Okay, so I broke down and went to a Chiropractor. Now I’ve been to Chiropractors before. In fact, I believe they do good work and can heal certain muscular, joint and alignment issues. But after my husband’s constant barrage of scientific studies citing all kinds of devastating chiropractic mishaps, I’d pretty much sworn off them entirely.
Until last week, when my writing partner practically insisted I go see his Chiropractor or else stop bitching about my constant back pain. I succumbed to the not so subtle peer pressure and made the appointment.
The Doctor had asked me to bring my MRI films, X-rays of my back, and any doctors’ records I might have about my herniated disc (L5 S1 in case you were wondering.) This sent me into a slight panic since I am, without doubt, the least organized woman on the planet. I spent the next two days dismantling my house in search of those damn films and records.
Miraculously, I found a thick, overstuffed manilla folder labeled “Healthcare – Debra” crammed into my disorderly file cabinet. A cursory perusal of the folder showed various films, radiology reports, and several detailed drawings of recommended physical therapy exercises. I proudly tucked the folder into my tote and headed out apprehensively to meet the bone-cracking doctor.
After a lengthy interview, during which Doctor John, as he’s called, took a lengthy history from me and explained why chiropractic care could help me enormously, he asked to see the films. I happily complied and turned over the entire packet.
He paged through the documents carefully, offering a few compulsory, “mmm hmms,” and nodding thoughtfully. Then he pulled out the stack of films and began to inspect them one by one. I admit that his befuddled look was slightly alarming to me. I worried that perhaps he’d discovered something even more serious as he examined the magnetic images of my spine. Too fearful to ask, I simply sat, perched on the edge of my chair, awaiting his assessment.
He held up the final film, looked at me directly and said with a delivery as deadpan as Bob Newhart’s, “Thank you for bringing me your mammogram pictures. But I don’t think they’re going to be terribly helpful in relieving your back pain.”
I was mortified. OMG, how did I do that? What an idiot! He offered a few comic, yet tasteful comments about how we women always seem to work our mammary glands into any situation. But even his lighthearted, affable tone couldn’t minimize my embarrassment. After a while, I did regain my composure and we moved through the exam and treatment uneventfully.
I like this Doctor. I do. And I’m going back. Despite the fact that I’m certain to be the butt of humor at his next Chiropractic convention, and will forevermore be shorthanded in the office as the “breast lady.” I suppose it could be worse. I could have brought him a colonoscopy report.