As unnerving as the pain shooting down my left arm was, the weakness and atrophy that followed were even more troubling. My left hand—my dominant hand–was virtually useless. Whether sitting, standing, walking or sleeping, I was never comfortable. Pursuing every avenue for relief and following diagnostic testing, I went to several doctors, including an orthopedic surgeon who gave me a month before deciding to operate on the pinched nerve in my neck. His final words were, “Sometimes miracles happen.”
Knowing that all surgery has risks was daunting enough. But having just met a physician whose own similar, unsuccessful surgery had left him in permanent pain and dependent on opioids made me pray that a miracle would come my way. Relief didn’t come in a pill, nor did it arrive overnight. But by the time I returned to the orthopedic surgeon, Dr. LeRoux helped me turn a corner. I no longer experienced pain. My arm and hand were returning to normal. The orthopedic surgeon was amazed at my progress, but I was not. I had complete confidence that I was in the best possible hands.
Though my initial objective was to simply “get better,” the results Dr. LeRoux achieved inspired me to do better. Highly disciplined, individualized, step-by-step strength and conditioning training helped me to better understand how my body worked and how I could prevent injuries from happening.
It wasn’t as if I’d had some horrific injury, but for three long years everything from my mid-back to the base of my skull hurt. Always athletic and only in my thirties, I could barely sleep, much less perform my job in a busy interventional radiologist’s practice. Being in the medical profession, I knew I didn’t want to rely on pain meds. And I’d seen all too often the results of unsuccessful surgery, so I considered that option as a last resort. I tried Physical Therapy and acupuncture. Nothing seemed to work. Even worse, an orthopedic specialist told me that he couldn’t think of anything else I could do.
I credit Dr. LeRoux for giving me my life back. I’m working out again, doing yoga, running, bike riding and more. Beyond being free of pain, I don’t have the stress and anxiety that comes from fearing when my next muscle spasm is going to take my life away again. Dr. LeRoux really listened to me, didn’t brush off my complaints, and understood where I was coming from. More important, he seemed to understand the big picture—how to tackle the underlying causes that were causing my chronic condition in order to relieve pain, as well as prevent it from happening again–not just provide me with temporary, symptomatic relief.
My first sign of hope came at my very first treatment. He was able to release a muscle spasm that I’d lived with for so long that I had just accepted that I’d have to live with it forever. It seemed miraculous but it wasn’t a miracle cure. Getting to where I am now did take time and a lot of work–on his part as well as mine–but it was so well worth it. Before I saw him, my plan of treatment was a guessing game. He provided me a plan of action, along with the confidence that if I followed his advice I could get to where I wanted.
In addition to being a rock climber and Crossfit enthusiast, I run boot camps at Southern New England’s biggest outdoor obstacle course. So, I’ve had my share of injuries. But the worst one was when I detached my lat muscle so severely that I couldn’t lift my arm off the ground. Still in my early 20s, I was told by an orthopedic that my days of rock climbing were over, so, too, might be my dream of entering the military. Proving that if you have enough dedication you can make it happen, I recently returned from Spain after doing some of the most challenging rock climbing in the world. Dr. Pepin was the guy who made it happen.
Dr. Pepin understood that sitting down just wasn’t an option for me. So, in addition to rehabbing my body, he helped me build it stronger. He also made me realize the value of formal training. Although I’d always been athletic and have lifted weights for years, I was doing so many things improperly. I had to rethink a lot of what I had been taught since I became passionate about fitness. After training with him for a solid few months, including Olympic lifting lessons, I kept benefitting from his seemingly endless knowledge. It was a different type of training that gave me better results.
Today, I would say he taught me everything I know. Now I’m using his teachings me and sharing it with my students. During my time at Team3 at Ocean State Chiropractic, I’ve seen Dr.Pepin help some of the most elite athletes in the area, but I believe he could help anyone, at any level of fitness.