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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sociological Stuff: A New Dawn, Anna Bright New Day

This is a story about the Tobin Chiropractic Center, a mythical practice in a mythical land named North Haven, just south of the land called Wallyworld on Route 5, and just north of the land known as New Haven, famous for Yale University and for being south of Wallyworld.  A beleaguered patient named Unabashed Left wandered in one day.  Unabashed Left happens to be the first person singular; your trustworthy author: ME!   :)    

Unabashed Left(Me) dragged his sorry spine to the reception desk where he encountered a beautiful maiden with flowing raven hair named Anna. Anna smiled a smile that broke all records. Fortunately Unabashed Left had sunsensor lenses and was not blinded by Anna's smile. Anna comforted me, and asked me to fill out some fun forms and let me play with her pen.

Anna escorted me on a tour of the Tobin facility as obliged by the duties of her calling, and did so with much good cheer despite Unabashed Left's(my) unrelenting efforts at "humor."  Another beautiful maiden, this one with golden hair, Dr. Dawn Tobin, arrived and escorted me to an examining room.

Dr. Tobin reviewed my options regarding diagnosis and treatment and other fun stuff. She and I agreed that she would x-ray me, for example. Dr. Tobin proposed to adjust me over time, and I informed her that I was, in fact, well adjusted already as my psychiatrist has agreed, that I just needed my back fixed. The kind Doctor explained subluxation to me and chiropractic treatment. I was eager to agree to this great plan.

As mentioned elsewhere in this blog during an earlier post, I have recently had treatment for a relatively minor medical condition which has sidelined Unabashed Left for many moons. Although not directly related to my spinal concerns(indeed, she's been able to educate me since that almost everything has much to do with spinal concerns) Dr. Dawn listened raptly and at length to my concerns. For a very long time. Because unless the reader hasn't noticed, Unabashed Left can be quite verbose. And verbose. And verbose.  My philosophy tends to be "Why use two words, when a thousand will do!"

So Dr. Dawn listened. And listened. And listened. But amazingly, to me, she also shared. She shared her concerns about one of her own loved one's similar medical plight. And shared. And shared, not nearly as verbosely as I, but she shared. It made Unabashed Left feel warm and fuzzy. It also made me realize that there were still medical practitioners with "Doctor" in their titles who cared inherently about their patients, trusted in people enough to confide, and humble enough to consider advice regarding navigating the nightmare that is the American Medical system from a layman, as well as accept moral support from someone who had already received the same from her.

Dr. Tobin's office allows for an open sort of environment where patients are treated at Tables 1 and 2(I still haven't experienced Table 2, Ms. Anna) with simple dividers, more or less, separating them from the reception area. Patients are always offered the option of more private care should they prefer.

For my first "adjustment," [I still have difficulty accepting that I am not already well "adjusted]" I was assigned to Table 1(as usual Ms. Anna).  During Dr. Tobin's first attempt to put an end to my subluxations, Unabashed Left abused her with repeated attempts at such "humor" as were inflicted upon the raven-haired Anna the very first day. Dr. Tobin took these pathetic attempts with grace and genuinely good humor in return.

Following my "adjustment" I rounded the corner of the Table 1 partition to view the lovely Anna. I informed Anna that I believed that I had been a "good patient" that day and requested a scratch and sniff sticker, preferably a sunflower that smelled like a sunflower with a smiley face affixed, that said "good patient." With sadness in her voice, Anna admitted that the Tobin Chiropractic Center was out of stickers, and in fact, had never had scratch and sniffs. Indignant, I selfishly demanded that the Center acquire stickers ASAP, and that none other than scratch and sniffs would do!

Time passed. And passed. And passed. Dr. Tobin continued with her adjustments despite my attempts at humor.  I noted one day that my name had not been added to the new patient color erase board. I criticized maiden Anna mercilessly. I demanded that my name be added and in block letters and in a different color than all the other writings on the board! I was even so rude as to demand of her that she erase all the other new patients' names and allow only mine to be seen. Anna ever so diplomatically and with much care and compassion for this soon to be "well adjusted" patient agreed to many(certainly not all) of my demands and my name now proudly stands front and center of the new patient wall.

Dr. Tobin adjusts families, including small children and Anna posts them with certificates for the tykes' first chiropractic experience. Featured are baby pictures on many of the certificates.  I even rudely demanded a certificate of my own for the children's wall.  Anna held firm and mandated that I must provide a baby picture if I am to be allowed to join the other kids on that hallowed wall of fame.

I sat in the waiting room one day and 2 year old Goldilocks emerged happily but shyly from outdoors into the Tobin Chiropractic Center through the front door and walked to the center of the room.  She had curly golden locks, lacked several teeth, stood between 2 and 3 feet tall and was cute as all get-go. Anna's delight was obvious for all to see, and she abandoned her post at the desk, emerged to the center of the waiting room and scooped Goldilocks into her arms. Cuteness on such a massive scale is now outlawed in 7 states, and such legislation being considered in the other 43 and the District of Columbia. Goldilocks was clearly trusting and delighted to be in Anna's grasp. Goldilocks and Anna eagerly welcomed my own somewhat awkward attempts at collegiality, as did Goldilock's Dad.

Just today a woman came in to inform Anna and Dr. Tobin as I sat in the waiting room that she was there for her own appointment, having been there earlier today with a child for the child's adjustment.  She told them that she had to leave earlier because her elderly mother-in-law had passed away. Anna responded with loving care, affection, tact, skill, and clearly helped the patient through a very difficult day to say the least, as did Dr. Tobin when she joined the conversation. Then Dr. Tobin took her in to Table 2(yes Ms. Anna, she went to Table 2--you sent me to table 1....  again) where she also eased her hip pain.

Another day I had entered the same waiting room to observe Dr. Tobin in an intense discussion with a patient. The man was discussing his children; young adults in various degrees of post-secondary education, it seemed. Dr. Tobin had to retreat to Table 2 to manipulate another patient.  The gentleman turned to me to continue the discussion he had been having with the good Doctor. He spoke of his concern about the safety and value of an automobile purchase by one of his offspring. He spoke of financing both children's undergraduate education and the dilemnas one faces in financing graduate school. I could only think, "What a great father." He seemed to have forgotten that he'd never seen me before. I offered support and concern. I told Dr. Tobin later that she seemed to have a knack for attracting only the best. 

That's the way it is at The Tobin Chiropractic Center.  Dr. Tobin and Anna are awesome good people who treat people with Chiropractic care, optional accupuncture, other good stuff and specializing in love. Yes, I did use the "L" word. They specialize in love. I told Dr. Tobin today of my observation that much more goes on at the Tobin Chiropractic Center on a day-to-day basis than Chiropractic Care.  Anna and Dr. Tobin are indeed "adjusting" people in many, many more ways than ending subluxations, which the team accomplishes quite admirably, by the way, judging by their satisfied and delighted patients. 

My first week of treatment had to be interrupted by a medical treatment for the aforementioned medical condition I've suffered this year.  Dr. Tobin requested and received a hug the day before my treatment.  I've since requested and received one other from her, when she once again confided her own concerns about her own loved one. I can only hope this hugging trend continues from time to time.  Her hugs do much to heal, as do her skilled Chiropractic hands.  I've been attending the Tobin Chiropractic Center for approximately one month. No more.

Doctor Tobin actually went shopping for scratch and sniffs, as promised. She failed to find any.  What kind of country is this anyway, where a decent Chiropractor cannot find quality scratch and sniffs at a department store, a craft store, a conveniece store or even at the local gas station--for crying out loud.  There is a happy ending.  Dr. Tobin and Anna have collaberated, and have ordered a complete set of scratch and sniff stickers for the Tobin Chiropractic Center.  We await their arrival. In the interim I have provided an ample supply of basic, generic, non-sniff Walmart stickers until the scratch and sniffs arrive.  What a day for celebration that will be. :)

My point here is simple, but not really. My mother died of outright gross medical malpractice 17 long years ago, now. I've given medical providers, especially MD's but doctors in general a bad rap ever since.  Many deserve it but many do not! Dr. Tobin and Anna are real, not mythical at all.  They are typical of the millions of providers who do their work for love. For Love. But they have to make a living, too.  Where there's money, greed happens.  It's part of God's plan, and not for me to figure out. The vast majority of medical people could make more money doing other things, but choose their lives for love. Love. And they do abide by the Hippocratic Oath even if their positions don't require them to do so. Even if they haven't read it. Even if they don't read very well at all. Aides and orderlies; nurses and surgeons; Medical Assistants and receptionists; Chiropractors, Accupuncturists and General Practitioners. Almost all exclusively motivated at the outset as children and throughout their careers by one value. Love. Yes. Love. Unabashed Left likes that. No. I love that; as well as Dr. Tobin and Anna. I'm not Unabashed Left. I am Steven Michael Alexander(named Michael after the late Michael Palmieri, the MD who delivered me).  I believe that love is a lovely word.  It should be used whenever appropriate, but only when spoken truthfully, and very, very often.  Unabashed Left is a character for the purposes of this blog.  I am actually Steve Alexander and I love you Anna and Dr. Tobin-- Dawn, if I may. I apologize for painting the greed of very few medical professionals with a broad brush and indicting many erroneously.  Very few are such. The vast majority operate out of love.  My political view is that it's high time to get the profit motive out of medicine in this nation altogether. I need to respect the views of others on this issue as much as any other, despite my personal past experiences.

Dr. Tobin and Anna are not alone in the team teaching that's being given me by my glorious higher power regarding the simple common decency and genuine love of not only medical providers, but of the species homo sapiens in general. And of every other mammal and many other creatures that walk or fly or roll around this blessed planet.  Dr. Tobin has adjusted two of her own children the day they were born.  She demonstrated how to adjust a newborn to me today. It was beautiful. Very beautiful, as she is obviously on the outside, but just as obviously where it counts; on the inside.  You do it, please Dr. Tobin, believe me you don't want my clumsy paws attempting a newborn's adjustment.  You have a golden touch(as does your incredibly capable partner Anna).  I'll just sit back and enjoy the view. :)  And maybe try to share a laugh once in a while, if you don't mind.
With Love, and Peace to Anna and to Dr. Tobin and to all the wonderful people who reduce pain, maximize happiness and extend lives out of love as their chosen career.
Hi Sally; Except for our Wonderful Lord and Savior, Jesus who is the one true Christ, I Love you more than anything in the Universe!  Even if I had all eternity I could never even begin to find the words to describe the passion that is the Love that I have for you. I could never either repay you nor make up for the inadequacy of my ability to tell you just how much I love you.  I've failed to do so, and always will because the only expression of love adequate to do so was only done by Jesus Himself when I asked him how much He Loved me. He stretched out his arms as far as they would go and then died for me.  I Love you that much, and a zillion times more!
Hi Mom! Hi Joe! Hi Dad! Miss you like you wouldn't believe. I Love you and Sallie, and Janis, and Gary and Alf and everyone, too! And Grace, and Don, and Donnie and everyone, too.  And Augie, and Bluebelle, and Meow and Momcat and everyone, too.  I got two stickers today. Anna said I was a really good patient today. I think she knows.  No. I know she knows. :)
Mea Culpa

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