Poetry Friday & Managing Scoliosis

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It’s Poetry Friday! My friend and the brain behind the Ditty of the Month Club, Michelle, is hosting at Today’s Little Ditty! She has a touching video — a poem movie — (poemovie?) to illustrate her piece, “Find the Helpers.”

Nearly a year ago, I went to a chiropractor for the first time since I was a teen. I couldn’t turn my head to the left, and thought a few adjustments would soon set me to rights. The x-rays revealed stunning information: the scoliosis I thought I’d left behind in my teen years had progressed to the point part of my lower spine was rotated nearly 90 degrees to the right. The curve in my neck caused my body to respond with several compensating shifts. If left unchecked, I’d end up with displaced/hunched front ribs (as opposed to a hunched back) and if my body didn’t respond to intensive treatment, I would need a brace. My chiropractor has scoliosis herself and is passionate about helping her patients.

Photo via http://www.innova-pain.com/2012/01/16/healthy-habits-for-a-healthy-spine/
Photo via http://www.innova-pain.com/2012/01/16/healthy-habits-for-a-healthy-spine/

Suddenly, scoliosis seemed to be everywhere. The discovery of Richard III‘s skeleton with its pronounced spinal curvature fascinated me. Some media outlets are speculating he hid his scoliosis with specially tailored clothing.

I even wrote an acrostic poem, almost a year ago, when I was first diagnosed.

Sitting at the

Chiropractor’s office

Old genetic defects

Laid bare

In the x-ray

On the illuminated wall

Spinal curves and rotation

Impede flexibility

Stretches will help.

Fast forward to today: I have a  twice daily regimen that involves strength- and core-building exercises. I went from 3 weekly visits to my fabulous chiropractor to twice a month visits. I’m more conscious of my posture. I’ve learned the benefits of ice. I wear special insoles in my shoes. For now, I don’t have to have a brace, but I have asked for ergonomic computer equipment at work and am hopeful I’ll get a standing desk.

Recently, a video that popped up on YouTube following one I’d just watched caught my eye. A dolphin with scoliosis was treated kindly by a pod of sperm whales, when they are usually enemies.

If a dolphin can manage, surely I can.

Author: Keri

4 thoughts on “Poetry Friday & Managing Scoliosis

  1. Wonderful acrostic, Keri! What a scary discovery– but a blessing that you found it in time to be proactive with your treatment. I have no doubt that you’ve found your own “pod” to be comforting and supportive.

  2. So glad you have a fabulous chiropractor!! Scoliosis seems like a topic that teens would want a poem about — I wonder if there is a book of health-related poems for young people? Everyone wants to know they are not the only one!

  3. Hooray for a proactive doctor! My scoliosis is mild…right now, but your experience reminds me to be vigilant about stretching and exercise!

  4. You thought my poem for this week had disappeared…it is there now. Here is the whole thing so you will always have it!

    A Kind of Poetry

    To discover a tree’s memories is impossible.

    To seek a pebble’s experience
is also impossible.
    We spy on water’s motion

    but in the end we still can’t touch its core.

    The cloud has always been there, we exhaust our energy
    to understand its will, yet there’s no hope
    it will reveal the sky’s mysteries.

    Poetry also has the will of clouds
with words like rain, to avoid madness
it creates more madness. Just as when love
is written down, it loses half of its sincerity.
    When explained, there is only a layer of sticky
    mist left. No one is quick or deft enough
to capture poetry for long. Everything perfect
    contains a dark cave.

    I can’t explain the attraction of this cave.

    A kind of tranquility, which carries a greater sacrifice
    undissolved by light. A kind of dizziness
from this shore to the farther shore, crossing freely.

    It has enslaved every golden finger.

    A wild cave, harboring minerals, ice and feathers

    a few symbols, and I still don’t know what it is.

    by Chi Lingyun

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