A Patient's Perspective
Up C Spine Home about up c spine a new approach evidence practitioners shop stop press contact us blog
Up C Spine - Is your Head on Straight?
Evidence Skull Base The Anatomy Of The Atlas Subluxation Cervical Spine Biomechanics Imaging And Radiographs The TMJ Link Research Library Scientific Studies Case Studies Anecdotal Newspaper Reports Book Reviews Other Papers Grostic Measurment & Analysis Upper Cervical Animations Anatomy Testimonials View Testimonials Submit Testimonials A Neck DotesTestimonial Links References Web Links Literature And Publications Video, Audio, Graphics & Animation Search The Internet Books of Interest My Viewpoint
Home | Evidence | Testimonials | View Testimonials


Details  (ID=130)
Date: Tuesday, 10 May 2005
Name:  Mrs Carmen Herzog
Date: 8-may-2005
Main Condition
Main Condition:  Dizziness, lightheadedness, muscle aches and nervousness
My Brief Story
Brief Story:  My name is Carmen Herzog and I am a 25 year old female from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. In November of 1996 I was rear-ended by my best friend who was going 70km/hr. It was very icy that day, and a total coincidence that it was my best friend who happened to be in that place at that time.
In retrospect, I can see how I began detiorating after that accident. I sought physiotherapy for about a month and then never got any treatment for my neck.
My neck was always sore but I thought it was something that I was just going to have to live with.
I started to get "colds" very frequently after the accident. My nose was always plugging up, my eyes were watering and I felt like I had a lump in my throat that I was always swallowing. My ears were also plugged a lot. I was always tired, and I could barely get out of bed every morning. My stomach was also always out of sorts, and I was having troubles with my bladder too. My attitude started to change, and felt myself fall into a little bit of a depression.
About a year later, I fainted at work one day and lost control of my bowels at the same time. I thought I had the flu and thought nothing of it. I went to see my family doctor and he told me that I just had low blood pressure and to eat more salt and drink more water. Then once or twice a year for about the next 6 years, I would have an episode where I was vomiting and had diarrhea so bad (at the same time) that I would nearly hallucinate. This would last a few days and then would go away. After each episode, I got more tired, and more depressed. I was also very lightheaded a lot of the time and just chalked it up to the low blood pressure.
Then finally one day while I was on supervision (I was a teacher), I got struck in the left side of my head by a frozen basketball that was kicked at me. It hit me right in the C1 region and I was a little dizzy afterwards and sort of felt like throwing up. I went on with my day and that evening went to Wal-Mart to get my students some Christmas presents. I was barely in Wal-mart for 5 minutes when I felt my blood pressure plummet and thought I was going to pass out. I sat down in the pharmacy, put my head between my knees, and tried not to lose consciousness or throw up. Everything was spinning, noises were amplified, and I was very confused. An hour later, this feeling didn't pass. I called my mom to come and help me out of the store. I went home and slept it off. The next day I got up to go to work and the same thing happened in the morning as soon as I turned my lights on in my classroom and all of my students arrived.
Again, I went home, the next day it happened again, but this time I noticed my heart was racing at about 160 beats per minute. I went to the doctor and he gave me some medicine to slow my heart rate and ease anxiety. He told me I just had a panic attack and to go home and rest.
Luckily, it was Christmas break by this time and I could stay home and rest for a while. I was so dizzy, shaky, and felt so ill. Then the violent vomiting and diarrhea began. I thought I was going to die. It went on for a day or two and I spent the rest of my Christmas holiday resting.
By the time school resumed again, it was clear that there was something seriously wrong. My body was acting like it was really nervous (sweating, fast heart rate, lightheaded, upset stomach, indigestion, cold hands and feet, anxious, etc.)
My mind knew I was not nervous so none of this made any sense, especially since I was always such a calm and relaxed person to begin with.
Several times my blood pressure would drop so low that I would nearly lose consciousness and control of my bowels and bladder. My whole body would shake and turn almost a grey colour and would become ice cold, like I was in shock. I ended up in the emergency room just about every day after this because I felt like I was going to die so many times.
My memory started to fade. I couldn't remember short term things and a few times I even put the cordless phone in the fridge. I'd wake up with my arm numb or tingling and sometimes my toes would tingle too. All the while, I still had a stuffy nose, plugged ears, and sometimes watery eyes.
I saw over 20 doctors and we started researching my heart, found out it was fine, then on to my stomach, it was fine too. I was put on several anti-anxiety medications and was told by several doctors that there was "nothing wrong with you" and that it was all in my head. I thought I must have been a real schizophrenic because I could barely walk some days because I was so weak and it felt like I was dropping in an elevator over and over and over again. I was never so scared in my life. I became unable to take care of myself or be alone.
I couldn't shower because my blood pressure would drop so low that I couldn't even manage.
I started to research every symptom I had on the internet and in books. It became my obsession to find out what the heck was going on with me. After 6 months of no answers and detiorating symptoms, I was desperate. I had always trusted the health care system to take care of me when I got sick, but they couldn't and wouldn't believe me that there was something seriously wrong.
Every CT scan, ultrasound, ECG, blood test, tilt table test...........every test showed that I was "normal".
But I wasn't. I was VERY sick and lost my independence, my ability to work and earn an income, and my spirit was fading as well. I was scared that I was going to be like this for the rest of my life. After 6 months, I was told my condition was now "chronic" and no longer "acute".
I was supposed to get married on May 22nd, 2004. I wanted so badly to get married but I was too sick to walk down the isle. I wrote to the minister of health, the premier, the prime minister, and even Oprah and Dr. Phil to help me out. Nothing. Nobody cared or knew what to do with me. I was even told by one of my doctors that I was a "nightmare" patient.
But one day, I came across an article on TMJ(tempromandibular joint disorder).
It's where your jaw cracks and where you grind or clench your teeth at night or during the day. It can make you feel really dizzy and quite bad because of all the nerves and blood vessels near your jaw joint that are being compressed. My jaw cracked and made a horrible noise every time I opened my mouth, even to talk to people. I also woke up every day with a swollen face and neck so I figured that I found the answer!!!!
I consulted my dentist and she sent me to a massage therapist and a chiropractor. She also prescribed me anti inflammatories and muscle relaxants.
I had never been to a chiropractor before so I was excited to see what type of treatment I would get.
Dr. Paula Landgraf-Degelman treated me for the first time on April 30th, 2004.
When she adjusted me, my symptoms were relieved!!! It was like night and day!!
She x-ray'd my neck and found that I had a subluxation at c1 and c5 and c6. She told me that just as it takes time to get unhealthy, it takes time to get back to health. She was so wonderful and the best part was that she BELIEVED me about my symptoms and knew that it wasn't "all in my head" (hahaha, even though in a way it was because it was my C1 that was causing all the grief!)
I had to go and see Dr. Paula every other day for an adjustment. She would adjust me and then about a day later my symptoms would re-appear. It seemed I was having a hard time holding my adjustments, but I thought it would all come in time and didn't worry too much about it.
I was able to have my wedding on May 22nd and it was the best day of my life. I don't think anyone else could have appreciated that day more than me. I didn't think I'd even be able to be there, and yet, there I was, my life given back to me by a chiropractor. My husband and I said our vows, and when we got to the part that said, "in sickness and in health" we cried because we had been through "sickness" and now our future was going to be "health". The gratitude I feel for my chiropractor is beyond words.
After about 5 months of seeing the chiropractor every second day, it was clear that I wasn't holding my adjustment and we couldn't figure out why. I couldn't go anywhere because I literally relied on my chiropractor to live. When she took a week off, I'd suffer terribly until she got back. It was apparent that she could only do so much and I had to keep looking for someone to help me.
One day I came upon an internet site where a man had the same symptoms as I did, specifically the dropping of the blood pressure, even while lying down. I read his symptoms and he told of a specialized chiropractor that he was seeing in Australia that saved his life. That chiropractor used the "atlas orthogonal" approach and the website I found was called www.upcspine.com.
I learned from the website that there were other approaches that chiropractor's use similar to the atlas orthogonal approach. All forms deal specifically with the C1 vertebrae, or "Atlas".
The condition that this man on the website (who is Greg Buchanan) had was called, "Atlas Subluxation Complex Syndrome". I emailed him and talked to him about my situation. He encouraged me to find a chiropractor that dealt specifically with the C1 vertebrae in Canada.
So I did. I found Dr. Sloane Hunter in Calgary Alberta. Dr. Hunter x-ray'd my neck and told me that I was 24 degress off of where I was supposed to be. My shoulders were sitting slanted, my hips slanted, and my one leg was shorter than the other. When looking in the mirror, Dr. Hunter was absolutely correct.
Because of the way my body was sitting, the muscles of my left shoulder were bigger than my right because they were working so hard. My shoulder used to always burn really bad, but I just chalked it up to the whiplash injury and thought it was something I had to live with. Also, because of the way my body was so out of alignment, my brainstem and cranial nerves were being irritated which was causing all of those horrible symptoms I was experiencing.
Dr. Hunter adjusted me using the "NUCCA" approach to chiropractic. She has literally saved my life. I go and see her once a month (for now) and have days where I have never felt better in my life. I had about a hundred symptoms to my problem when I walked in to see her. Now I don't have those symptoms and I am getting back to normal. Just as it takes time to get unhealthy, it takes time to get healthy. I feel better and better each day and am looking forward to a long and healthy life full of independence. Eventually I will only have to see her once a year. It'll be a lot cheaper than seeing her every second day!
I am sad that the medicine field of care doesn't always recognize chiropractors in their work, and some even scare patients from going to see a chiropractor.
With our taxes so high and our health care system under such stress, I believe it could be helped by the medicine field working together with chiropractors.
When I think of how many times I went to the doctor because of an upset stomach, stuffy nose, watery eyes, headaches, etc. I'll bet I cost the system thousands of dollars just to deal with me alone. Had those doctors been working with chiropractors, I would not have had to deal with this in the first place.
I credit Greg's website and the chiropractic profession for saving my life. I think everyone should see a chiropractor.
Chiropractor's Details
Name:  Dr. Sloane Hunter
Practice:  NUCCA
Has own X-Ray equipment.
Street Address:  Suite 201 5005 Elbow Drive SW
Suburb/City:  Calgary
State/Province:  Alberta
Postcode/Zip:  T2S 2T6
Country:  CANADA
Telephone:  403-243-0155
Fax:  403-243.0844
Email:  info@c-1.com
Web Site:  www.c-1.com
Chiropractic Technique:  NUCCA
Return to top of page
Site Map Disclaimer Credits Privacy