Better Forever of Portland, OR

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Portland, OR 97214
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Chiropractic, Applied Kinesiology, Clinical Nutrition, and Massage Therapy

in Portland, Oregon

My Hemiplegia

Posted by on Jun 28, 2017 in Dr. Jeanne's World, Human Bodies |

by Jeanne Kennedy Crosby, D.C.

I was born with a condition called congenital hemiplesia.** It is considered a form of cerebral palsy. In the UK it affects about one in every 1000 births! That is pretty common, and I only just recently learned this. For some reason, it never occurred to me to research my own condition, I just thought that it was an unfortunate thing that happened to me. But maybe it wasn’t so unfortunate, because it helped me want to learn, and made me have to work a little harder. This website was very informative for me. I loved seeing the embedded videos in the website. I instantly felt connections seeing those kids, working hard to move around, doing dance classes and playing instruments. I did that too!

I always knew I wasn’t the best floor model of a human body. Why won’t my right leg do what my left leg can do? I have a weak right hip that has been significantly weaker than normal my whole life. I can move my hip in flexion at a limited range, and that diminishes quickly in seconds or with repeating. In certain positions I can’t lift my leg at all. The muscles fire, they just don’t work to lift my right leg against gravity effectively.

There is also a significant sensory deficit, I am not as sensitive to pressure on parts of my right leg, and I have almost no temperature sensation down the front of my right leg in the L2-L3-L4 dermatomes. I had to learn to be protective of my right side, when I was young I seriously injured myself from being unaware that I was being hurt, specifically burned, cut, and I had a case of infective arthritis (staph,) from having no pain sensation in my right leg.

My family tells me that when I was born, my right side was paralyzed. It didn’t move. My right arm and right leg were affected. My doctors told my parents that I was going to need mobility devices and a brace on my body for my life. Wow. My parents and my three brothers all took care of me and did exercises for my leg, and also my mom took me swimming. My arm weakness resolved, and my leg got better too, although it was always noticeably weaker, and my family so thoughtfully referred to it as my lazy leg. Ugh. There was also some teasing I had to endure about my posture, which I will not elaborate on.

I’m sure this experience somehow helped develop my character and empathy, although I learned from this website and also some articles in the medical journal Neurology and the National Institute of Health that this condition also comes with certain emotional and cognitive challenges. It’s a brain injury. 20% of us have epilepsy, depression, learning challenges, etc. There’s physical fatigue from altered movement patterns and accommodations that lead to chronic pain and tension. It’s frustrating for a kid to notice a physical difference from their peers. It’s recommended that these people are more suited for ‘desk jobs,’ and not a physical profession.

I have tried my whole life to be physically challenged and active. I participated in all my assigned gym classes, but I did get a bit of grief for not trying hard enough. I don’t believe my parents informed my school or my teachers about my condition.

But… this makes a lot of aspects of my physical experience and personal development fall into place. I’ve always had balance issues, all kinds of knee problems when I was younger, maybe from falling, and sore, tight hips and legs.

I played basketball for St. Mary’s and I was a starter! This was 7th and 8th grade. I had a good shot and I liked being a tough, smart girl. But learning the plays was so hard for me. We had to do a lot of running and jumping at team practice and I would get very weak and winded, and felt like I’d never be a real athlete. I played softball too. I loved skating as a kid, and it still feels really good for me to ice skate. I’ve done backpacking trips in the wilderness, and I have spent extended periods without a vehicle, walking a lot in my life. I have used bicycles as transportation, sometimes with big hills involved. I always had to get off and push the bike up long or steep hills, I had no endurance to stay on and pedal it all the way up.

I would say I have rhythm (maybe just from listening to and analyzing so much music) but I am still not a good dancer. Very awkward in couples situations where I have to ‘match’ or ‘follow.’ I much prefer exercising alone than in any kind of group. I love playing music but it’s challenging because reading charts is hard for me and puts me to sleep a little bit, but it makes my brain and my spirit feel really good, too.

I was drawn to chiropractic school because I knew I could have a lot of body work, and my right hip always hurt from being on my feet. Becoming a chiropractor has made a lot of great opportunities for transformation, and my right hip function has definitely improved, although there is still a notable weakness, and diminished function. I work on it regularly, trying new approaches to improve function, circulation (lymphatic – this limb does tend to get boggy) and gait quality. The right hip never hurts anymore. I do chronically have very tight muscles in parts of my low back, hips, and legs. My paraspinal muscles in my low back (the vertical line of muscles running up the left and right sides of the spine) are overdeveloped, hypertrophied.

I have been worked on by very skilled chiropractic doctors and other therapists (all as an adult professional – I didn’t have any formal therapy as a child or adolescent.) I’m so thankful for this. This is a privilege that I think many with my condition can’t access, although I think things are improved now since the 1960s for patients in the First World.

**Addendum: I revisited some medical documents saved for me by my mother. These are 2 typed reports from neurologists who examined me.

EdwinMulfordMD1966     JanMashmanMD1972

They’re pretty great, in a retro kind of way, but they do leave a lot of questions I have unanswered. The second neurologist, Dr. Mashman, concludes in his report that he doesn’t think I have Congenital Hemiplesia, he thinks I suffered a lumbosacral plexus injury during birth. This also makes sense, because I was a large baby born to a small mom (9lbs 6oz.) But it leaves questions also, because there are no articles found when I Google ‘lumbosacral plexus injury in newborns’ and other variations. The only results that come up in the search for the first 3 pages are only referencing mothers’ low back injuries from pushing post-partum.


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Your Insurance at Better Forever

Posted by on Dec 7, 2016 in Chiropractic, Health Care Industry and Business Stuff |

by Jeanne Kennedy Crosby, D.C.

Open Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act is happening now through the end of January. Now that I have had the opportunity to work first-hand with many of the companies who are offering health plans, I want to give a few pointers for choosing your next plan and/or company. Please remember I only bill insurance in some cases for chiropractic services. Nutrition Response Testing is not billed to insurance.

Providence Health Plans – I am a contracted preferred provider with Providence. I bill personal and group health plans that include chiropractic coverage. This does not apply to Oregon Health Plans managed by Providence, or Medicare Advantage plans managed by Providence. I no longer bill these plans, they are outside of my contract.

No health insurance plan pays very much for my services compared to the actual charges. You see this reflected in your statements from the treatments here if we bill your insurance. Providence generally pays me the best, they are among the most affordable plans (my family uses them) and they’re easy to work with, comparatively. It’s easy to speak to someone there for help on the phone. They don’t require pre-authorization for care. They are really nice and go out of their way to help.

Regence Blue Cross/Blue Shield – I am and will continue to be contracted with Regence for at least the first part of next year (2017.) I am considering leaving this network, even though a lot of you have this insurance. These plans unfortunately do not pay enough for me to continue to add new patients with this coverage to my already very full schedule. They are also really restrictive about speaking to anyone for help when we have questions (they want you to use their website for everything,) and they sometimes require pre-authorization for care. It’s a lot for us/me to manage for their payment rates, which is why I’m re-evaluating my contract with them.

Out of Network Benefits – If you have Moda, Aetna, or United Health Care, generally through your employment, you may have benefits that pay for out of network practitioners. This will cover a small part of your charges, but no discount is applied, like there would be if I was in network. Your portion of the bill that you are responsible for is due at the time of service. FYI, I have repeatedly approached Moda requesting a contract to be in network, and they will not offer me one.

Kaiser – I have repeatedly approached Kaiser requesting a contract to be in network, and they will not offer me one. They do not offer out of network benefits for chiropractic care.

Please remember that many or perhaps all plans (not sure) offer an option to use a Health Savings Account. These are typically Bronze plans. I have one. I use a US Bank affiliated HAS plan, Optum. These are interest-bearing accounts. When I receive any health services not covered by my very basic, no-chiropractic-no-alternative healthcare, only catastrophic-oriented medical coverage, I use the HSA. If you’re buying a personal plan, this is a good way to have a lot of flexibility in whom you see as providers, and the money you run through that account (that’s what I do mostly, I don’t keep money in there very long,) is not taxed as income on your annual federal taxes. The restrictions change yearly for what you can use this for, no supplements, massage must be medical (coded, charted, to address specific medical diagnoses.) Medical massage is billed at $174.00 per hour, so if you are using a health savings account, or a flexible spending account for massage, it must be paid at this rate.

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Fifteen Years

Fifteen Years

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016 in Chiropractic, I Love My Friends, Portland Oregon Lifestyle |

by Jeanne Kennedy Crosby D.C.

I graduated from chiropractic school in June 2001, after spending six years as a full-time student in rigorous academic testing and training. It was, and still remains one of the happiest days of my life. I am grateful every day for my education, but I am so glad to be done with school. It was very challenging at times.

I made friends both before and after graduation with colleagues who inspire and support me on a regular basis, and they look out for me too, as I do for them. These are great times for innovators. We get information together as a group mind when we share what we know.

I have been seeing patients now for 15 years. I have some very long-time people, some who started seeing me back when I worked out of my home on SE Belmont Street for 2 years. Then I moved to the little office building 2 blocks away for 7 years. I have been most of these 15 years within the same square mile of SE Portland.

It feels really good to go to work and see you all. I am always impressed with your efforts, your progress and your compassion towards me. You all teach me things every day. Thanks so much for seeing my heart and letting me learn how to make all of us flourish and shine in this exchange. I am aware now that it’s not the easiest business in the world, but truthfully I never set out intending to be a great business person. This is work worth doing well and seeing what transpires. Great chiropractors are remembered, people are always telling me about the chiropractors that made an impression on them in their life.

Jim MacKimmie is one example, he wrote this inspiring book,  I keep it in my reception area for people to read little bits while they wait for me. Many of my patients wind up purchasing the book. I love how Dr. MacKimmie left such a strong legacy for chiropractic and energetic healing, this inspires me to do my best every day.

As I go into my next 15 years of practicing my work, I invite you to join me in renewing your commitment to health, the health of your families and communities, the livability of your home, both the personal and the planetary, and your purpose in life. Keep your hearts open and be in the moment.

Photo 2008 by DeLeon

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