Saturday, February 27, 2010
The Feminine Curve Gone Awry
I first noticed I was crooked five or six years ago. I had a Zero Balancing session with a friend who is also a ZB teacher; I'd heard it had done wonders for a boy I knew who'd had a huge accident while skiing.
I woke up the next morning with a sense that something was 'off'. I looked in the mirror and gasped: my right hip was a good inch or more higher than my left. If I straightened my pelvis, my left foot was barely touching the ground.
"I'm crooked!" I told my ZB friend. "Come back," she said. She did another adjustment and that sense of being crooked was gone.
I was so impressed that I became a student. For awhile, I was ZBing all my massage clients as part of their fancy-schmancy spa experience.
But I was still crooked. It wasn't ZB's fault, I think that session just called it to my attention. Maybe it was years of carrying children on my right hip. Maybe it's just the way I'm made. But it's gotten worse.
At my last checkup, my doctor gave it a name: scoliosis. That's the condition where your spine twists in one direction, creating a strange lateral curve. This past snowfall put my twisting spine into the spotlight.
I cleared off a couple of inches of very heavy, wet snow from our driveway a couple of days ago and my back hurt. Nothing new there; I've got a couple of crumbling disks so shoveling hurts. But this time, my right hip has hiked up another inch or so and my left foot is a good inch and half off the ground.
"Look at this," I said to my guy as I lifted my shirt and stood with both feet on the ground.
He looked for a minute, then his eyes widened.
"I was just enjoying the curves, but man! You need a lift in your shoe! You need a brace! You need to go see a chiropractor...now!"
I'm taking his last piece of advice, but it feels like the universe is shaking its finger at me. I rarely do yoga even though I know I should. My job keeps me sitting all day. My daily walks only happen three or four days a week. I'm eating too much. I am not taking care of myself and my spine has decided to graphically illustrate just what that looks like.
I don't know it it's laziness, a sense that I don't deserve much care or a sense of futility in the battle against encroaching age. All three are no excuse because I know better, yet somehow my lethargy has been winning.
This morning, my crooked back and I are walking to the chiropractor. I will eat less and lose weight, since any pounds dropped multiply exponentially for my spine.
And whatever advice the chiropractor gives me to reduce that sideways curve, I will do. Because not only do I hate pain, I hate looking in the mirror and knowing that I'm doing nothing to prevent this strange contortion that could, eventually, make me a twisted, humped little old lady.
I have envisioned myself as a lively, healthy old woman but I'm not doing much to make that a reality. Time to wake up.