Denise's Story

Dr. Delorme was recommended to me by a friend who said that he had done wonders for her headaches and backaches. It was March 2007 and my back had "snapped out" yet again and I was immobilised by unrelenting pain and left flat on my back, able to walk only with the greatest of difficulties and unable to stand up straight. So , knowing very little about chiropractic therapy and armed only with a firm recommendation, I made an appointment to see Dr. Delorme.

When I first saw Dr. Delorme, my spine was badly compromised and misaligned, leading to a host of other problems such as headaches, ankle and knee pain, foot problems, unsteadiness, anxiety, and depression. It seemed like I have always been dealing with backaches throughout my life. Four pregnancies added a great deal of stress on my back, not counting the stress involved in taking care of young children. In 1987, I suffered a serious mental illness which left me feeling unmotivated and lethargic most of the time. When I got better years later, I tried exercises like yoga and Pilate's, which helped strengthen my spine. But, as I grew older and my stress level increased with life situations that I was facing, my back issues became much more pronounced and debilitating.

That's where I was at when I first came into Dr. Delorme's care. My first visit proved to be very hopeful. I watched a video about chiropractic care and adjustments and met with Dr. Delorme who was very friendly, patient, gentle, and knowledgeable. I must mention right at the beginning that everything ( x-rays and adjustments) are done with me being fully clothed, which I am extremely thankful for, and which may seem like a small detail but it makes a big difference for people like me who do not like to be clad only in flimsy paper gowns which is the norm of most treatment centres. After the x-rays and the hands on examination of my spine, Dr. Delorme said that he felt confident that he could help me but would know with more certainty after he had reviewed the x-rays. He said he would tell me if he couldn't help me and I believed him when he said this. I appreciated his honesty in admitting that my condition might not be one that could be helped with chiropractic care.

On the second visit, Dr. Delorme said that he was certain that he could help me achievie a better quality of life with his program of regular adjustments. The first adjustment was an experience in itself because I had never had such work done on my body before. I can't say that I felt anything different after the first adjustment but I left feeling a little bouncier and hopeful that this would work.

The first three months of adjustments had their ups and downs because I think that my body was fighting to retain its old style of functioning, which was clearly dysfunctional for me. Sometimes, I seemed to walk out with more discomfort than when I walked in. But things always settled down. When I mentioned this to Dr. Delorme, he recommended that I walk for ten minutes after an adjustment to allow the adjustment to take effect. This worked for me and I soon had no pain at all.

Within eight months of adjustments, I was seeing Dr. Delorme about once every three weeks and this was keeping me clear of pain. This seemed to be a good schedule for me to be on.

I carry stress in my lower back. I don't know if this is because I injured my lower back vertebrae falling down stairs when I was 19 and this became my weak spot. But, in my 60's now, this is still where I first feel stiffness and pain when I am dealing with stress in my life.

When I am under stress, I notice that I need to come in more often- sometimes as often as at the beginning of therapy sessions, depending om my stress level. But the adjustments usually are sufficient so that I don't have to take time off work. In fact, I've only had to take two days off work due to my back whereas before, I would sometimes be incapacitated for a week or more at a time. I do the recommended back and neck exercises and notice a difference when I neglect to do follow up care. I do yoga and Pilate's on a regular basis and also do mediation now to reduce my stress level. I also have taken up walking for an hour several times a week. Exercise and meditation are very important components of my wellness, along side regular chiropractic adjustments.

A much appreciated benefit of the chiropractic adjustments on my neck is my improved hearing. I used to wear hearing aides because of hearing loss in both ears and now, I don't even wear them and rarely have to ask people to repeat things. If I do, it's usually because they have been mumbling!

All of this was put to a grand test when Ottawa's OC Transpo bus strike happened in November 2008. The strike lasted about 59 days. I tired to keep up with my exercises and meditation practises. I was only able to make it in for one adjustment during that time-at the end of December. I was in pretty rough shape then and my back had gone out. No amount of resting or back exercises or pain medication was relieving the situation. In addition, I was back to wearing my hearing aides full time. I felt depressed and was in a great deal of pain all the time. That one adjustment fixed my back again but, if the bus strike hadn't settled when it did, I would have needed to come in again. The quality of my life during the bus strike and without the benefits of regular adjustments was very poor. Within weeks of having regular adjustments again, my hearing completely cleared up and my back has been strong ever since.

I strongly believe that the chiropractic adjustments have also helped me with my mental health issue of bipolar depression. Recently, I had gone off all of my medications with the supervision of my psychiatrist after having been on medications for about 22 years. I was doing fine but needed more frequent adjustments to fine tune my body, it seemed. The adjustments seem to stimulate my nervous system in such a way that my thinking is clearer and I am less reactive. Now, I know that I do not have a medical degree to prove that chiropractic treatments are completely responsible for my wholeness. I only know that I am feeling much better in every facet of my being since starting to have adjustments two years ago. I started having an increased and very difficult stress load about two months ago. The adjustments were helping me a great deal but I have had to go back on medications-but it's a minimum dose of one medication. I am handling my stress very well and I am confident that I may be able to go off the medications once again. I must also mention that regular adjustments helped me tremendously to reduce the withdrawal side effects of coming off of the medications. I know this because I have been reducing my medications for over six years trying to figure out which medication was causing a disturbing side effect that none of my doctors could trace to a specific drug. It just so happened to be the last medication I went off. So, I know what it is like to deal with withdrawals with and without the assistance of adjustments. And believe me, it is much easier with regular adjustments.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if chiropractic treatments were covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Program? Considering the savings that I have made for the health care system since starting to come to see Dr. Delorme, it would be a wise investment of taxpayer dollars. I used to have to see my general practitioner quite frequently and would often have to have x-rays done and go on pain medication. I also believe that I wouldn't have been in the mental health system for such along time if I had had the services of a good chiropractor. I wouldn't have missed so many days at work. But, most important, I would have enjoyed a better quality of life than I had during all of my years suffering from chronic back pain. The world would have been a happier place to be!

Denise L

August 2, 2009