A trip to the chiropractor might not be something you’d normally subject your child to, but it’s becoming something regular in our family.
Julian and I have always believed in the benefits of regular visits to a chiropractor. I remember I first started going to one when we lived in Japan. This particular chiro was an Australian guy, who got his degree at Macquarie University. In fact, the only reason we went to him was because he was Australian, as the Japanese “chiropractors” weren’t up to the task. Anyway, he became someone we saw on a regular basis, keeping our backs in check and the typical aches and pains (that come with age) at bay.
I guess, over the years, we came to rely heavily on our chiropractor, and when we moved to Singapore we made sure we found a good one as soon as we could.
However, these past couple of years since we moved to London and then back to Australia have seen me keep my distance from them. I just seemed to be so busy that I found it hard to make the time. In fact I didn’t want to make the time, truth be told. I don’t know why, I just didn’t. And my back has gotten worse. The headaches stay with me all day, my legs hurt, my hips hurt, and my back aches. I feel stiff and achey all over. I feel old.
Last week, Julian took the four kids to see his chiropractor. You see, Julian has been going to a guy nearby ever since we arrived back from overseas. He needs to. If Julian’s back is sore, he is unbearable to live with, like a bear with a sore head (back). Believe me when I say that it’s in the family’s best interest that their dad goes to have his back fixed regularly. So on this occasion, he took the kids. Just for a check up. It turns out that they all have something wrong with their posture and stance. Misaligned hips, knock-knees, loss of curve in their neck, lordosis, turned in feet. All typical things in kids, but all easily corrected through regular chiro visits, saving them from further grief down the track.
And then there’s James. I remember, just after he was born, taking him to see our Australian chiro in Tokyo. In fact, I had an appointment and I took him with me. He was only 2 weeks old and sleeping terribly. I was exhausted because he wouldn’t sleep through the day. His birth had been long, arduous, and he was born with the use of forceps. So it had been as traumatic for him as it was for me. There was bound to be some sort of misalignment due to his ordeal. I know I suffered serious misalignment from it myself. Anyway, Shannon (our chiro) took James and gently pressed on his head and his neck. So gently. And within minutes, James had fallen into a deep sleep. And he slept for another 6 hours. Totally unheard of in our baby boy. And all from the touch of a chiropractor.
These days, James has bigger issues that he’s facing than the effects of an arduous birth. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy affects every part of his body and, with all his muscles dying, his back will end up with no support at all. Most kids with Duchenne end up with serious/severe scoliosis, with many requiring full spinal fusions. Not nice at all. And so, even though we know regular chiropractic treatment won’t stop the progression of the disease, we do hope that it will help his back for as long as possible, and prevent the likelihood of a full spinal fusion in the future.
The new chiropractor that we visited reminded us that her treatment will not cure James of his disease. But we already knew that. We know that nothing will cure him. But we at least hope it will help keep his back in check for a little bit longer. Because anyone with a child living with duchenne knows that even the smallest amount of difference actually is a huge difference. And, when you are left with no other choice, you take what you can get.