My brother, Adam, recently wrote a blog that illustrated what it was like for him to provide care to his patients. He titled it “In My Shoes.” If you haven’t read it, you can check it out HERE. In fact, it inspired me to write a similar piece, albeit from a chiropractic and nutrition-lifestyle coaching perspective.
As a chiropractor, I view health and disease in a different light than most, even those who would be considered “alternative” doctors. Some may even say that, because of those views, we chiropractors are “quacks” or “aren’t real doctors.” That really depends on what you’re definition of “doctor” is. My definition happens to mean “teacher.”
Every time a patient walks into our office, my goal is to teach that patient, in subtle or not-so-subtle ways, just how powerful their body is. My belief, 100% due to my own health journeys and walking with others through theirs, is that the body heals itself. And the body heals itself on its own time, depending on your lifestyle and your circumstances. Some take days. Some years. Some never do heal, but but our bodies are never out to harm us. They’re always doing the right thing, at the right time.
With all the training, education, and research I’ve done throughout the years, it’s become almost second nature for me to figure out how I can help someone’s physical or nutrition-lifestyle ailment to the best of my abilities. The real question that often runs through my head, regardless of whether a patient is in for chiropractic care or nutritional consultation, is “Why now?” Why are they really here? Honestly, I never really verbally ask that question to most patients. But the answer to that question of “Why now?” is important because it almost NEVER involves the answer, “Because I hurt.” At least, deep down it doesn’t. Whether patients tell me or not, it’s usually a very personal reason.
I will use myself as an example. I’ve been through four main health journeys in my life. One was so early I cannot remember as a tiny 3-pound premature baby. The second was a several-year journey with severe asthma that left me in ICU countless times. The third was a couple years long bout of low back pain and being told I wouldn’t see age 20. This actually led me to the chiropractic profession. These first three journeys were all before the ripe-old age of 13.
My fourth journey is the most pertinent to the topic at hand of answering the question “Why now?” Luckily, I was fortunate enough to receive the proper care and support from family and doctors to get through the hard times in my very young years. But this fourth journey was different. It was silent. I was silent. It was painful, but not physically painful. It changed me.
In the latter years of my undergraduate career, both physiologically and physically (literally…) broken from years of hard collegiate endurance running and poor dietary and lifestyle habits, I found myself asking the question of “Why now?” I was about to head off for my doctorate, but I was in a deteriorated state of health and mind. I remember on several occasions wondering how anyone would want to seek help from a chronically sick-looking person if I couldn’t figure this out. I had countless sleepless nights. I had severe anxiety I tried to beat down every day. I was exhausted. I always had negative thoughts running through my head. Could I really be a doctor? Could I be a husband? Could I be a father? At times, I truly thought “No” was the answer to all of those questions.
To be short, after years of FIGHTING and BATTLING to get healthy again, I can now say the answer to “Why now?” was quite simple. In fact, I found out on July 30, 2017 a little after midnight just how simple it was in my beautiful, feisty red-headed baby girl Kendall Skye. She’s my “Why Now?” in my total health journey.
So, despite doing everything I can to give relief to any problems my patients present to me, I understand there’s always an answer to “Why now?” I may not ask the question directly, but I always know because I’ve been there, myself. And that’s what I really care about.