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In September 2015, during a Sunday night fall league basketball game, our sixth grade son JJ fell backwards while playing defense. His head whiplashed and hit directly on the gym floor. We monitored him overnight and took him to his pediatrician first thing the next morning where were told he had a concussion and referred to make an appointment with the concussion team at CHOA. Other than a severe headache and eye twitch, JJ was doing okay. He stayed home from school for two weeks for brain rest and after a follow-up at CHOA, he was allowed to go back to school and slowly resumed sports activities.
Then, in November, the vomiting started out of no where. We made a trip to the pediatrician who concluded he must have a stomach bug. Once the vomiting went into week two with no stopping, we realized this was NOT a stomach bug and that something else was going on.
From November until February, we were on a roller coaster ride of doctor’s appointments. He was sick up to 8 times a day and literally vomited up anything he put into his stomach. We couldn’t find anything that he could keep down for longer than a few minutes.
JJ was losing weight, had no energy, and had dark circles under his eyes. Since he was never “vomit free” for more than a few hours, he had a hard time going to school and missed weeks on end. We had no answers as to WHY he was so sick and struggled with what to even tell the school and his friends was wrong with JJ because we didn’t really know.
During these months, we took him to his pediatrician on a weekly basis as they were monitoring his health and they referred us to a neurologist, two different GI doctors, and a psychologist. We even started taking him to an acupuncturist as we were willing to try anything! He had an MRI, CT Scan, several tests of the upper and lower GI tract — and everything came out normal. We were assured he was healthy – except for the glaring fact that he wouldn’t stop throwing up.
In what we thought was the answer to our problems, he tested positive for H. Pylori and went on a treatment regimen for H Pylori. Hallelujah – we thought we had found the problem! After the antibiotics were complete and he was still vomiting, he was retested for H Pylori and it came back negative. His new GI doctor couldn’t understand why JJ was STILL vomiting multiple times a day, so he put him on a second course of treatment for H. Pylori – a much stronger course and in hindsight I now realize the drug they had him on was very dangerous — just in case. No progress was made in the vomiting with this harsh antibiotic combination, but it certainly did a number to kill any good bacteria that may have at one time resided in JJ’s stomach.
So many weeks had gone by with no answers and JJ still missing school, so our pediatrician referred us to a psychologist to evaluate JJ to make sure he wasn’t throwing up on purpose. That particular visit was the most heartbreaking as a parent because I KNEW he was not faking it, but no medical doctor could provide a reason for the daily vomiting so that was an avenue we had to explore. JJ was an athlete and a good student and was missing basketball season, why would he want to be sick? We went to the appointment and after an hour, the psychologist concluded that JJ wanted to be well and to get back to school, and he wished us well on finding out the medical reason for JJ’s illness. Another dead end.
By this time, it was mid-March 2016, we weren’t getting anywhere and to be honest, we were all stressed out because he was getting too skinny and had missed much of the school year. JJ had two trips to the ER for fluids over the course of being sick and was sleeping hours and hours a day. He had no energy, and other than drinking small amounts of Gatorade, he wasn’t getting many calories. Knowing how frustrated we had become, a family friend suggested we give Synergy Release Sports a call.
We had an encouraging first visit with two doctors at Synergy and a plan was made to get JJ feeling better. It was the first time that I felt like we were being HEARD and that we weren’t rushed through the appointment. I think we were in the office for well over an hour and a half, and we left hopeful that they would do anything they could to help JJ feel better. They started with what they knew — JJ had a concussion in September and has been sick ever since.
Then, the work began to make JJ better. We set him up at home on the micro-current machine three times a day on the Vagus Nerve protocol. He was getting adjustments from Dr. Potter to align his neck. And we started him on a series of dietary supplements (probiotic, magnesium, Vitamin D, fish oil) to aid the healing in his body. After two weeks, JJ started to be able to keep food down. In another couple of weeks, he was keeping ALL of his food down and his energy levels were back up. Soon, he was starting to get back to his old self. He kept a very clean diet of no sugar, dairy or gluten so that his stomach did not react to anything now that he could eat, and he did a couple of sessions of Cranial-Sacral Therapy..
By May 2016, JJ was finally smiling again and we have Synergy Release Sports to thank for that. I do not know what we would have done if we didn’t come see you guys! Not only did Dr. Potter adjust JJ’s neck and help get him aligned physically, he was wonderful in talking to him about keeping his attitude positive and coming out of this stronger. Sometimes I thought that JJ needed his neck adjusted but that he needed those Dr. Potter pep talks just as much.
Five years later, JJ is now a junior in high school and still checks in with Dr. Potter regularly to feel his best. Every time we walk in the door of Synergy, we are grateful for finding them and for their understanding of head trauma, whiplash and what a number the vagus nerve can do on a body. We don’t have the words to express our gratitude. Thank you, Synergy.
My name is Josh Koehler. I am 40 years old and do semi-pro obstacle course racing as a hobby.
Synergy Release Sports helped me to achieve 80 Obstacle Course races in 2019, including 53 Spartan races and the North American OCR championship weekend. During the 2019 season I dealt with several injuries as well as race-related trauma ranging from hip displacement to chronic “Golfer’s elbow”, as well as pain in my neck and lower back. There were times where I couldn’t even resume training after a race until being treated at Synergy.
Their wide range of treatment options helped me with spinal and hip alignment, muscle activation, and inflammation management. I also benefited greatly from targeted treatment on my elbow and by using the hyperbaric chamber for recovery. My primary physician was Dr. Andrew Potter and I would highly recommend Synergy Release Sports to any athlete.