I was born and raised in Sacramento, CA. Growing up, sports were an integral part of my life and identity. I thought I would be a professional basketball player; however, once I hit high school, the injuries started adding up. By far the worst was my neck injury.
During Varsity homecoming my Sophomore year, I chased a ball heading out of bounds and dove to save it. The people in the bleachers moved out of the way and the left side of my neck bent over the bleachers. The last thing I remember is hearing a sharp pop. The next thing I know, I woke up in the hospital with a pounding headache and sharp shooting neck pain. The doctor prescribed me hydrocodone and muscle relaxers. In hindsight, I wished I knew what they were prescribing me. I was still in pain but now I felt like I was in a deep fog. I was also having horrible debilitating flare ups daily. The pain was so bad I was up all-night crying and asking my parents for help to make it stop. My mother remembered about a chiropractor she had taken my sister to when she hurt her hip, Dr. Keller. Little did I know that this man would eventually become a mentor in my journey to become a chiropractor. He came in on a special appointment to see me on a Saturday because of the amount of pain I was in. He did a thorough exam on my neck and determined that I had severe misalignment of my 3rd, 4th, and 5th cervical vertebra. He adjusted my neck and I was absolutely shocked by the sound. It sounded like someone had popped a giant piece of bubble wrap. Immediately I noticed that I had regained full pain free range of motion. I remember going home, laying and bed, and getting teary eyed because finally I could sleep without pain. I went back to the chiropractor on Monday and again I felt relief. He told me he only needed to see me once a week and at this point I could stop taking the pain medication. I started to feel like I was finally healthy, but the flare ups kept coming weekly. I tried to hide it as much as I could because I felt like admitting my pain was weak. No pain, no gain, right? I ended up making a full symptomatic recovery and was even able to play basketball for the 16 & under USA national team. However, I still had flare ups in my neck.
Fast forward to college at University of the Pacific. I had now retired from basketball after 2 torn Achilles. I felt lost and without a purpose. I thought I was going to be a basketball player my entire life. While having a conversation with my parents, my dad mentioned that I should call up Dr. Keller and ask if I could shadow him. His office was only 40 minutes away from school and I did not have classes on Tuesday. I called up Dr. Keller and he was delighted to hear from me. That next Tuesday I came back down to Sacramento. Little did I know that this was the day where my life would change forever. I watched Dr. Keller treat people all morning and afternoon. I saw the amazing effect chiropractic has and how amazing the results can be. People were so thankful, appreciative, and excited with the progress they were making. Immediately I knew this was the profession for me. I applied and after the 2nd semester of my junior year in college, I was accepted into Palmer West College of Chiropractic.
The first day of chiropractic school, you get a complimentary consultation, x-ray, treatment plan, and student intern. My intern looked at the x-ray of my neck and asked me, “Do you ever get sharp stabbing or shooting pain?” I admitted to him that I was still getting weekly flare ups. From that point on the overseeing clinician took over. They created a treatment plan for me to be seen 3 times a week for the first 3 quarters of school. I ended up deciding to come in 3 times a week for my entire duration of school. After having this continuous regimen of care for 3 years, I no longer have regular flare ups. In the last 4 years I have had 3 flare ups. Ice, rest, and chiropractic adjustment have alleviated the flare ups each time.
After 8 years in the Bay Area, I am excited to come on home. The greater Sacramento area is where I have always wanted to end up. I am excited and honored to join such an amazing practice as Thomas Chiropractic. The positivity, warmth, and togetherness of this unit has been nothing short of a dream come true. I am thrilled and extremely thankful to be able to continue my chiropractic journey here.