Doctor of Chiropractic
I was born and raised in Port Angeles so I have legitimate webbed toes and speak fluent rain. Most of my formative years were outdoors playing sports, hiking, fishing or hunting. My first experience with chiropractic came while playing basketball in high school. I 'tweaked' my low back landing funny during a rebound. By the next day I could hardly stand up and at practice that afternoon I wasn't any better. That night after practice Dr. Irvine, my basketball coach and a chiropractor, adjusted me and by the following day I was 100%. Oh, to be 18 again! During junior college I would occasionally 'tweak' my back and Dr. Irvine would get me upright in no time. That's was the extent of my chiropractic experience.
Between my sophomore and junior year of college, while studying pre-med, I was working near the Hoh river building logging road when I suffered a significant injury to my low back and was taken to the hospital in Port Angeles where an emergency physician, my family doctor and an orthopedist were summoned to examine me. No one could tell me what I had done to my back but sent me home with muscle relaxers and some strong pain meds. After lying in the middle of my mother's living room floor for 2 weeks without improvement, crawling to and from the bathroom, I finally called Dr. Irvine. After the first adjustment I couldn't stand up straight but could walk on my own. What a relief that was. Within a few weeks I could run again. This chiropractic thing was cool.
That back injury substantially cut short my summer income and I was unable to stay at WSU to finish my pre-med studies. I returned to Port Angeles and worked full-time for a commuter airline and continued college part time at nights for the next 4 years working towards a degree in business administration and learning to fly. And married Cheryl. Pretty good life but something was missing and after talking with Dr. Irvine one day it struck me that chiropractic was calling me. My darling wife was less called but humored me. I finished my organic chemistry that summer at Portland State and was enrolled at Western States Chiropractic College in September of 1981. I graduated in 1985, practiced with another chiropractor for almost a year then struck out on my own and have been in the Olympia/Tumwater area ever since. Cheryl and I have a small farm and she teaches people how to ride and have more fun with their horses. My daughter, Kelsy, lives in a 1901 house that was part of the original homestead on our property and graduated from Western Washington University in 2009. I continue to love the outdoors and have an affliction my family and staff call 'Fish-a-holism.'
Over the years I've taken hundreds of hours of continuing education classes. I've completed the 3 year diplomate program in chiropractic orthopedics, the first year of a masters in clinical nutrition, dozens of hours in physical rehabilitation and too many others to list. I can hardly wait for the next class as I continue to love learning about the amazing human body. Hardly a day goes by that I don't have a 'wow!' over the way the body functions and is able to heal itself.
Over the years I've come to appreciate that my patients want quick relief from their pain and don't want to make any more trips to the office than necessary. My first priority is to determine what's wrong and find a way to get their pain under control. I do my best to explain to my patients what is wrong. Next is to engage them in a program to stabilize their condition so it is less likely to show its ugly self in the future. Along the way I love to teach nutrition, wellness and prevention. In the process of the healing I may recommend massage, acupuncture or physical therapy in addition to a home exercise program. When additional information or treatment outside the clinic is needed I have a network of other physicians, imaging centers and therapists I've worked with for an integrative answer to the solutions. I will work with the primary care provider to assist in my patient's recovery. I will also ask my patients to be an active participant in their care and not become a victim of the healthcare monster.
Those who read my newsletters and most of the material on this website will see it's not real polished. I was not an English major so forgive me for my boo boos but the majority has come directly from me.