Chapter 5

The Struggle Continues

The most constant back pain I had was during this period. I felt that if I only had some pressure applied to my upper thoracic area, it would feel better. Sometimes I would like on my abdomen with the heating pad on my back and put a sand bag on the aching part. Many days I would take several showers to relieve this pain and tenseness. To allow nice warm water to flow from the neck all the way down was so relieving. I said I guess I was probably the cleanest person in Hamilton.

I asked Dr. Toman if the disk had ruptured during that complication when the pain went from the chest to the back. He said he didn't think it had ruptured, but that it had probably bulged. I personally believed it had ruptured.

I only did what housework and cooking that had to be done. I never became completely bedridden. Most days were spent watching reruns and ancient movies on television.

We made an flexing type exerciser similar to the slim gym for me. I felt much better after doing my exercises each day. Many changes took place in the spine while doing them. I always became frightened when I got real loud clicks. I learned that most of the time any changes that I got were for the good. However, it was not always so. Some times I would pull myself out of adjustment. When I did, I would have to be adjusted by Dr. Toman. I would be very hesitant to start exercising again and would ask him if he was sure he wanted me to continue doing them. He would tell me to rest for the remainder of the day and resume them the next day.

When I would get a big spinal movement, the results were usually fast in coming. I would wait for a few minutes with great fear wondering whether the change would bring on good relief or if it would bring on bad symptoms. Most of the changes brought about with the exercises made me feel much better.

Sometimes I would come out of adjustment with movements that I had been doing previously without trouble, once when opening the oven door. I do not believe that I ever came out the same way twice.

A person adjusts to their body and symptoms. I soon learned the early warning signs and I learned not to wait until the symptoms became severe to get an adjustment.

We got permission from Dr. Toman to allow Stan to apply manual pressure to my upper thoracic area. Just him applying a steady pressure would often times relieve the anxiety, the non-functioning brain feeling, and the cross-eye feeling.

I soon learned which exercises were more likely to pull me out of adjustment and I eliminated them from my routine.

My husband bought me a sewing machine to give me something to do. Sewing requires no great physical exertion and occupied my mind.

To learn of this great interlacing of the physical and mental symptoms of the body was fascinating. Many times, it was hard for me to realize when I had anxiety that it was from a physical cause and not an emotional one. Of course, if it were real severe, I could tell I was out of adjustment, but in its milder forms, I would consider myself "nervous".

I could be busy working and be feeling alright and suddenly start having extreme anxiety. I learned that I had either just come out of adjustment or was in the process of a spinal movement. There would be absolutely no sensation of pain.

Once I was in Dr. Toman's office on the treatment table and after he had examined me, he was called to the phone. While he was out of the room, I had that familiar sudden feeling of anxiety. When he came in, I told him I thought I had a big change in the spine just lying there. He checked me and I had.

I believe I had now finally found the reason why, after I had the bicycle wreck when I was around 10 years old, that I would suddenly stop and say "I'm dying." The sensation I felt when the spine would make certain movements brought on this extreme feeling of anxiety and it was easy to come to that conclusion.

I had many, many types of movements in the spine and not all brought on this feeling of anxiety. I do not know which nerve was involved when this feeling was producted.

During the first few treatments that he gave me, I got a feeling of heaviness in my legs from the pressure he applied on the sciatic nerve to relax the spine. This stopped after a few times. For weeks he continued to use this method without any further ill effects. However, now I was beginning to feel badly during this part of the treatment. For a time, I kept saying to myself that it was only my imagination. Finally, I told him about the feeling and that I thought it was probably my imagination. It was not a pain. I suppose apprehension would be the nearest descriptive word.

On the next few treatments, when I started to complain, he would discontinue the pressure. There was still no physical reactions. Then one day, he applied the pressure as usual. When I complained, he stopped. This time my legs went into a severe tremor. This was the first physical reaction and I knew that it was not my imagination.

There is a fantastic bond between the physical and mental aspects of our bodies. The physical condition of the body affects the mental condition and the mental state also affects the physical reactions.

He no longer used that nerve, but started using a nerve in the left thigh. After a few treatments, I again started having that emotional reaction. He discontinued this too and he started making the adjustments without a preliminary relaxation. I usually took a shower right before going to his office to get as much muscle relaxation as I could. He said a few patients reacted like I did. Stan, Jeanne, and Brian have never reacted to this.

After large spontaneous shifts in the spine, there were times when my thoughts would seem jumbled. They seemed to be there, but would be in a distorted way. I learned to avoid concentrating on any particular thing until this feeling passed. My thoughts seemed to be similar to radio signals when they are being received in a distorted way.

Before my experience with chiropractic, I did not know that mental symptoms could have a physical origin such as this. I asked Dr. Toman if chiropractic had much success in treating mental illnesses. He said that they had indeed. He gave me a book called Stark Corridors to read. That book contained so many things that I too had experienced. It seemed so up-to-date, yet was written many years before.

The cross-eyed feeling was an interesting phenomenal to me. My eye problem had been the eyes diverging outward. This feeling now was the exact opposite. They did not appear cross-eyed from outward appearance, but they felt that way to me. I wondered if during that bad complication when the thoracic vertebrae came out of place, if the opposite set of eye nerves and muscles became involved.

Most of the time, I could relieve this cross-eyed feeling with pressure applied to my upper thoracic vertebras by my husband. Surprisingly, sometimes I could relieve it by eating something. There were times I could not relieve it no matter what "home remedy" I used and would have to go to his office for an adjustment.

When I had this cross-eyed feeling and sometimes a heavy eyelid feeling, it was usually accompanied by extreme fatigue. I believe there was a definite connection between the eyes and the hypoglycemic feeling. They seem so unrelated when talking about them, yet my symptoms often times went together.

With this feeling of extreme fatigue, I felt that I had to keep shoving in the food to keep going. My weight was easing upwards. When I had my "good feeling", it was one of energy and I had no desire to overeat. I was always trying to diet, but was unsuccessful.

First of all, I had a tremendous appetite. Secondly, the times that I was able to cut down on the food intake I would soon start having dizziness and a hypoglycemic feeling and would have to eat something to alleviate those symptoms and not because I had given in to poor willpower. I wondered what affect my "good feeling" would have on my weight once it stayed.

There were times when I was dieting that it seemed to bring on my "good feeling." I wondered how all these things were connected.

Even though I was quite ill at this time, I was completely awed with the technique of chiropractic. I realized the wide range of symptoms that could be caused by pressure and tension on nerves. I tried to correlate my symptoms, his treatment, the position of the vertebras at the time of certain symptoms, and the results. I tried to study myself as a nurse studying a disease and also as a patient feeling a disease. It gave me an insight into illness that could never be obtained any other way.

It seemed there was always one symptom or another. I became very discouraged. Even though I trusted my doctor because he had helped me so much, I was beginning to wonder if he had become too close to my case and could no longer look at it objectively. I have known that to happen quite a few times in the medical profession.

After one particular adjustment, my entire neck and back of my head felt numb. It was necessary to call him into the office on his off hours to see me. After this, I decided to see another doctor in a nearby town. This doctor used a different technique than Dr. Toman. He took x-rays varying some from the positions Dr. Toman used. He used a vibrator to relax the spine instead of putting pressure on a nerve in the leg. (The vibrator felt so good that I bought one for home use. It helped to relieve many of the symptoms.)

I talked with his receptionist while in the waiting room. I told her about all my problems that I had encountered and I wondered how other patients got along. She said having a spinal problem corrected was like cleaning house. The house looks fairly clean before one starts, but everything is put away dirty and in the wrong places. To clean a house, everything has to be taken out of the closets, cleaned and then put back into its proper place. It can make a pretty big mess before it is all cleaned and put away. However, when done, the house is in much better condition.

Even though I felt so badly on my visit, he would not adjust me at all until the next day after the x-rays had a chance to dry. He went over them with me explaining them in detail. He said I had a difficult neck to adjust because the axis went to the left while the atlas went to the right . He said in most cases the atlas and the axis went the same way. He gave me encouragement and said there was no need to change doctors.

I returned to Dr. Toman. I did not tell him that I had doubted him so.

Some time later, we were talking about that reaction and I referred to it as being a wrong adjustment. He said it was not a wrong adjustment, but that he had made too much of a change for my condition. He said usually patients, even though they do not think so at the time, will feel better later. I started feeling better too.

Being human, doctors, nurses and chiropractors do make mistakes. It seemed since I was experiencing so many of the complications, I might as well have a mistake thrown in too.

He was adjusting the axis frequently at this time. After one particular axis adjustment, I noticed a little different sensation in my nose and face immediately after the adjustment. I did not pay much attention to it because I sometimes got a few sensations and felt a little shaky after an adjustment for an hour or two.

After going to the dressing room to change from the treatment gown to my street clothes, I became weaker and shakier by the second. Feeling that I was about to collapse, I yelled to him loudly that I did not feel well. I rushed half-dressed back to the treatment room where he immediately took a neck reading with the neurocalometer and readjusted the neck. Relief was instant.

Needless to say, I was terrified about getting any more adjustments, and thought that I just could not be adjusted again. But realism prevailed. I have worked in hospitals long enough to know that mistakes are made by almost everyone no matter how careful they try to be. I have always tried to be very careful in giving medications and treatments, but I have made mistakes too. I know of many times different medical doctors have made misjudgments of a situation. This in no way means they are incompetent. It only means they are human. So being human we all make mistakes and Dr. Toman was no exception.

He told me quite frankly that he had tried to rotate the axis and had made a mistake. I respected him for not giving me some flowery explanation as a coverup.

He changed his technique in adjusting me after this. For months and months he had adjusted the neck when I laid on my side. Now he changed and had me lie on my back for the neck adjustment. I did not get any more reactions, but I did not seem to get as much relief either. My progress slowed.

Since I did those sit-up exercises causing the thoracic vertebrae to come out of position, my adjustments did not hold for long periods at all. I kept asking him, "When am I going to get better? Will I ever have my "good feeling" again? He said that I would find as soon as spring came I would feel a lot better. The sunny weather and being able to get out of the house would help me.

Having worked with doctors, I know they usually tell patients the truth. However, I also know that if questions aren't asked, information isn't given. Many times the truths are only half-truths. Therefore, I studied his expressions and weighed each word trying to detect any apprehension that he might feel about my condition. Most always he seemed to be very confident and cheerful.

However, he did seem to be puzzled and in deep thought on one of my visits in February 1970. I had come to the office out of adjustment as usual. As he was preparing to make the adjustment, I heard him mutter to himself, "I've got to get that thing to stay." He sounded very frustrated. The adjustment seemed much firmer than usual. With that adjustment, my right ear became clogged; but I

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