"When I was 21-years-old, I became very ill. I started to throw up. It started slowly, but eventually nothing stayed down. My diet consisted of Saltine crackers and water. This lasted for about three months. During that time, I lost 45 pounds and I was down to 97 pounds. I had been through a barrage of tests, upper GI's, lower GI's, and every poke, prod and scan known to man.
When I sat down for my final consultation with my medical doctor, he went through all of the exams and tests, all of the specialist's opinions and concluded with this final statement. "Look we can't find anything wrong with you. You are healthy aside from these stomach issues." He finally said, "The only advice I can give is that you should put your affairs in order." I couldn't believe it. I was twenty-one and that was it. This was my death sentence. I didn't know what to do, where to go or even who to talk to. I was raised with the understanding that my medical doctor had all the answers.
Soon after, a biology professor of mine gave me a card for a local chiropractor. I had no idea what the chiropractor did, how he would be able to help me or even if he could—but I was willing to try anything. At first, my symptoms worsened, but after time, I began to feel better and better. I started to put weight back on and I could see that chiropractic care was working.
Flash forward: It's been about 20 years since my first illness. The road has had its ups and downs for sure. The process is about maintaining the system (the body, the nervous system and all other components). And as soon as you think you're good and don't have to worry... that's when you make mistakes. You lift something wrong, you eat things that you shouldn't, you stop working out, etc. We have all been there and I am no different. The body is a wonderful and amazing piece of machinery and we must take care of it or it will break down.
Just recently, I was experiencing one of my episodes and things got really bad. I went through some advanced testing and they diagnosed Crohn's disease. When anyone is given a diagnosis of that magnitude, they go through all stages of grief: Shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance and return to meaningful life. I, too, went through them all. It was when I was in the anger phase that my "aha moment" took place. In my anger, I yelled out a question that I had not asked myself as a professional. "Chiropractic has always worked for me in the past...Why is it not working now?!"
That stopped me. I re-analyzed and re-examined every detail of all of my current and past treatments. I realized that my treatments have changed over the course of time to support each episode. This episode was no different. So, in my re-assessment, we changed my course of treatment, and since then everything has been improving again. My treatments are mainly spinal adjustments, focused on the area of my spine that controls digestion (upper lumbar), and I use an inversion table about once a month for a good stretch. I also keep up-to-date with my supplements and try to stay active.
Chiropractic, without a doubt, changed my entire life. It has not only helped me deal with the complicated and painful Crohn's disease, it's led me to my career as a chiropractor. Every day I work to help people achieve the levels of health they want and I support them in finding the answers to their health concerns, just as my chiropractor did for me twenty years ago."
-Dr. Jeremy Hayes, Chiropractic Director of Chiro One of Flossmoor
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