Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Show me your Spine.....

Moaning and lurching through the warm wet darkness of a June night I come, hunched and muttering.

The blog is back with a tale of a back, my back to be precise.

Years past, when I was a kid I started the abuse, falling off trees and ramping over my friends on a bicycle. Each incident jarred my spine and shifted the vertebrae into ever more creative positions, as it coped with my absolute disregard for its existence.

Later, years later, as the fights, parachute jumps and a multitude of motorcycle accidents rolled by I gradually became aware of its existence as it occasionally shot the white light of protest pain up through the column and into my brain, letting me know about the possibility of death, and the ridiculousness of my youthful illusion of immortality.

It was in the states that I first went to a chiropractor. It was many years ago now, 1995 or perhaps 1994 I had just had a collision with an unwelcoming slab of concrete, courtesy of a ramp, a pair of rollerblades and of course, my old nemesis, gravity.

The Chiropractor in question was a professional, he took me in to his office and asked me myriad questions about my accidental history and I regaled him with a litany of crimes against my spinal cord, most accidental, and some, I have to admit, not. Then he x-rayed me, and told me of a chipped vertebra in my lower neck/upper spine.

Then I was on the table.

It was like being in one of those wrestling matches you see in American Movies before the kid gets sent to 'Nam to get his legs blown off to learn the futility of war. Elbows and fists pummeled me; arms twisted and reefed my shoulders and legs into positions they had never been in before. I could hear the cracks of my bones ricocheting around my cranial cavity, not so much feeling them as hearing them. I expected to be knotted as a Muppet by the end of the ordeal and paralyzed to boot.

Not so.

When the man had finished his medieval martial arts, I stood and the pain was gone. He asked me to come back the next week and he could continue with the "treatment" but the pain was gone and I saw no need.

Over the next few years, whenever I realigned my back into a position that caused me to screech like a banshee being tazered and walk like the hunchback of Notre Dame I would return to one of the cabal of chiropractors that stretched over the face of the globe like some kind of Secret masonic lodge. Over the years I noticed the disquieting fact that many of these Chiropractors were in fact scientologists who would try to convert you to their ridiculous Hubbard alien waffle whilst you were on the couch. There's nothing like hearing your spine snap as the man who is assaulting you "suggests" that you go and get "cleared" by those glassy eyed sheep and listen (for a huge cash donation) to their comical cosmology. But for the benefit of my spine, I continued to throw cash hand over fist at the Chiropracter conspiracy. It seemed like a worthwhile exchange, the removal of my pain for a few minutes restraining laughter so the true believer who was fucking with my vertebrae would not put me in a wheelchair for the rest of my life for giggling at his naiveté and laughing at his yacht owning messiah....

There was always something odd about these people. Not only did they tend to have a leaning (forgive the pun) toward scientology, but they also had a persecution complex about the mainstream medical community, specifically osteopaths.

Most Chiropractors train for about six years. Osteopaths have to become doctors and then do additional years training to become Osteopaths, which is nearly double the training that Chiropractors get, and dear god are they aware of it. I never heard a doctor complain about them, but I did hear about their constant complaints, specifically from Chiropractors when I was under their manipulative hands. But still I went, as they seemed to do the job.

I turned to the Osteopaths this week, but what turned me?

Sit down by the fire and I'll tell you a story to send you away to bed.....

About two months ago I did my back in again, this time nothing too visually impressive or something, I bent down too suddenly to pick up a towel. The pain was pretty bad though, so I immediately made an appointment with a Chiropractor that I had not seen before.

When I turned up at his office, the midget (perhaps I am being cruel, but I am pretty tall and he was under five foot) asked me a few preliminary questions, which I answered, giving a fairly detailed history of the abuse I have put my back through over the years, taking special time to specify that I had a chip out of my neck vertebrae and I had been advised not to have it adjusted. He began to explain to me that "stopping my pain" was not what chiropractors were about, it was more the solution of "long term" problems.

He then threw me down on the couch, and proceeded to do two adjustments. Then he allowed me to sit up, and said something to the tune of "thanks very much, that will be thirty five euros, please come back tomorrow, we will have to do at least six or seven adjustments over the next two or three weeks" each visit of course at thirty five euros a pop, it was necessary he said because my back was in his clinical estimation "the wrong way around"

I came back then next day, when he did a NECK ADJUSTMENT on me. I have never had a pain in my neck, but by god I did that day, and the day after and the day after that. The second visit I made was the last visit I will ever make to a chiropractor since he ignored the most basic medical principals of healing.

The next day, by sheer synchronicity, as if to validate my decision, all over the news here in Ireland was a medical community bulletin that there had been found a link between Chiropractic neck adjustments and Stroke victims. A large number of former Chiropractic patients in Ireland had succumbed to strokes shortly after getting neck adjustments off the Chiropractic community. These were patients with no serious problems with their necks who now had serious problems blinking by themselves.

It didn't take any more than that, I made an appointment with an Osteopath. The appointment I had yesterday. The Osteopath looked at me funny when I asked him, in his clinical opinion was my spine "the wrong way around" (admittedly just to see his reaction).

Anyways, one day after the Osteopaths appointment and my back feels better than it has in years of Chiropractic appointments, and more than that, instead of a course of 20 fucking appointments at thirty five euro a pop, he asked me back for one more appointment to see if the adjustments had set in. All in all free, after the VHI has paid for a third of it and I get tax back on the rest.

The choice seems plain no?

No? well then I'll see you in a wheelchair someday soon.

Peace and Hope



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