The Positive Sides Of Scoliosis

Scoliosis2017

Scoliosis is bleak, every single part of it. If you are somebody who is inflicted with this challenging health condition you already know that living with a twisted spine can be scary, daunting, defeating, debilitating, and lonely. I feel all of that.

Since age 12 I have been repeatedly told I need surgery and have been prescribed and given samples of pain killers, muscles relaxers, and anti-inflammatories because of my scoliotic spine. I was once told by one doctor never to hang and told by the next to hang everyday. I have spent more time than I care to count wasted in physical therapists and specialists offices who did nothing for me besides tell me to keep doing what I am doing with pilates, yoga, and as a fitness trainer. They like to tell me that my spine will get worse with each aging year, until it eventually crushes my heart and internal organs and potentially collapses on itself. Like I said, bleak.

Scoliosis is much more than just a twisted spine. It is a neuromuscular disorder that may also manifest with other health conditions such as digestive disorders, muscle spasms, depression, anxiety, migraines, etc.

I put a lot of effort into the function of my spine and have since I was a teenager because I realized at an early age that I would always have to be mindful of my special back, it was never going away. I think about how I want to move as I age and move accordingly. More than once I have completely changed my livelihood, activities, and/or my food in order to manage it holistically without surgery or prescribed medications.

One of the toughest things about scoliosis is how lonely it can be. I have a lot of energy and rarely ‘complain’ about my back pain and focus on healthy things so on the outside it looks like I am a super health nut doing just fine with my spine. People don’t see the pain or discomfort that I am generally feeling because I keep it to myself. That’s no good.

June is Scoliosis Awareness Month

What is the positive side of Scoliosis?

  1. I’ve become very in tune with my body. Pain, discomfort and constantly needing to think about standing straight or straightening your clothes will do that to a person. On another level, when I’ve tuned in with with meditation and exercise I’ve been taught by my body how to cope and move through the world.
  2. I’ve been forced to be a ‘healthy person’ to function. Living a healthy lifestyle is not an option like it seems to be for most people and it can be really tough to be the only one at the party not drinking booze or eating sugar. But hey, you’re at the party! While it is tough, living healthy is a good and positive thing to keep as a priority, always.
  3. I look at body image much differently. When I am able to embrace myself as different I am also able to let go of what I think I am supposed to be and love who I am, imperfections and all. I tend to be very grateful for all I can physically do no matter how small.
  4. My spine contributes to me being highly sensitive, empathic, and wise. I can’t explain why but it just does. Spiney senses.
  5. I’ve become a powerful warrior of chronic pain with special strengths and coping skills that makes me strong enough to handle not only my own pain but also help others handle their pains. My spine is the reason that I started teaching fitness as a teenager and the reason that I went to Institute of Integrative Nutrition in 2010, I have a deep desire to help people feel well.

I am participating in Scoliosis Awareness Month by writing this and sharing a picture of me beside an X-ray of my spine. Funny, it was much harder to post a picture of my bare back than to post a picture of my X-rays. I worked through it.

Sending out much love and double hugs to those who live with or support somebody with scoliosis.

30 thoughts on “The Positive Sides Of Scoliosis

  1. fishita1

    My kyphosis scoliosis was congenital, from birth, with Dr. Harrington implanting rods in 1959 when I was 3. Had two more surgeries at age 5 and 9. My curve hasn’t increased because of the rods but because of the constant strain I have lost inches which is causing compression of my left lung. As of last year I found myself on auxiliary oxygen which has been a huge change in my life. All of this of course has been super challenging for anyone. And like you I have worked hard at being tuned into my body doing yoga and tai chi and working out in the gym. And like you I have had my fill of mainly doctors who might know how to read a test result but can’t look and listen to the patient sitting in front of them. However, because you don’t have rods I wonder if you would benefit from the Schroth method? I did a weekend intensive with a “certified” therapist and it definitely made me feel different. From your pictures I think you might benefit from this 3-D approach to the disease. You can google Schroth and find a list of therapists in the U.S.

    Like

  2. Lisa

    Thank you for sharing this! It’s not too often that I see an article about how having scoliosis can be a good thing. Love the positivity!!

    Like

  3. Maria Florio

    Reblogged this on Inspiring Human Potential and commented:
    In honor of Scoliosis Awareness Month, to share my support as a person with scoliosis and to every person who has scoliosis, and to help create awareness on this important topic; I would like to “reblog” this amazingly positive post on something that is definitely challenging to live with (both physically and emotionally) and that requires the attention of those who can make strides to help those of us with scoliosis in a way that is beneficial.

    Like

  4. Tracy

    Thank you, you have articulated many of my own thoughts regarding my scoliosis and the impact on me and my life. Adore Spiney Senses! I’m 59 and many years ago I too faced the bleak and dire outlook of organ issues as I aged but relieved to say all okay. I was also told I’d be unable to have children and wheelchair bound by 30. Two children and no wheelchair later, there’s a lot to be grateful for despite the daily struggle.

    Like

  5. Cryssi

    Oh wow. What’s the degree of your curve? I honestly didn’t and wasn’t taking care of my spine and since a recent bout of excruciating pain I am now forced to do so or having to deal with that pain all the time. I have congenital but it wasn’t noticeable much until high school. The curve has progressed because my mom didn’t put braces on or anything but I was told from the onset I didn’t need surgery. Now I want to live healthier by exercising but I didn’t know your diet plays a role. I’d love to get some tips about that.

    Like

    • TwiceBaked in Washington

      Hi Crystal! Nutrition has played a major role in how my spine does. Mostly avoiding foods that cause inflammation for you and filling up on foods that soothe and nourish a stressed nervous system and body. More to come on this subject for sure. Peace.

      Like

  6. Marina

    Wow. Reading this certainly hit home with me. I, unfortunately had to have surgery at the age of 12, as my curve was severe when they first discovered it. August will mark my 27th spineaversary. I struggle daily, but I’ve persevered. Reading this article gives me strength, I know there are others out there who understand me 😊

    Like

  7. Leslie Pearson

    Thank you for sharing! You are an inspiration to me…..I too am learning to do all of the above. I have had 4 surgeries for my Scoliosis and constantly deal with Chronic pain. But from the outside I look healthy so people don’t understand what we go thru. Thank you for sharing your story and let me know if you want to share stories 🙂

    Like

  8. joy d miser

    My daughter had surgery in 2014 .12hrs surgery she also had 2 vertebrates fused in SC at Shriners she was 18at the time now she’s almost 21 sort of afraid to do anything but as of now she doing great

    Like

  9. Jennie Lawton

    I am 53 years old and also have scoliosis at 13 years of age I had a Harrington rode fitted and spent 3 weeks in hospital and then 7 months in a body cast that weighed 2stone! Has it made my life difficult, No I have not let it, I have 2 wonderful daughter ‘s. My body is twisted I have a hump on my right side and a 45 cm scare. Live your life don’t let your body shape define you.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s