SJ is part of a local writers group in Senoia that meets the third Saturday of every month at 10 a.m. at the Senoia Library. You can also follow more of her writing at

Since the advance of modern medicine, society has taught us to trust doctors above all else. Doctors spend years in school studying and practicing their medicine so that they may help those in need. They are trained to ease pain and suffering to the best of their ability. We as a society are ignorant of the ways of medicine and therefore are forced to put our trust in those who are specially trained, but can they sometimes be wrong?
In recent months I have been suffering from a herniated disc in my lower back. It has been nine months of seeing doctor after doctor just trying to find out what was wrong. After dealing with insurance agents and more doctors, I finally got the diagnosis of the herniated disc. Treatment began with a series of three epidural spinal injections full of steroids that was supposed to draw the inflammation of the nerve down in order to get some relief and allow for healing. Unfortunately after three rounds of injections I found no relief. The last thing that the doctors could do in order for me to heal is to resort to surgery.
In a last ditch effort to find relief and avoid surgery, I gave up on modern medicine and went seeking other methods. I had been warned against chiropractic methods by my doctors. They said that they could do more damage than good. I was also told they might help me find relief, but they couldn’t heal me. I figured it was worth a shot, anything was better than how I was currently feeling.
After a lengthy visit, I got the exact opposite information about my condition than I had been given by multiple doctors. I was told I would never heal, but that by stretching out my back I would find some relief and be able to return to a normal life. This left me with many questions and a great amount of confusion. It left me with the question, who do you trust? I have two different forms of medicine telling me two exactly opposite things.
The form of therapy that the chiropractor was proposing was reduced to a barbaric way of strapping me to a table and stretching and contracting my spine repeatedly in order to allow the compressed nerve more room to spread out, reducing the inflammation so it can heal. This form of therapy takes weeks with multiple, painful visits. After one visit I was not so inclined to continue this form of treatment. It was just too painful and too lengthy for me to continue. I felt surgery was a better option for me, but I am still full of questions.
If modern medicine is what we are told to trust, how far does that trust extend? We as patients become frustrated when we cannot find relief from our pain, but in my experience it is important to trust your one intuition. Doctors can only do so much, they are not miracle workers. They are truly putting their best effort forth to help those in pain. If you feel that they are not going to be able to help you and you seek other forms of care, just remember that the doctors were not wrong. The answer to your question of who do you trust should be, trust yourself. Follow your heart to find relief from your pain in whatever way you can, but remember to keep an open mind for there are many ways to treat your pain.