Thursday, May 19, 2005

The chiropractor was wrong

Lately, my hip/lower back has been bugging me. Nothing majorly painful -- it just feels wonky and crooked. My massage therapist volunteered that she thought I was out of alignment, and gave me a coupon for a free visit/evaluation with her favorite chiropractor. I'm a fan of chiropractic in general, in part because my family goes to a fabulous chiropractor who is all about getting you functional, and not at all into "you must get adjusted every week for the rest of your life." She's so great that she was invited to my wedding -- and she came.

So off I went to the office, which was fairly New Agey, with tinkly waterfalls, a Thought of the Day that involved the importance of chiropractic care for your whole life and a ton of children in the office, waiting to be adjusted. Which freaked me out. But the actual doctor was very nice, and chatted with me about my physical discomfort as she went over my medical history. When she got to the part on the form where it says "are you pregnant?" I'd written in "possibly."

"Oh," she said, "I wondered since you sat down if that might be the case."

"Well, my hip has been bothering me for a month," I said, "so I doubt that's the problem. And besides, I just ovulated a few days ago."

"You never know," she said. "I'm pretty good at this. I sense a little soul hanging around."

Oooookay, I thought. Whatever, crazy lady.

Despite my misgivings, I liked her, so I stuck around for the rest of the evaluation, and came back a few days later for the very official Report of Findings, in which the second doctor told me that they'd like to see me four times a week for two weeks, then three times a week for the next sixteen weeks, then a few times after that. What with my running and a possible pregnancy, that was the plan they recommended. A total of 60 visits, over five months, for a total of $1,500+, payable upfront if I wanted the whole discount.

I had the first adjustment that day, and came home and thought about it. I liked the women, both doctors, and I was intrigued by the fact that they both had this sense that I was pregnant, without any evidence to back it up. But the more I thought about it, the sketchier I thought it was. And, as Darren pointed out, so what if they were right about the pregnancy -- it's a 50-50 chance, right?

So I called over the weekend and cancelled, and in the meantime made an appointment with a chiropractor recommended by a friend, who will crack my back and get me back in gear without all this nonsense of 60 visits (and she takes my insurance, which the other folks didn't, because they don't believe in corporations having influence on individual health care. A lovely sentiment, but reality? Not so much). And all along I suspected they might be right, that I was pregnant. My boobs were sore and heavy, a PMS symptom from which I am usually immune.

I came home from work on Tuesday to hear a message from the first doctor, who said that, upon second thought, maybe they didn't need to see me all that often. Maybe a lighter schedule could still help me out, and "reduce the financial burden." Right.

A day later, I started spotting. And was hopeful it was implantation bleeding. Which, it became apparent, it was not.

So that is a bummer. But what makes me even more upset is how goddamn optimistic those ridiculous women were to even hint that they knew, that they were sure I was pregnant. We haven't been trying for all that long -- about seven or eight months -- but I've read enough infertility blogs to know just how common comments like those are. And I realized that I had believed them -- and I was happy about it. Which made it all the more sad when they were wrong.