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Searching
03-03-2005, 07:56 PM
I have been searching for years for solutions to my health problems (hence the name Searching). I noticed a small hump on my back when I was 12. I didn't seek actual treatment for scoliosis until the age of 57! Actually it got worse with menopause ( around 50). Before that it didn't bother me very much. However, I did get a series of Rolfing sessions about 20 years ago. It enabled me to take a deep breath for the first time in my life! I didn't know that I had been unable to take a deep breath before that.
A few years ago my dentist told me about a treatment that would help a person have really good health. It is called Chirodontics. It utilizes a dentist and a chiropractor. His wife, Teresa Cody, also a dentist, was involved in it. She took my picture and saw that my neck leaned to the right quite a bit. ( I have had 2 whiplash injuries besides the scoliosis). She made a splint for my mouth and later was to put braces on my teeth. The idea being that scoliosis and other health problems start in the jaw. If the jaw is out of alignment then the spine will never get straight, according to this theory. However, she was unreliable. The chiropractor, who was skillful, couldn't do it alone. $2200 for the dentist plus a year of chiropractic and $0 for me. I don't know if Chirodontics works or not. At first, Cody, presented herself as enthusiastic about me, friendly and knowledgable. She turned out to be unprofessional, scattered and unqualified. However, I must give her credit for seeing the major misalignment of my neck when no chiropractor up till then had.
I saw 2 other dentists who were familiar with Chirodontics. The first, Michael McCann, said that at first I needed all the amalgam out of my teeth before my spine would correct. I did want the mercury out anyway so I did that. The procedure was to place temporary fillings initially. Then when the electrical current from the teeth went to zero place, the permanent fillings.......double the money.
He made a cheaper splint,$750 as versus $1500. Two of the mercury filled teeth had crowns on them, so temporary crowns were placed on them. (I later had them replaced by another dentist(a more reputable one) for $1900.$$$$$$$$$
Upon first meeting he presented himself as knowledgeable, interested and caring. After I put myself in his hands he turned out to be cantankerous, arrogant, disinterested and inept!!!!
The third dentist, Perry Mueller, insisted on new models plus a panoramic x-ray before he could give his recommendation. As it turned out he wasn't interested in Chirodontics he was promoting the Rain Drop Therapy!! He didn't need new models or x-rays for that. He justed wanted my money. My husband and I were disgusted. $300 for him $0 for me.
Next I called Gary Smouse, chiropractor,who advertised a scoliosis clinic. He was very pleasant, enthusiastic, confident and promised to be supportive. He sold the Copes system. We bought it hook, line and sinker. Even at our age it is difficult to cull out the charlatans. I talked to him several times and also to one of his patients before I signed on... Then the brace didn't fit and when I asked him to adjust it he would whine and complain about his shoulder hurting when he adjusted braces. He told me many times that I could go to Baton Rouge to get it adjusted ( 530 miles rt). One day he had a tantrum in his office over his shoulder problems and later came into my treatment room and told me that I didn't appreciate him. I said " I pay you a lot of money, don't I"? He became silent. Later, he asked if we could be friends. I hesitantly agreed because I thought I had no option at that point.
It was then that my husband and I decided to go to Baton Rouge. We met Sonnier and Copes. Sonnier went out of his way to fit the brace correctly. It was 2" too long and 1/2" to high under the armholes and breast area. Copes gave us a seminar on nutrition. We were very hopeful again. Everyone was exceptionally nice. It all went downhill from there.
I stopped seeing Smouse 3x per week. He uses a machine called the Pro Adjuster because his shoulder is worn out. We found another chiropractor who knew the program but was mediocre at best and even cracked my ribs.
Meanwhile, Copes had me stop taking my thyroid medication and take L tyrosine instead and cut my bio-identical hormones back to half dosage and then take hormone salivary tests. I had all kinds of problems with that and he wouldn't even return my calls or give me the results of the tests!!!!!I went back on the medications. That probably is enough detail. I could go on and on with specifics.

By the way, Copes now uses weights, as mentioned in another message, as part of the ocular vestibular training.
There have been 4 different chiropractors since about May, 2004 in the Baton Rouge office. Copes keeps firing them. ( Apparently approved by the Bankruptcy Judge) The office staff has changed just as much through firings and quittings. The technicians who put air in the braces are new and inexperienced causing me problems. In addition, office visists are now $225 (up from $125) and 2 x-rays are now $270 (up from $200). For the last 2 sets I have been able locally to get the same 2 x-rays for $60.
The final straw was last week when I requested my x-rays from them to show to a new chiropractor and they told me they were lost. I have had a lot of final straws but due to the large monetary ( the brace $5000, x-rays$$$$, supplements$$$$$$$, Tests$$$$$$$$, equipment$$$$$$, physical investment and my commitment to getting well, I stayed in the program.
I have worn the brace 18 hrs most everyday and follow the diet and do the therapies and exercises faithfully. The brace is difficult to wear especially in the heat, but I have done it. I started with curves of: 10,19, 36. The last x-ray (lost) showed : 8, 18, 26. That is after 22 months.
The big question is will it stay. It has stayed the same out of the brace for 6 months.
Of course these are my experiences and my opinions.

LindaRacine
03-03-2005, 08:57 PM
Searching...

Wow! That's a lot of money you've invested. I'm unclear as to why you sought treatment in the first place. Did you have a lot of pain? If so, has that been resolved?

By the way, I'm not sure that I would put a lot of trust in any of the measurements given to you by the bracing people.

--Linda

Searching
03-04-2005, 06:39 PM
Linda,
Yes, I have spent a lot of money. However, My husband and I have reached our limits. We aren't going to give any more money to snake oil salesmen!!!!

Sorry, that I didn't make it clear, but I have experienced a lot of pain. That is why I have sought releif in so many therapies. I haven't mentioned everything that I have tried. At the moment, the pain is in the background. It tends to come and go. Somtimes it has been so bad that I couldn't sleep and has interfered with the quality of my life quite a bit.

Before the brace I had a lot of problems with my ribs "going out of place". It causes severe pain in my chest through to my back. Chiropractic adjustments get rid of it. For about 2 years I hadn't had that pain. Recently it has come back due to a problem with air injections in the brace. I had it adjusted but I still can't sleep in it. (This is strange since I have been able to sleep in it for almost 2 years) I can't get any response from Baton Rouge. (Are you surprised? ha, ha) So since I haven't been wearing it at night, that pain has gone away.

Also, I have had severe mucle tension in my neck, head and shoulders and problems with my right hip, leg and foot. Sometimes the ribs and neck issues cause pinched nerves with numbness in my face.
I have had a lot of other health problems. A couple of which cause the same pain, as mentioned above, in my chest. They were acid reflux and food allergies. I got rid of the acid reflux 4 yrs. ago by following a yeast free diet and taking Nystatin and I avoid certain foods or at least don't eat them everyday. So I didn't always know the reason for the pain. I was miserable.

I have a lot more that I could say but it probably is too difficult and boring for you to follow all in one message.

The chiropractor who took my x-rays 6 months ago measured the curves for me and showed them to be a little less than Copes did. So at least those x-rays are probably correct.

LindaRacine
03-04-2005, 10:12 PM
Hi...

Not that it's a big deal, but I'd be shocked that your average chiropractor (or even the not-so-ordinary chiropractor for that matter) could accurately measure scoliosis curves.

Regards,
Linda