Unfortunately, her doctor couldn’t see her for a week, so, on a friend’s suggestion, Harwe called a local chiropractor. He agreed to see her in his office later that day. During the appointment, the chiropractor explained that in rare cases a patient will have a reaction to treatment. “I remember thinking, ‘What kind of reaction?’” Harwe says. “But it didn’t sound like a big deal.”
The chiropractor put heat packs on Harwe’s neck. And then he did a cervical adjustment, a common chiropractic treatment for neck pain, holding her head in both hands and turning her neck quickly but gently to the right and to the left. Although the pain didn’t go away, Harwe did get some temporary relief, so she scheduled another appointment for a few days later. This time, when the doctor turned her head to the left, she felt nauseated and heard “the sound of the ocean in my head,” she remembers. The chiropractor quickly did an adjustment in the other direction, then asked Harwe to sit up. She couldn’tthe whole left side of her body felt limp and numband she couldn’t speak, either.
“My mind was racing, and I was trying to tell the doctor what was wrong, but I couldn’t get any words out,” she says. “It was the most terrifying experience of my life.”