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Tom’s turn for back issues

This happened a few days ago on April 23.

So, Tom hurt his back way back in 2012 when he was at Quantico for Advanced Comm School. He got X-rays taken but was told nothing was wrong.

Fast forward to today when he hurt his back working out and went to the doctor. His X-rays had been digitized and attached to his account and as soon as the doctor saw them he told Tom he had degenerative disc disease! He was clueless how any previous doc could have missed it!

So, that sucks. But! He is now allowed to go to a chiropractor at no cost! He will have another appointment to determine the extent of the issue, but in the meantime, he’s taking drugs.

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Just a little windy.

I love going out to the deck to put away the plastic chairs blowing around in the wind…only to discover the 14′ patio umbrella half out of the table and the heavy wrought iron table is what we heard moving around. EEK! Of course I couldn’t leave it like I found it (I should have taken a picture) so I had to finagle the stupid thing (which weighs a ton) and I think I threw my back out getting the umbrella safely removed. Fun!

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Birthday Bowling + A Toe Tragedy

Today we had a birthday party at a bowling alley for one of Owen’s classmates.

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He had great fun using up his allotted tokens:

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And I played one game for him and won over 100 tickets! He liked feeding them into the counting machine! (I thought we were done at this point which is why I turned them in so early. By the time the day was done, I had three redemption slips!)

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Then it was time for pizza, cake, and opening presents. Overall it wasn’t too bad, but the party room was SUPER tiny for all the kids and let me just ask: If you were having a birthday party at a bowling alley on a limited time schedule with little kids with a short attention span, why on earth would you bring ALL your personal presents (at least 10-12)? Bring maybe 2-3 from mom and dad (if any at all) and open the rest at home. But anyway.

Owen was really very patient, and finally it was time for bowling. He wasn’t thrilled with the shoes but I told him he had to wear them. The first few frames went pretty well (they had the bumpers up) but honestly, trying to corral ten or so ~5-year-olds into bowling is like trying to herd cats. Kids running here, running there, between lanes, down the lanes while others are bowling, not waiting their turns, wanting to punch all the buttons on the display… And the noise level? Eeesh. Owen started complaining that the shoes hurt his feet and even though they felt fine, I let him take them off. I bowled in socks as a kid and so could he.

Here was his first go at it!

Then they brought out the helper stands—which made a HUGE difference in the success of each turn.

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So it was only Owen and another kid on the last lane. This kid seemed to be a little older and a little bit of a brat—and I have NO idea who his mother was/parents were because no one was ever once close to him the whole time I was there. Well, in about frame six, this kid grabs a ball off the ball return and I guess was trying to be nice and bring Owen a ball for his turn… And just as I’m realizing this could go horribly wrong…yep, bowling ball to the toe. Screaming, wailing, tears, and a little boy sobbing in my lap.

A few moms and kids came over to see if he was okay (he was, he just had to cry a bit and settle down) and one offered to get some ice (oh, yeah, that would be good—I was so concerned with calming him down I had completely zoned on getting ice). Anyway, that was the end of the fun and he just kept saying he wanted to go home. I said we could but we had to leave the ice on for a bit first. The other kid never apologized (I’m sure he didn’t think anything of it) and whoever was there with him never came over (I recognized the few moms that did come over) so that was kind of annoying.

We did have to stop and redeem his tickets on the way out. He had picked out what he wanted earlier and of course they were out of that item. But the guy said we could pick ANYTHING in the case! (I mean it’s all cheap crap, but Owen was excited!) So he picked handcuffs! :) Then it was a slow hobble to the car (I obviously can’t carry him) and he really was a trooper for as painful as I know it was. On the way home I tried to get his mind off it it and had him smiling and laughing. And since he can take pills now, I stopped at Walgreens to get some children’s Advil.

Of course he couldn’t wait to get home to tell Gramma and Grandpa about it and show them. We asked him if he knew the kid and he said no, but he always drops the bowling ball on his foot. :)

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My second chiropractor.

I like my current chiropractor, so why did I seek out another one? Well, he practices a different style of adjusting—the NUCCA method:

NUCCA is a unique form of Chiropractic spinal health care that uses a specific procedure focused on correcting a small misalignment of the upper neck know as the Atlas Subluxation Complex. This subtle correction ultimately restores optimal balance to the entire spinal column. Because the spinal column protects the central nervous system that controls and coordinates all body functions, good spinal balance is critical to good health.

Plus he was offering a special deal—the consult and first set of X-rays for $25 (instead of $200+)…and you all know I’m all about the deal. :D

I didn’t think I’d like it—I mean, I LOVE being cracked, and he does NO cracking whatsoever. But I wanted a “second opinion” if you will. And I thought if he could help me more (or in addition to) the other chiropractor…then why not? The goal is to FIX my neck.

So I had the consult (about a week ago) and from the basic check, he determined my neck was bad enough that x-rays were warranted. Big surprise, I know. :roll: So today I got the results and yep, I’m broken.

My spine (at the neck) should be curved—like the “near normal” x-ray below—and it’s not. (NOTE: These are NOT my x-rays—these pics are from here.)

Near normal neck x-ray

My neck is almost straight, like this (Phase One Subluxation Degeneration)—characterized with a loss or change in the normal curve in the spine):

Phase 1 neck x-ray

But that said, I think I actually fall into the next worst phase—Phase Two Subluxation Degeneration—where there is a reduction in the range of motion, you may start to feel stiff or achy, affected vertebrae are noticeably narrower and may appear to be flattening out, and you can see the beginnings of arthritis. XX(

He said that in one direction, my neck is off by (I think it was) ½° and in another direction, it was off by 2° (which he said was pretty bad—I don’t think he used the word severe, but it certainly wasn’t good).

The adjusting is done by pressing (with the heel of his hand) on my neck in the direction it needs to go. It was done in a matter of minutes (much like the other chiropractor) but unfortunately, it’s a bit more expensive ($40/visit vs. $25/visit). BUT if it helps me, I think it’s worth it. I have been going to the other chiropractor for about three months and it HAS helped (as evidenced by her scans), but what she’s doing can’t actually realign my neck, which is what I think really needs to happen. And I’m still getting headaches every night so something else needs to be done.

So we’ll see how it goes. I just want my neck to feel better and not get any worse.