Shining Patients

Clara B., a retired teacher, at the advice of her primary care physician, underwent vertebral disc surgery of the lower neck. After healing from the procedure she noted her condition wasn’t any better. She was offered additional surgeries but chose not to do this. In a few years someone told her to try a chiropractor. She found one that would accept a patient with prior neck surgery. She found substantial relief from the local pain (pain in the neck). She learned that her discomfort returned in 7 to 10 days every time. She changed chiropractors in 1989, visiting the new, Carkin Chiropractic. At this first visit she explained that she knew her body and what worked for it. She described her surgical history and that she’d like to be adjusted weekly. Clara, and her husband, were weekly patients at Carkin Chiropractic until the week of its closure.


Edward A., a medically (early) retired trucker, met the doctor at lunch, not far from Carkin Chiropractic. He described himself as needing coronary bypass surgery. He went on to say that for how advanced his condition was that he had been deemed an anesthesia risk and not cleared for surgery. He was told, “Come over to the office today”. He was seen that afternoon. He displayed labored breathing and light facial perspiration from his walk across the parking lot (he was eager to sit down). In his patient consultation he reported a very high cholesterol level (confirmed by a copy of his last monthly blood test). Edward was accepted as a patient and put on 3 nutraceuticals, taken in succession, the first 2, for one week each, to reduce the existing blood cholesterol levels. The third, a combination pill, was for plaque reduction, protection to the vessel walls, and cholesterol reduction. The patient was assigned some moderate dietary changes and told to lose some weight slowly (his BMI was ~35). He was told that his next routine cholesterol check will tell us if we are affecting results. His next medical blood test was done 3 weeks later. His lab report showed his total cholesterol was now in low-normal range. The patient reported that he had “made a scene”, berating and shouting at the medical staff for not doing anything like this, in the years he’d been under their care. Back in the chiropractic office he was told to “hold the dietary changes, keep taking the combination pills (they would be long term), and now start walking”. He was told to walk a little further each day. The patient was seen monthly for vitals and to pick up his prescribed tablets. For eight months he continued to lose weight and only then revealed that he had started running. This patient stayed with Carkin Chiropractic until its closure.


Ruth S., a hospital nurse, had suffered migraine headaches for years. They were becoming more frequent and severe. Someone strongly recommended St. Charles Chiropractic Offices (St. Charles, MO). This was the location of an early associateship of Dr. G. R. Carkin. Ruth was scheduled for a first patient visit for a headache work up. She arrived visibly agitated. She was assigned to the new associate doctor. Upon asking, she reported her headache wasn’t too bad right now. Upon further asking, she reported her uneasiness was for the fact that she cannot be seen in a chiropractic office, that she could “lose her job” (this was 1985). Her next expression was more emotional, “I can’t live on drugs anymore. I don’t want to be high all the time. I have a family.” Ruth was evaluated and treated in much the same way as any other headache patient. In a few weeks she had brightened up immensely. In the office, she was shouting praises of the young doctor and that she was off all pain medication. She was soon released. She did not return for checkups, though the young doctor did receive post cards from this patient’s vacation spots for several years. She did not lose her job in the hospital.


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