Monday, March 30, 2009


Winter reared her increasingly unwelcome head again yesterday.



Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring has Sprung!

Birds chirping me awake every morning, snow disappearing,
Outside ice is a thing of the past,
How I've missed it.

I don't know if I can do this winter in Michigan thing again next year.
If not for the gray...maybe.
And the way spring is SO very welcome...

Well we've got a few months before need to decide that anyway.

:-D Spring is here!!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Straightening it out

Unless you have seen me in a bathing suit or I have had the pleasure of telling you my awesome story about the cool scar and shown you how metal can be felt underneath the skin (say that 10 times fast!), it is likely you don't know about my body's fight against a straight spine. The curvature when first discovered (I was 12) measured about 55 and 60 degrees. They start doing surgery when curves hit the 40s. Less than 6 months later I was on the operating table and being given 2 inches of vertical height in 8 hours.

Even though I had to say goodbye to my professional aspirations of gymnastics, soccer, softball, and basketball fame for a year after the surgery, (which also put a kink in my thoughts about serving in the military) having rods along my spine hasn't stopped me from doing most things. Running after small children, teenagers, and college students at summer camp for 5 summers, namely, as well as hiking in China, Tanzania, Morocco, France, and Luxembourg. And it did stop me from mandatory high school gym, since my hips really hurt from running. When I found out your grade was determined in a large part by how fast you could run the mile, I went running to my doctor and pleading for a note. The only unfortunate thing about that was I spent the next 3 years wondering if they'd determine phys ed wasn't too hard for me and not give me a diploma..


I've been reading some horror stories about scoliosis, though. Like people's instrumentation corroding, losing the ability to work, losing an average of 11 years of their life because of the scoliosis...sometimes I do wonder where they really get those statistics. And it's interesting that there's only one site that sounds legitimate when I've looked around a fair bit.

My Back

With the amount of people that have this surgery, I'm glad to see that there's been progress online to educate and give support to those involved. But I still am not content with the amount of information for post-surgery folks. Unless you count those few months afterward, when people formulate their youtube informational videos (which I appreciate!) and document that moment in time.

Then, it seems, we move on and it's no longer a part of our lives. Understandable, when there are so few of us, really. I've never met someone who had the surgery. Only ever heard of a friend of a friend's daughter/niece who might be having the surgery and offered to share should they be interested.

One thing that concerns me is the future of us post-ops who don't have the now obsolete Harrington rods we know that these rods have snapped on people and a lot of the negative press you can find on scoliotic surgery is because these rods were used. But there just aren't patients who have had these other rods long enough for us to know. I'm finding out the my type of rod, Cotrel-Dubosset first came out in 1984 which means it wasn't used by lots of people until the late '90s and testing had determined they were worthwhile. So I join the millions of patients around the world who have had procedures done not knowing how it will affect their long-term future.

Will I turn out like that horror story website says, and in another 10 years have the same pre-op measurements because the surgery's effectiveness disappears after 22 years? Will I be legally disabled when I'm only in my 40s because of complications from a surgery I had at age 13?

Just some thoughts for a rainy day. And those certainly aren't around this week! Wahoo!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Lookin up

Yep. I didn't anticipate it taking until mid-March for me to feel like things are settling into place, but it has and now that I'm here I'm glad that I'm not back there in January or February. Or even the whirlwind of the end of December, saying goodbye to international travel buddies and a quick hi/bye to some special Kentuckians.

We're on the brink of true spring! Yes, the roads are flooding, and it's gloomy but warmer and almost not snowcovered everywhere!

Which brings me to books. That's always where I end up anyway, isn't it? I just picked up Stone Cold by Baldacci, and am sadly almost finished with books I and II of The Lord of the Rings otherwise known as The Fellowship of the Ring. The Fellowship was just broken as Gandalf fell into shadow. And lamentably I don't have the book with me to write down the most memorable line (for now, for me, in this moment).

Now if I could just have my voice back, please, customer service would be so much better...

Here. Have a Frangipangi.