Mark could always tell when I was in a flare by the way my back tried to make out with the chair at the breakfast table. I would stretch and contort and then lean backwards and sideways just trying to find relief pushing into the chair post. I was in so much pain and tried all kinds of writhing to find relief. Ah, but if any relief were to be found, it was only short-lived. Soon those ripples of muscles spasms would rule again.
I was raised with going to the Chiropractor on a regular basis, whether you needed it or not. We must have been on the family plan because once a month, from about the age of ten, I remember mom shepherding my older brother and younger sister out the door and piling into the car for our family appointment with Dr. Carnell.* Yep, soon we were lined up to get our monthly crack and pop. This was old school chiropractic, by golly. Doc had down on your stomach where he would first see if one leg was longer than the other. I never knew how he thought a crack here and a pop there would fix me because I was born with one leg a bit longer than the other. I’m sure Dr Carnell frowned when he couldn’t get my feet to match up.
The best thing about going to see the Chiropractor was getting an ice cream cone afterwards. Mom wasn’t a hippie in the least but she did prefer the homeopathic therapies over medical doctors. At least ice cream was still on the table along with Twinkies and white bread in our school lunches. Yes, we had our shots and everything so really I wasn’t raised by nature parents. Vitamins! We always had them. Maybe they counteracted the Ding Dongs and HoHo’s in our lunch boxes.
Speaking of shots, I remember my dad taking my sister and I to get some shot at the Health Department once. I don’t remember much about the shot but I do remember waiting in the waiting room.
My dad started it. He had a straw probably from a stop for lunch at Mickey D’s. Suddenly I felt a straw wrapper whiz by my nose. I was around thirteen and mortified! My father was acting so immature, in public yet! What would the other patients waiting think? My sister soon got into the game. How many straws had Dad nicked? Soon straw papers were flying everywhere. Reload! Fire! Well, you know what they say, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Pretty soon it was all out war! Straw papers were whizzing everywhere and I forgot to be embarrassed because I was having too much fun. Soon the fun was over though and shot time was here. I didn’t think to look at the nurse’s face when we were called but I’m sure there might have been a frown of disapproval there. There wasn’t a piece of straw paper in sight when we finished getting stuck as Dad was no slob and had tidied up from our mischievousness. Still a memory was created, so I hope you don’t mind that I shared it here.
So back to Chiropractors, I’m sure I probably saw at least one when Mark and I lived in Santa Rosa when I had a back flare up but I honestly don’t remember who it was. Seeing the back quack never hurt me but they never helped me for too long either. Over the last fifteen years or so, I’ve even quite a few, some better than others.
I had one Chiro guy tell me that he could make all my pain go away if I got on a plan. Something like if I saw him every day for the first month and then every other day for the next month, and take away a day per month and I’d be just fine. Oh for my convenience, he even had the total cost of this healing plan right there with my name on it, ready for my signature. Um, thanks but no thanks.
After that for future treatments, I would only see chiropractor if I could see them until they unwound me or 4 visits, whichever came first. Oh, and no more crack and pop for me. I favored the newer gentler chiropractic with electrode machines that relaxed the muscles and massage before the gentle stretch adjustment. Sometimes the wily doctors would sneak in the crack but my neck was off-limits. By this time, my shoulders and neck were resembling cement, not to mention the original flare was still there staying three months or 90 days, whichever came first.