Today I’m writing a very personal post to talk about what I’m going through right at the moment. For as long as I can remember I have always had issues with my back. I always knew that my hips were uneven and one side of my body was wider than the other. It wasn’t until I was nineteen however and I was staying at a friend of the families house that I realised why. A friend of theirs who was a chiropractor came over and when examining my back, told me that I had Scoliosis.
What is Scoliosis you ask?
Scoliosis is a neuro-muscular condition influenced by other factors, although it appears to be a bone condition. The three-dimensional change in the spine’s alignment — the curve — is a just a symptom of the condition.
Essentially it means that your spine is curved – in a few different ways depending on the severity of your condition. Mine in particular looks like an S and it is also twisted slightly. I also have almost no curve in my neck which causes headaches, stiff neck muscles, poor sleep – basically no fun things.
All of your bodies nerves also run through your spine and I do on occasion get random pains, aches or spasms in different extremities throughout my body. I’m also prone to joint pain thanks to the fact that my body is out of alignment due to the shape of my spine. I often experience pain in my right shoulder, knee and wrist and my left hip frequently ‘pops’ or cracks. And to top it all off, I also have a bulging disc in my spine. A bulging disc is when the soft centre of a spinal disc pushes through a crack in the tougher exterior casing. It causes a lot of pain in discomfort and makes it hard to do every day things.
For the last week I have had a single day when I was not in pain. Getting out of bed, standing, dressing my self, going to the bathroom, walking, sneezing – pretty much any movement I make causes sharp, shooting pain through my back. Its constant. All day, everyday. It can be draining physically and emotionally and definitely makes getting out of bed hard – and not just because its physically painful for me to do so. And the thing is, my Scoliosis is no where near as bad as some peoples. There are people who have far worse cases than I do. I can barely cope with the pain and discomfort I have now – I couldn’t imagine it being any worse than it is. Sometime just normal day to day activities can be painful.
This is literally the worst. If I drop something I just stare at it and all I can think is, God this is going to hurt so much. The simple act of bending down can be sometimes be excruciating. If I can, I’ll pick whatever it is I dropped up with my toes or squat down to get it which doesn’t always look good in public. If someone is around I’ll ask them to grab it for me which often me feel pretty useless but its better than hurting.
THE DAYS WHEN YOU JUST CAN’T
There are some days when you wake up and the pain is so bad you literally can not do anything. There have been days when I had had to call into work and tell them I could not come in because I physically was incapable of getting up. You can imagine how that feels. And for someone like me who likes to be active and has a hard time being idle, this can drives me crazy. Thats where the emotional impact of having back problems can come in. It doesn’t just affecting you physically, it can affect you emotionally too.
Thanks to the fact that I have almost no curve in my neck, I don’t sleep well. I can get a full nights sleep but still be exhausted when I wake up. My chiropractor has informed me that this is because my neck and head are constantly tense and therefore I’m never really relaxed enough to get a proper nights sleep. I’m always tired and there are days when I struggle to keep my eyes open past 6:30 in the evening. Going out with friends is hell for me because I’m always so tired and all I can think of is going home and going to bed. So I basically have no social life which can be lonely.
The biggest problem with driving for me is getting in and out of the car and when I first stretch out my leg to reach the accelerator. Once I’m driving I’m fine but if I have to shirt in my seat or get in and out of the car, it kills. When your in a public parking lot and your crying out and clutching the side of your car when you get in and out of your vehicle, you can look a little odd.
DAY TO DAY LIFE
The biggest challenge I have found, especially of late, is making plans in my day to day life. I’m a gym junkie and yet I have been once in the last three weeks. I made plans yesterday to do to the gym and by the afternoon my back was too sore to even bend down so I didn’t go.
Last week I had six days annual leave to spend with my kid. We made plans for every single day to go out and do something fun and all of those days bar one I was in pain. But I still did it and pushed through for her. But I never know if my plans I make are going to go through because of my back. I never want to make plans because of my back because I never know if I’m going to be able to follow through with them which makes day to day life pretty hard.
The biggest thing I am finding the hardest right now is motivation. I have so many things I want to do and am not physically capable of doing I find myself not wanting to do anything. I just feel sad and tired most of the time now and I hate feeling that way. It drives me nuts. So I’m trying to find things to keep my mind occupied – like blogging – so that I don’t fall into funk. It is hard though but I’m trying. The biggest thing for me right now is wanting to figure out, with the help of my doctor, the best way to relieve the pain. I don’t want to live the rest of my life like this. I’m trying to keep positive – thats the biggest thing for me right now. Positive thoughts. Happy thoughts. I’m taking it one day at a time.
Do you have Scoliosis or know anyone who does? xx