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Surviving Versus Living: Guest Blog by Alyson Bryan

In 2017 I was the happiest I had ever been after just getting engaged to my now husband. I felt excited about my future, I was finishing up my master’s program, working in adoptions helping to create beautiful families, living in Philadelphia near my closest college friends. What could go wrong?

I remember just about every detail of the car accident. Where I was going, the time of day, the exact outfit I was wearing, the sounds of the ambulance and fire trucks, and much more but I will spare the rest of the details.

What started as the happiest time of my life quickly turned quite the opposite. Recovering from injuries and a severe concussion from someone else’s wrongdoing. My active lifestyle was stripped from me in seconds. The one thing that relieved my stress was taken from me during the most stressful time of my life.

I remember going from doctor to doctor, chiropractor to chiropractor, physical therapist to physical therapist, finding no relief. At the age of 24 I thought that my life was over. I thought I was going to have to get through life just surviving.

I got caught in the cycle of “why me?” I can’t handle this. This is too much. My mental health was at an all-time low.

However, I prayed. I prayed everyday to not be miraculously healed from pain (because I was willing to put in every ounce of work) but for the right doctor to come into my life and listen. For the right doctor to come in my life and tell me movement was safe, and that I wasn't a "lost cause" (their words not mine...). I needed for the right doctor to take the time and find the root cause of my issues and not throw pills, or injections or repetitive exercises with the same red band over and over.

After years of searching, I found a physical therapist that introduced dry needling and heavy lifting. At this point in my life I had thought my lifting days were over. I thought any exercise was “unsafe” from what previous providers had told me.

I worked hard. Everyday. I showed up for myself and day by day the little changes started changing into big ones. The voice of “why me” repeating in my head was quieter.

Fast forward to 2020 I was now living instead of surviving. My now husband matched his residency at Wake Forest, and we were picking up and moving on from our life in Philadelphia.

If you have ever found a provider that has changed your life, then you know it is hard to move away from that comfort. But I believed that I could now maintain my pain on my own after learning so much. And I also knew what to look for in a provider should I ever need help again.

Fast forward to now May of 2022. I again, felt like I was the happiest I had ever been in my life. I was 7 months pregnant with my first son (something I never thought would be previously possible because I thought I was going to have to survive the rest of my life injection to injection). I was finishing the school year as my 4th year as a school counselor. My husband received the Chief position of his family medicine resident.

Again, what could go wrong?

(I need to stop asking myself that question).

I was on my way home from work- just 2 miles from my house when BAM. Once again, I was rear ended by a car. I woke up the next morning with old injuries resurfacing. It was like I blacked out and my body remembered all the trauma as if the initial accident happened a week prior. My mind was taking over again, AND I was carrying an extra 30 pounds. I found the voice in the back of my head getting louder and louder again. Why me? Why now? How am I supposed to be a mother to my child if all I can think about is pain? I found myself once again, surviving.

I had contacted a physical therapy practice in the area that accepted my insurance. After 3 weeks I realized WHY I stopped going to large corporate physical therapy practices. I sat in a chair with ice and stim, was treated for 10 minutes by a PT assistant, 10 minutes by a physical therapist (who complained about their long workdays and how tired they were) and before I knew it I had heat and was out the door.

I prayed again that I would be able to find a doctor that would help me. That wasn’t afraid to treat me because I was pregnant. That would help me live again. After all- I wanted to be able to hold my son and not think about pain.

This is where KPR comes into play. I found Levi on social media, checked out his website and resonated with one of his blogs “Why you should baby your joints.” I knew that this was the doctor I had been praying for. After meeting Levi for my first session, I could tell he not only loved his job, but he was passionate and just as motivated as I was to get myself feeling better. My goals were his goals. He thought “outside” the box to provide me exercises safe for pregnancy that would make a difference (disclaimer: it was not a red band).

Dr. Levi changed my life. He helped me live once again. He has helped me to be able to enjoy every moment of motherhood without those intrusive pain thoughts.

If you resonate with this blog and have been praying for the right doctor to come into your life, then your prayer is answered. Contact Dr. Levi, you will thank yourself later.

Don’t give up on yourself. Don't settle for the "you're a lost cause" doctors. Your health matters and is worth every investment.



Dr. Levi Kerby is a physical therapist, orthopedic certified specialist, and owner of Kinetic Performance and Rehab in Winston-Salem, NC. He enjoys fly fishing, guitar, various forms of fitness, and treating active and motivated individuals.

If you're dealing with an injury or pain, you can contact Kinetic Performance and Rehab directly below.


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