The Happy Friday Series: Finding Happy With Scoliosis

“Let Your Backbone Slide.”  Do you remember that song?  I know….I’m showing my age.  But I’m not here to talk about old high school songs or rap music.  What I am here to talk about is taking the good with the bad and being happy, and letting things roll off your back, or letting ‘your backbone slide’, both figuratively and…well for me, literally.

Let me explain.  You see, I have Scoliosis.  For those unfamiliar, it’s a back deformity where the afflicted person has one, or in my case, two curves in their spine.  They can be in varying degrees, and for some, it doesn’t affect them.  Others require physical therapy, bracing or surgery for the severe cases.

xray1Here’s where my story comes in.  Doctors have seen me, orthopaedic and spinal surgeons have brought an audience in to see me, and…well, physiotherapists and massage therapists have been in awe when they see me for the first time.  As I said earlier; I have two curves in my spine, one at an angle of 48 degrees, the other 55 degrees.  Breathe!  Surgeons won’t touch me unless it’s a matter of life or death, so I’ve been in physiotherapy since I learned I had it about sixteen years ago, and I’ll be in physiotherapy for the rest of my life….and I’m very happy to be there too.

None of this is bad.  At least, I don’t think so.  Why you ask?  Because like many things in life that some of us fail to see, I consider having Scoliosis a blessing in disguise.

Quoted from my book ‘I’ll Never Wear a Backless Dress’, I said, “I made a deal with God.  I look after my body; he looks after my back.”  So far nobody’s broken that deal.

I’m in better physical shape than a lot of people I know, and I owe that to having Scoliosis.  How?  Because if I didn’t have it, I probably wouldn’t pay so much attention to my daily exercise regime, I wouldn’t keep my weekly physiotherapy appointments and I certainly wouldn’t watch my weight like I do.

How come?  Because I’m happy to have the physical freedom that I do, and I know that if I don’t keep up with all these things, it could be easily taken from me.  I have learned to love getting up at 4:45am to exercise, to revel in the wonderful things that I can do each day and to enjoy life and live it to the fullest.  I take nothing for granted and I couldn’t be happier with my life.

I believe that every day we’re given is a gift, and every healthy day we’re given is a very special gift that we should enjoy.

I’m resisting the urge to break into the lyrics to ‘Let Your Backbone Slide’…just fyi.

But seriously, don’t think of the things you can’t do….think of what you can do.  Despite having severe bilateral Scoliosis, I’ve got a college diploma, two kids, a husband, a happy and healthy home, four published books…and a loving cat.  What more could I ask for?

If you have a personal story that you’d like to share, please feel free….

Author Bio:

Sandy Appleyard is from Niagara Falls, Canada. As a prolific author, she loves reading, physical fitness, animals and of course, writing. Find all of her books via the links above or visit her website to subscribe and never miss a new publication.

 

 

 

 

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17 comments
jennwhinnem
jennwhinnem

Sandy that picture is eye-popping. I'm glad you've found a way to navigate the world (one "sick" person to another) and make it work for you. Getting to that point is such a blessing. Keep up the great work.

AlaskaChickBlog
AlaskaChickBlog

Sandy,

This is a terrific reminder for us all. Be happy. I am so proud to know you, even more so today. Thank you for sharing this with us all..

Be happy, all! Happy Friday!

New England Multimedia
New England Multimedia

I was diagnosed with scoliosis after an automobile accident at age 12, Sandy, because of X-rays taken when I injured my back after being thrown through the rear window. I had to wear one of those awful clunky back braces all through junior high school, which, of course, are the most awkward years for any human being. My Mom sewed me a whole collection of what we called "smocks" then, from a single McCall's pattern. At the time, I didn't realize what a loving, generous thing that was to do! I thought she was trying to RUIN me. ;)

 

Your scoliosis is very severe, though, and your attitude is wonderful! Did you feel the same in high school? How did you see yourself then?

 

That's awesome, that you have kept up your physical therapy and attentiveness to staying in great physical condition. You must have amazing abs! 

KDillabough
KDillabough

Great post, great attitude Sandy. Cheers! Kaarina

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @rdopping Hey, Ralph! Great to see you! I've been out of it for a week with flu and catching up has been a beast. Was thinking of you today knowing I've not been seeing you around lately. How are you? And, here you show up; very cool. Thank you.

 

Are you going to indulge us and write for this series? I'd like to see your definition of Happy!

SandyAppleyard
SandyAppleyard

 @jennwhinnem Thank you very much Jenn.  I believe if we want inspiration we have to be inspiration, right?  :)

SandyAppleyard
SandyAppleyard

 @New England Multimedia  That is wonderful what your mother did for you!  Supermom!  I actually didn't find out I had it until I was 21 and coincidentally was in an automobile accident.  There was always something odd about my body shape though and clothes never fit right, my ponytails always sagged to the left and necklaces were a nuisance as were certain shirts.  I was lucky; no pain at all until I was diagnosed.  

 

I had a brace about five years ago but couldn't handle it.  My neck felt much worse and I found that yoga was more helpful than anything; which is why I do it every weekday.

 

No, I don't have amazing abs!  I wish I did!  Thanks for stopping by and commenting!  Best of luck to you!

rdopping
rdopping

@Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing Hi Jayme. I am in FLA on vacation. Visited Bill too. What a great guy. I was thinking about you too. I can't stay away for long. I would love to write a piece for you on happiness. I am preparing for my exams in April and am preparing a presentation for a lecture I am giving in May on Collaborative Project Delivery so things are busy but I am sure I can squeeze a post in there somewhere. Get better. We will always be here to support you. Cheers.

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