Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Getting realigned

Back in my Nu Skin days, and during my divorce, I was having really awful problems, AGAIN, with back pain and migraines. I had tried everything on earth to fix my stupid back, being told over and over again that I had a herniated disc, but it wasn't something that could be fixed with surgery. & every other thing the doctors tried, including the injection of large doses of cortisone INTO my spinal column, had not worked. I was going to a pain specialist who gave me drug after drug after drug, just trying to treat the pain. Everything he gave me had awful side effects and made me want to scream. On my last visit to his office (my choice, not his) he literally threw up his hands and said, "I don't know what to do with you. I have no idea why none of this is working." I never went back.

After relating my frustrations to Maureen, at work, she suggested I go see Dr. Hanson. He was a chiropractor that came to Nu Skin a couple of times a week to treat people that worked there. I was scared to death of chiropractors, having been cautioned that with a herniated disc, if they adjusted you wrong, you could be paralyzed. But I was at my wits end, so I made an appointment. I showed up armed with my MRI films (which, looking back, I think I was supposed to return to the hospital, but I never did) and a lot of cynicism. He talked to me for a few minutes about my symptoms, looked at the films, and said "I think I know exactly what's wrong with you. How do you feel about needles?"

It turns out, Dr. Hanson, this 6'5" white guy from Oregon, was a licensed acupuncturist. I've never been afraid of needles, and, as I said, I was ready to try anything, so I gave him free reign. Over the next few weeks he gave me huge bruises working the stress out of my hip muscles and stuck at least a hundred needles in me, some of which were buried several inches deep in my hip and hooked up to electricity. You'd think it would have been awful. But it was the opposite. He had FINALLY figured out what was really wrong with me, and he had a solution. My headaches dropped off to almost non-existent. My back was barely a problem. I finally felt better!

Every once in a while, and usually during times of stress, the pain would come back, and I'd go to see him and he'd set me right again. Sometimes it took a couple of sessions. Sometimes only one. But I would always get back to normal pretty quickly.

Then I got laid off.

The stress of being jobless, on top of getting married, etc. . . has taken a toll on me the last 6 months. My back has really started to bug me. I was really starting to wish I still worked at Nu Skin so I could go see Dr. Hanson again. So I started doing a little bit of research. Turns out, he's on my medical plan, AND, he has an office in Sandy, much closer to my office than Provo. The first time I went to see him I had been having weird shoulder pains that were really intense. It was really weird and different. I finally bit the bullet and called his office.

He is a little bit of an anomaly as a doctor. He actually remembers you. He remembers what was wrong with you and why he treated you, but he also remembers stuff about your life that you tell him while he's treating you. How he does this, I have no idea. It's very impressive, even if he does have note cards stashed away somewhere. I like it. Also, in his office, he has a water massage table. If I needed one more reason to think it was awesome that I could go to his Sandy office, this pushed me over the edge. It was fantastic. I used to see them in the mall and think they were a nice little gimmick. I sort of wanted to lay in one of those freaky cocoons. This was not quite that, but it was a wonderful massage.

Sadly, in the course of that visit, it turned out I had torn a muscle, but neither of us knew that. I woke up the next morning in horrible pain and had to go to the family practice doctor to figure out what had happened. But I'm going back today. My shoulder is healed and our trip to AZ did a number on my already hurty back. I need to get myself realigned. . . and lay on that fancy massage table again. Hooray!

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