by Dante S. Abella, Teacher and Chiropractic Patient at MCC Forbes Park – December, 2016

“The last time (two years ago) I consulted my orthopedic doctor was utterly upsetting. Truth hurts! I was told frankly that my condition – he called it ‘bamboo spine’ – has been found to have no cure ; meaning, I really had to endure the ordeal of daily sufferings due to a bolt of pain and a muscle spasm shooting through my lower back, both shoulders, and neck.

In 2010, I was diagnosed of gouty arthritis after one morning I could no longer pull my body out of bed and rise to my feet due to a gripping joint pain somewhere in between my left hip and leg. I was then compelled to undergo drug maintenance. When I felt I was getting better I dropped it ( and stopped my diet even) for I knew it’s a kill to my internal organs and I just did not want to be drug-dependent in my entire life . Doing this for a couple of months could have been a rise in my uric acid level but it remained normal.

I am quite defiant. I know when it’s right to be at least. I didn’t get to see my doctor until one day, the pain intensified and I noticed I was developing a poor posture. I had slight frontward curvature in the spine. I became skeptical of it which drove me back to my doctor. The initial diagnosis had progressed into a bamboo spine and prescription was reduced to taking drugs helping me loosen up my joints getting stiff. He told me to undergo physical therapy and I did. Unfortunately, it never worked.

People who learned the pain I was going through not because I outrightly tell them but because they would say they were the ones burdened of the condition I was in everytime they catch me walk. Admittedly, facing them was hard but facing myself in this reality was even harder. The emotional torture was tough and I just did not know where to find courage to be tougher.

But not all people I met in the crowd would just end up asking what that was in me. A few of them would share the same suffering then tell me where and whom they had gotten healing. One told me that he knew a reflexologist who had done miracles such as letting someone walk after a fracture injury in the leg. I bought the idea and had it done a few times. Another told me that my illness might have been a ‘kulam’ and I might as well see a ‘ quack doctor’ to appease my illness. I don’t cling to such kind of folk healing but It was absurd to see one and let me eat burnt newspapers while her palm spread over my head, offered a prayer uttered in a language I don’t even know if it exists or not. I had gone for several x-rays but got recursive pain after a week of taking pain relievers.

I had tried every treatment possible and all I got back in return was a temporary relief and I ended up trailing the same road of pain ; I became restless and thought the promise of getting health back was committed to a mundane wish. All I could do was to accept the fact that at young age I was living a life of someone at his 60s, physically inactive at that. I had reached this point when acceptance was the only option left. It’s becoming desperate but I had cut down my life-span even.

Name the hardest strife one has gone through and I tell you I had fought a difficult life behind me, but that point of my life had tried my courage I earned all through out my existence; It’s shameful that I broke down and telling it now is even more despicable. I thought I was big enough to stand it but I was wrong. Greetings of good health on birthdays have made me even more silently hysterical.

To be me back then is no easy and If you were you would find yourself quiet on a corner while the rest of your friends loudly sing their songs of life. You would lose your appreciation of what you are doing no matter how compassionate you are. You would throw away your favorite sports and you feel bitter seeing photos of mountain trekking .You’d cut off heavy works until the slightest personal task of tying shoe lace or dressing up for work or turning your head around when somebody calls your name. You would hate the early morning when pain stabs your back and disturbs your deep slumber. You would hate attending occasions and refused invites of hosting a big event or pretend you are busy during meet-ups or simple class reunions . You would hate crowd because it hurts to see eyes all looking at you since you were apart different and take the backdoor to your seat so no one can see you walk. And you would secretly write a note that the reason you live is because you breathe. And thinking of doing this forever and how to deal with it is just of extreme mental dilemma.

You meet people and you can’t avoid that. Some say bad news ; some say good news.

Sometime in April this year, I met Sir Jon Nacua while busy working on a school newspaper for the National Schools Press Conference. He told me to see a chiropractor upon noticing my health condition. He sent me a website where I could see one. I dredged over the website and started researching what it is because I have not heard any of it before. I may be gullible but I was extra careful that time. I have ignored to undergo surgery as advised by many. That’s a terrible way between life and death for all I know aside from it will hurt or dry up my account.

I didn’t know why I slipped that chance that time, maybe Manila is a 12-hour travel from my province or maybe my work had taken much of my time.

Last June was a turning point; I got a fast leap from job getting a position one will work for at least 10 to 15 or 20 years. It’s a turning point indeed. I am still young but that placed me at the wrong side of the bed instead. How would I enjoy life if I still wallow in pain? If I could trade promotion from health I could have done it. I didn’t know the feeling of how it was like to live a healthy life anymore. The worst is my positive outlook in life had pulled off into the brink of pessimism. Reality just bites me at the back. I learned to detest the mirror for showing my real reflection that the slight curvature was gradually becoming worse.

In the same month, Ate Jen showed me a video of how a man whose back was almost pointed against the sky got back straight again after undergoing a chiropractic program. I caught myself in unseen tears and I had decided to see a chiropractor.

I got back to the website , called up my friend that I had decided. I had my initial check up last July. I gave myself a condition that the first was testing the water. I was requested for a full spine view and there were found spinal misalignments located at the neck and mid-back and ankylosing spondylitis at my lower back.

The first session gave me more than hope of getting back my spine straight again. I could move my body without pain and fear of that I might get fractured like I felt before where a slight bump against my body is a whole lot shake of it causing so much pain. That’s why I got out from the crowd. But the initial session aided me to sink into a jam-packed MRT, walk against other people along the street and bend my body in the jeepney.

People at home were surprised not seeing the slight hunchback they used to see in me. My colleagues in the workplace, all my best friends, most specially those who were unaware that I have been under a chiropractic treatment were seeing something good in me that all of a sudden I display a good walk, endure standing tall, and that among my circle of friends I become the tallest after all. They have become curious about it. ‘”That’s the work of a magic hand”, I told them and explained how a chiropractic treatment is done.

For me chiropractic is more than getting a physical healing. It would knit up thread of emotional burden trying to sweep out your spirit. I have seen once more the smile on my face I have long missed seeing for a very long time. I have reconciled with the mirror. I am inspired to wake up and dress up for work in the morning. I have loved walking once more, in the corridor in the classroom in the malls. I have once won back my positive outlook in life to shape that life indeed is worth living.

For now I am down to my last three appointments with my initial program of 12 sessions once in a week and I am seeing a bigger life ahead of me.

I don’t forget that aside from getting the correct healing, the people around are also part of your healing. Yes, how good the heaven is for sending people who aren’t bothered how much time you get from their precious moment like Mabuhay Chiropractic Forbes Park’s Dr. Jerry who has been very caring to his patients, and to the staff, Ma’am Weng and Ma’am Ancel who never hide away a welcoming smile and helping hands. Yeah, I have got more than I paid for each session and that makes my 12 hour bus travel lighter.

I am more than excited of what’s gonna happen to me. Chiropractic indeed has changed my life and has given me a reason to live each day, positive and full of sense!”

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