I have been meaning to give an update on the further adventures with the chiroquactor, and other things kept getting in the way. Plus, I think I was a little bit embarrassed to admit that… well… hang on; I’m getting ahead of myself.
My neck is ALL BETTER. It moves everwhere it used to move, and it doesn’t hurt. Ditto for my shoulder. So it’s safe to say that the earnest little man with his sandals and dress socks and pogo stick in his pocket is on to SOMETHING. No, I don’t think I would’ve improved on my own, as I waited quite a while after the accident to see him, in the first place. The treatment is making me better.
I still think he’s… weird. Helpful, yes. Overly-earnest, absolutely. And the socks with sandals thing is unforgiveable. But did I mention how my neck is better?
Okay. Here it is. I took the kids to see him.
The chiroquactor had brought it up to me on my 3rd visit or so. Mentioned how kids bounce back so quickly, but still, you just never know what sort of spinal injury they might’ve suffered from such a traumatic crash. “If there was an impact hard enough to warrant stitches, chances are there’s some spinal trauma,” he said matter-of-factly as he worked around my left shoulderblade. “They really must be checked out, you know.” Oh, sure. Remind me about the stitches, otherwise known as “the trigger word for the greatest mother-guilt I’ve ever experienced.”
With my face firmly planted in the table, while he adjusted me somewhere around T3 to cap off this declaration of how the children MUST be seen, I muttered something about how they really seemed fine. Dr. Chirowitz chuckled and agreed with me that they probably SEEM fine. But kids rarely feel the kind of pain that adults do, and an accident like this can cause misalignments that cause problems down the road. Probably worth having them checked out! Just to be on the safe side! God you are the world’s lousiest parent, not wanting to bring them in right away!
He didn’t say that last line. Not out loud, anyway.
Again, I demurred as best I could, and by then the table was on its way back up, and I beat a hasty retreat.
At my next appointment, the secretary started in on me as soon as I walked in. “Mir, HI!” she chirped. “Dr. Chirowitz wanted to be sure that we get your kids scheduled! Let me have a look on the computer here and see when we have available!”
Now I was miffed. I was not going to be strong-armed into this. I stated, rather too loudly, that I had not agreed to bringing in the kids and I didn’t think that at this point it was going to be necessary. Thank you, anyway.
The secretary looked crestfallen. It was as if I’d just told her that her butt looked REALLY big in those pants. Or that there was no God. Or that if God did exist, he would totally make fun of her butt in those pants. It was pitiful. And I felt terrible. Or like maybe I was going to laugh, very soon, at the absurdity of this, if she didn’t say something to break the awkward silence.
“Well,” she said, shuffling some papers on her desk, “you know the initial consultation for them would be FREE. Just to look them over. For their HEALTH.” I nodded, and smiled, and tried to think of an appropriate response.
“Yes, well,” I managed, “that sounds… great. But, um, I think we’re all set for now. Thanks.” I smiled again. Sometimes I try to distract people with my freakishly large teeth.
“Oh, you know,” she countered, peering at the computer screen again, “you already have an appointment next week and school’s out… won’t you have the kids with you, anyway?” My smile faltered. She grinned triumphantly. I was backed into a corner.
“Okay, I’ll bring them in then,” I agreed. I half-expected her to clap with glee. She settled for prattling on about how it would turn out to be the best parenting decision I’d ever made, blah blah blah.
I discussed it with my ex, who was skeptical, and I pointed out that 1) it was free and 2) I was not going to sign the kids up for months of treatment or anything. I promised to report back on the findings and we’d discuss where to go from there.
Well, the day of the evaluation came and the kids thought this was just splendid. It became apparent to me in the first 30 seconds of the chiroquactor’s interaction with my children why that earnest manner had seemed so familiar to me–he’s a lot like an overly intellectual 7-year-old. Both kids adored him instantly, and giggled as he called Monkey Chickadee and called Chickadee Monkey.
I watched as he put them through the same sort of “turn this way,” “bend that way” sort of evaluation that I’d been through. Monkey appeared to be fine, and the doctor said so. Chickadee had some limited mobility in her neck. The chiro suggested that she might need 3 or 4 treatments to resolve her issues. It seemed reasonable to me; had he declared Monkey all out of whack or talked about seeing them for months of treatment, I would’ve refused. But just a few adjustments. Okay. We moved into a treatment room and the kids watched me get my adjustment, then each had a turn. Monkey only had 1 spot done (“we’ll just recheck that next week,” said the doc) and Chickadee ended up having almost as many spots CH-CHKed as I usually do. I made another appointment for them to come back the following week. Easy.
When I filled in my ex on how it had gone, he was still skeptical. This time I pointed out that I was already feeling better, that I had seen for myself the ways in which Chickadee’s alignment was clearly off (I don’t know if all chiropractors do this, but he continually draws up the lower legs by bending the knees, and comparing the evenness of the feet when he does so–after each spot adjustment, the previous unevenness would level out), and that the treatments were covered by insurance. He agreed to let me take them back.
I was actually feeling better about my decision to take them, after that appointment. It’s not weird, I told myself. It’s fine! It’s helping me, it’ll help them! No problems!
Well, at the second appointment, I checked us in as usual and was filling out the sheets where you detail your current pain/issues, and the children were creating sonic booms by tapping on the fish tank and scaring the crap out of the fish, and suddenly the secretary was coming at us with a Polaroid.
“Guess what, guys!” she said with a tone of voice normally reserved by most people for an announcement such as an imminent trip to Disneyworld, “Today I get to TAKE YOUR PICTURES!”
“YAY!” screeched my offspring, immediately turning to her and putting on their biggest cheesy grins.
“Uh,” I managed, as the clipboard I’d been working on clattered to the floor while my arms shot out to catch a child in each hand, “Wait. What? No. Pictures? Why?” I’m so eloquent when I’m stunned, dontcha agree? The children sagged in my grip, and the secretary–oh, the poor secretary, who just doesn’t understand why I am such a killjoy–faltered.
“It’s for the WALL!” she said, pointing. The wall contained Polaroids of other victims, er, patients, underneath a banner that read WELCOME TO OUR FAMILY. What a nice idea. For a preschool. A little creepy at a doctor’s office, in my opinion, but whatever. “We just LOVE to have family shots for THE WALL,” she explained.
“Yeeeaaaaaah…” I had to think quickly, “um, no. I would have to discuss that with their father.” Well, that was sort of true. And probably more polite than blurting out that the idea of having my children’s picture up on the wall there just sort of squicked me out. The kids started in with the “AWWW”ing and I tightened my resolve. “Yup, sorry, I can’t agree to that today. You know how it is!”
Clearly she did NOT know how it is. Clearly I had crushed her joy one too many times, and all of the sunshine had gone out of her happy little life. And then a little lightbulb went off over her head. I could see it; it was a 7 volt bulb like nightlights take. Again her sunny smile took over her face and she said, “Well I can take YOUR picture for the wall, at least.” She was sure she had me trumped.
I couldn’t help it. I laughed. So did the kids, actually. And the poor dear, she looked confused. “Sorry,” I said, “I hate to have my picture taken. Not gonna happen.” That one was, at least, 100% true. I went back to the clipboard and realized she was still standing there, all dejected-like. I sighed. “I’m not wearing any make-up and my hair’s a mess. I’m not going to let you take my picture. Nothing personal.” She slunk back behind her desk.
Doubtless she now believes I murder kittens for sport.
Whatever. We had our appointments. Today we went for the third time, and Chickadee is much improved. One more check and she should be done. As for me, I think I’m about a week away from saying “Hey, all fixed now, thanks!” Because it’s confusing, this. It helps, and progress is being made, but I just cannot escape the feeling that if I’m not careful, there, I’ll be whisked away into the cult of chiro. I hear they worship a gigantic spine upon which is written all of the secrets of the universe. Somewhere around C4 is “buy more sandals.”
He had a new pair, today. You’d think a single pair of sandals for wear with your suits would be sufficient, but you’d be wrong, apparently. See, I think FIRST they put your picture on the wall, and then they start telling you that the path to greater health is better walked in a pair of Tevas.
And then? Then the electroshock therapy begins. And the plans to blow up the doctors with the good drugs. Hell, I don’t know. I just know that as happy as I am to be feeling better, I’m still just a little scared.