My big start in life came on May 10, 1951, in the sleepy little rural town of Booneville, Mississippi. What a day. When I got older, Mom would tell me all about it. I loved hearing about her joyful pregnancy, the blinding pain of childbirth, and my close call with circumcision.
If there is such a thing as a normal childhood, I guess I had one. Being the only child of a perimenopausal woman turned out to be a mixed blessing. I got plenty of food and love, but I often struggled for freedom and independence.
The important story of my formative years has to do with my health. To most observers, I was a sickly child who couldn’t get a tan if his life depended on it. Some of my most vivid memories of childhood involved my sinuses, and their almost superhuman ability to produce mucus.
By the time I started school, my parents had moved us to San Antonio, Texas. My father had been stationed there in the Army, and he knew the winters were mild. What he didn’t know was that the pollen counts were off the charts much of the year. In spite of the pollen and three big glasses of milk every day, I managed to survive.
To soothe my frequent allergic misery, I relied upon the omnipotent power of western medicine. I used antihistamines, decongestants and allergy shots liberally. When I came to the University of Texas at Austin, I was introduced to the miracle of steroids. All these treatments afforded symptomatic relief, but they also had side affects, and none of them offered a permanent solution.
After college, I found myself with a degree in Education and a job working night crew as a frozen food specialist at a grocery store. During my time off, I was drawn to the informal community of alternative health that existed in Austin at the time. I dabbled in acupuncture, herbology, massage and whatever else looked interesting.
My health wasn’t the best, and my lifestyle at the time wasn’t doing much to improve things. Thus far, I had suffered from tonsillitis, bronchitis and sinusitis. In one of life’s many ironies, it would be medial epicondylitis (tennis elbow) that would lead me to Chiropractic.
Ever since junior high school, I had been an avid tennis player. This came to a screeching halt sometime in the mid-seventies. The inner part of my right elbow had become so painful that I could barely grip my toothbrush. I tried changing rackets; over-the-counter medications; elbow braces; and numerous lotions and potions. I even quit playing tennis and disco dancing. Just as with my allergies, sometimes I got temporary relief, but nothing fixed the problem.
My parents had taken me to a Chiropractor as a child, but the experience had not made a big impression. Twenty one years later, I tried Chiropractic for a second time. Initially, nothing seemed to be happening. Finally, after eight weeks of adjustments and nutritional supplements, my elbow pain took a sudden change for the better. Soon I was pain-free and back to playing tennis. This made a big impression.
I began to think that Chiropractic might be the career I had been seeking since graduating from UT. The only things standing in my way were inertia and two more years of science courses. Even though I had a B.S. degree in Education, I had none of the science courses I needed to get into Chiropractic school. Topping this, I had a massive phobia about chemistry which I had developed in high school.
The pain of my slacker life finally overcame my fear of science, and I returned to school. My newfound motivation made all the difference. Two years later, I was a man of science and off to sunny Pasadena, Texas to attend Texas Chiropractic College. Luckily I had no idea how grueling Chiropractic school would prove to be, otherwise I would probably still be stocking frozen peas.
After what seemed like an eternity, I became a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic in January of 1985. Oddly enough, four years of long hours and high stress had not improved my health. Graduating from school and passing my boards granted a measure of relief, but soon another phase of my education began.
Learning is like going to the bathroom, it never stops until you’re ready to die. My formal education was over, but now I needed to know about the ways of the real world. For me that meant acquiring more Chiropractic techniques, more business skills and more people skills.
Following graduation, I went to work for another Chiropractor in the small town of Seguin, Texas. After two years, I got married, moved back to Austin, opened an office, bought an x-ray machine, sold an x-ray machine, got divorced, moved my office a couple times, and here I am.
Through everything, I just kept learning from my successes and failures. With the help of many generous friends and colleagues, my health has improved greatly and continues to get better. My allergies have moved from incapacitating to mildly aggravating. My elbow is pain-free and I play tennis regularly. The more I help myself, the more able I am to help my patients.
Obviously, I have omitted many details of my life. I hope reading this will give you a better insight into who I am. While I take my work very seriously, I also try to maintain a certain sense of humor about it all. If I can be of any service to you or your quest for better health, please .
Yours in health,