I was in the shower when it happened. Just the normal everyday motions of washing my hair did the trick. Who would have thought a dose of suds in the layered locks could prove so painful? Suddenly there was a clicking sound and then I had to fight to breathe, I had seething pain right in the middle of my shoulder blades along the spine.
I thought I had somehow slipped a disk. I rinsed my hair, and carefully got out of the shower navigating the towel through shards of pain. If I leaned this way I was ok but several inches the other way and it was mind numbing pain again. Perhaps a pinched nerve?
I pulled on some clothes over my mostly wet body and thought about what my options were. One was a trip to the emergency room, which when I thought of the long lines and the general sickness of the people there, was an idea I was not fond of.
I tried to isolate what I thought was my problem. It had first started with the sound and then the pain. It was a kind of twist that had started it, but it didn’t feel like a pulled muscle at all. The fact that it affected my breathing when the pain was the strongest meant it had to be dealt with, and sometime in the immediate future. Then I knew what I had to do. I had to call a Chiropractor. Even though I had heard some negative stories about these kinds of practitioners in the past, I thought there was no other solution to my problem. Especially when two hours later I was still wracked with pain and it had not eased at all.
When I called and explained my problem they said that they could fit me in as soon as I got down to the office. I was floored. What kind of an office does that? I suppose they thought it was an emergency as much as I did. Their point tally in my head just went higher. I got a ride down to the office. There was no way I could have driven myself. That would have ended in disaster. When I got to the office they told me to sit for a couple of minutes and fill out some forms then the Doctor would see me.
The young secretary ushered me into an office and told me it would only be a minute more. When the Doctor came in I was surprised. Not by the fact that she was a woman, but because she was such a thin waif of a woman. I thought that the position would have to be filled by a gruff muscled sort. One who would have no trouble in bending the human torso this way and that, popping air pockets and aligning spines. This woman must have been all of one hundred and twenty pounds if that and she stood about five foot seven.
She must have read what I was thinking on my face because she said, “I am lean but muscular, I have been doing this for years on people much bigger then yourself. It is not a matter of force per se more like precise manipulation. When you have everything lined up just so, there is not much strength needed.” And as she got closer I could see what she meant. This woman was thin yes, but a waif? Not on your life. It seemed as though she didn’t have an ounce of fat on her, and underneath her skin her muscular form was firm and defined, yet feminine.
She asked me a bunch of questions about the pain, about how it started and some health questions, then told me to lay on the table and relax. I had a hard time doing that because of the pain and because I had no idea what to expect from her. I had never been manipulated “precisely” or otherwise before, and it made me nervous.
She must have sensed this because she got me talking about other things, the weather, what I do for a living that kind of thing while she twisted me this way and that. Every time I relaxed enough crack, she would bend me one way, then crack she would pull on something else. I felt a bit like a big voodoo doll being tossed this way and that.
In twenty minutes she had me back to my regular pain free self. She explained that what had happened was when I was in a car accident in the past, the impact had knocked out one of my ribs some of the way from my spine, but not enough to cause pain or an issue until the motions of everyday life had wiggled it out more and more until now when “pop” it came all the way out. She wanted to see me two more times and then all would be fixed up. I asked her if it would happen again in the future. She said that the joint would never be snug again like it had been before, but that it shouldn’t happen again for a long while.
I thanked her for her time and for fitting me in as quickly as she did. I now see Chiropractors in a whole new light and to this day, knock on wood; I have never known that pain again.