For this first blog I want to talk about self-responsibility. This is a concept I find to be lacking in our society. Everything is someone else’s fault. My brother told me the other day that in the situation he finds himself in there aren’t two sides, only one, his. But that is impossible. There are always two sides, two perceptions, to every situation. Many times it is our own expectations or beliefs that get us into trouble, that make us think that our way is the way, the only way. Yet, there are as many different ways to see or think about a situation as there are people.
Our expectations of our doctors tend to be extreme. We put them on pedestals and behave as if they are gods, and many of them pick up on that and act like they are gods, all knowing, all seeing gods. But they are just human beings with a specific type of training. Most of us expect that whatever is causing our pain, our doctor will find it, and know exactly how to fix it. We give over all of our power to our doctors, rarely even asking questions or getting second opinions. I have met people who research their symptoms online, are convinced they know what is going on with them, tell me they are going to have a knowledgeable discussion with their doctor, and then go in and say nothing. We tend to be intimidated by doctors, and this leads us to hand over our power and listen to them without question.
When I was in my twenties and working as a bookkeeper/statistician, I began to get pain in my right forearm and wrist. I went to the doctor. I was promptly put on workman’s comp and told I couldn’t work. I went back to work, assuming the choice was mine. I was wrong. Work informed me that they couldn’t let me come back until I had a doctor’s okay. During my nine months on workman’s comp, I received as many diagnoses as doctors that I saw. Each one had a different take on what was wrong with me. They treated me with the treatments open to them: physical therapy, drugs, braces (i.e wrist guards, casts, etc.), and suggestions of surgery. Not one of them suggested massage therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, yoga, etc.
Years later, after I had taken my massage training, the same pain in my wrist returned. For four days I had a visceral, emotional reaction and walked around scared to death that this pain would end my career again and send me back to the doctors. Then a little voice inside my head said, “why don’t you just fix it, stupid.” And I thought, “oh yeah, I can do that now.” So I began palpating my wrist and forearm and found a carpal bone (one of eight bones in the hand just above the wrist) that was wickedly out of alignment. I did some Spontaneous Muscle Release (SMRT) on it and it realigned. The pain disappeared. I was relieved, and I was angry. It was that simple? That’s what had been wrong with me the first time too. Why didn’t any of them send me to someone who could simply have realigned the damn bone?