NOVA Chiropractic & Acupuncture January 2019



Hours of Operation: Monday–Wednesday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday–Sunday Closed

January 2019

LOOKING BACK AT 2018 Unique Cases I’ve Faced

Over the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of treating many patients, both new and old. When I treat someone, I ensure that they are well taken care of so they can get back to their lives pain-free. Even though many of my patient’s issues are common and typical, there are some patient treatment experiences that I will always be thankful that I referred out to another provider for a more in-depth look. An example of a normal patient treatment experience is when a patient came to me with debilitating back pain. She was suffering from a herniated disk in her lower back and had shooting pain down both her legs to the point where she could barely walk, drive, or sit. During her first treatment, she experienced an instant improvement. After six treatments, she was 90 percent better — she made it through the holidays with few to no issues. This is a typical case for me at the clinic, but now and then I’m faced with a unique situation.

his hips. When I treated him, he would feel better for a short time, but the pain continued to come back. I decided to send him in for an MRI around Christmas in 2017. I received a call from the radiologist shortly afterward. He left a message telling me to call back right away, as it was highly important — never a good sign. I called him up, and he told me the patient had a large aneurysm in his aorta and needed to have surgery immediately. If it burst, the patient would die instantly. The problem was that I didn’t have the means to reach this patient easily at hand being that I was in New York for Christmas, but luckily, after some digging, I found an email he had sent a couple years ago that had a phone number in it. I got in touch with him and told him he needed to go to the nearest hospital right away. Within five or six hours, he was scheduled for surgery. He came out of it just fine and was soon vacationing in Cancun. I always remember this patient around this time of year because he was my Christmas miracle. It’s amazing that everything worked out so perfectly and we were able to save his life. My goal is to help people, and if I can’t, it’s to get them to someone who can. Even in tough cases where I have to call and tell them they need to get to the hospital right away, I know it’s to prevent the situation from worsening, and, ultimately, to save a life.

“My goal is to help people, and if I can’t, it’s to get them to someone who can”

Two patients stand out to me when I look back on 2017/2018. One was the picture of health. He had no history of major health issues and was in great shape overall. I treated him four or five times for lower back pain and pain in his ribs, but every time I treated him, the pain would come back quickly. At first, I didn’t think much of it, as his work required him to lift and manage heavy equipment. However, as it continued with no signs of fading, I knew something wasn’t right. I ordered an MRI, and the radiologist called me directly to tell me the patient had metastatic bone cancer. This was one of the more difficult cases for me — I had to call him and tell him that he needed to see a cancer specialist right away to get the treatment he needed.

The other unique case that was hard for me was when a patient I’d been seeing on and off for a couple of years for back issues started to get pain in

-Dr. Todd P. Sullivan

(703) 912-7822

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