I was talking about patient referrals to other chiropractors here. This is the story of a patient that didn't accept a referral and became the active patient furthest from my office at 225 miles from my office. He doesn't exactly commute for regular visits, but we do the best we can. Here is his story.
A few years ago he fell from a ladder and hurt his upper thoracic spine. The MDs and PTs said he was just kinda stuck with hyper-mobility and should do certain exercises to actively compensate for the problem. It seemed normal to him and he was wondering if a good DC could help with the situation. I tried to refer him to a great DC near Charleston that would take outstanding care of him. Unfortunately for him, her practice is full at the moment and he was also concerned about going to see someone he didn't know even though I have full confidence in the doctor. So we decided that I would take care of him with portable equipment as often as possible so that he could get his body working better, even if not optimally.
We started with a case history and got the normal info on the fall. After that I started the health talk explaining subluxation and the three causes (physical, chemical, and emotional trauma) during which I mention how it can affect the function of any part of the body that is supplied by a nerve that is interfered with. He then mentioned he was having strange heart, breathing, and anxiety problems when he had a hangover, which was most weekend mornings. He also mentioned that the strange dysfunctions started to happen after the fall, but he didn't think they were related. He mentioned that he thought the problem was all in his head since no other health care provider had addressed the issue with success.
After a thorough exam, we discovered extensive subluxation at C1 (the top bone of the spine) and normal mobility of the upper thoracic spine with no subluxation in that area. I informed him that that subluxation could cause the dysfunction that he was experiencing and that I recommended a C1 adjustment regardless of the symptoms. He was very excited and told his wife that it was nice to know it wasn't in all a mental thing. She works in health care and was interested in the exam procedures and finding. I adjusted him once on a set of couch ottomans pushed together with stack of books for a head rest. I call it "guerrilla chiropractic".
Fast forward about 5-6 weeks.
We were hanging out this past weekend for the first time since that adjustment and I asked how his body was functioning. He mentioned that he hadn't experienced any of the previous dysfunction since and he had had several hangovers that would normally have caused a recurrence. I was beaming, that is until he said "I guess it was just all in my head." I was stunned. We had gone through this already and he has expressed that it wasn't all in his head. He thanked me and walked off before I could mount much of a response. I later talked with him and mentioned again that it wasn't all in his head it was just about a 1/4 inch below it. He just grinned. I think he knows me well enough, and he was just trying to get under my skin. Well, it worked and I got a good story to tell out of the experience. Unfortunately that isn't the first time that has happened, but the patient seemed to genuinely believe that it was all in her head.
I discussed the phenomenon with a pastor; people wanting help and being glad when they find the answer they seek but when they are no longer suffering, they brush off the solution as happenstance. If you have read "Are you the Doctor, Doctor?" by F. H. Barge DC, you would recognize this as part of "The Joys of Motoring."
That was fun, now let's get back to changing the world. You and me both.