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Flat On My Back

We've been travelling quite a bit lately. Home to NY for the holidays, back for one day and then off to Louisville for a long weekend. I'm not sure if it was all the driving, or the high heels, or all the walking, or the walking in high heels, but yesterday I found myself stiff and crooked, my left hip higher than my right, with a shooting pain down both my legs.

I've thrown my back out before. I am never doing anything heroic when I strain my back. I'm never pushing my car up a hill or lifting a piano off of a small child. It's always something dumb like I squeezed my toes too hard while wearing flip flops. About 5 years ago, I was attempting to get up from tying Frankie's shoe when I tipped over and could not get up. It was a few days before I could even get to the doctor for muscle relaxers. I was laid up for a week.

I had thought about going to a chiropractor before, but I was a little scared. A couple of years ago, I was visiting my girlfriend Lisa whose boyfriend is a chiropractor. I let him crack my neck, but I didn't want to get on the table. The chiropractor discussion has come up again since I have been in touch with an old friend from High School who is a chiropractor. Darin lives in California and we (along with a ton of my other H.S. friends) have been having fun getting to know each other again on the very addicting Facebook. (How addicting? Well, I started there in September. Right around the same time I stopped writing here! But more on that another time.) Anyway, Darin really loves what he does and believes in it. I've been asking questions and pondering, but today I was forced into action. I had to go to a chiropractor.

First I chatted with Darin on Facebook and got some encouragement. I called a few places and then got a call back from Dr. M here in town. He was very nice over the phone and asked a lot of questions and actually seemed genuinely concerned. I headed over there at 4 and called Darin on the way there. I still had more questions. I had to leave a message - "I'm going to the chiropractor and I'm scared! And do I need to get naked?"

Dr. M brought me back to a small room with 2 stools, a little counter, a mirror, a medical drawing of the nervous system and a table that you might lay on to get a facial or to give birth. The table was upright when I walked in and more than a little scary looking. He lowered it and I think that scared me even more. Dr. M was very kind and we talked for a long time. He picked up his model of the spine about 40 times.

Finally, it was time to I lay on the table. But instead of just laying down on the table, he raised the table to a verticle position and I stood on a platform attached to the table, stuck my face in the place you put your face, held on to the back and he lowered me like the Bride of Frankenstein.

Dr. M said that my left leg look shorter than the right, a result of my left hip being higher than my right. I was so tense! He touched various parts of my neck and back and then went back to my feet to see if they had moved. I was like, "You're just making this up now, right?" He laughed. He was very good natured about everything.

First, he took a thing that looked like a belt sander and vibrated like a very strong vibrating belt sander. He ran it up and down my back and legs. Awesome! Then he took out a little device called an "activator." It looks like a mini pogo stick that you hold in your hand. It is spring loaded. He basically aimed it at places on my back and pogoed me.

Then we got serious. I was surprised how much close contact is involved and how very physical it is. A few manipulations here and there and then I was on my side, an arm and a leg hanging over the table. I think at one point, one of my limbs was in between his legs and he pushed down with both his hands and I felt my hip pop. I also grunted. Which I think is bad form, but I'm not sure. (Darin said he's had a patient curse, which I think is hilarious. He also said that when he gets an adjustment, he yells out "AHHH! KELLY CLARKSON!" like the waxing scence from "The 40 Year Old Virgin." Also hilarious.)

A few minutes later, I was sitting up with my arms crossed across my chest. Dr. M wrapped his arm around my back and positioned his hand in the middle of back. I remember thinking that his breath smelled good. Then he laid me back down on the table quickly as he sort of hugged me, knocked the wind out of me and cracked about 5 vertebrae. This time I laughed!

He said, "Oh my! Poor thing! No wonder!" And he laughed too.

I said, "I don't know why I'm laughing!" I was a little embarrassed.

"'Cause it feels good!" he offered. And it did.

Dr. M told me that in his 30 years, he has seen people go from using walkers to running. He said, "If they did stuff like this at Miami Valley Hospital, it would be on the front page of the news." Like Darin, he is a true believer. And rightly so I think. I can see that back pain and illness is an accumulation of things. It's time to take better care of myself.

I see Dr. M again on Monday. He's going to help set me straight.

This post first appeared on The Girl Out Of Brooklyn, please read the originial post: here

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Flat On My Back


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