Patients of the Month
For almost two decades, our patients share their stories of recovery each month. Please feel free to review our testimonial books when you visit our office.
A concussion wasn’t my wish for my 42nd birthday but that’s what I got. Head trauma from a freak accident at home—my head was in motion as I reached back to catch a heavy closing door on a spring hinge. My hand didn’t catch that door but my head did.
It was January 2nd and the day had started out perfectly My family was enjoying their last day of Christmas break and sleeping in. I left a quiet house and joined my friend for a fun workout. We laughed about holiday fun, holiday drama, and fun holiday splurges. My thoughts were on the new year ahead. I stopped for my favorite almond milk latte on the way home and was greeted with lots of birthday hugs from my kids when I arrived. My husband surprised me by taking the Christmas tree and was busy putting everything away. This was one of my least favorite tasks.
We had a great day at home. Just before leaving to go out for my birthday dinner the accident occurred. Throughout dinner I only had a slight headache. The next day symptoms of a serious concussion slowly progressed. A medical diagnosis of a concussion was given to me. I was so ill with severe headaches, nausea, dizziness, sensitivity to noise and light. My balance was off and my eyes were not tracking. I couldn’t take care of my family and had to retreat to the quiet guest room in our basement. Months went by and I was still struggling. I was following the doctor’s advice to recover. Only I wasn’t recovering. After my headaches eased a little, I realized my neck was hurting. I was sent to PT to help resolve this. Each session seemed to make matters worse. I was so tired, I was in so much pain, I was tearful and couldn’t be the mom I once was. Lights, noises, too many people talking, I couldn't’ deal with any of it. I was overwhelmed and I was so dizzy. I was being sent to lot of different doctors and one could really help me.
Frustrated, I randomly typed concussion into a Facebook search. This lead me to concussion support groups and I was reading one story that sounded so much lie mine. I had gone five months in to this painful journey and she had endured three years! She mentioned heavy beltway traffic getting to the doctor that was helping her so much. I immediately traced back and saw where she had listed the name and address of the doctor wondering what city she as referring to with heavy beltway traffic. I was so excited to find out that in fact it was the same beltway I was hoping for.
After meeting with Dr. Leslie and her staff, they all made me feel so welcomed, understood, and best of all she had an answer to why I was feeling the way I was. It has been just a little over two months since I began treatment at The Atlas & Spine Center of Greater Washington and I am so happy to say that I am well on my way back to health! Under her treatment and care, my headaches and dizziness are gone, I’m becoming stronger each day, and I am able to handle my life and family more and more. I am seeing the person that I was before the accident occurred emerge once again and I’m able to find joy.
I get quite emotional to the of the direction my life was in before I found out about Dr. Leslie. I know that I am going to recover from this. All those gial I though about for the New Year will happen—even if they got a late start! I’ve never found a Dr’s office that I look forward to my appointments or one that had helped me this much! I am so very grateful I found her.
"I have given a lot of thought to how I should begin this essay. The idea of describing in detail the last 13 years of medical specialties, physical therapists, misdiagnosis, pills, chiropractors, acupuncture treatments, facet and Botox injections, multiple imaging studies and the intense pain that could be described at best, as miserable, was daunting; so I decided to start in the present
Today, June 1st 2015, I feel like a million bucks! My journey back to health and well-being began in October 2014. Currently, I am able to enjoy my family and even my job like a normal, very nearly pain-free human. I can stand, sit and go shopping without popping pills or taping portable ice or heat packs to my body for 15 minutes of relief then back to miserable. I can turn my head to change lanes while driving, not my entire body, I don’t have to schedule PT appointments twice a week after work and around my family life. I am now able to concentrate at work, and I am not totally exhausted by 10am. There is nothing like sitting in a two-hour meeting squirming because you just can’t stand the pain one more second or lying on the floor of your office just for a few moments of relief. At the end of October, I took my first almost pain free vacation in years! A trip to St. Thomas with girlfriends and my new BFF, my cervical collar.
How did I find Dr. Leslie? After making an appointment to begin what I thought was going to be another round of PT, my very good Physical Therapist said to me, after all these years, I don’t know what else to do with you! I want you to try this Chiropractor in Greenbelt. My response was, Greenbelt? Really? A little geographically undesirable, as I live in Bethesda. Upon arriving I was greeted by Nicole and Lesly, the two wonderful medical office assistants. Not only are they kind and compassionate, but also run the place like a top. My consultation with Dr. leslie pretty much began at the beginning; birth to present. Not one fall, sports injury, or surgery was missed. Nutrition and sleep patterns were discussed, as well as, the dreaded stress. Next came the spinal imaging. Being a Medical Imager by trade, i could only sympathize with the tech as she struggle to align the necessary anatomical landmarks on my face and skull until just right. The only thing worse was actually sitting in the chair while in the “head holder”. I knew I was off but it became even more obvious once she was able to position my head in a true anatomical position. My whole body felt like i was a coil wound too tight and twisted.
I arrived for my ‘adjustment’ appointment 1 week later, I must admit, somewhat skeptical but full of anticipation. Not sure what I expected, but what happened next was truly a miracle for me. This painless, quick procedure was all it took to begin to transform my misaligned, unhappy body into a happier place. After I was “adjusted” I felt a strange type of circulation, which Dr. Leslie described to me as my neurology adjusting. She also warned me to be careful walking that my gait would feel different. Boy, did it. With my legs the same length and my pelvis in place, walking felt so smooth and effortless. And the familiar enemy I had been saddled with for so long was retreating. My neck and upper back felt completely different, my face felt related and it was even easier to breath. She mentioned that I might need a little extra rest, and I might even sleep better that evening. When I woke up 45 minutes late the following morning, I just smiled. I knew at that moment that my search for pain relief had ended and my journey to proper body alignment had begun.
Since October I have been on a steady course of getting better. I have gradually increased my exercise level to build up my muscles. My visits with Dr. Leslie have tapered from three times a week to once every two weeks. I have had two minor set backs during my course of treatment. The great thing about the setbacks were that once I was out of alignment I certainly knew it! How uncomfortable! What a difference having all of your verts in a row makes!
I don’t know how to thank Dr. Leslie and her team. Not to sound dramatic but, I now have my life back. No more missing out because of pain and exhaustion. I am back to enjoying life again. My sister pleasantly refers to Dr. leslie as Glinda, the Good Witch."