Adventures with Dr. Jewell

If you’ve ever met Dr. Jewell, you know immediately that she’s got a wanderlust heart! Here’s her most recent adventure story:

Before completing my Chiropractic education at Palmer West I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Hyderabad, India on a Clinic Abroad Program. This was truly one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, combining my love of travel with my passion for chiropractic. While at times challenging and heartbreaking, the gratitude we received and the care we were able to provide for children and adults alike was worth every moment. Some of our patients had never had the opportunity to see a doctor in their young lives, while others where living with serious conditions and looking for some pain relief.

One of the hardest issues we faced was the language and cultural barrier. We were lucky enough to have translators present with us, however most of them only had a rudimentary understanding of English  and since most of our patients had never seen a Chiropractor before, our history-taking, the exam, and explaining what an adjustment really is became an engaging task to say the least! We learned to get creative with our explanations! Learning about a new culture first-hand is always a joy. Most of our patients were observant Muslims, which gave me a unique and privileged opportunity to see garbed women take off their black head- and face-wraps, revealing beautifully colored garments, jewelry and henna tattooing on their hands and feet- What an amazing position to be shown what is usually only seen by their families at home!

It was so humbling to be shown such gratitude and respect for the treatments we gave. In India each individual is in charge of their healthcare. What this means is that every person is responsible for their own health history, records, and imaging. These are prized positions taken home and carried with you to every doctor’s appointment in a plastic shopping bag. The healthcare system in India is similar to that of some European countries as I understand it, in that everyone is given state public health care unless they can afford private health care. There are separate hospitals, doctors and pharmacies for these two categories. And even if you do have private health care, because of the sheer size of the population, you may still be required to go to the public hospital in an emergency situation if the private hospital is full.

While the food was amazing, and the sights certainly impressive, what I’ll remember most are the people I was able to help.

A little girl who traveled 9 hours on a train with her family to come and get treated for chronic migraine headaches that where keeping her out of school too frequently; a women who could no longer clean her house and cook properly because of pain in her ankle and foot which we were able to completely alleviate after just one adjustment; a mother who brought her 14 year old daughter in for a second opinion about a risky spinal surgery for a fracture that could potentially leave her paralyzed or be fatal due to spinal cord compression; the 40 year old mother who had been run over by a donkey cart as a teenager and never received treatment, leaving her with a bowed and deformed left leg which she had coped with since. These experiences are the real gifts.

Traveling is always such a gift, but then so is coming home. I’m so pleased to be making my home here in Portland, and making new memories with new patients here at City Fit!

Here are a few photos from her trip: