I took Declan to his first appointment with Dr. Adams, a local chiropractor who also has a degree in Pediatrics, this morning. I got a lot of encouragement from my friends for looking into alternate treatment for him. Some people were confused. I think that, despite how awesome and practical the work that chiropractors do, it is really, really misunderstood. Somebody needs to promote them. I'm doing my part!
The reason I am having Declan see a chiropractor is mostly for treatment of his acid reflux, but I also know that keeping his spine in alignment will "fix" or prevent other problems that we may never even know about. The list of ailments that preventing vertebral sublaxation can prevent is extensive. Common things that you might take your child (or yourself) to the doctor for, like ear infections, unexplained crying, growing pains, poor concentration, allergic reactions, digestive problems, etc. are very successfully treated by a chiropractor. I learned a new term today... (did you see me use it in a sentence? (c;)
"A lesion or dysfunction in a joint or motion segment in which alignment, movement integrity and/or physiological function are altered, although contact between joint surfaces remains intact. It is essentially a functional entity, which may influence biomechanical and neural integrity."
So I learned a lot. I wish I had taken notes! He asked me a lot of questions, then examined him with a thermo-sensor thingie. Declan wiggled too much to get a good shot, but he got a good look at his neck vertebra and could see some sublaxation there, including a big bad one up by his head. He adjusted him. Declan cried a little on the first adjustment. Dr. Adams said it wasn't supposed to hurt, but it must have been a pretty sore spot.
He showed me on a model how Declan's esophagus might be being squeezed when his head is turned to one side. That explains why Declan prefers nursing from one side as opposed to the other. He also held him upside down by his feet (!!!) and then let go of one leg. He said he was checking to see if Declan's head would turn the opposite way. He tested both legs and it only worked on one side. So there must have been something else out.
He also told me that the Prevacid that Declan is on (which neutralizes the stomach acid) might be causing more harm than good. I told him about how sometimes Declan was still spitting up when it was time for his next feeding, sometimes 3 or 4 hours after his last meal. This confused me a lot because I know that babies' stomachs should be empty 2 hours after their last meal, especially with breast milk (it is very quickly and easily digested). The Prevacid might actually be causing that problem because it is inhibiting the acid from digesting the food. (A while back our pediatrician wanted to put Declan on a medicine that would speed digestion. I didn't do it because I read on the Internet that it was a dangerous medicine. Black-labeled by the FDA!). So he would have been on 2 medicines and one of them would just be to "fix" the problem that the other one was causing!
Dr. Adams could not tell me to take Declan off of the Prevacid, but he did say that it might be hard to tell if the adjustments were working if his symptoms were masked. It's my goal to get him off of the medicine, anyway, so I'm going for it!
Before our visit was over, he had the receptionist take a picture of him and Declan. This is cute and sentimental and all, but he also does it to track visual progress of his patients. He actually asked me to bring in 50-100 pictures of Declan from birth to present in order to examine trends in his posture and how he holds his head. He said he might be able to decipher if his sublaxation is a result of birth trauma. So I have a fun project ahead for Thursday! Dr. Adams also had me bring in Declan's carseat and he showed me some problem areas on it and told me what I can do to make it better for Declan's spine. Awesome!
After the adjustments, the doctor said it's not uncommon for babies to take a 4-5 hour nap, or have a big diaper, haha. Well, he just woke up from his 45 minute nap, so much for that. Anyway, we have a follow-up on Thursday and he might get examined and adjusted again. I should add that the examinations and consultation on kids is free, so if you're in the area and are curious about seeing if your child might benefit from a chiropractor (I tend to believe it's great for overall wellness, not just for treating problems), it couldn't hurt to check it out! The adjustment cost was $50. Financially, it was an easy decision for us (his Prevacid costs $60 a month!). A small price to pay for my son's health, especially when it's medicine-free (no negative side affects!), and it allows for his body to heal itself. I'll be making appointments for Ryan and I, too (c: