I met Dr. Pearl on October 3, 1994, a day that forever changed my life.
I was born with a birth defect. Upon entering the world, the doctor cut my umbilical cord too early. I didn't breathe for a period of time, my skin turned purple and the doctors panicked. As a result of this trauma, a portion of my brain stopped functioning and the right side of my body from my waist down did not develop correctly. My right leg was several inches shorter than my left; as well, my right hip was much higher in placement. Due to my deformity, I walked with an exaggerated limp, my right hip swinging outward with each step. Also, because of the difference in the lengths of my legs, I could not stand up straight. For balance, my right foot turned inward and rested on my left so that my two legs acted as one large leg to balance the weight of my upper body. To keep from falling, my back would hunch forward as if I were about to dive into a pool. This condition resulted in many back problems both as a child and young adult.
By the time I was 14, I visited more than 20 doctors in attempts to remedy my situation. I had surgery performed on my right heel cord to lengthen it. This neither changed the way I walked nor balanced my body. I wore orthotic shoe lifts, specially constructed orthopedic shoes, and steel leg braces, yet none of these remedies seemed to heal or or even slightly improve my condition. Soon I developed spasms in my right leg. Around the age of 14, the spasms became so violent that following these frequent episodes, my back would ache for days on end. It was especially embarrassing for me when these spasms occurred in front of friends … and even more so in front of strangers. So, against my will, I saw a neurologist. He prescribed drugs to see if the spasms would subside. They never lessened. In fact, the spasms seemed to feed off the medication. Feeling a loss of intelligence - not to mention feeling really stoned - I soon gave up on the prescriptions.
Later that year I was referred to another doctor. I was told that he would be the one to finally help me. I was so excited! At last, maybe this would be the doctor who would make me less different than everyone else.
I went with huge expectations. When I left, I felt more rejected than ever. Not only did the doctor tell me there was nothing he could do to help, he painted a bleak picture of my future as well. He told me I would always have back problems. In fact, he told me these problems would increase as I aged and that my skeleton would deteriorate, that I would end up relegated to a wheelchair.
That was the longest ride home I'd ever experienced. All hope that I'd ever held had drained out of me. I made an important decision that day: I would never see another doctor about this again. I would find some way to accept my fate and make peace with my body.
Thirteen years passed. I was working out with an acquaintance and happened to mention that I'd been having some especially bad back pain. She told me she knew a great Chiropractor. She had been in a bad motorcycle accident a few years back and had also been suffering from terrible back pains. Since she had seen this Chiropractor, her back had been pain free. I figured I'd check him out.
I made an appointment for October third and, after much anticipation, the day finally rolled around. I walked into his office, took a seat and waited until his assistant led me into a room. The Chiropractor entered. His name was Dr. Eric Scott Pearl. I intuitively knew that I was in the right place at the right time.
On that visit he asked me a few questions, took a look at my spine and gently adjusted my neck, telling me to come back in two days. I felt a little better, but nothing earth shattering. My back still felt sore.
Two days passed before I went for my second visit. Again, he took a look at my spine and lightly adjusted my neck. Then he told me to relax and close my eyes. I followed his instructions.
Suddenly, my right foot began rotating in circles all on its own. I tried in my mind to stop it but it continued to rotate. Then the thought came to me that I should let it do what it wants. This went on for a minute or two, until my right foot finally turned inward again, coming to rest on my left foot just as it always had when I stood.
I remember feeling warm, as if the temperature of the room had increased by ten degrees. I felt this energy down around my right calf muscle and began to sense my right foot turning outward once more, ever so slowly. "Now what's happening?" I wondered, more than somewhat astonished. It felt as if invisible hands were turning my foot, yet it didn't feel like hands at all. It felt good. It felt right. I was totally at peace. This process occurred over a thirty-second period. Then I remember Dr. Pearl lightly nudging me. He was so gentle, yet the sudden flight back to awareness came as a shock.
I told him what I had felt and experienced. He then asked me to stand. It was magical! I stood up and was six feet tall. I was standing taller and straighter. When I looked down toward the floor - which was a much further distance than I remembered - I saw that my right foot was straight, just like my left one. I was balanced, and my right foot was no longer turned inward leaning against my left for support. For the first time in my life I had two independent legs. I gave Dr. Pearl a huge hug.
I left with an enormous smile on my face. I got into my car and turned right from Melrose Place onto La Cienega Boulevard, In my head I kept replaying the image of my foot turning outward. Had this really happened? I felt as if I were living in a dream state. Nothing seemed the way it once was.
Leaving Los Angeles proper, I turned onto Laurel Canyon to go into the Valley. I lost all control of my emotions and had to pull off to the side of the road as I broke down crying. I’m not sure how much time passed as I sat there, crying on the side of the road. All I know is that someone had finally returned to me what had been so callously ripped away years before: hope. I had lost all hope when I was 14 and found it again at Dr. Pearl's office 13 years later. As I sat and cried, my entire life replayed itself before my eyes.
I had experienced a happiness I never knew was possible. I felt at peace with my body, at peace with the world. Dr. Pearl was the one who gave this to me. It wasn't until much later that I discovered that these healings are commonplace in his office. In speaking with Dr. Pearl you would never know this, as each incredible healing leaves him as awestruck as mine left me. His kindness, caring and healing talents gave me something I never knew existed: a miracle.
Albert Einstein said there are two ways to look at life. You can either believe that there are no miracles or you can realize that everything is a miracle.
Oh. And by the way … my back pains are gone.