Well folks, I am sitting here at my desk on December 29, 2017, at around 09:00 – that’s around 9am or so. As I reflect back on the year, I realize we had some ups and downs, but overall we did great and really have made a difference in many peoples’ lives! I am grateful for my team -these ladies have worked hard and have well earned a few days off to relax and enjoy. I have felt many personal gains this year as my studies into osteopathy and cranial bones continues. I am honored that my friend, Dr. Logan Cooper, will be in our office every Friday from now on. Our patients really appreciate his work and are happy he is on board. We now can have our patients experience a full body adjustment with him, then jump into my room to balance their appliances to that new position- it makes a big difference!
This coming year I will be teaching in Toronto on various ALF and general TMD therapies. I give all credit to my mentors: Dr. Brendan Stack and Dr. Darick Nordstrom who have been instrumental in my training. This year I lectured with both of these famous people and I must say it was quite an honor! Dr. Stack and I go way back in our training in the area of TMD. And earlier this year, Dr. Nordstrom called me out of the blue and asked me to co-lecture with him in Norway -that was a great experience! The only bad part of the trip was that I only could go for three nights so I stayed in the hotel and went to the classroom each day and never made it to Oslo- it was a whirlwind of a trip!
A similar experience happened going to Dubai this year. I taught at the dental school and visited with a VIP patient and left after only two nights there. The 17 hour flight had my head in such a spin that I had no idea what day of the week it was. But it was a great opportunity and I think we made the people there much more aware of what TMD is all about. I will never forget how I ran around on stage for three hours doing my lecture and ended up being so soaked in sweat that I was embarrassed and simply could not drink enough water to cool down! The trips to Norway, Korea, and the local DC trainings were all great and helped to spread the word.
On the home front here in the US, we made a lot of changes to our protocols in order to help our patients even more. I changed my MRI order to include other images to look for concussion problems along with instabilities in the jaw bones that would affect our surgical cases. We also now take a specific xray prior to our MRI consults so that I can better explain how the cranial bones will affect the treatment plan. It’s kind of like having your mechanic explain that the front end of the car might need an alignment before you buy those new tires. This makes our treatment planning process smoother and much easier for our patients to understand.
I am really happy to have a most excellent network of doctors to work with every day. My surgeon, Dr. Eugene Gregory, has done surgery on thousands of joints with an extremely high success rate. My ENT buddy- Dr. Michael Abidin- is doing frenectomies and tonsil removals on our patients who need these services. I have local dentists like Dr. Rodney Mayberry and Dr. Eva Pleta who understand our work and are very careful and precise with our patients. You already know about the wonderful Dr. Logan Cooper who does some brilliant physical therapy and osteopath treatment. Now, I also work with a top notch chiropractor near the Baltimore area- Dr. Jean Thompson – this lady knows her stuff and every single patient I send to her is impressed with her skill set. And last but not least is our very local (in the same building) Madhura Gurjar- a physical therapist who has a really good handle on the difficulties in treating TMJ patients. Overall, I am very lucky to have all these doctors on board.
Another fun (or simply crazy ) project is that I wrote a bill for the Virginia legislature that if it passes will force insurance companies to cover TMJ treatment. Right now, they weasel out of paying by calling our treatment ‘experimental’. Well, dear readers, there is nothing experimental about having someone get rid of headaches that have been there for decades. If all goes well, I will propose the bill to the legislature and answer any questions they might have. I generally cannot stand politics, but in this case, if it helps you folks get the coverage you deserve, then it will be worthwhile!
As you can see it has been a busy year. I am actually going to try and take a vacation next year -it is much needed! To all my readers, thank you and God bless you all!