Wow! It is difficult to believe what just happened.
An older gentleman limped into my office wearing a dirty baseball cap and a jacket that looked as though it hadn't been washed since Reagan was president. I had just finished posting "The Story of the Wagon" and I was beaming. I greeted the gentleman, "Good afternoon, Welcome to Holloway Family Chiropractic. How can I help you?" He seemed to have mild trouble breathing as he replied, "I have an unusual question to ask. I need money to buy my COPD medication. I was wondering I could sweep the floor or take out the trash to makes some money. I'm not asking for a handout, I want to work for it. See, my medicine costs $140 a month and I have earned all but $10.46 of it." He presented a paper with a list of drugs and totals. Some subtraction from the total left the deficit penned at the bottom of the page in purple ink.
I felt compassion for the man and sympathized with his suffering. I stated, "Well, I just finished vacuuming and taking out the trash. I still need to wash the outside of my windows. Would you be willing to do that?" He looked to see the six large windows that lined the corner of the building where my clinic is located. He glanced at the glass door that he had just limped through. "Well, I guess I could do that." I judged his response to be a little disappointed. Maybe he was just hoping I would hand over a 20 and tell him to keep the change. However, I wasn't finished. You see, I decided early on that every person that walks through that glass door is going to hear about chiropractic one way or the other. That even goes for delivery folks.
"I have an unusual question for you, sir." The gentleman paused and looked at me, unsure. "Why do you need the medicine?" I asked. "For my COPD," he replied. I could tell he was trying to be polite. Hadn't he just told me why he needed it? "Well, why do you have COPD?" He hung his head a little as he softly said, "It's my own fault. I smoked for 40 years?" "Do you think your body is capable of healing from COPD?" He earnestly replied, "Naw, it is just one of those things that once you have it, you've got it." I informed him that his information was incorrect. He was quiet.
I followed, "What if I could offer you something that might allow your body to heal from COPD and then you might not need those drugs anymore?"  "O-Okay," he stammered and stepped closer to the counter in the reception area. "I can offer you chiropractic care," I grinned. He stood straight and shook his head. "But I don't have any money." Ignoring the math on the sheet which indicated he had $129.54, I said "Well, how about you clean the windows instead?" He balked, "I came in to offer to work for money for my medicine, not to trade services." He broke eye contact. "And I am offing you a way to, maybe, not need those drugs anymore," I said with a hopeful smile.
He slouched and hung his head again. The dirty edge of his red hat covered his eyes. "I'll think about it," he mumbled as he limped toward the door. I said, "Here, take my card and call me if you change your mind." He accepted the card and murmured "Thank you" to the floor before he opened my dusty glass door.
I was stunned. I had offered to care for him in exchange for a service he valued at $10.46. That might just change his entire life and he declined in favor of taking expensive drugs for the rest of his life. Drugs, might I point out, that he couldn't afford.
So I decided to ask myself an unusual question.
How can I create a large number of patients dedicated to ADIO thinking and chiropractic care? So dedicated that they are willing to go to other health care providers and ask for charity to come see me?
I might add that it would cost less than the drugs.
 Amalu WC. Chiropractic Management of 47 Asthma Cases. Today's Chiropractic, 2000; 29(6): 94-101.
 Kessinger R. Changes in Pulmonary Function Associated with Upper Cervical Specific Chiropractic Care. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, 1997; 1(3):43-49.
Peet JB, Marko SK, Piekarczyk W. Chiropractic Response in the Pediatric Patient with Asthma: A Pilot Study. Chiropractic Pediatrics, 1995; 1(4):9-13.