A few weeks ago I tweaked my back. I didn't have it looked at because I was involved in the Fyrecon Symposium. I've tweaked my back before and most of the time, it heals up nicely. This time something new happened--a dull pain began to creep down my right arm.
So, I decided to go to my chiropractor. He's a good man and I trust him, or else, I wouldn't go.
I know some of you swear by chiropractors, and some of your swear at them. I feel they can be helpful, maybe not with everything, but for what they do, I've been pleased with the results in the past. Since I've never had a pinched nerve before, I didn't know what to expect.
I didn't expect The Rack.
Okay, so it's not a "rack," as in a medieval torture devise. But it did pull my spine. The contraption sat on an examination table. It had these two black cushions pocking up that reminded me of an automatic shiatsu massage machine. The doctor gave me instructions. "Lay down. Put your neck between these two posts."
He strapped (literally...) me in.
With my head secured and my neck in place, he turned on the machine. I had no idea what was going to happen. In my doctor's defense, I could have asked him what the machine was and what it was going to do, but I didn't. I just lay there and listened to him speak.
"The machine now has six pounds of pressure. It will increase to thirty-five."
Thirty-five? What does that mean? Again, I just nodded--with difficulty--my bound head.
"The pressure will go down to about twenty-four." To be honest, I'm not really sure if he said twenty-four or some other number. My mind was trying to figure out what type of pressure he was talking about. I was also hooked up to an electronic muscle stimulator. I wondered if he that thing went to thirty-five pounds.
Nope, he was talking about the amount of force the machine was going to be pulling on my head and neck.
I wonder if I had known that before, if I would have just hopped up on the table and placed my neck between the posts like I did. Before the doctor left he said the machine would reach thirty-five pounds then go back down, then go back up to thirty-five. It would do this several times.
The adventure began.
I wondered when I would feel the thirty-five pounds of pressure. It didn't take long. It wasn't too uncomfortable, nor was it painful. The most disconcerting thought I had was, what if the machine went haywire and yanked my head up really fast. The visual of King Humperdinck throwing his torture devise to 100 and Count Rugen yelling, "Not 100!" came to mind.
As I stated before, I really do trust my doctor. But sometimes you have to trust that machines will work as designed, like rollercoasters, or airplanes, or laptop computers, or slot machines (okay, maybe we wish those would occasionally break...).
Fifteen minutes came and went--it seemed like a long fifteen minutes. I don't know how useful the procedure will be. The proof will come in the coming hours and days. But from now on, every time I go to his office, I'll remember that in the farthest room to the south, the rack awaits it's next victim...ah, I mean patient.