Incredible story from one of our team members today; we're grateful he's doing well and devoted to helping others discover chiropractic care!
How Chiropractic Care Helped Me Deal with My Cancer Pain
"I was competitive volleyball and tennis player in my teens when I first started to get adjusted to help with some hip and lower back pain. I continued regular care until I went off to college to play collegiate level competitive volleyball. Everything was going well until the last semester of my senior year when I started noticing some weird sensations in my body.
I came home from a Friday night match and grabbed some ice from the freezer. I immediately noticed that I could not feel the temperature of the ice in my right hand. Perplexed, I ran my right hand under hot and cold water; I was still not feeling any sensation. I figured I must have just landed on my neck wrong and went in for a quick assessment with athletic trainer and the University's doctor. They started me on physical therapy for a pinched nerve. I continued with the PT throughout the summer, but really felt no improvements.
In the fall, while working on an internship, my body literally started to fall apart. I was losing my balance and experiencing serious issues with my legs. I specifically remember a Friday evening when I laid down flat on my bed, and it felt like there was a small fireball at the base of my lower back. I closed my eyes and tried to raise my legs, but when I opened my eyes, my legs were still flat on my bed. I started to become concerned, but I told myself to suck it up and moved forward the next few weeks.
I started having issues actually walking at this point; my gait was extremely off and my right leg would swing out and around (think of a pirate) before it landed. One night the fireball of pain was so bad, I let out an involuntary shriek and tears immediately rushed down my cheeks. I knew something was up. At this point, I was unable to sleep in my bed; I had to sleep sitting up to avoid the immense pain. I also had lost a lot of control in my legs and the ability to run and walk backwards.
My entire family was concerned about me, but by the grace of a higher power, I was able to walk across the stage at my college graduation. The next day, my graduation party, I woke up unable to swallow any food without choking. My other symptoms had developed into intense pain in my back, no feeling in my right arm and severe nausea. My aunt, who is a nurse, arrived at the party, looked at my face and saw me walk, and immediately told me to go to the emergency room.
Long story short, I ended up in hospital for 2.5 months. After a series of neurological tests and MRI's, the physicians found I had a tumor (which was later deemed benign; thank God!) growing on my spinal cord around my T10 vertebrae. The pain was from the pressure from the spinal cord to the vertebrae, and as a result, I had amassed a large amount of cerebrospinal fluid at my brainstem, thus affecting the functions of my right arm. I underwent a 6-hour surgery to remove the tumor and came out successful. I then had almost 8 weeks of inpatient intensive rehab; this consisted of re-teaching my body how to sit, stand, walk forwards, walk backwards. It was a very humbling experience; I was a 23-year-old young man learning how to get back to the basics.
That fall I was set to start graduate school in Chicago, and I was determined to be there. During a PT session, my physical therapist told me, "Your body's nervous system is like a car battery, but it's lost a lot of juice. Over time, we are going to get your body's battery up to 100%, but it's not going to happen overnight." I'm not sure what triggered this in my head, but my hometown chiropractor used this same analogy with my nervous system. I immediately made an appointment with my chiropractor.
I saw my chiropractor three times a week until I left for Chicago. He adjusted my neck and gently adjusted my lower back and hips; with the power of chiropractic care, I moved to Chicago in July of 2012. It still took me almost another six months to be able to start running again and playing volleyball, but I know that those adjustments sped up my recovery by at least six months. The human body has amazing healing capabilities, and chiropractors stimulate that healing internally and 'recharge your batteries.' There is a time and a place for traditional medicine, and while I can't thank the neurosurgeon and physical therapy team for getting me back on my feet, I owe so much to my chiropractor for getting my body to its fullest potential."
-Joshua S., Medulla Team Member and River North Patien