“Scoliosis is a deformity of the spine. But I am not deformed.”
When someone asks me what scoliosis is, that is how I respond. I’m not crazy about the word, “deformity”, and probably someone without scoliosis first assigned that word to the changes we experience with scoliosis. It’s a word that conjures up images that I would prefer to push back into the ethers where they belong. And heck, do you know just how many supermodels have scoliosis? Supermodel and deformity are definitely not two words you would usually see in the same sentence!
However, taking a step back, there is a benefit to the word, as well. It makes the point that my scoliosis is not a postural choice. I didn’t just slump in my seat and freeze that way. I wasn’t weak, or inactive, or lazy. I didn’t find my scoliosis while spending too many hours in a beach chair and too few hours swimming in the ocean. No, deformity means that there is an actual change that was and is out of my hands — to a certain extent. The changes in my spine are bony changes — not a decision that I made to be cute and curvy. 🙂 Although, I’ll take that happy side-effect. 🙂
July is National Disability Month.
July is National Disability Awareness Month, and it is a good time to remind ourselves that, “Hey, I am dealing with a low hum of muscle activity here [all-day-long], just to maintain an upright position.” That doesn’t mean we are struggling all day every day, but there is a bit of background music happening in our spines where we are most likely working a bit harder than our counterparts who aren’t cute and curvy, in order to accomplish the same tasks.
There are also moments when we need to recognize that we are a bit different and stop trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. I mean that sometimes we need to ask for help. Or sometimes we need to explain our differences to others. For instance, I had an 8th grader that needed help with her brace while at school. I had an 11th grader who needed to file as disabled with her school so that she would be granted more time to walk to class. I had an adult that needs help walking her dog. Our athletes need rehabilitation time after every practice. That rehab time doesn’t mean they need to see a Scolio-Pilates practitioner every time they do their sport, but they absolutely do need to do their Scolio-Pilates homework. And that goes for you too. If you are active, you need to reset with Scolio-Pilates before you being weeding the garden, cycling, or paddling. You need to restore every time you finish.
So, no, we are not deformed. But scoliosis isn’t our choice either. The word is far from being my favorite, but it does go a long way in helping me explain to myself why normal exercises don’t work. It also helps to explain why we are so darn cute. Yay, for cute and curvy spines!!!