Dr. Angela McKaye, DC, ND
When I was a child, it was my dream job to be a lawyer and fight for justice, and help people. I grew up in a family that considered chiropractors to be quacks, so it's really amazing that I became a chiropractic physician. Let me tell you how this dramatic shift happened.
When I was in college, I was working for a residential group home with teens from the Detroit, Michigan area who were in the social work system for a variety of reasons. While I was working there, I was flipped over a desk by a (very big) kid and suffered a disc herniation in my low back.
I was 21, and had never been to the doctor on my own before. It was a scary thing to manage this sort of big injury on my own. I went to the medical doctor my employer sent me to, and I did everything they told me to do. I did steroid injections, physical therapy, and pain medication and muscle relaxers. I even had a 'less invasive' surgery, but it didn't help. I was off work and college for over a year, and I was working really hard to try and get better. By the time I was 22, they were recommending a fusion surgery, and I was really frightened about such a big procedure.
I had been off work for so long that I had to move back home with my parents. I was doing what I could to earn a little bit of money, and was making jewelry when I could. I went to a Dead show near my grandma's house, and traded two pairs of earrings for an astrology reading. As the astrologer was going over my chart, he was noting some of the big challenges I had been dealing with.
I told him my story, and he said, "I'm a chiropractor, and I think I can help!" By this time I had nothing left to lose. I got my very first adjustment in the grass at the parking lot at the venue, and I was pain free for two whole weeks! I was dancing for the first time since the injury occurred.
I found a chiropractor closer to home and started getting regular care. I got better and was able to go back to work, with a job at a health food store. I started learning more and more about how to heal and take care of myself.
Once I started getting chiropractic care, I started finally healing effortlessly after having worked so hard for nearly two years with little relief. I thought, "It shouldn't be this hard to get well." Thanks to that one very random and weird meeting at a Grateful Dead concert, my whole life and perspective changed. I decided more people should have access to quality chiropractic care to facilitate their healing journeys.
I was pain free through two pregnancies and through chiropractic school. Shortly after I graduated from Western States Chiropractic College in 2007, I was rear-ended and re-ruptured the same disc. Unfortunately, this time it led to significant paralysis of my right leg. I spent two years with paralysis and atrophy.
Chiropractic wasn't enough this time. I had one failed surgery that made the problem worse. I went to several doctors and physical therapists who said, 'You just need to accept that this is as good as it's ever going to get.' My daughters were 10, 5 and 4 years old at the time. I couldn't play with them, or go to their school performances, or really be the mom that I wanted to be and that they needed me to be. I couldn't even reliably cross the street without falling down. That was just not an acceptable outcome.
With the help of a really great team of providers, I did get better. I finally had a fusion (more than 15 pain free years after it was initially recommended) with a fabulous neurosurgeon. An acupuncturist and a physical therapist helped me regain nerve function and start walking again. It wasn't a quick or an easy road, but I went from not being able to climb a flight of stairs to doing the Girlfriends Half Marathon in Vancouver, Washington in 2012.
I know what it's like to be told, 'This is as good as it's going to get,' when that's just not good enough. My promise to you is that I will never give up on you. As long as you are actively working on your own healing journey, there is always the possibility for improvement and I will be working as hard as I can to get you where you need to be. Chiropractic care can and does work wonders, and is an important part of any self-care or wellness plan, but it's not always the only treatment you might need. We are blessed in our area to have some top notch medical providers. If I am not the one to get you to your goal, I will do my best to find the right care for you, even if it's not in this office.