Nips, Lips, Hips, ‘N Fingertips

{March 8, 2006}   Chiropractical Continued

So I never did follow up with the results of my x-rays. Keep in mind that I have been wanting x-rays of my back for oh, about TEN YEARS NOW- ever since the summer of 1996 when I injured my lower back lifting a radiator out of the very low trunk of my 1965 Pontiac Starchief while I was still in college (paid for by grants loans and myself thank you very much) and working part-time jobs without benefits to support myself {read: I did not have health insurance so I had to go to the university Student Health (Death) Clinic}.

One of the major findings of the x-rays totally caught me off guard, the rest of them didn’t surprise me at all since I have been living in my body most of my life (and my mantra for the past three years or so has been “There is something wrong with my right hip. I think I need a new hip.”)

First off, let me just say it is nigh impossible to tell whether or not the biggest finding was present at birth or happened from a trauma at a young age, since I didn’t get x-rays at birth. I believe the first time I ever had an x-ray was in the emergency room at North Kansas City Memorial Hospital after a nasty bike wreck. I had been racing Jeffery Donovan and Kevin Kolka down the big hill on the grounds of Crestview Elementary, and I looked over my shoulder to see how far behind me they were (that’s right, boys- I was winning), lost control of my bike and wiped out. I then proceeded to pass out, and the next thing I remember my dad was carrying me across the street to our house and putting me in his truck. I recall vividly the feel of the cold hard stainless steel of the x-ray table and being told to lie still. It hurt to put my raw hamburger face on the table but I did it. Nothing was broken. No stitches were necessary. I must have been eight or nine years old.

Then there was the time I fell out of Mrs. Beatty’s tree on Milrey, and landed on my tailbone atop some ginormous exposed tree roots. Luckily, my Uncle Bobby was a Chiropractor at the time so I got a good spinal exam and treatment but no x-rays that my mom and I can remember. I was in fifth grade, so I must have been what? Ten or eleven?

But back to the story of now: Starting with the brain and working down the spinal cord, I basically have cervical spondolysis. I don’t even want to blog about that right now, as it is completely freaking me out. As of last night, I attended a “class” (indoctrination) on postural and structural retraining (spending more money than I already am on copays) that will hopefully help me achieve a state of homeostasis again (just in case I don’t feel better after the 90-180 days, remember no one promised to cure me). If you detected a bit of skepticism in that last run-on sentence, that is because I felt very marketed to last night and am looking for a new chiropractor, AGAIN.

Anyway, here’s a site that helped me understand my cervical (not that cervical) situtation:

Next, my x-rays showed *fusion* at T3. As in T3 is almost totally fused to T4. T is for thoracic and refers to the mid-back region. T3 controls some important functions, including blood pressure and heart functions {I wonder if that explains my Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP!) that has given my health scare providers cause for concern in both of my pregnancies due to increased blood flow?} As usual, MVP has been historically misunderstood and was once attributed (by men of course) to hysteria in women. “William Osler, an eminent physician, noted the similarity between symptoms associated with irritable heart mentioned by others and those occurring in the general population, particularly in women. Some physicians believed the problem was not the heart, but one of a psychiatric nature.”

The interesting thing to note is that my nephew who was born with Spina Bifida also has fusion at T3 and T4. I was completely prepared for the Chiropractor to tell me I had fusion or something nasty in the lumbar area. But this finding in the thoracic area threw me.  

The last most unsurprising and in a wau affirming finding of my x-ray was that my right sacroiliac joint (SI joint) is almost completely *calcified*. this totally explains the pain I have been ahving in my “hip” for years, the fact that a typical chiro adjustment doesn’t treat that area, and why I ended up giving birth to my second child standing up with one leg (my right one) up on the bed. Basically, I was listening to my body and getting into the position I needed to in order to open up my pelvis as much as possible. By the way, in case I haven’t told you this already: my son was born at home, sunny side up, weighing ten pounds, eight ounces and twenty-three inches long. His head and chest circumferences were both fifteen inches. I probably ought to post my HBAC story here one of these days. Meanwhile, suffice to say that I was supported in every way by my husband, midwife and her nurse friend to do what felt right; and I know in every cell of my body that such support and the liberty to move around and get into whatever positions necessary are the biggest reasons why I was able to give birth to my son despite such an “unfavorable presentation” (posterior presentation, after face and brow presentations!!). The overarcing reason why is of course that BIRTH WORKS.

I think that’s it for my report. Some items to be concerned about to be sure. This definitely explains my chronic pain and why there are days I can do yoga and days I just can’t. This is one of those days I can’t due to a sudden bottoming-out of the barometer here yesterday, and that is usually when I write. Goddess forbid, if I am ever trapped inside of my failing body, I pray oh Great Mother that I will at least have a keyboard on which to type. Should my brain fail first, I hope that my loved ones will let my body go so I can complete my karma this time.

Now, I am not saying that everyone reading this ought to run out and get to a Chiropractor quick! Goodness knows there are enough quacks out there that such a knee-jerk reaction could kill you! Please, please, please, if you only ever listen (read) to one thing I say (type), pay attention to this: There are some really bad chiropractors out there and there are a few good ones. The good ones don’t usually try to get you to buy into a big class that involves a series of x-rays and slew of products you need to buy. They don’t try to convert you to their philosophy. They just listen to you and try to guide your spine into a state of self-stabilization. Here’s a really good link for the chiro skeptic side:

And before you resort to Chiropractic, try stretching and doing yoga at home. It can’t hurt.


et cetera