I am often asked why I chose to become a chiropractor. I was actually exploring a career as a physician or pharmacist and was doing a medical rotation as part of my senior year high school curriculum when I got a little sidetracked.
It all started when I began having terrible headaches. Not the kind you get when school is driving you crazy. These were migraines and I averaged 3-4 per week, lasting all day. My grades suffered. I suffered. Everyone around me suffered. Anyone who has had a migraine knows just how debilitating they can be. I sought care from a neurologist who gave me several medications to try. You know, the kind that if you catch the migraine before it comes on completely it is suppose to stop the it in its tracks. Not only did I continue to have migraines, but the side effects were pretty scary.
Once after taking a dose of Imatrex, I was driving on Mopac. All of the sudden I got a piercing pain in my head. My eyes became blurred, I couldn’t see, and the light was killing me. All I could do was pull over on the side of the road, cry, and wait for my dad to pick me up.
I was given another drug to try. The doctor said it could make me drowsy. That was the understatement of the year! My dad tried to wake me for church. He told me later that when I stood up, I fell over because I couldn’t wake up. The migraine was gone but I wasn’t functional.
At that point I stopped all medication and suffered for about another year. Then in college, the doctor gave me an anti-seizure drug call Topamax. “Take it regularly and you just won’t get migraines”. A month into it I was so happy! I wasn’t having migraines. Headaches, yes. Migraines, no. I came home to visit my parents and they were shocked when they saw me. I had dropped about 30 pounds in one month. We went to dinner that night and my dad ordered spicy chili soup. He couldn’t eat it because it was too spicy. Now, if you now my dad, you know he has an iron-clad stomach and loves his food extra spicy. I gobbled it down. My mom grabbed the medication insert. This is when we realized the side effects were rapid weight loss and loss of taste buds. Wow! Again, I stopped the medication. I’ll admit, I was hesitant.
My cousin Ben was a student at Parker Chiropractic College in Dallas. He asked me to give chiropractic a try. I had no idea what I was getting into but I started driving to Dallas every other week for chiropractic care (and to hang out with the cool kids). About six months later, the migraines were gone and I became a firm believer in chiropractic medicine and decided that it was the direction I wanted to take.
I knew this was a hard career path to take because chiropractic is considered alternative medicine. There are a lot myths that have made many fearful and skeptical. However, it is safe and effective, and certainly not something to fear. It literally changed my life. A professor once told me, “if you consider yourself an ethical person then you know it is not only ethical but your responsibility to share information when it can positively impact another person’s life”. That, folks, is why I became a chiropractor.