June is Scoliosis awareness month. So, I’m going to talk about my Scoliosis. Here goes. (I’ve posted xrays of my back before, but if you’d like to see one, here you go.)
I think I may complain too much about my back. I guess I think it just might make me feel better if people know I hurt? Just so long as they know I’m not being a baby about it. I’ll still haul heavy equiptment around at the studio and when I’m doing a shoot. Because I’m a big girl. Lately, I’ve been thinking back on how I’ve delt with physical and emotional pain throughout my life, and I think it’s about the same. I don’t like showing either. If I’m walking and I manage to stub my toe really hard, I just grit my teeth and show nothing on my face. I pretend it didn’t hurt one bit. If someone says something mean to me, I pretend it didn’t offend me and just swallow my tongue. If I tell you something you said hurt me, I must really care about you/the relationship we have and it must have really hurt me, because I hardly ever honestly say that. Though I’m told I’m easiest to pick on, so maybe I sub being defensive with being outspoken. Does this make me a stronger person? I’m not sure. But I do know it definitely doesn’t make me a weaker person. When I was little, I’d be stoked if I had to get huge bandaids on my knees for a ‘boo-boo’. I guess because I felt cool. Battle wounds of the playground. I was proud to get them… even if they were all a result of me being a clutz. Hah!
When I found out I had Scoliosis, part of me was like “cool! awesome! something’s wrong with me!” And that’s not sarcasm. But the other part was the opposite. The opposite was then heightened by my unsensitive Orthopedist doctor. He said I had to wear a brace every night for the next two years of my life, and if I didn’t, I would be on the operating table by the time I was 18, and never be able to competitively swim again. Looking back, I see that he meant well and was probably only trying to scare me into doing it. My best friend also has scoliosis and had to wear the same brace. She called it Miss. Ugly. And ugly it was. It was about 1/4 of an inch thick of the hardest plastic ever and I had to wear this body sock underneath it so it wouldn’t irritate my skin. Did I wear it every night for 2 years? Hell no. Of course not. I hardly ever wore the damn thing. I also didn’t have to have surgery, and I continued to swim competitively throughout the rest of my time in grade school. I went to a chiropractor for a while, but I didn’t notice much of a change. At another check-up at the Orthopedist, the same doctor said If I didn’t do physical therapy every day for the rest of my life, I will end up on the operating table by the time I’m 50, due to my back collapsing from severe osteoporosis. Well, I went to one or two physical therapy sessions, and did the exorcises at home about once.
Since then, other than swimming, I haven’t done shit for my back other than take pain medication whenever it hurts. Which is pretty often, even though sometimes I go days without needing it. What sucks about this medicine though is at lot of times, when I lay down to go to sleep, it hurts. I can’t take it then because it will keep me awake all night. I know I hold the power to helping myself here, and what better motivation than having less pain, right? Well, I’ve never been good with keeping things up, if you can’t tell. The one thing I’ve always kept up is photography. Anyways, I just need to believe that it will help. I know if I believed that, that I would have the motivation required. But I just can’t believe it. Even though I’ve read success stories, I can’t seem to believe going to Yoga or whatnot will really help me. I don’t know if it’s just denial, if maybe I just want to keep hurting so I have something to complain about. So I feel strong when I push through it. I even wish occoasionally that my curvature was worse so I would need surgery. It’s about 29-30 degrees and surgery is only required for 45+ degree curves. I really hope someday soon I can find the motivation and the time to try and help my back. Because not only is it my back, it is my neck. Five minutes can’t go by when I sit at my desk to work without my already constantly tight neck starting to hurt, and within 20 minutes, I need to take my medicine. Because of this I usually just sit in bed on my increasingly slow laptop to do work, even though an iMac with new RAM and CS5 is at my desk. I recently got a check up from my Grandma’s orthopedist. (Yes, I’m in my early 20s and I’m going to my GRANDMA’S orthopedist) And… good news is my Scoliosis isn’t any worse. Bad news… it’s made my neck worse. A neck is supposed to curve. Kind of like a concave curve. Well… due to all the muscle tension from my crooked spine, the vertebras that make up my neck have no curve. My neck is straight. The doc said if anything, it’s actually starting to become convex. That sounds fun, right? I also get headaches pretty often due to this, I believe. And the check-up before that I found out that one of the vertebras on my back has begun to wear down slighty, and since I have had no injuries to my back, it’s from the scoliosos. He said it’s really nothing, but these things are making me really scared to get old. If my bones suck this much now, what about 30+ years from now? YIKES!
Not only does it cause pain, it causes more self conscienceness. I already have low self-esteem about my body, but when the figure I already dislike isn’t even the same on both sides? When my boobs aren’t centered because one side of my rib cage comes out further because I’m twisted? When one hip is higher than the other causing pants other than skinny jeans to have one pantleg shorter than the other? When one shoulder is higher than the other? That doesn’t help much, either. But I’m lucky most of that is only noticible to me.
This was a lot of rambling and if you read it all, you rule. I hope you’re not appualed at me for the ammount of ignorance/denial I have about Scoliosis treatment. I know I’m no doctor. Someone give me a kick in the ass to try and do something, anything to help my back. Scoliosis isn’t just a crooked back, as you can see. It affects the whole damn body, and even the mind.
Wah Wah Wah Wah. I’m done whining now. Maybe I’ll try and take an artistic photo of my back soon(aka not with photobooth, like the one above), since imperfection is intersting and beautiful.