. My spine is in Phase II of degeneration (out of IV). The doctor estimates this started 3-5 years ago. I told Ethan it's not Memphis that did it to me after all - of course it didn't help and may have brought it on quicker than it would have otherwise.

The chiropracter gave me a couple options - getting enough treatment to relieve symptoms but not really fix the problem, or more frequent and focused care in hopes of restoring long term spinal health. He compared it to patching a leaky roof or getting a new one. Obviously the sensible thing is to get a new one, so I'm going to go that route even if it costs me more. My body will tell me if it's doing the job after I get into it. I've gotten to know my body so well and am always aware of my level of pain, twitching etc. If I find it's not doing anything or making me worse, I'll have to figure out what the next step is.

The adjustments will be done by a pro-adjuster machine vs. manual manipulation. This seems very safe and intriguing since it was originally used by NASA, at least that's what the informercial style / propoganda video claims. Yes, I'm joking but there's always that element to everything, isn't there? No one thing can fix everything. But skepticism aside, I feel positive about my options right now.