As I wrote the last progression blog entry, it really got me thinking about the communication and interaction we have with our patients. Simply put… we get to meet a lot of cool people! When Dr. Scott and I moved to the Virginia Beach area we only knew one person (and really it was him that only knew one person) and we started a life for ourselves. Twists and turns occurred in the first 3-4 months and I found myself searching for an office to build our dreams. Who knew we’d end up in, what I consider one of the best parts of Virginia Beach, but we get to meet a variety of wholesome and hardworking individuals. To our military patients, thank you for your service and giving us the opportunity to help you. To our elder patients, thank you for giving us the opportunity to use our hands to help you move better, feel better, and live better. To our families of patients, thank you for trusting us with your loved ones. And to our staff, thank you for providing the quality of care that we feel is a standard that must be upheld for our community. I have a couple of stories…
I had the unique and honored privilege to work on a patient that was not only the toughest woman I’ve ever known, but one of the funniest too! Sadly, the world lost this amazing person at the young age of 43 just this year as she was finally taken by cancer. She fought like no one I know. I can count at least 4 times that she came into the office and shared with me “it’s back,” but she never gave up her fight. Jenna had a unique form of cancer that resulted in the removal of a significant amount of muscle around the left side of her neck. This was early on in the 4-6 years that I treated her on and off. My story relates to the first time I adjusted her neck post-surgery. The scar tissue that had built up from the procedures was extensive. The lack of muscle resulted in altered mechanics and range of motion leaving Jenna in a significant amount of chronic pain. For all of my chiropractic colleagues out there… this was a scary neck to work on! The first time we agreed to try manual manipulation I felt the lump in my throat as I placed my hands in the proper position on her neck. I prayed… that’s all I could think to do… that I would help her feel relief. She breathed in and out and BAM! I moved that neck. I don’t think I breathed until I saw the smile erupt on her face and her eyes tear up as she exclaimed “Damn girl! That felt amazing!!” My eyes welled up and we had a good laugh that it was a good thing I didn’t break her. Her response was simply “I trusted you and anything was going to feel better than what I’ve been going through.” We continued to manipulate her neck in between surgeries and other cancer treatments. To this day, I thank Jenna for giving me the confidence to trust my heart and hands that I would do my best for her. Every time I adjusted her neck she would thank me and say “See you in two weeks!” All of the massage therapists that had the pleasure of working with her made a huge impact as well. Without that quality massage prior to her adjustments, it would have been more challenging for me to induce the movement needed. As always, team work prevails… She will always be remembered as one of my favorite patients.
I LOVE working with children… of all ages. I started going to a chiropractor around 12 years of age. My swimming career and a pesky neck that likes to give me headaches inspired my parents to give it a try. It is my goal with every baby, toddler, and adolescent to provide a positive experience so they can gain the benefits of chiropractic care as they grow into adults. I feel honored to say that the youngest patient I have worked on (other than our daughter) was only 4 days old. He broke the record set by his older brother who was only 11 days old when I first saw him. Now for those of you not familiar with chiropractic, it’s a totally different adjustment than how adults are treated. Gentle and specific is the plan of action with kids. My story relates to our very own Whitney, Body Logic’s Customer Service Coordinator. Her daughter, Naomi, was born in September 2015. Whitney brought her in for her first adjustments around 2 weeks old. Naomi was such a little peanut… but wiggly! I performed my typical mobilizations and placed her on her stomach along my legs to evaluate her pelvis and hips. Within what seemed like seconds little Naomi was fast asleep on my legs!! One of the greatest benefits of chiropractic care is the relaxation it provides the nervous system. For a little infant just trying to make it in this big, bad world a relaxed nervous system is a blessing! It was one of the most precious chiropractic moments I’ve had. I thank ALL the parents out there that have trusted me with their children. Whether an infant or a teenager, I now understand as a mom how terrifying it is to trust someone with your child. It is an honor to help your family.
Just like children, I have a special place in my heart for my elder patients. The treatment approach taken with this population can be very different than younger patients. Quality of life and performing the activities of daily living become the primary focus. “D” started treatment at the young age of 79. To be honest she has one of the worst backs I have ever seen. Her scoliosis had progressed considerably due to a lack of muscle strength and poor posture by the time my hands got on her. I had a challenge in front of me. We worked mostly seated as she could not tolerate lying down due to her curvatures. I manually mobilized hearing audible releases at times and utilized the Activator. What amazed me the most was her constant determination and motivation to be young again. I look back at the hours we spent together over 4 years of treatment and I think I gained more than she did. The stories I heard… and heard again as she slowly declined with dementia. The strong language she used at times always gave me a chuckle as I wouldn’t expect it! And the wisdom she shared as a woman and the challenges she faced over the years further motivated me to continue moving forward and growing as an individual. Sometimes it’s just the talking that can help a patient feel better and I think that was my primary role for “D.” Although I don’t treat her anymore as she now lives in an assisted living home, I still get updates from her son. I feel blessed that she crossed my path and I will always remember the wisdom and laughs she shared.