Changing Skyline

IMG_3975It could be May as you look at this tree, couldn’t it? I took this picture yesterday outside my local YMCA where I spend an hour or more four times a week.

It looks like May but it’s sure enough October, and October’s last week in case we’re forgetting. 

The hour was noon as I snapped it, and I had just finished Active Stretch Class which involves abs work and balance balls. I thought I’d feel so good after the class but instead everything hurt.

I have pain every day now. They did an MRI on me last week because their theory was that I had sciatica but I knew it wasn’t sciatica. When my doc saw the images she told me what I already knew: it’s the scoliosis I was born with, because people with scoliois are indeed all born with it. It has grown “severe” in the estimation of the medical people only over time. The truth is I didn’t know I even had it until a yoga teacher touched my shoulder in class 8 years ago and said not to worry that I wasn’t symmetrical in Child’s Pose; that it was just my scoliosis.

My what? I have what? Then I began to notice that the zippers on my slacks were all off plumb. Then I could no longer wear vertical stripes. Then as a young person in my life said to me one day, “Wow yeah! Your pants are here (gesturing) and your shirt is over here (gesturing a few inches to the right.)

There’s no cure for scoliosis in adults. No Surgery. They can shoot you with steroids or give you physical therapy. My doctor gave me a scrip for Neurontin. We’ll see how THAT goes; I don’t like the look of it. She says if your back looks like this, and the disks are ‘extravagating’ (great word!)  even a little, then some of those delicate little facet joints are going to start  tap-tap-tapping against each other and pinch some poor nerve pretty good.

This is what I look like generally,  although my big curve is lumbar rather than thoracic…

imgres(the violet hue is nice though isn’t it?)

I guess I’ve felt a little down since confirmation of my oh-so-severe scoliosis came in, but being in Boston on a beautiful day was lovely. It was lovely to sit in the courtyard at Mass General Hospital and see that famous Ether Domel where the first person was successfully anesthetized in the 1840s


And then there was this lovely sculpture of a mother and child, so tender you did just want to go up to it.




So now, on  good days, I try to embody this spirit:

scoliosis bent but not broken

But there can be no doubt about one thing: It’s October, not May, in my body, and it’s time for me to adjust an altered skyline.

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4 thoughts on “Changing Skyline

  1. Have found that “altered activity” the past few years in me and my friends. You have taught us all a lot about gratitude, acceptance, being food to ourselves. Take a great big hug and know there are many out here lifting you up in prayer.

  2. Terry, Sorry to hear of the flare-up. “No cure” aren’t those comforting words. In other words “no Either for you”. Last week I too was at the Either Dome and the doctor I saw that day posed back in 2000 for the mural. In fact everyone in the picture is a MGH doctor. The Dome reminds me of the Seinfeld “Junior Mint” episode.
    Just last night in my class I did many child poses. A position that has a little rest and a good stretch. Funny, the class is prescribed for me to help forget those words “No cure”.

    1. So Mike, you’re doing yoga? that’s amazing! I can’t do it anymore because I can’t keep getting up and getting down again; it’s too painful. I do a barre class where you don’t have to get on the floor but you’re still working your abs snd glutes and hamstrings and back muscles. It makes me sweat under my arms even more than i do when i’m trying to record commentaries for public radio (ha ha talk about too much information!)

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