Hi, my name is Kris Peska, and my daughter, Keisha, has been visiting Dr. Hersh here in Connecticut for a few years now.
In eighth grade she was diagnosed with scoliosis by a routine check by the high school nurse. And so we went to a regular spinal doctor in Nebraska, who took x-rays of her and decided that her Cobb angle was about 16, and that was in eighth grade. There, he said that we would just watch and wait, and if it got into the 20s, then we would brace her. If it got into the 35 to 40 range, then we would do the Harrington rods surgery, which was just ludicrous to us. We felt that if you could move teeth in the mouth, you surely could move the spine by some kind of manipulation. The brace seemed evasive and constrictive, and that also scared us.
So what we did, we kind of sat around and thought about it for a few days and tried to call some people we knew who would know something about scoliosis, like some physical therapists in our area. And one was recommended to us to go to – a drive that was two and a half hours in the State of Nebraska – to see a physical therapist and do numerous hard exercises. We did that for two years, and one night I decided, I said, “Keisha I want to look at your back.” And I looked at that and I said, “I think your back’s getting worse, not better.” And it scared me; it made my heart sink that maybe we were doing the wrong thing.
So I got back online, and I did a little more research as far as who could maybe help my daughter. And at that time I stumbled onto plain and simple Scoliosis Correction Centers. I said, “Well, that sounds like the place for Keisha, just the title.” So I got on their website back then, and, of course, that was two years later after she was first diagnosed. So when she was a freshman, let’s see, she would have to have been, maybe it wasn’t two years. It was more like a year. But anyway, I stumbled onto this website and I decided, goodness gracious, Nebraska to Connecticut is a long ways. I’ve never been to either coast before.
We decided to email Dr. Hersh. So I made up a lot of questions, and Dr. Hersh answered every one of them. I reread that website several times. I had my husband, Keisha’s dad, involved in helping me decide this, that I think we really need to look at this and maybe going out there to Connecticut. So anyway, we decided to come, just Keisha and myself. We came out here, stayed in the apartment and had Dr. Hersh look at Keisha. Everything here, the stations that she’s worked with or on, have made sense to us.
It’s not easy. It’s a commitment. But would you rather have surgery? Would you rather have a huge, big scar on your back? She didn’t, and I didn’t want her to. And then as far as looking into more about people who have had surgeries, a lot of them don’t work. The wires will rip inside. and people will have to go have a new surgery. Rehab that way is a long, lengthy time.
So anyway, we made this commitment to do the CLEAR Institute Program with Dr. Hersh. Dr. Hersh is very good and very caring about his patients. He does his absolute best to help you and figure out how to improve your spine. Everybody is different. Everybody’s back responds differently. We have had progress, but we’ve also stalemated, too. It depends on your attitude as a patient, how much you want to put into it, how much work you want to do. A lot of people have an exercise routine that they do daily. This is Keisha’s exercise routine. Looking back at when we first came out here and learning so much from Dr. Hersh and how the spine is with scoliosis, we have realized that this is a long-term commitment on our part as for her healing and getting well.
We just feel that this is the right place to be, comparing it to surgeries or some other physical therapies that I’ve looked into. This makes sense. It is a commitment. It is a long-term commitment, both from the doctor’s side and our side. It is, I don’t want to say it’s hard, but it is a commitment to improving your spine naturally without doing the surgery that is just graphic to us, and we don’t know what could happen afterwards.
Keisha’s back is a little bit different case again as far as scoliosis, because she’s very rigid, and she’s had a tough time responding. So Dr. Hersh has made every effort to figure out with different equipment how to correct that and loosen up that back so it will respond a little more than what it has been. We feel that after all this time that we have been doing this, we have never given up on Dr. Hersh, and he has never given up on Keisha. We think he’s a great doctor, very caring. She doesn’t want to try and do anything different, either.
She’s still working with Dr. Hersh, and she’s committed to doing a 90 day, never miss an exercise, twice a day routine contract with Dr. Hersh right now to try and figure out why she’s having this rigid back, and it’s not responding very well. Her scoliosis is in the low 30s. She has an S-curve. She has a very, very straight neck, and we’re trying to get the curve established in the neck foremost to help her prevent from having arthritis in her 30s.
So to sum it up, I feel that we have made the right decision in coming here. As far as a parent’s perspective, we want to do what’s absolutely best for our daughter, and we feel that we are in the right place at the right time. And I’m very grateful that we found Dr. Hersh just by Googling, just like so many parents out there that are trying to learn about scoliosis and do the right thing. I would highly recommend coming out here and visiting with Dr. Hersh, if at all possible, before you do anything drastic as far as surgery, and see what he has to say. Look at the equipment and go from there.