My name is Jame F. Wolcott and I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis when I was 17 years old. My orthopedic surgeon told me the best way to beat arthritis was to never stop moving and being active. I took that to heart as I did not want to face knee replacement surgery in my 20’s as they predicted and so far so good.
This is the story of how I found out that I no longer have any signs of scoliosis in my spine.
I had been through a couple of job changes over the past couple of years which has led me to some pretty amazing opportunities. My true passion, of course, is Kettlebell sport and there is nothing I love more than owning my own kettlebell gym so that people can see they can be an athlete at any age and any stage of their life. My classes are not structured around just kettlebell sport though, they are structured around the many facets that can be obtained with this truly amazing training tool called the Kettlebell. I have been doing research ever since I gifted myself a Kettlebell intro class for my 44 birthday. I have been working with kettlebells for 10 years this upcoming March. I have found strength and structure in not only teaching Kettlebells to open class settings but also training sport for myself. I love the mental aspect of the sport and how it truly is you against yourself. I never get wrapped up in records or titles because that all fades, I do challenge myself each time I get on the platform to give it everything I have at that particular moment on that particular day and this is what keeps me going in this sport. The face I can.
I have been fighting a shoulder issue since 2017 due to arthritis and trying to overcompensate for issues by calling on different muscle groups. I seriously thought I could train through it but did finally go to Physical therapy and finding a great group of folks more concerned in keeping me in sport then telling me I might have to seriously think about giving it up. I finally had results and as of June of 2019 was actually getting pain free and stronger through a new progression of training I realize is more effective for the older athlete, which is, using lighter weights for training sets (tweeners are amazing for this aspect) then lifting the set weight for competition, I was hitting PR’s and seeing progression. All seemed well for 2019 and my goals until one evening I awoke to have a serious case of acid reflux, which I had an issue with prior to finding Kettlebells and seriously overhauling my diet. (When I started with bells I weighed about 218 pounds and have kept the majority of my weight off for going on 10 years) Somehow I either passed out or just hit my head trying to get up to overcome the acid reflux episode, either way, I ended up with a very nasty concussion and landed on my recently rehabbed shoulder just one week out from Nationals 2019. The pain was unbelievable not only in my shoulder but my head and huge golf sized knot I had. My husband wanted to take me to emergency and I held out saying if I started to get really sick or have issues with the concussion we would head into urgent care.
I ended up going to Nationals and didn’t have anywhere close to the numbers I had planned going into this meet but I survived my 3 lifts, however, the head injury still hurt and I was noticing sudden aspects of my normal every day took an abrupt change. I was pacing all night trying to relax and stop worrying about what seemed everything. These episodes got worse, not better, full panic attacks were happening and I knew something was wrong. I tried seeing my doctor but ended up with the PA instead and answered every question regarding depression negatively, rather than investigate this she was worried as to what triggered my acid reflux, really I ate horrible and paid for it, end of the story. She ordered x-rays of my shoulder and completely ignored my answering of the depression questions; I was really baffled as to why I even bothered. I explained my head still hurt and was having frequent headaches and issues, nothing. Depression set in, I couldn’t train because I couldn’t stop the panic in my head and my body was getting all out of whack. I took a job just to survive but had no interest in. I tried seeing my doctor and was told I have to make an appointment and any panic attack I was having would have to just be dealt with until I could get in. I couldn’t make the appointment because of my new job. The attacks kept happening and training was hit or miss, more miss than hit. People started to notice and take note it was an issue. I fought this for 5 months trying to find a time frame to see my regular MD, nothing helped. I did reach out to my coach and he helped with a supplement, the anxiety didn’t win every day, small tiny training sessions started to happen and I kept trying to find out what had changed. Saw the MD and it was ruled menopause and anti-depressants were prescribed which lead to side effects way worse than the panic and depression. She was treating the symptoms, not the cause. I did find a massage therapist who was positive and wondered if my head injury was the result. My chiropractor at the time kept saying to quit my job and it would get better, but would it?
Then I saw a Facebook post for a new Chiropractor in the area who actually takes the time to do a spinal analysis and new x-rays and is helping with so many different issues, was this the answer? I filled out the questionnaire on a Sunday no less and started getting messages from this Chiropractor explaining his procedures and how he thinks he can help. Answers, finally. The initial visit is the infrared of the spine, my spine is extremely healthy which he contributed to the Kettlebells I’ve been training with, however, the muscles supporting my spine were under extreme distress and without reading my issues he started telling me the things I had been experiencing. When I hit my head I misaligned my spine and caused the fight or flight syndrome. I asked about the curve I had at the base of my spine, which I know was still there 8 years prior when I went to my first Chiropractor, there is no curvature. The car accident that broke off the tip of my C-7 vertebra shows no deterioration and very little evidence of the end as being gone. I still have issues with some of the nerve damage but nothing as predicted by the therapist I saw through this. Not only did I find answers to what was causing my panic attacks and severe depression I found out I was healing the very thing that supports us all, the spine. Heal the spine to heal the body. So much truth to this, look for the cause don’t just treat the symptoms. Kettlebell training strengthens the core front and back and is great for the spine. I see this repeatedly in the people I train, if they train smart they heal their bodies and continue to get stronger. Why wouldn’t everyone want to have these benefits? Right from the first adjustment I am feeling back to myself and hungry for goals I have wanted. Training is getting back on track and the panic attacks are a thing of the past. I did speak to my doctor and she retrained some of her staff regarding such issues and not ignoring those questionnaires. I only hope they follow through.
Thankfully my Kettlebell family stuck with me through this process and kept being strong when I was failing for that I will always be thankful. It’s a great community and one I am proud to be part of.