Nanaimo Chiropractors

Welcome to the Nanaimo Chiropractors blog of The Lifehouse Chiropractic Studio and Dr. Norm Detillieux, Chiropractor in Nanaimo, BC

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Way to Go Dad - Beacon from Feb 2010

(See the update to the following story in our Sept 2nd 2010 Posting - Genes)

I have frequently told the story of my family’s first introduction to chiropractic and how it saved my father from invasive back surgery.  Now there is an ongoing unfolding story of my father in his more recent health challenges that I would like to share with all of you as a source of inspiration. I know watching my father through all of this certainly has been an inspiration for me.

Three years ago my father was diagnosed with his first “degenerative lifestyle disease.”  Lab tests showed that he had high cholesterol levels, so immediately he was placed on a statin drug.  A year later he developed mild chest pain when exercising. It was determined that he had atherosclerosis; he then had significant heart surgery to place a stint in his heart to enlarge one of his blood vessels that feed his heart.  On the way out of this surgery he mentioned to the attending nurse that he heard that his health challenges were 80% due to lifestyle (things that he can control) and 20% due to his genes. She replied, “You have those numbers backwards.”  Deflated, he returned home, with a new prescription in hand that he was told he would have to take for the rest of his life, succumbing to the realization that his quality of life was slowly eroding primarly to things he could not control.  

Lastly, this past year he was diagnosed with border-line diabetes, a surprise to him, as he is not obese, and diabetes does not run in our family.  However, the doctor raised huge amounts of fear, and insisted that he should begin another lifelong drug, and that they would also look at some lifestyle changes.  Witnessing this I was incredibly afraid.  Seeing him begin a new medication each of the last three years, I could see that my father would become another Canadian statistic. (Did you know that the average Canadian senior is on 6-7 medications)!  The only ray of hope was that this new doctor made reference to some lifestyle modifications.  “Wow Dad, looks like you have a good doctor, one that is going to work with you to make some real changes in your life.”  

On my father's next visit to the doctor, after a litany of lab tests, and lengthy discussions of the various test results, my Dad asked, “and what about those lifestyle changes” and the doctor responded, “oh, well you can just look those up on the internet.” Again my father left, with little motivation and very little direction, deflated.  (Recognize that my father is a 62 year old farmer, one of the least likely candidates to go home and do a google search for lifestyle modifications, let alone implementing them). 

Desperately, I began to brainstorm another plan. I talked with my two brothers and my mother.  I placed hours of thought into what I could see my father doing and then I began to think of ways to communicate the importance of making these changes. This last Christmas, while we were in Hawaii I seized the opportunity.  “Dad, about your health, are you happy with the way things are going?”  “No I hate taking all these pills.”  Then mom piped in, mentioning the numerous side effects he was experiencing.  “Well Dad I really believe that there are a few simple things that you could change in your lifestyle, like exercising regularly and changing a few things in your diet, that would really make a difference, and you know Dad,” I said with a solemn, open heart, “It could mean the difference of you playing with your grandchildren for a couple of extra years.”  He took a second to digest what I just said and then replied, “and maybe even getting off some of these drugs too?!”  “Maybe,” I replied.

We then took time to go down to the local gym and test drive the exercise equipment, getting a sense for which ones he liked the most.  Watching my father pedal a stationary bike was the last thing I would ever expect to see, let alone seeing him do it in Hawaii!  I was so proud of him to stretch into a new experience…I know going to a gym is typically intimidating for the most of us.  He then went home and made it a top priority to invest in a bike ASAP.  He did his research, and this past weekend assembled his new bike!  I will never forget the phone message he left for me, he sounded proud, inspired, encouraged and optimistic about his choices and the changes he was making, and he wanted to know, “Norm would it be okay if I road this thing twice a day?!”  I laughed to myself, knowing deep inside that we are doing everything we can to allow my father the chance to play with his grandchildren for as long as he can.  Way to go Dad!

Remember, it is both the chiropractic adjustment and living a chiropractic lifestyle: one full of healthy foods, exercise, and a healthy mental attitude, that makes the difference. Just how much difference, we could argue about it all day long, maybe it is 80% and maybe it is just 20% regardless it could be the difference of you getting to play with your grandchildren a couple of extra years, and isn’t that worth it?!

Thanks Dad for doing your work, learning, stretching and trying on new things.  I am so proud of you.  Remember, you now have an entire community of people cheering you on, stick with it.  I look forward to sharing more of your successes in the times ahead and maybe somebody else out there will be inspired to make changes in their own life too.  Thanks for being an inspiration to all of us.

Much love

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