"I feel like giving up"
I had a new patient this past week. She was in a lot of pain and was feeling hopeless. She had been previously seen by two other chiropractors with no change in her pain. She had been to physical therapy, neurologist, acupuncture and massage therapists, still no change. Listening to her story I started to let her helplessness seep into my consciousness. For a moment I thought "maybe I can't help this person." I decided to go forward into my exam. I began a neurological exam and found some easily discoverable deficits in neurological function. Almost apologizing I said "you probably are sick of doing these neurological tests?" What she said next left me in some minor shock "Nobody has ever done these tests on me before." I was shocked and then angry. This woman clearly has neurological symptoms going on (shooting pain in the leg). Why am I the first in a long line of health professionals to do a simple neurological exam? Healthcare is a game of chance. Some people get good doctors, some do not. I knew that I would be able to help her. I am the doctor who is going to find out what is actually wrong. I finished my standard rounds of testing and immediately closed in on diagnosis. We started treatment that day and after 40 minutes of treatment she got up from the chiropractic table and started crying. I started smiling because I saw that she wasn't crying tears of pain and despair, but happy tears, tears of relief. She felt 70% better, her posture had changed, her walk had changed and her attitude changed. This woman came in with despair written all over her body. It was sad and it made me sad. She left in a lot less pain, but more importantly, she regained hope.