I’m breaking up with my chiropractor the same way a cowardly teenager breaks up with his girlfriend. I’m simply not returning any of their calls.
It’s nothing personal; my chiropractor is good looking (beautiful office), sweet natured (friendly staff) and they make me feel great. Really, it’s nothing personal, the broad is just too high maintenance for me. Simply put, I can’t afford this relationship any more.
It started on a crisp, early winter’s day with a blue sky and some lower back pain. When I nearly destroyed my right ankle two months ago, despite my best efforts not to, I limped. This favoring of the right side shot straight across to my left lower back and made it hurt. Bad.
I did the normal busy American thing and ignored it for a few weeks, but finally a profound lack of decent sleep sent me to my Mom’s Chiropractor’s office for some help.
Walking in I was smitten right away. The place was lovely; decorated in dark woods with comfortable, posture friendly furniture, soothing lighting and spicy scented holiday candles. An attractive young man with a hip, celestial name checked me in and I was soon given a tour of the facility.
At that first appointment they just talked to me at length and then took a lot of x-rays. The real fun began a week later.
Bringing me back my x-rays were placed up on a light board. I squinted at slightly blurry pictures of my own spine with zero comprehension of what I was looking at. My neck, I was told, was very bad. Apparently the vertebrae are squishing together and sending me into a headlong spiral that will one day turn me into one of those scary, hunchbacked, little old women.
But my pain, I argued, was in my lower back…
Apparently my lower back has something called a “bifida” which, logically caused me to point out that I thought a bifida was a spinal condition which caused ones spinal cord to be exposed to open air. That, apparently, is the severe form of it. There are very mild cases like mine that are usually never even diagnosed because they do not cause any problems.
Well, you learn something new every day.
Not to fear about any of these problems, they can be fixed – or at least helped. I went out to the adjustment area and was twisted, pushed and tapped upon for about ten minutes. The adjustment itself was a little uncomfortable but to be completely honest I felt wonderful afterwards. Pain eased, mood lightened, I felt limber and a bit giddy. It was like being tipsy on fine food and wine at the end of a first date.
Then I got left with the check.
I was told that I would need three visits a week at first before tapering off to two and then eventually one. This process would take months during which my spine would be retrained to exist in a healthier shape (it’s natural one, apparently, is to be deformed).
I did the math…
I have health insurance, in fact I have very GOOD health insurance. So my co-payments would only be fifty dollars a visit rather than full price. So… $150.00 per week, or $600.00 per month. Almost as much money as the rent on my first apartment.
I’d already been sat down and informed via helpful instructional video of the myriad health benefits I could expect, everything and anything could be assisted on the road to good health via chiropractic care. And really, how much was my health worth to me?
Apparently not enough. After that first visit I regretfully went into hiding. Two weeks later they’re still calling me, trying to coax me to return before I turn into the Hunchback of Notre Dame for good. I honestly would love to go back, but when given the choice between the attention of this high maintenance medical significant other and paying my mortgage – my mortgage won.
My lower back pain is gone. Since by their own admission they can’t heal me with a single adjustment I can only assume that time and having resumed a regular walking stride has done the trick. But now I will forever know what horrors lurk in the unnatural “S” shape of my neck bones.
Good health is priceless, existing in ignorance was kind of nice too.
Weight loss note: I lost a pound this week.