Why I do what I do

My father and I were very close. As a child, I followed him everywhere. I learned so much from him. He could fix anything. I learned how to rebuild automobile engines, fix electrical outlets, kitchen appliances - you name it. He was always very proud of me. We got along great! We had good chemistry.

We were living in NJ at the time, and I was in college enrolled in premed. I always wanted to be some kind of doctor. I considered dentistry, optometry, and veterinary, but settled on surgery.

I was in my second year, when I got that phone call that no one wants to get. My dad was in the hospital with a heart attack! 54 years old! They took good care of him and he was back home in a few days.

They told him that he needed to eliminate all cholesterol from his diet. I remember him boiling all meats for about a half an hour, pouring off the fats from the pot and then boiling it again. It tasted like cardboard, but he was willing to do everything they told him to avoid another heart attack. He was off eggs, cheese - and just about any food that tasted good.

Over time he started to develop painful joints.They then began to swell. He was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and placed on painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications. This gave him some relief, but he still had painful, swollen joints.

After about three weeks, I get a call that he was in the ER with another heart attack. Well, it turned out that they decided it wasn't really a heart attack, but a reaction to the medications. He said that the chest pain he had was so scary that he wouldn't take any more of the arthritis prescriptions.

Well, things got really bad! He was still on his restricted diet, boiling meats and all. Without the drugs, his joint pain was unbearable. His wrists puffed up to the size of grapefruits. He could barely walk. When we helped him up out of chairs, you could see tears running down his cheeks.

Through all of this, he lost all color in his skin. His skin became ashen-grey. I remember thinking he looked like walking death. We all just knew that he was going to die soon.

He was so miserable!

I wanted to help my dad. After all, here I was in my premed courses with access to all the latest in the medical field. I went to classes and asked my professors. I read through all the literature. Nothing seemed to get him back to a good quality of life.

My sister came in one day and said, "Hey, dad, why don't you go to my friend's chiropractor? He has helped her and her family with a lot of different health problems."

I said, "Give me a break, Mary! Why on earth would he want to go to a chiropractor?" This was so bizarre to me.

We came from a long line of medical people. My grandfather was a pediatrician, my mother was an RN, and there I was in premed. This was a crazy idea!

Actually, I felt so guilty that I could not help him after all he had done for me over the years.

It hurt my feelings that he would consider any medical alternative. After all, what the heck did a chiropractor know about rheumatoid arthritis?

My dad said that he would go! Nothing else was helping him, so what did he have to lose? This chiropractor turned our world upside down. He said that if he could get my dad's body working better, that my dad could get relief.

He told him to go home and have a steak and eat eggs! What? What about all the cholesterol?

Well, in about 2 weeks, my dad started having less pain in his joints. Then, over a couple months, the swelling completely disappeared. All the color came back in his skin! We got my dad back! He went from death's door back to his old self!

It turns out that the restrictive, no cholesterol diet is actually what caused his arthritis problem.The body needs cholesterol to make hormones. Hormones like cortisone - a natural anti-inflammatory.

Well, I was amazed at all of this. This was so contrary to my thinking. But it makes so much sense! The body is an awesome creation that has an inborn capacity to heal itself. When the body physiology is altered, the body suffers and disease processes take hold. You don't just get a problem one day. It develops over time. If we can catch it before it's too late, we can turn that bad physiology around and help the body to heal.

Chiropractic is not just about bad backs! It is the largest natural health care system in the country. It helps the body heal naturally by balancing body function via the nerve system, exercise, diet, and nutrition.

I was hooked! I finished my premed courses and then applied to Chiropractic College. That was 33 years ago. I've never looked back at that decision.

Much as chiropractic brought my dad's life back to normal, I have been blessed to provide such care to thousands of patients over the past 33 years. My experience has shown me that the human body is an awesome creation designed by God. Miracles can happen when you enable His creation to heal itself.