Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Leaning Tower of Clare

This has become me. I am the "leaning tower of Clare" (thanks Mom for coming up with such a catchy catch phrase!). In case you're a little confused, here's the back story.

When I was five my doctor discovered that I had scoliosis, where the spine curves. In my case, my spine curves and causes my right shoulder to drop down. It is pretty rare for such a young child to have scoliosis, so further tests were done and it was determined that I have a brain abnormality that caused the scoliosis. Basically, my brain is too big and does not fit in my scull. Awesome. Luckily, this problem was fixed and I'm pretty much good to go. I can never go skydiving or play football, but my words to my doctor (at the age of 5) were: "But Dr. Smith, I'm a girl." As in, who cares if I can never play football?

So my brain is good. Big and it makes my neck a little weird in the back, but good otherwise. The scoliosis however, which is pretty much a secondary condition, is not so good. When I was younger I wore a back brace to prevent the curve from progressing. This worked for a while, but you can only wear it while you're growing. I wore it for 12 hours/day for 7-8 years. I stopped wearing it when I was 15 and for about 9-10 years my spine was stable.

Well, over the past year and a half, I have been having progressively worse back pain. At first it was just every once in a while, when I twisted in a weird way. Now it's pretty much non-stop, all the time, chronic pain. Not any fun. And it makes me act and live like an 80 year old. Not the way a fun, vibrant, 20-something should live. I went to the doctor 2 months ago and we found out that my curve has progressed. It is compressing my right lung and causing so much pain, so we decided surgery was the best option.

So, in May 2011 I will no longer be the "leaning tower of Clare." I will be the new and improved, straightened, hopefully an inch taller Clare. Of course I'm not looking forward to a week in the hospital (Children's hospital! but that's another post) or being out of commission for at least 6-8 weeks. But in the long run, this is a good thing and what has to be done.

I of course will be blogging as much as possible during my recuperation. And you should know that my kids are super cute about everything. When my back is hurting and I'm sitting down, they're like "you're sitting because you're back hurts?" or "You're not doing jumping jacks with us because your back hurts?" They are precious. I dread missing the last 2 weeks of school with them, but it is better than missing the beginning of next school year.

So there you go, my complicated medical history in a (somewhat) brief blog post. More to come later. Specifically, why I'll be at Children's hospital for the surgery and not the main hospital. It is an interesting story and will definitely be an interesting experience. Stay tuned!


Tara @ Tara Being Tara said...

I love your picture!!! And I won't ever go skydiving either, so I'll sit by you while everyone else goes. xoxo!

Jennifer said...

Are you a zipperhead? Do you have chairi malformation? I have it and only actually know 2 others with it - my cousinds 2 children ages 2 and 1.5. The 2 year old just had surgery.