An Australian volunteer who was doing whatever volunteers do in PNG.
I was there for 2 years until Dec 2005 .. I hope I made the most of it.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Modern Medicine

Trekking Kokoda has taken its strain on poor old me. I got malaria from the exercise - or at least somewhere along the track I got bitten by a malarial mosquito that later developed into the full blown symptoms. I also seemed to have lost weight, which to anyone who knows me, knows is not really ideal - you could say that I am the sort of person who is far from overweight. And I also seemed to twinged my lower back in the wrong way, no doubt from carrying the 15 kilo pack.

The thing needs a good old straighten out. Bending over to touch toes only gets me so far before a twinge, and I can feel the vertebrae out of alignment if I run my fingers up my spine. It is still perfectly usable, just not 100%.

I know what I would do if I was anywhere else other than PNG. I would find the best chiropractor around and check myself into their clinic. I know people like to poo-poo chiropractors these days and frown on their methods, but after visiting a Russian chiropractor in London who spent 90% of the visit working on the surrounding muscles than the click-clacking I have been converted.

Seeing as I don't have the luxury to be picky here, I asked the next best person I knew who I thought I would be able to trust. It was over dinner on Saturday night when I had the chance to have a chat to a volunteer physiotherapist friend who gets all the local cases for bad backs. I thought if anybody would know how to straightening my back out he would know.

Unfortunately his response has failed to enthuse me with much faith in modern medicine. It seems, according to him, that if I am anything short of failing to use my legs, I shouldn't worry about it. Haven't got any pain or numbness, then everything is ok with the spine - no pinched nerves.

So this it seems is what they are teaching physiotherapists these days. From my point of view, surely they should take more than a 'if it aint broke, don't fix it' approach? I mean I don't wait until a computer dies before I fix it. If I can prevent a crash, I will do it beforehand.

I wish I had my Russian healer close by.