For years I’d dealt with gastrointestinal problems.

My parents had taken me to chiropractors since I was a kid for quick repairs after falls, slips or the few migraines that I suffered from in college. I’d never really found one with whom I connected or felt that I could really learn from. That was until I met Dr. Caroline.

For years I’d dealt with gastrointestinal problems. Eating often left me feeling like an over-inflated balloon  or so uncomfortable and nauseated that I didn’t want to leave my apartment. I’d seen general physicians numerous times since I was a teenager, all of whom handed me a prescription to alleviate the symptoms or referred me to someone else. No one ever really addressed why I was experiencing such discomfort and their only answer was a pill, which I wasn’t willing to take.

Upon moving to Atlanta in 2014, I became even more health conscious and responsible. I was eating cleaner than ever, working out consistently and even found a local chiropractor. 

But despite my efforts, nothing seemed to be helping my GI issues. We don’t always realize it, but food is such an integral part of our community experience. Since nearly everything I ate left me feeling terrible, I was missing out on a huge part of social life. I felt like I’d hit a wall as my gut seemed to have more control over my life than I did. 

I knew I had to do something but I still wasn’t interested in a traditional medical approach, so I began looking for chiropractors who also studied and addressed nutrition, which is how I found Dr. Caroline.

I have to say, I’ll never forget my first appointment with her. I showed up looking like a drowned dog after walking to her office in the pouring rain; hair stuck to my face, my soaking-wet pants hoisted up to keep from dragging on the ground and mascara collecting under my eyes. I was so embarrassed walking into the office, but Dr. Caroline immediately made me feel like I was walking through the front door of her home. Within just a few minutes I knew she was unlike any other doctor I’d worked with.

You know that she takes your case seriously, taking a day after doing the consult and exam to put together a care plan that’s truly made just for you. She went of my report of findings and suggested that we try several weeks of initial intensive care through straight chiropractic. She explained that correcting my spine and nervous system would also most likely address my gastrointestinal issues. If it didn’t seem to work, we would then delve more into functional medicine and nutrition. She was thorough in explaining why she suggested what she did and how she had come up with my care plan. 

What I loved more than anything, however, was how much she emphasized my role in the whole process. This wasn’t going to be a passive 12 weeks for me. I needed to be as committed to her as she was to me. Sure, doctors give out medication or suggest weight loss and stress that if their patients don’t comply, they won’t see change. But this was different. If I didn’t keep my appointments and show up on time, ready to participate and tackle my health with Dr. Caroline, she wasn’t going to be able to help me. Never before had a doctor expected or given me that kind of responsibility over my own health.

After just a few weeks with Dr. C, or as I now call her, Aunt Caroline, I started to notice a difference in not only my stomach but my overall heath. Gradually my symptoms subsided from being something that I experienced after every meal to nearly nonexistent. Throughout the entire process she educated me about my body, the connection between my spine, nervous system and gut, and was always willing to answer questions and explain my health. 

More than a year later, I continue to see Dr. Caroline weekly because I know that chiropractic is such a huge part of my wellbeing. But even more than that, I’ve never felt so safe and empowered under any doctor’s care as I do with her. I moved to Atlanta without knowing anyone, ready to tackle life on my own, but in a moment of vulnerability and defeat, she became like family to me. 

I think that having knowledge and control over your own health is truly essential to living the life you want and I have Dr. Caroline to thank for that.