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Details  (ID=333)
Date: Monday, 2 August 2010
Name:  name supplied
Date: 2-jul-2008
Main Condition
Main Condition:  Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
My Brief Story
Brief Story:  My StoryÖ.. A battle with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
I wanted to share my story of the personal revelation I have endured in the past few months that has helped me appreciate the beauty of chiropractic, upper cervical, and recognizing the power our bodies have to heal.

I am a Chiropractic Student, in my last year of study, attending Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, Oregon. It all began last quarter during the 5th week of classes. A classmate was setting up me for an extremity adjustment to the left superior clavicle. As he brought the joint to tension, I immediately lost sensation down the arm and into the hand. My arm and hand started tingling, went numb, got ice cold to touch, turned color to pale blue, and was severely weak. I immediately approached the presiding professor who told me that it might be an impingement of a tendon and to keep an eye on it. As the day proceeded, the symptoms worsened. I sought help from my assigned clinician that afternoon. Initial provocative tests were performed to determine if I was dealing with a case of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Once the indication of the cause coming from a disc in the spine was ruled out, it was suggested to adjust the clavicle with a drop table. I was hesitant about the approach and finally only allowed the activator to be used on the area. After the first blow from the activator, it was obvious to me I was facing a much larger issue and was overcome with pain that literally put me on the ground. I left the student health center that evening scared! I had no idea what was really going on. It was indeed obvious I had a case of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, but the cause had yet to be determined. I went home and sought a blessing from my eldersí quorum at church that evening and headed home to a restless night filled with fear and pain!

The next morning it was clear to me that this was not just going away. I went into the student health center and demanded the clinic director assign me a new clinician that could handle the condition. It had impacted my very ability to adjust or feel anything with that arm. He saw the tropic changes in that hand and immediately took my case to the Outpatient Clinic for the presiding doctors and Senior interns there to handle. I went in for my first visit there and quickly realized how much was yet to be done in regards to determining the cause of this condition. After more conclusive tests and x-rays it was determined that the cause was likely soft tissue. They started tracking the dysfunction of that arm with a dynomometer. The initial visit reading on the right was 25lbs and the left a mere 6lbs. It was so weak that I had a difficult time even using the arm to do my own hair or get ready in the morning without it fatiguing. It was very frustrating and I had a lot of time to question why this was happening to me. It was affecting every aspect of my life. My school performance, my daily living duties, and my attitude were daily consumed by this condition. As the frustration became overbearing, the sadness, worry, even depression set in following it.

Almost 2 weeks after the condition started, I joined some upper quarter classmates for a doctor report with a Maximized Living Doctor in the area. I got to talking to him about the condition and he noticed the trophic changes as well. He palpated and scanned my neck and found that my atlas was really subluxated and he adjusted the atlas at that point. Instantly, I had symptomatic relief. Instantly I felt sensation return to my hand and my hand start to warm up. The color followed, as did the strength. I was shocked how one adjustment would have such a profound effect on this problem. Even classmates witnessing such changes were compelled by the result of the adjustment as well. I was certain I was healed. However, to my dismay, I would find it wasn't quite that simple. Within 2 days the symptoms started surfacing again. I was forced to yet again seek care on campus.

The next 4 weeks of care on campus was an up and down hill battle. Initially, the symptoms were headed in a SLOW but positive direction. However, as the weeks progressed, the symptoms changed form and in the end started even becoming worse. I started dealing with uncontrollable muscle spasms on top of the already consuming symptoms.

As the end of the quarter approached and only a week away from finals, the VP of the college requested a meeting with me to address the concern about the condition. He was very bold to mention that we had arrived at the point that we had to address the adjusting classes. He stated that is was time to determine how to approach finals. It was now my responsibility to assure that I was not going to put myself at further risk of injury by trying to take exams that I was not capable of doing. This essentially meant that I had to discuss incompletes in these courses until I was in a better state of condition. I ran desperately to the professors of each course praying that they would have mercy on me in light of the given situation. Thankfully, each one was very supportive and readily granted the incompletes with the conditions to fulfill the courses later. I knew I had lost valuable studying time and had some ground to cover to prepare for finals, so I dug into the material for the classes I was still testing in.

As finals week approached, I felt the added stress start to takes its toll. I was much weaker, and had much more spasms than the prior few weeks. On top of that, I started to develop some right side jaw pain as I could literally feel the Transverse Process of the atlas against my jaw. I was consumed more and more with mind fog and found that it was increasingly more difficult to focus and it was likewise increasingly more frustrating. I sat the first two day of finals and kept my head above water. As the last day of finals approached, the spasms were worse and I was in the clinic much longer than any other time. After all efforts given in the clinic were failed, it was suggested to finally turn care over to a Neurologist. The consult was given and to my disliking was mentioned that I must comply in order to assure I was seeking every effort to get better and prevent risk of further injury from the demands of the program.

In lieu of this entire event, I had recently come home from an Upper Cervical seminar in Nashville, TN the middle of April. I was compelled by the things I heard there and realized the value behind upper cervical care. I felt in my heart all along I needed to explore that avenue with the condition I was facing. However, unfortunately there is a serious lack of Upper Cervical Doctors in this area. Just after I had heard about the referral to the Neurologist, I spilled my heart out to an upper cervical doctor I had recently been speaking with from across the country. I was desperate trying to seek some advice and guidance. I would later determine that this incredible soul forwarded my message to a NUCCA doctor in the area just across the river in Vancouver, WA.

The day before my last final, I received a phone call from this NUCCA doctor- Dr. Hau. He spoke to me stating he was aware of my condition and inspired by my strength. He told me he could help me heal from this and would help me with it. I was fearful of the financial obligation surrounding this care, as well as meeting my treatment appointments since I was in class or clinic on campus during most regular office hours. He addressed both concerns and told me he would accommodate my schedule and not to be concerned with the finances. He was going to get me on track and he knew in the long run with my passion for healing that I would pay back the profession (both Chiropractic and Upper Cervical) much more than he could ever ask me to pay him.

The Friday after my last final, I went to Dr. Hau's office for my first visit. After several meticulous exams, scans and films, he was able to determine quite a bit. He noted that I was carrying 7 lbs more weight on the right than the left. I had pelvic and shoulder tilt elevating them both to the left and I had a right side head tilt. After looking in the mirror when he pointed it out, I was amazed I had not seen this before. My scans all indicated the major problem residing in the upper cervical area of the spine as well as determined the increased muscle activity on that side. I left his office after the initial evaluation to return for care on the following Tuesday morning.

At the Tuesday visit, he disclosed the finding revealed on the films indicating a 4mm superior right side tilt of the atlas with a 3 degree rotation putting the subluxation in a very problematic yet difficult area. No wonder my symptoms were so remarkable! He mapped out my care and healing from this condition with a 7 month projected healing time consisting of three phases followed by wellness care. He did the initial correction at this visit. After the correction he immediately checked the postural markers and noted that the 7 lbs was reduced to only 2 lbs. He also did another set of films and had me sit in the resting room where I noticed once again the trophic changes to that arm and hand return to normal within a matter of minutes. That day, I felt extremely tired and worn out. I followed all his guidelines to assure that the correction held.

The next morning I woke up and noticed I had lost much of the mind fog. I took it easy that day and noticed that I had not been bothered by that arm half as much as I had each day. I knew I was on track and I knew it was a start. I have been under Dr. Hau's care now only for a couple weeks, and I already feel closer to normal than I have at any point in the past few months. I went to see him this morning and found that I was now carrying 15 lbs more on the right. I immediately was thinking "O great, itís not working", but to my surprise I would learn it was a GREAT sign to him actually. His goal at this point is to break up the pattern itís in right now and allow the body time to heal. It is normal to see symptoms worsen or new ones to surface as well as treatment markers to be way off the initial visit. After talking to him, I better understood the importance of these changes. Itís a great indication that the body is indeed doing its work and repairing and healing! Retracing is a normal and needed phenomenon that indicates the body has regained its innate control that restores optimal function and actively enhances healing.

The profound impact of upper cervical care has really sent me on a personal investigation. I have spent much of my break digging into BJ Palmer's Green Books and Stevenson's Chiropractic Textbook. I have learned so much in only a few months about the power behind this care! Its REMARKABLE! Chiropractors are not just destined to become musculoskeletal experts addressing painful spines. They are so much more than that! They assist the body in healing efforts by restoring the proper communication throughout the nervous system and re-establishing optimal function. Once that restoration is established, healing occurs. What an Incredible profession I am in....... I have the power to help others embark on their own healing journey by assisting them with nothing more than my hands!

There is NO DOUBT in my mind, my unfortunate experience with this wasn't for the reason to teach me the passion and understanding of this BEAUTIFUL thing we call CHIROPRACTIC and specifically UPPER CERVICAL CARE!! I canít wait to step out into the world and offer others the power that was offered to me by Dr. Hau! I AM FOREVER GRATEFUL for that incredible Dr. willing to help me out and even more to the LORD for helping him find me when I needed him the most!! :)


Chiropractor's Details
Name:  Derreck Hau
Practice:  Vancouver Spinal Care
Has own X-Ray equipment.
Street Address:  4420 NE St Johns Rd, Ste D
Suburb/City:  Vancouver
State/Province:  WASHINGTON
Postcode/Zip:  98661
Telephone:  360-694-0300
Fax:  360-694-0301
Email:  drhau@vancouverspinalcare.com
Web Site:  www.vancouverspinalcare.com
Chiropractic Technique:  NUCCA
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