There were times when my legs felt odd--like they were hesitant about moving. They would move, but I felt that I had to make them. This feeling was more severe, but similar to the feeling I had for years in my right hand and right leg. Trying to describe pains and sensations of this nature is not easy. These were new to me.
During the first few treatments while he was relaxing my body with pressure on the left sciatic nerve, my legs would feel heavy. This would disappear almost immediately when he released the pressure. After a few treatments, this feeling stopped.
My "good feeling," the one of great euphoria and energy, stayed with me a good portion of the time. It was strange that I could have that feeling and still have other complaints.
To my most wonderful surprise, my eyes were improving. I never dreamed that I would ever have any cure for them, but my biggest relief was being felt with them and the dizziness. The hypoglycemic feeling was relieved, and I was feeling good.
By the middle of July, after less than a month of treatments, I was able to take a week vacation to Virginia. To be gone for a week meant I would miss three treatments. Dr. Toman felt that I could make the trip alright.
I had no trouble until the morning after we returned. I awoke with severe dizziness. I had an appointment that morning and when he made the adjustment, the dizziness disappeared instantly!!!
Needless to say, as a nurse, someone who has always been interested in the functions of the body, I was completely fascinated with this skill. I was overwhelmingly convinced by my own experience of the gigantic relief that can be had simply by relieving the tension and pressure on the nerves.
I started telling everyone I met of the tremendous help that can be obtained through chiropractic. I suppose I sounded over-enthusiastic, but I am sure anyone who has reached the depths of despair that I did and found help can understand my emotions. Also, I was enthusiastic because it was relief without the use of drugs. It was relief by merely moving my body toward its normal alignment.
I asked him a million questions. Learning about the body and its functions is an exciting subject; but when a person can learn and feel the results at the same time, the information becomes doubly exciting and far more meaningful. (I must confess, however, this is the hard method and I would not recommend it.)
At this time, I decided that I would write a book and tell others about this miraculous skill. I started keeping notes on his treatments, my reactions, and progress.
Each time I visited him, the first thing he did was to check my spinal tension with the little neurocalometer. I soon learned to compare the way I felt with its readings. It became a game with me. I would tell my husband before my treatment how I felt in relation to what I thought the reading would be. It was surprising how they corresponded. When I first went to Dr. Toman, the atlas reading was around ten. I felt horrible. As it came down, I felt much better. I do not believe I could have exaggerated or manufactured symptoms without him knowing it.
As a patient, it was wonderful to be able to say "I feel bad" and the doctor knew by his own examination that I did.
It would have been great if, after an adjustment, the tension and pressure remained gone. As I said earlier, after the first three adjustments, I thought I was practically well. This was not the case at all. A person feels well after the tension and pressure have been taken off the nerves; but is not cured until the vertebras are in their normal positions, and there is no tension buildup.
The treatments first started every other day. As the tension stayed reduced longer, the treatments were spaced further apart. After the adjustment, I felt well. I could ride the bicycle, shoot basketball, and do most anything I wanted to do. When the tension built up again, the symptoms returned as severe as ever. I would fluctuate between the extremes--feeling very good to feeling very bad.
Since I had gotten so much relief, I had him examine my husband and children. One day I casually mentioned to him that Stan was going to a dermatologist for a rash. I said, "Of course you cannot help anything like that." He said, "Oh yes I can. You would be surprised at what the spine can do."
The dermatologist treated Stan with pills, soaks, and an ointment. This relieved him, but the dermatologist told him the rash would probably come back. When it did, Stan decided to see Dr. Toman.
Stan also had hayfever, asthma, a queasy stomach, and a reoccurring sore gland in his neck. He had these for years. The hayfever and asthma started in childhood.
Several years before, he was treated with antibiotics for the sore gland. The rash started after this, and the doctor thought it was a reaction to the antibiotics. After years of these reoccurring discomforts, it seemed the sore gland in his neck, queasy stomach and rash were related.
Dr. Toman told him some hayfever could be helped by chiropractic adjustments while some could not. However, Stan obtained great relief from his problems with only a few visits. He goes back for routine visits.
Jeanne was 12 years old and had severe migraine headaches for years. A couple of years before, we had her skull x-rayed; and the medical doctors had concluded the headaches were from a sinus source.
In addition, she had sharp reoccurring pains in her chest. We had her checked by three different pediatricians, and no one found any cause for the chest pains.
Dr. Toman found her axis to be out of place causing the sinus problem and headaches. A misaligned vertebra in the thoracic vertebras was causing the chest pains.
Brian, who was nine, was susceptible to colds. His spinal problem was not as severe as Jeanne's and required fewer adjustments.
None of us liked going and having our necks "cracked." Dr. Toman said after going to school for several years to learn to adjust necks, he liked it referred to as an adjustment. I said it may be an adjustment to him; but to the patient, it was "cracked." There was no pain involved in an adjustment, but it was necessary for him to twist the neck to the proper position to adjust it; and we did not like that.
We all were more than eager to go whenever there was real discomfort. Once, while doing head springs in the living room, Brian injured his neck and was not able to turn his head to the left side. He welcomed the adjustment then. He came out of the office almost as enthusiastic as I did.
Near the end of August, after only two months of treatments, I felt great. I can never remember feeling better in my life. I was very energetic, my eyes felt wonderful, the dizziness was gone, the hypoglycemic feelings eliminated, my menses had changed and my mood was happy. He said I could return to my job at the hospital in the middle of September. I was full of praise for what he had done for me.
My menses had taken on new characteristics. I have always had a short period. Usually I saturated one pad the first day and spotted the next two days. It was usually a dark color. It has been like this for as long as I can remember and I considered it my normal flow. I never had cramps or any particular discomfort with it except the headaches. Now, the discharge was a brighter red and more abundant.
Every day I rode the bicycle a lot and shot basketball for some exercise trying to get myself into condition to do an eight-hour day in the delivery room. (Stamina of an athlete is required in that job.) I still had some symptoms at times, but overall I was feeling great.
So far, my experience had been nothing short of miraculous, and I only wish my story could end here; but fate was not to be so kind. I would soon learn that it was only the beginning.
Sunday, August 31st, 1969, I was alone doing some simple basketball shots as I have done thousands of times before. I played basketball in grade school, high school, college, and in nurse's training.
While doing an easy lay-up shot, for some unknown reason, I came down in an awkward, flat-footed position giving myself a severe jolt. Never before can I remember doing something like that.
Immediately a sharp, severe pain went throughout my head and my "good feeling" was gone.
That's all the reaction I had at that time. I felt no other pain or discomfort--just no longer had a peppy feeling. I had no conception of what I had done. That was on Sunday. The next day was Labor Day and I did not call Dr. Toman. Symptoms were gradually building; and by the time I kept my appointment on Tuesday, my head felt as though I could not think and both my arms felt as though they did not want to move. I could move them, but I had to really concentrate on it. This feeling was similar to my previous feelings in my right arm and right leg.
I was feeling really bad in my head, but had no pain. My head felt as though the brain was not working. Dr. Toman told me I should have called him earlier because it would have made his work easier. If I had any idea of the severity of the problem, I would never have hesitated.
While he was adjusting the neck, he asked me when my next menstrual period would be. I said it was two weeks away. I thought to myself that was a strange question since the menstrual headaches seemed to have ceased to be a problem.
Well, I found out! I had an extremely severe headache with that period. I asked him if he had anticipated that headache. He said he had. I said I wished he had given me a little more warning.
The fall playing basketball and its complications canceled my going back to work. I thought he would have me going again soon like I had been, but the treatments did not bring me back fast. I kept telling the hospital that it would be just a little longer thinking I would respond as before.
It was one and a half months after that accident before I started feeling well at all. I still had not regained my "good feeling."
I had many, many sensations with my arms not working and numbness around the mouth. Sometimes the numbness was around the right eye. If I were relaxed, I was okay; but if I became stressed in any way, the numbness became worse and my body became very tense, nervous, and shaky.
He started me on a couple of exercises. I was to rotate my body at the waist and also rotate my head, first one way and then the other. Doing this sure caused a lot of clicks and clacks. My body sounded like an old dilapidated jalopy.
I started doing my exercises very faithfully and regularly, but finally quit. I felt like an ant trying to move a beach of sand. I didn't feel any better with them, and I didn't think they helped. They only caused a lot of loud frightening sounds in my head and body.
The very next week after quitting them, he asked if I had been doing the exercises. I said "no." He said with the exercises he could tell a change from visit to visit. He has a pleasant, firm way about him; and he informed me that he could not do the job alone and that I had to help. I thought if he could tell I wasn't doing them, then they must be of value so I really worked on them after that.
I wanted to do everything I could to get myself back to work. Our financial status was critical. We had bought our home in March on a very tight budget. We felt if we were conservative, we could make the payments okay. At the end of March, after being in the house foronly one month, I had to quit working entirely. Suddenly our income was cut in half and our expenses increased. So I was eager to do everything that I thought would help hasten my recovery. I pestered him constantly about when I would be able to return to work.
On October 20, he gave me another list of exercises. They were designed to take the spine through its entire scope of movements. After doing these for one week, on the next visit he adjusted the axis. For the first time since the fall playing basketball my "good feeling" returned! I was extremely elated. However, it was short lived as the feeling only stayed a couple of days.
This "good feeling" seemed so great to me, but I am sure it was a relative thing. My condition was so low and with this sudden feeling of energy and well being, the contrast was tremendous.
Even though the "good feeling" did not stay at its maximum level, I was feeling fairly good again; and once more we started talking about my return to work.
With Dr. Toman's permission, I exercised each day with a t.v. show. I worked very hard on my exercises going through them several times a day.
After doing all the exercises prescribed by him and the ones on the t.v. show, I decided to work a little fat off my abdomen by doing sit-ups. I had done this exercise at intervals for years. This seemingly insignificant decision was to prove disastrous for me.
Since I was already doing so many different exercises, it never occurred to me that one more would produce horrifying results. I had no warning thought or thought of hesitancy in any way before starting to do them. I was feeling good again and did these exercises for several days. Now, as I look back on this decision, it is so obviously stupid that I can only wonder why I made it. In hindsight things look so logical and simple we can readily see our mistakes, but in foresight, things aren't so clearly defined.
One day, in the first part of November, 1969 after having taken a nap, I had one sudden, short, severely intense pain that went through my body from my chest to my back.
Immediately, I had a severe cross-eyed feeling which progressed to a feeling of anxiety and on to a severe feeling of inability to think. It was a horrible reaction. It seemed so many of my earlier complaints had suddenly come back and in terrific force. There was one big difference--my eye problem had been exophoria. The eyes diverged outward. Now, my eyes seemed in complete contrast--cross-eyed.
When I jolted myself playing basketball, I did not realize immediately that I had injured myself severely. This time, however, there was no doubt. I knew I had suffered another major complication.
When I saw Dr. Toman, he showed much anger toward me. He was angry thinking I had done a simple little thing like taking my nap on the couch causing this to happen. Cowardly, I waited until the next visit to tell him that I had been doing sit-ups. He did tell me that this might possible have happened from the adjustments and not from the exercises.
I had worked very strenuously on those exercises and I take full responsibility for this complication.
Over and over and over, I asked myself, "Why did I do that stupid exercise? Why? Why?" Why?"
Needless to say, I learned a very valuable lesson. Exercises are very, very potent and should be designed individually for each person according to their spinal needs.
Now I felt sicker than ever. I could get an adjustment and feel good, but it did not hold for any length of time. It wasn't long afterwards until I had another terrible reaction. I suddenly got a quivering feeling in my epigastric area. I did not know what was causing it--the stomach or the heart. Dr. Toman said it was probably the stomach. Sometimes I had a severe penetrating pain in the sternum, sometimes some shortness of breath. These reactions were accompanied by extreme nervousness and anxiety. All I wanted to do was just lie down somewhere, but I knew it would get no better until I got to him for an adjustment.
I had to call my husband home from work several times to take me to his office. Some times I wasn't sure I'd make it there. The longer the delay, the worse the symptoms became. It was very frightening because I could be feeling fine one minute and the next minute start having severe symptoms.
I had pestered Dr. Toman before as to when I would be able to return to work. No longer was that a concern to me. Most important now was "would I recover?"
Previously, my visits to him were made at prearranged appointments. Now, I was going to him when needed for when I came out of adjustment, I was almost incapacitated until he put me "back together".
It became routine for me to rush to his office in a high state of anxiety, shakiness and panic. Sometimes my brain would feel as though it was nonfunctioning. Sometimes I had quivering in the epigastric area. Sometimes the legs felt as though they were numb and would not work. As soon as he had a chance to examine me, I would ask him if it was "fixable". The symptoms were so severe that I did not see how he could possibly correct them. He assured me that he could. With a few pushes in the right spots, he could make me feel as "good as new" until I came out of adjustment again
I thanked him with all my heart for the relief he gave me and especially for giving me back my brain and the ability to think again.
I grew very dependent on him at this time. Whenever he went out of town, I would practically hold my breath until he got back. His father took emergency calls for him, but I was having so many complications that I did not want anyone who did not know all my problems to adjust me.
I told him he was my puppeteer. With his hands he controlled my life. He could make me feel healthy, active, and happy. Without them, my body was in a state of near collapse. I am sure he saved my life and I will be forever indebted to him.
In almost any bad experience, we learn something worthwhile. There were many positive things that came out of this segment of my illness. I had already started writing this book to tell others of this miraculous skill. Now, however, I was learning so much more about the nervous system--how tremendously potent it is. How just an adjustment which takes only a few minutes could have such immense power. How a person can go from the depths of despair to a feeling of health and well-being in a very short time.
Also, I was learning about the reaction of stress on the body. Even though I had been sick before, mental stress had not had such an impact on me. To experience the slightest amount of stress would make my nerve symptoms greatly exaggerated. I could be in a very calm state, not being bothered by anything consciously, and then have a simple, everyday event happen that created slight stress and my mouth would become numb, the sternum would hurt, the stomach would quiver and the legs would have tremors, etc.
It seemed that the amount of mental stress plus the amount of tension on the nerves at any given time would equal the amount of my reactions.
Small mental stress plus large amounts of tension on the nerves would produce exaggerated symptoms.
Large mental stress plus small amount of tension on the nervous system would give me very little reaction.
As a nurse, I have studied about patients having different pain levels. (This is especially noted in labor and delivery nursing since all the patients are basically undergoing the same condition.) I believe the degree of pain being experienced is in relation to the degree of pressure and tension on a particular nerve or group of nerves.
This was a very dark period in my life. My world seemed to be in a state of convulsion, and I was powerless to stop it.
I could no longer work at the hospital and do my beloved nursing. I was having one complication after another. Our creditors were keeping the phone busy wanting their payments. Some talked to me as though I was the scum of the earth. (I would like to insert a "thank you" to Roy Belmonth of the Associates Loan Company for talking to me like a human being. I found, in this most difficult time, that the company lived up to its motto of being nice people to do business with.)
For the first time in our marriage, Stan and I were having serious marital problems, and divorce was contemplated.
My life before this illness had consisted of so many wonderful things. Now everything seemed so black. To add to my gloom this was during the worst winter Hamilton had had in many years. The snow seemed to lay on the ground forever. The sun hardly ever shined. Since this illness, weather has affected me terribly.
At this time, in the lowest moment I have ever experienced in my entire life, when I found myself literally screaming hysterically to the heavenly Father not to take more from me as he had Job, God suddenly touched my life in a very real way.
Words came into my head as clearly as if someone had spoken to me. In one short sentence, they spoke of events in my past, present and future.
I knew then, beyond all doubt, beyond faith, that He is there, He does exist, He loves us, and my life will forever be changed.
I now knew that God had a purpose for my suffering and for my life. This portion of my life is a subject for another book and perhaps someday I will write of it.To Continue