“What is a chiropractor?” Full disclosure from Dr Janine…..I didn’t know what a chiropractor was until I was 20. Little did I know how much the profession would change my personal health and my future. This is my story of how I came to be a chiropractor.
The end of December 1993, I had just finished my first term of Arts & Science at the U of S (thinking that I wanted to be a pediatrician) and convinced my closest friends that we should go on a group ski trip to BC. Off I went on my first “adult” ski trip without a worry in the world. We had a great day of skiing and at the end of the day, some of us went out to slide on the bottom hill on cafeteria trays and our bums. Unfortunately, one young man in our group made the decision to ride an overturned picnic bench down the same hill with consequences that changed my life forever. I remember being hit hard from behind and flying through the air. I then recall rolling myself over to my back and immediately knowing something was very wrong as I couldn’t feel my hands or feet. My lifeguarding experience kicked in and I yelled for no one to move me and to immobilize my neck. After an ambulance trip to Trail, BC, it was discovered that I had fractured my C6 vertebra and I would need immediate surgery. My frantic parents drove like maniacs through the mountains, a blizzard, and a scary mountain pass to get to me, and I spent 2 weeks in traction and resting there. I am so thankful for the amazing surgeon that fixed me up and the great staff at the hospital.
I still have people come up to me and tell me that they remember me as “the girl with the giant neck brace walking down the tunnel” at the U of S. I got used to people staring at me. I somehow still managed one class a day and made the best of my second term as possible. Wearing a brace that I couldn’t take off (yep, had to sleep and shower in it) for 3 months was not fun, but I made it through. I did summer classes that year to catch up, but was starting to question if I wanted to be an MD or if something else would suit me better.
At that time, I still had decreased motion in my neck as well as aching pain down my left arm to my hand that never went away. I hated taking meds for it, so I just sucked it up and got used to it. One day, one of my friends suggested seeing their chiropractor, and I was intrigued. We had never gone to one growing up, and I really didn’t know what they did. My first visit was with a chiropractor who had grown up in my own small town of Davidson. He did a very thorough exam on me, took new x-ray films of my neck (to see the beautiful surgical fusion of C5-C6-C7) and adjusted me. I remember walking down the street to my car after the treatment feeling absolutely amazing! I could shoulder check much more freely, and by the next day, realized that my arm pain was gone. I suddenly knew what I wanted to do. If I could help people feel this good, I was in!
Finishing up my pre-requisite classes and my Biology degree with new purpose, I eventually headed down to Northwestern College of Chiropractic in Minneapolis in January 1999. The next few busy years flew by and before I knew it, June 2002 arrived and I was a chiropractor! The many years of hard work at school were all worth it. I headed to Amsterdam, Netherlands where I practiced on the Dutch population (tallest Europeans) but Saskatoon eventually called me back in the fall of 2003. I am fortunate to have practiced in Saskatoon since then, and in the last 8 years I’ve been having a blast at my “own” clinic with Dr Lindsey. My initial neck injury was unfortunate, but I feel thankful that it helped me find a profession that gives me so much satisfaction. I always say that I wouldn’t be anything else, and I mean it. I love my great patient base of the last 20 years and I appreciate them trusting me with their health. I make sure that every day I treat everyone that comes in the door as I would want my family to be treated. Chiropractic is such a great way to help optimize people’s health in a natural way and I am continually proud to be a part of it! …..And that is my story, broken neck and all!