My Scoliosis Story

Good morning!

I wanted to bring you all on this journey, that began about a decade ago. However, the journey really began this year. I’m getting raw and authentic with my story. 🙂 Let’s begin. 

I wanted to share with you a story that began when I woke up when I was fourteen-years-old when I had gotten out of bed, first feeling pain in my lower back. I had thought that maybe I had gotten up on the wrong side of the bed. “Holy shit! What’s the hell is going on?” Were my thoughts. A couple of days later, the pain was still there. The next things I know, I’m feeling stiff, even when the pain eventually fades.

I did speak with my mother about this. Unfortunately, her husband at the time was also in the room. He decided to speak for my mother. His response was, “You don’t have pain. You’re too young to experience pain. You have to be an old person to experience pain. You’re just trying to avoid going to school.” In my opinion, I had found him to not be educated. 

That’s incorrect. That is also coming from a man who had gotten arthritis in his very early twenties. Anyone can develop pain in their bodies at any age. Anyway, as the story goes, in high-school I had partaken in dance classes at a dance studio (fist time since I was six-years-old and seven-years-old. My mother enrolled me in jazz). This kind of exercise helped to keep the pain under control. I also enrolled myself in karate as a child, boxing, kickboxing, and eventually dance class and musical theatre in high-school. Plus, I’d work out at school and outside of school. OMG, I feel a bit exhausted after typing all of that. And, to think  of it all. I’m sure you may feel a bit exhausted, too. Pretty intense, and, yet, it worked. 

Until, I had finished high-school and began working to save up for higher education. Then, it became harder to maintain this kind of work-out. However, I did still attend a few exercising classes, walked (I’m a walker, lol!). But really, became a struggle was when I was in my teens, I had experience for the first time numbness in my hands from being on any computer for way too long. A couple of years later, I had felt numbness from my shoulder to my hands. My thoughts were, “what the hell is going on”. My pride prevented me from going to the doctor. That same pride didn’t prevent me from going to the doctor, when later, I couldn’t move my neck and have had a minimum two muscle spasms attacks per month for two months. 

My doctor in Toronto, had diagnosed me with scoliosis at the age of twenty-two. I had learned that it’s a common medical condition. My doctor had sent me to get X-rays. The problem with that was, my scoliosis didn’t show up in the X-rays. So, I was then recommended to and get a Cat Scan (don’t know if I’ve misspelled the word. Sorry, if I did). And, bingo! Mild scoliosis has been detected. Finally! 

I was then given options. Go for surgery. The problem with that is, is that I have a spine that is straight. My upper to mid spine is straight, then my spine curves the way it’s supposed to curve; out and in towards the bottom. No, the spine is technically not straight or curves dramatically, like the traditional scoliosis. In case some of you may not know, is that scoliosis generally means a spine curves into a “C” shape or an “S” shape. This is what I mean what I say, the spine is curved dramatically. Typically, a spine in the back curves in, out, in. It curves slightly. Crazy! I always thought the spine was straight, until I learned that I was wrong. And, was I wrong! 

My next visit with my amazing doctor, whom I really like as a person and a doctor. She is someone who I have a lot of respect for. I had to mention that. She had me on the bed or whatever they have in the doctor’s office, lying on my stomach. She first placed a cold pack on my back for a few minutes. Afterwards, she placed a heating pad on my back. After a few minutes, she had said, “Okay, the temperature that your muscles respond to is heat. Coldness causes them to tighten.” I was thinking, “well, that explains a hell of a lot. The muscles in my leg, only in the winter time, it’s gets cold here, and warm-to-hot here in the summer. We definitely have four seasons. Thankfully, Calgary, finally does, too. It used to be only winter, and some-what summer, apparently. According to the locals. Okay, so on topic, again, lol, the muscles in my leg tighten up so much, that they hit the nerve(s) in my leg, sometimes legs, causing me to limp. The advice was for me to embark on physical therapy (bad experience the first time around), M.T. (massage therapy) for an R.M.T. (Registered Massage Therapy), that’s it. I had gone to M.T. once a month, and to do start yoga. I hadn’t had an attack, such as muscle spasm attacks since I was that age … until last Autumn. Side note: when my mother first saw me have a muscle spasm attack, she described it as back labor pain. Ouch! So darn painful! I don’t wish it upon anyone. It’s excruciating pain. For me, my upper back goes numb, with bad pain. I’m hunched over like the Hunchback of Notre Dame (did you watch the Disney movie? If so, then you’ll know whom I’m speaking about), difficulties to walk, cramps, you name it, it’s happening. I would be in bed for up to three days. 

Coming to Alberta, I had my first attack since my early twenties, as mentioned last Autumn, so I was twenty-nine-years-old, and, again at thirty-years-old. Sorry, I may have mentioned that my first attack since my early twenties was last Autumn. I had gone to my doctor out here in Alberta. I had learned that I also have to meditate to relax the muscles and my mind. An over-active mind does cause stress. It can cause anxiety (which I have) and migraines (which I also have), plus a sleep disorder called, insomnia (which I have, as well). 

After seeking out a great physical therapist, the second time around. My journey now begins to tame this mild scoliosis. The first physio therapist I had gone to, omg, he kept telling me that my pain is stems from my hips and that I have legitimate issues in my legs. And, that it isn’t my scoliosis. Ummm, noooo! Legitimate issues in my legs or anywhere in my didn’t show up in the CT scan, just my straight spine, thank-you very much. I had told him this, plus, that three doctors have told me that it is the cause of scoliosis.  He had told me that they were wrong. I’m going to believe my doctor over someone like him. He got nixed. See ya! So, I had found the lady whom I see now. I had to perform two tests. The usual: bend over and touch your toes. Can’t. Never could. The second test, was to stand in a pose to check my balance. I never did have good balance. I had learned if you can’t touch your toes as a child; you never will. If you don’t have balance as a child; you never will. Through yoga, you will develop some balance, as I’ve learned, but it will never be cured.

My current physio therapist has said that my mild scoliosis is definitely manageable. It will one day be a figment of my imagination. I will forget what it’s like to have scoliosis, as long as I keep up with my treatments. 

I’ve now learned, to take up saunas, steam rooms, in addition to, yoga and Pilates, meditation daily, walking daily and with a proper diet. I thought it may be fun, to document my journey with all of you, as I am on the verge of controlling my scoliosis. 

Did I mention that surgery is not an option? For me, surgery for scoliosis would be an opposite type of surgery. The surgeon would have to touch my spine to curve it they way it’s supposed to be curved; in. Instead of putting rods in my back to straighten my spine, which is the usual surgery for those who have a drastic curvature. So, I have a ninety percent chance of being paralyzed. When I had heard this from my Toronto physician. I was in awe. I already have difficulties sitting still, and a mind, what was that expression that I had heard from someone the other day? Oh, yes, a mind that is like a hamster on a exercise wheel that is on crack. Ha-ha, yup! So to be paralyzed, oh no, I would probably die from extreme boredom. No, thanks. 

For the record, I don’t take X-rays or CT scans every six months. The spine isn’t going to change. It is what it is, so it’s pointless, according to my doctor. There is (in the words of Mr. Big) abso-fucking-lutely, treatment to manage mild scoliosis that isn’t revolved around monitoring. Oh, and scoliosis; mild, moderate or severe can affect either the bone (spine) or muscles. Scoliosis is hereditary. It is something that happens at birth. 

All right, I have a few posts that I will construct to begin to share my journey with you all :). Can’t wait! 

Xo,

Stacey

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