Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Pain In The Neck (part 7)

...continuing the case history of my neck problem in which I 'miraculously' avoided an invasive surgery and found an alternative solution...

The Chiropractic Process – day 4

I called the clerk at 10am because I noticed the name on my appointment card wasn't mine and so was the name on the receipt. I couldn't call on Sunday or Monday because those are their off days. She must have given my card to the guy whose card I'm holding because she couldn't find my card anywhere at the counter. Anyway I kept my appointment based on his card. 11.45 am to be exact. Time is precious. If you're late by more than 30 minutes, you're bypassed and have to reschedule.

The doctor's voice was loud enough to be heard in other cubicles, so while waiting for him I learned about what happened to other patients and their ailments, sometimes even where they go for their daily workouts or what they do for a living. And he'd give instructions in Hokkien to those who can't speak English, especially commands like "thay lo khee" (lie on your back), "pheeh lo khee" (on your front), "chey khi lai" (sit up), "chiah peng" (right side), "toh peng" (left side).

Chiro: Mr. Teh. How're feeling today? (He has to confirm I'm Mr. Teh. Can't afford to twist up the wrong patient!)
Me: Sometimes OK, sometimes not....err...
Chiro: Well, give it some time. It will get better......bla.. bla...bla...
Me: (Keeps mouth shut....thinks: "Doctor knows everything")

He'd ask me to lie on my back and while holding my ankles, asked me to turn left and then right. That, I suppose is to find out where the resistance is. If I felt pain in my neck while turning right, I tend to turn my whole body and response is transmitted to the legs. He'd keep talking to me while telling me to lie down this way or that way and manipulated my bones at the same time and even asked me questions and expected me to answer while my body faced one direction and my head faced another direction.

I didn't get the chance to ask him why I sometimes felt like there was a wire entangled with something in my neck and I had to twist around or shake my head and neck trying to loosen the wire. No. I had no chance to talk to him afterward either, as after the body twisting was done, he switched on the heavy massager and worked on my back and before I realized anything, I heard his voice in another cubicle as he worked on another patient.

The massaging and the rest of the therapy were carried out by assistants. His few minutes with me costs RM65 each time. I was wrong about the RM50 I mentioned earlier. That's penalty for missing a scheduled session if you don't show up and didn't call in to notify him 24 hours before the schedule. Quality & efficiency comes with a price?

In this session, after the heavy massage, someone placed a warm bag of beans (it felt like that, so I could only think of beans). It soothed my aching neck and prepared me for the usual bending torture. Surprisingly, the pain wasn't too bad this time. I didn't have to wriggle my toes or pick at imaginary dollar coins.

I read somewhere that chiropractics means gentle manipulation of the spinal bones to effect a cure for ailments. While that sounds like "gentle" to someone who's not in pain, it's not the same thing to the person who's got the pain. That explains the horrible descriptions that patients give to this mode of treatment. That said, I am reminded of a TV stunt show commentator who said, "Don't try this at home!!"

By the way, something else happened to me on one of those days before I went to the neck-wringing session. As if having the pain in the neck was not enough to make my life difficult while saying its long goodbye, another pain said hello.

It's a problem from the other end. A pain in the butt called constipation. I had to push so hard that morning I thought it was all stones inside. Anyway, after I was all soaked in sweat, I got it out somehow. Checked with the nurse for something to help me prevent next morning's "traffic" jam. She gave me some senekot. It's supposed to work like prune juice. I don't know why the prune juice didn't work this time though.

Then remembering a curious thing I saw on my infrared scan image, I looked at the printout again. There was this large red bar indicating a strong ache at the bottom of my anatomy. How could that have been predicted?!! I wonder...

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