Jokingly, I mentioned to some of our patients for the past couple of weeks that the Christmas shopping season is good for our business. It increases patient volume because people frequently hurt themselves at this time of year. Shopping, walking across concrete floors, getting in and out of the car, putting heavy packages into trunks, assembling swing sets, cutting down just the right Christmas tree, leaning over the stove while cooking, etc., stresses our backs, shoulders, necks, hands, knees, and feet. Sitting for three hours at a time while watching football games can amplify back pain. Add to that the notion that we are usually in a hurry and crazed during the holiday, and we are all the more prone to injury.
Robert A. Hayden, DC, PhD, FICC
The election looms. We are being bombarded on paper, on television, on radio, and maybe in personal visits with ideas, pleas, promises, slogans, talking points, etc. It's like a movie that you would like to fast-forward to the end to get past the slow, laborious parts to see how it ends.
The health care issue is not the driver of this election, but it is a point of concern to the main issue, the economy. I have written on related topics a couple of times already, but I read a survey of doctors' opinions that deserves repetition and amplification. Please bear with me one more time. After the election, maybe this awful subject will be less relevant, and I can move back to something clinical.
Schools are back in session. Students are groaning and parents are rejoicing as schools reopen for another year of helpful instruction. Education is the single most important thing a young person must accomplish, for the lack of it leads to economic slavery.
Aspects of my practice are seasonal and predictable. One of the things I look for at this time of year is for a young person to be brought to the clinic with thoracic spine and shoulder pain within the first two months of classes. These are not athletes as a rule, and we did not see these injuries in such numbers until the last few years. What's happening?
At this writing, we are 48 days from the most up for an election of our time. The central issue is the economy, which is failing, and shows no signs of recovery with the current strategy. One of the largest issues that impacts economy is one that is being forgotten by some. The health care issue is weighing on the economy like a dragging anchor.
Not long ago I heard about one of the hidden taxes embedded in Obamacare that required me to file a 1099 form every time I do as much as $600 worth of business with a given vendor. Of course, I have neither the resources nor the money to invest in such a frivolous activity, and my intention was to ignore the law because it is not reasonable or workable in any manner. It was designed to create a way to track commerce so that it can be taxed further. Fortunately, both houses of Congress realized how insane this piece of Obamacare was and how it would negatively impact small businesses like mine. It was repealed.
About this time in 1995, I was preparing to open my clinic in the space behind Wynn’s Pharmacy on Eighth Street. The long hot summer was followed by a late hurricane, Opal, that blew through Griffin and toppled some of our beautiful oak trees on Maple Street. Meanwhile, I was painting, spackling, and spiffing the area that was to become the first Iris City Chiropractic Center.
I worked all day into the evening and the wee hours of the morning. I did not want to stop for meals, so I went to what was then Bruno’s for groceries so that I could munch as I worked. Nothing was simpler than just microwaving hotdogs.
Several months later I was doing some deep cleaning that prompted me to move the microwave oven. Behind it was a plastic bag that contained three hot dog buns from months before. With the exception of being dry, they still looked just fine. I reflected on that since then, wondering what was put into those hot dog buns that rendered them so indestructible – so that even mold would not eat them.
The drug screening aspect of my practice is a little smaller during the Obama economy because pre-employment screens are significantly decreased in number. Interestingly, we seem to have fewer positive screens because the applicants we see are desperate for work, so they are either not using recreational drugs as much, or they are cleaning themselves up before going to work in one of the few jobs available.
Among the drugs we see, marijuana is always the most frequent. It is common, easy to get, and inexpensive. Some of our supply is homegrown, but much of it comes from Mexico, literally on the backs of illegal aliens who cross the border as mules. Because it is fat soluble, it stays in the system for a minimum of 30 days. A heavy user may be positive for as long as 120 days. This makes it a very inconvenient drug for people to use if they want to enter the job market.