Crash and Dash to DOC
In 2015, according to the Pew Research Center, more millennials reported making personal improvement commitments than any generation before them. They spend twice as much as boomers on self-care essentials such as workout regimens, diet plans, life coaching, therapy, and apps to improve their personal well-being.
Cathy’s daughter is 15 and a millennial. She runs cross-country and takes pride in her daily appearance. She has a makeup ritual that requires sitting on the sink with her face close to the mirror while she makes herself up with perfection and care. She looks absolutely fabulous.
One Saturday night before meeting her friends, Cathy heard a crash from upstairs. Her daughter had fallen off the sink on to her back on the bathroom tile floor. The pain was severe. Falls cause more than 15 percent of spinal cord injuries.
The spine is made up of three segments. When viewed from the side, these segments form three natural curves: the “c-shaped” curves of the neck (cervical spine) and lower back (lumbar spine) and the “reverse c-shaped” curve of the chest (thoracic spine).
The spine segments are made up of small bones, vertebrae, which are stacked on top of one another, connecting to create a canal that protects the spinal cord. The spinal cord extends from the skull to the lower back and travels through the middle part of the stacked vertebrae. Nerves branch out from the spinal cord through openings in the vertebrae and carry messages between the brain and muscles. Intervertebral discs sit in between the vertebrae, which act as shock absorbers for the spine.
A sudden, traumatic blow to the spine could fracture, dislocate, crush or compress one or more of the vertebrae and impair part or all of the muscles and nerves below the injury.
Cathy’s daughter needed an examination and imaging to diagnose a possible spinal injury. It was Sunday. Cathy remembered a DOC radio ad: no appointment, 7 days a week and immediate care by orthopedic specialists. Cathy is a single working mom with four children, two in college and two at home. When she heard the ad, she wondered: “Where have you been all my life?” She wished that DOC had been a resource when the other children were growing up and needed to go to the ER or the primary care physician with referrals to an orthopedist if necessary. However, this Sunday, DOC was there and saw her daughter immediately.
The DOC PA carefully explained the alignment of the spine and what he needed to check to be certain that she did not have a serious injury. He confirmed his diagnosis with X-rays. Everything was still in alignment. Cathy’s daughter has a bruised back and soreness.
Cathy didn’t have to miss work. DOC took her insurance and the visit was not only immediate but affordable. It was the “nicest experience.”
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