Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Introductions

Hello.  This is me. 

Sorry I can't wave, but the technician was rather fierce about ensuring I kept perfectly still. 
As you can see I am a very attractive woman of a certain age, with a particularly striking feature.  Well, yes my eyes are lovely aren't they?  That's sweet of you, but I am married. See my ring?

Seriously, it's pretty obvious that my back has got a squiggle in it, so no need to adjust your sets. Mom always said "Be interesting!" but I didn't really expect to be quite so enthralling as it turns out!

If you ever wanted to know what Scoliosis is, you're looking at it.  And not just any old common garden Scoliosis but Complex Scoliosis, which means my spine curves sideways but also front to back.  You didn't expect this blog to be so educational did you?

I found out about my curves when I was 18, which was too late for any sort of bracing, as I had finished growing, and not quite severe enough for surgical options (my curve measured 39 degrees and I was told back then that a surgery wherupon rods and pins are inserted isn't contemplated until one's curve is at least 40 degrees.).  So I was patted on the head and told to go out and enjoy my life.

Which I did, until one day it all started to collapse.  I thought I had an IT band injury from running, then a IT Band Friction Syndrome due to a pronated knee and liquid on the bursis, then a pelvic misalignment issue from running with an unbalanced gait, then a probable disc herniation. 

I guess I'm not a very good listener.  My back was obviously now trying to tell me it wasn't happy but I didn't really get the message until it started YELLING at me. 

Tests, experts, examinations, physiotherapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, sacral-cranial therapy, chiropractic examination, xrays, a neurological exam, a CT scan and an MRI, and a volley of drugs to deal with what was now confirmed to be nerve pain.  This whole process took a couple of years, then (finally) I got an appointment with a spine surgeon who took one look at me and then turned to his screen silently and intently.

Uh, oh. 

Actually he said the MRI had led him to believe I might be practically bed ridden! I took it as a compliment.  But it meant that instead of me getting some advice from him, I was told that whatever it was that I was doing I had better keep doing it, because the only 'cure' is a full-on back surgery with each vertebrae pinned in place.  Yikes!  This surgery will probably have to happen at some point anyway (he said), but the thing to do is to hold that day off as long as possible.

So here I am, figuring out what I have to do to develop and keep a strong and limber spine that will support me - painfree would be nice - for another 50 years (or so - longevity is in my genes and I intend to live a long time!) 

I have decided to make this year a priority year for my back, and try to learn as much as I can about the condition of Scoliosis, as well as to try all treatments that come my way.  So if you have Scoliosis yourself, or know someone who does, then I am hoping this blog will be a resource as well as  a record of my journey.

2 comments:

  1. Will be with you all the way

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  2. Hello Jenny,

    I just found out about your blog via a post on FB from the TOPS FB page. I've read about the scoliosis clinic in London and look forward to reading about your experience with it upon your return.

    In the meantime, do you mind me asking what spine surgeon you saw and if you found any relief with the various therapists you've seen? I ask this because I'm in my mid-40s and have had thoracic scoliosis since my early teens. Despite having seen numerous RMTs and physios over the years, I've yet to find one in Vancouver who has been able to actually help me in managing the chronic pain stemming from my curves.

    Thank you,
    Cate

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