Saturday, April 20, 2013

The 5 Stages: #2 Anger

This stage is a tough one.  However much I consider it, I just can't seem to be angry. 

For one thing, who would I be angry with?  The general consensus in the spine world right now is that I probably had it at birth.  There might even be a scoliosis gene.  No one in my family's history had scoliosis, so it was off everyone's radar.  I have poor teeth (I am missing several adult teeth - they just never formed) and an acupuncturist told me they are related events, but even the thought of a connection wouldn't have been made until all my adult teeth were in (or not as the case may be).

I do wonder why my ballet teachers and my school gym teachers and my doctor didn't notice something as they were the only ones who would have seen my back in a forward bend.  I shot up 8" in one year and that is likely when the curves manifest, but no one checked.  When it was detected at age 18, the specialist said it was too late to wear a back brace as I had finished growing, and at 39 degrees it was a little short of a surgical option.

And what would have come of it if it had been detected earlier? I was a shy, skinny, spotty, awkward girl who didn't know what to do about her height and was self-conscious about her body.  Would I have appreciated having to wear something like this?
Boston back brace, used in the 1970s
Hell no!  I would have been mortified and terribly depressed.  The internet is full of personal accounts of those teenagers in braces now or grown-ups who had worn braces in their formative years and I haven't found one person yet who reported being happy with it.  Some were downright traumatized.

And the surgical option?  What was (and still is to a certain extent) typically done is a spinal fusion, with individual vertebrae pinned or fused to each other, then two stainless steel rods were inserted down either side of the spine. All surgeries carry risk and a back surgery carries more risk than others, as there have been cases when nerves are cut by accident and all feeling is lost in various limbs.  When successful, this surgery means less back pain, but very restricted mobility.  The only time I felt comfortable in my body was in dance class.  If I had had surgery, that joy would have either been taken away, or it would have severely restricted it.  I have recenty met people who had their rods removed.

So I have no anger at what was or wasn't done.  In fact, I am extremely grateful that I was able to move and grow and develop into the person I am without having an extra physical or psychological restriction placed on me.

No comments:

Post a Comment