Here’s the educational stuff – I went to Bowling Green State University in 1969 and graduated with a BS in Biology in ’73. I stayed at BG and graduated again in ’76 with an MS in biology. My graduate work centered on microbiology – specifically viruses, and cell physiology. After graduating, I realized that I knew lots of stuff, but had no skills, so I attended Medical Technology School at Mt. Sinai Hospital to become a certified medical technologist. That was a one-year program, and after finishing, I was hired by the Cleveland Clinic to work in their microbiology dept.
I worked at the Clinic for three years. That was really an interesting job. We worked up bacterial cultures on the clinic patients to isolate and identify the bacteria that may have been infecting them, if there were any at all. Everyone in the lab was young and mostly single, and we were all good friends. But I realized that I wasn’t going to go very far in that job and needed a career change – especially after I had gotten married and was looking at my future in supporting a family.
My best friend from BG was attending the Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. He kept calling me up and saying “Denny. When are you going to come out here? You would be a great chiropractor and with your background, school would be a breeze!’ So, in 1979 when my wife and I found out we were expecting our first child, I thought, “Now is the time!” I called Mike. He went to the admissions office, I filled out the paper work they sent, and in July of 1980, we packed up our stuff with our 2-month-old daughter and moved to Davenport.
What had really gotten me interested in chiropractic had happened shortly after I started at the Clinic. I had suddenly come down with something that was keeping me sick for weeks. I had low-grade fevers that would come on at any time during the day. I basically felt like crap all the time. I had little energy and it was hard to concentrate on my new job. The clinic physician that I saw said that I had Mono and it would just take its time. But after a month of no change, sleeping a lot, and eating aspirin to keep the fevers down, I wondered if it would ever go away.
During this time, Mike had come to Cleveland to visit his girlfriend from college. At the time I was living on the east side, and she lived here in Lakewood. I drove over after work that Friday night to have dinner with them. Mike and I were catching up when the fever hit. I told him I had to leave since I had a long drive. He said, “I drove 500 miles to see you and you’re leaving?” I told him what was going on and apologized, but there was nothing I could do. He asked, “Have you been adjusted?” I said that I hadn’t and he said, “Would you let me adjust you?” I was willing to try anything, and said, “sure!”
It was crude, to say the least. He had me sit on the floor and felt my neck. He told me I was very stuck. Then he positioned my head, gave it a quick twist, and I was no longer stuck! The fever didn’t come. And by the end of the weekend, the lymph nodes in my neck had all gone back to their normal size. By Monday, I felt like myself again.
It’s been said that you don’t choose to be a chiropractor, chiropractic chooses you. I guess that was my calling. I graduated from Palmer College in 1983, moved back to Cleveland, opened my office that October, and never looked back.