From my other articles, it might appear that Meg was our only concern when we came back to Virginia from Hawaii. Yet once we helped her settle into college, we were busy moving in and settling into our latest home: The house we still live in today, almost twenty years later. During this move I developed terrible, nagging, (it’s still hard for me to say), chronic pain in my back.
I remember exactly when it started. It was October, 1990 and our belongings had been moved into our fourteenth home, but there was still a lot of work to do. My husband, Joe, was at the Air Force base doing his work, and I was at home doing mine. That day I decided the china cabinet in the dining room was about two inches from being perfectly centered. Since I didn’t have Joe’s brawn to bring the cabinet into my perception of perfect alignment, I would have to move it myself.
I thought to myself: No problem, I’ve been moving furniture around for decades. I rationalized that I could do this. After all, the cabinet was empty. So I leaned my hip and shoulder into that sturdy cabinet we bought years ago in Germany and gave it a shove. Slowly I lowered myself to floor. The pain was great but not greater than my instantaneous feeling of utter stupidity. After a while, I started crawling to the sofa a few feet at a time and remained there until Joe came home. When I still couldn’t get up of the sofa, he carried me to the car and to his chiropractor.
I had never been to a chiropractor before, but I understood the process would include twisting and cracking my body. This made me tense, but not as tense as the man who looked like a left tackle that entered the examining room: Joe’s chiropractor. With the fight or flight adrenalin that was pumping through my body at that moment, I could have bolted off that table and out the door faster than you could say herniated disc. But I liked his kind eyes, and after a few minutes, I found he had a rye Irish wit to go with them. So I stayed.
During the treatment Dr. McKenna kept telling me to stop fighting him and to relax: Right. I won’t lie. My treatment was painful.