Monday, May 24, 2010

Dr. Sarah's Path to Chiropractic

OK my is a very exciting day!

Let me begin by letting you know that Joe and I have been having this little debate: newsletter verses blog. I was pro blog (since I've been blogging privately lately and I follow blogging more). He was pro newsletter (which I think is out dated since I delete EVERY single one on my email). But I digress :)

Recently it came up that this would be a phenomenal way to educate the community about chiropractic and what we do. There are so many myths and legends, good and bad stories, that we virtually NEVER have the opportunity to comment on. That is until right here, right now. No holding back. This is our experience, research, opinion on common things in our profession.

On Friday afternoon we had endless ideas, but now on Monday morning I have "writers block". And then it dawned on me....why not write about how I got into this profession?

Seriously, have you ever asked your doctor or provider WHY they are doing what they do??? Well, here is my story and it is a true testament to our work. Enjoy!

Let me begin by explaining the unhealthy life style I was born and raised in. Love you Mom, Love you Dad :)

My mother was a chain smoker. Let me explain chain....I remember her having 2 cigarettes lit at the same time. Our diets consisted of soda pop for fluids, Lucky Charms for breakfast, hot dogs or Burger King Whoppers for dinner and a GIANT bowl of ice cream every night before bed. Our family activities included: watching TV. Love you Mom, Love you Dad :)

So, it's only obvious that my sister and I were chronically sick. The norm - bronchitis, ear infections, and pneumonia. So chronic that in the 7th grade I missed 2 weeks of school from pneumonia that did not respond to the antibiotics.

I had the parents who ran to the doctor for every cough, sneeze and fever and demand something (A PILL) to fix it. Now don't get me wrong, I love my parents but this life style is not conducive to raising healthy children. Love you Mom, Love you Dad :)

Now that I've laid the ground work...back to the reason of why I got into this profession.

I began suffering from migraines when I was in elementary school. My parents took me to every doctor in town who gave me a prescription and told me to take Ibuprofen. But none of it ever worked. Nothing helped with the severity of the pain, the frequency of occurance, or duration of the migraine. As a matter of fact, they kept getting worse.

By middle school I would wake up every morning to my normal dose of Ibuprofin, and throughout the day was up to 10 tablets per day. Even at that, I have memories of migraines lasting for 2 weeks at a time. Remembering back, I never felt sad or angry about this condition because I never knew anything different.

In the mean time, my sister had met and married Ray Tuck who was the son of a Chiropractor. When I was in middle school Ray moved up to the Chicago-land area to become a Chiropractor himself.

When they would come home to visit I was always glued to their side. One day Ray asked me how many Ibuprofen I took a day. Well, needless to say, his jaw hit the floor when I told him 8-10.

And that is when it all began....

The first thing he said is "you'll be lucky to have a stomach by the time your 30 at that rate", (my stomach is MUCH better) "You've got to do something different, obviously the Ibuprofen isn't working".

Do something different? That's what the doctor told me to do. You know, the all knowing doctor?!? What different thing can I do?

He started talking to me about chiropractic and he started to treat me. Between you and me, this was even a secret from my parents because they didn't think too highly of the profession. You know, chiropractors aren't "real"doctors and they didn't believe in "voodoo" work.

Well, guess what? It worked! It decreased all 3 important qualities of migraines: the duration, the severity and the frequency. No - they weren't completely gone, BUT my overall quality of life was greatly improved and I didn't have to worry about the damage of NSAID's (something we'll fill you in on later).

But for me the cherry on top of the cup-cake was this one time when Ray was visiting and I was home in bed with a temperature of 104 (with Tylenol). My father was nearly hysterical, because he had a cousin who had been severely injured from a seizure due to a high fever. So, while Ray was visiting me he quickly locked the door, took my temp (104), adjusted me, and said "re-check it in 20 minutes and watch what happens".

20 minutes later my fever had dropped to 101! That was when my strong interest in "natural" medicine began. There was no denying what that adjustment did and I was shocked.

Side note.....I don't medically advise every parent treat a high fever with an adjustment. This is just a testimonial and there are many things to take into consideration first. BUT I see it ALL THE TIME :)

Before long, Ray was back in the area practicing full time and I was being treated regularly. During this time being he also began to really "nag" me about this diet of mine. No one ever told me that my migraines and my chronic sickness could be worse because of the food I ate! That's when this whole profession really started to get me.

When I went to undergrad I decided to study nutrition. It was something I had a strong interest in and it did me well. During 3 years of my undergrad I also dedicated my time working for Ray. That was the key.

Toward the end of my undergrad studies, I started to doubt doing nutrition alone because it was clinically oriented and I would most likely end up in a hospital. And well, I hate hospitals. And well, we all know what not to eat, we just do it anyways. So, I started exploring other options. That's when Ray said "You will make a fine chiropractor".

Really? Never in a million years did I see myself becoming a doctor, but the more I thought about it the more I realized he was right.

I truly enjoyed taking care of people. The energy I got from my patient interactions was simply inspiring. And the passion I had with learning "natural" ways to get people better was exciting. Literally, every day was exciting!

So I did it. And here I am practicing what I have loved literally since I was a little girl and what has greatly improved my quality of life and who I am.

I couldn't have dreamed it better and I couldn't be happier!

My wish is that everyone would enjoy our field as much as I do!

Do you have a testimonial to chiropractic...the norm (back pain, head ache) or even something different (asthma, fertility, plantar warts)??? Please share!


  1. Great artical and I have to say I have never felt better since I started seeing the two of you.

  2. when i was growing up.....there was no thing as diet pop. it was fizzies, milk or water. no fast foods either. we didn't eat out much. i was pencil thin. we walked alot since my parents didn't drive. also took cabs or buses.
    by the folks were smokers. i grew up around all smokers. i'm sure i smelled like a smoke stack. i will add more later.