Know Better, Do Better

We all have had experiences in our lives that stand out more than others; moments that remain vivid and pronounced within our mind and never fade from our memory. The first poignant childhood memory I have took place when I was in second grade. After what seemed like endless episodes of pneumonia, ear and sinus infections, my Doctor at the time recommended to my parents that my tonsils and adenoids be removed. I also needed my sinus turbines "trimmed down" (as if they are some kind of pesky nose hairs) and 4 baby teeth pulled so I wouldn't accidentally swallow them while being intubated. This was "the" answer to my health challenges as a kid and the solution for me finally being able to stop taking copious amounts of bubble gum pink Amoxicillin.
I woke up under bright fluorescent lights feeling sick to my stomach and trying to desperately lift my head to see if my carnation pink "Cheer" care bear was still laying beside me in my arms. I was somehow able to raise what felt like my 100lb  drugged bobble head high enough to see a multicolored rainbow belly badge in my embrace. Comfort quickly turned to panic as my gaze drifted from my care bear to my arm that had a needle inserted into it. Things got worse for me as I paid more attention to a "pulling" sensation I had on my face. I started touching my nose and could only feel a giant bundle of gauze at the end of it being held in place with an elastic band of some kind and long pieces of tape on my cheeks.
I didn't see my mother anywhere in the room, in fact I didn't see anyone in the room. I just wanted to go home and admittedly, a small part of me wanted to find a mirror to see just how bad things were. It was in that moment that I decided to remove the IV from my arm and get the heck out of there (I blame anesthesia for that poor decision).  I climbed off the gurney, pulled back the hospital drape and decided that I was going to find someone to help me. As soon as my gap toothed - gauzed face peered out from the room I was in, I could see a nurse escorting my mom back to see me. I was instantly relieved and overjoyed to see my moms face, my mom however was too overwhelmed by what she saw on my face and fell to the ground. Apparently I didn't need a mirror after all.  The nurse called for help and soon enough began waving smelling salts under my moms nose. My ticket out of the hospital was down for the count and I knew it was a matter of time before my dad was called for in for back up.
Fast forward twenty plus years from that day: I'm now in my early thirties with two healthy and beautiful kids of my own. I've spent the past six weeks at home on maternity leave. I'm completely sleep deprived and like all new moms, lucky to get a shower in most days. Trying to maintain some standard level of personal hygiene and savoring our little girl's "newbornness" has become my new full-time job and the second best one I've ever had. In six more weeks I'll return to my other "best job" (outside of being a mother) and that's being a chiropractor.
I love, I mean LOVE, what I do! The hardest part of being a chiropractor isn't trying to "crack" (I cringe when I hear that word) really big or strong people, it's  getting them to understand what I do. Many people have a misconception about chiropractic and the critical role it plays in health and well-being. That misconception is that chiropractic care is limited to treating back and neck pain. Although many people have experienced relief from back and neck pain through chiropractic services, the foundation, intent, and vision of chiropractic I have is one that is far beyond simply helping to reduce symptoms. Thank God because getting up for work almost every day would not be as fun or exciting if this were simply the case!
There are basically 2 styles of chiropractic practice. One type of chiropractor is what I'll refer to as limited scope practitioner. These chiropractors choose to limit their practice to dealing with back and neck pain only. Such doctors provide specialized care to patients with musculoskeletal injuries and disorders.
The other type of chiropractic doctor (such as myself) is a wellness chiropractor. A wellness chiropractor focuses on your general health and well-being, and that of your family. The objective of the wellness chiropractor is to work with you in maximizing your life potential.
Think of your life potential as how you function day in and out as a human being, there's a lot to it. (Healing, growing, moving, and adapting to our ever changing environment are some easy examples.)
It's easy for me to see now as an educated health care provider and adult, that my life potential was having some challenges back when I was a kid. As a parent I can sympathize with how hard it must have been for my mother and father to decide for me to have surgery. I know like any good parent they were doing the best they could for me with the information they had at the time. I wish now that my mom and dad had taken me to a chiropractor when I was a baby, perhaps my outcomes would have been different. We can also argue that maybe I would have still been sick and needed surgery anyway; no one will know.
What I can tell you with certainty and conviction is that I've seen significant improved outcomes happen during my almost six years of clinical practice. Asthmatics not needing inhalers, kids not needing tubes inserted into their ears, daily migraines ceasing, and the list goes on. I attribute it to people's life forces working more efficiently while under regular chiropractic care. This fuels my passion for what I do and makes me hopeful that the people I'm blessed to take care of can avoid an experience like I had as a kid. After all, the groundwork of all happiness is good health.
-Dr. Alissa Dimos