Off of Pain Killers & Enjoying Life Once More

Submitted by: Deb Preachuk

Linda G.'s Success Story

This testimonial has been in my heart for quite some time now, yet it has taken me awhile to put it in written form. I don't know if words can adequately do justice to the impact Deb Preachuk has made in my life.

My journey with Deb began in May 2007 after my health had hit "rock bottom", and I felt as if I had nowhere else to turn. After the birth of my fourth child nearly five years ago, my health took a turn for the worse. I began experiencing severe back and neck pain that could only be relieved by frequent visits to the chiropractor. The relief was always short-lived, and often the pain would return within hours of an appointment. I kept telling myself that I had an unexplained injury that would just go away with time, but it never did. Nearly 1.5 years after the pain began, I was handed what felt like a death sentence -- the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. I was told there were many things I could no longer and should no longer even try to do, including lifting weights, running, etc. -- many of the things that had been a part of my life and that I enjoyed doing. I suddenly started to feel like I was trapped in a body that was not mine, and I started to become afraid of doing anything that might cause more pain.

My diagnosis of Fibromyalgia was only the beginning of a long list of diagnoses that were handed to me by doctors in the next couple of years -- Degenerative Disc Disease, Scoliosis, Migraine Headaches, Adrenal Insufficiency, Osteopenia, Chostocondroitis, and Asthma. I was also told that I had already lost 1.5 inches of height by the age of 35 -- the amount of height that a woman in her 70s would expect to have lost. These diagnoses were not helpful to me because they were simply symptomatic descriptions of what I already knew. What I wanted to know was not what was wrong with me (I already knew that and was living it every day), but rather what I could do about it. And it was so frustrating to me that the only thing medical doctors could offer me was either a "we're sorry, there isn't much we can do for you" apology OR a host of painkillers and medications with their own list of health-compromising side effects.

For three years, I spent time treating myself through proper nutrition, walking, and significant lifestyle changes. I continued to visit my chiropractor on occasion, but I still hurt on a daily basis and needed something more. My pain had decreased significantly over those years to where I could at least function, but I realized that I wanted to do more than just "exist..." I wanted to live again! I wanted to be the mom my kids deserved; the wife my husband remembered; and the lively, active person I used to be. I was ready to get better.

It was then that I remembered my chiropractor telling me about an amazing woman named Deb Preachuk who had helped more of his patients than anyone else had ever been able to. I remember my first phone call with Deb so clearly, primarily because it was the first day I started to have hope that I wasn't doomed to a life of pain and misery. I had been an active person my entire life -- a ballet dancer at a young age; an active health club employee and member who loved cardio and weight-lifting exercises; a runner and long-distance walker; etc. I had always been slender and in shape, but suddenly I found myself with atrophied muscles and weight that I couldn't lose. My years of pain had resulted in a sedentary lifestyle, and I was no longer the person I had been. Deb, however, understood that I wanted to be that person again and break free from my tired, sore body.

I began weekly private sessions with Deb and immediately noticed a difference. Deb explained that my pain, limited mobility, and scoliosis were due to muscle imbalance and poor alignment of my spine, hips, and shoulders. After years of pain, it seemed hard to believe that it could really be so simple, but the reduced pain I experienced after doing my daily exercises was proof that it really was. Each week, Deb gave me a set of exercises that were designed to address my unique issues. The most remarkable thing for me was that I could actually do the exercises and not experience debilitating pain the next day. Up until going to Deb, any attempt I had made to strengthen my muscles resulted in horrible pain in the days following.

Since going to Deb, I was also able to cut my use of painkillers, as well as my dependence on nutrition and vitamin supplements that I was using just to be able to function. A host of other symptoms have improved or disappeared as well...I no longer suffer from insomnia despite struggling with it for years. My asthma is basically a non-issue, and most people cannot believe that the exercises Deb gave me are more effective in helping me breathe than any medication I had been prescribed. Additionally, I am less chemically sensitive and have fewer digestive problems, memory problems, and fatigue.

One thing that came out of my time with Deb is something that extended beyond the postural alignment realm and spilled over into other areas of my life. I distinctly remember telling Deb during one of my sessions how much I loved painting (as in walls and rooms) but that I no longer could due to my fibromyalgia pain. She very seriously looked at me and told me that if I wanted to paint, I should paint. She told me that in fact if there was anything I wanted to do, I should just do it. If it caused pain, she said, just stop doing it and try again another time. It may seem strange that someone giving me permission to pick up a paint roller could be such a life-changing moment, but it was. Suddenly, someone was telling me that I COULD do things, unlike doctors who told me that I couldn't do them because of some mysterious pain condition. It was at that moment I was able to come out of my curled-up corner of pain and become the person I used to be.

Thanks to Deb, I have regained strength that I had lost during my worst years of pain. In the process, I experienced the side benefit of losing weight. I have also done things I was previously afraid to or unable to do...I exercised my muscles again. I stained my deck. I repainted rooms by myself. I've gone on long drives without pain. I got pregnant again. I now play with my kids, do yard work, and plan social activities without the fear of pain. Sometimes my husband is more afraid for me than I am, but I always tell him, "Deb would tell me not to be afraid." For anyone who knows what it is like to live within chronic pain, being able to set aside the fear of pain is a huge step.

I would be remiss if I said that the road to recovery was always easy. There were difficult moments for me, and moments when I wanted to give up. There were times when my pain was still bad, and times when not listening to Deb resulted in setbacks. But I knew that Deb was my last chance at getting better...I knew that God had sent her into my life, and that I could not quit. I needed her to help me because no one else had been able to. Deb stood by me and got me through the toughest moments during my healing.

I recently moved out of state, so unfortunately I can no longer attend sessions with Deb. But the tools she gave me for living pain-free continue to bless my life daily. I still do my exercises because they really work, and the return of pain when I don't do them is a reminder of how effective they really are.

I will forever be grateful for the impact Deb has had -- and continues to have -- in my life.

Linda G