Back to Back
A long time ago in a galaxy 2382 kms away, I was a dancer. No, not THAT kind of dancer, a ballet, tap, jazz, modern, Hawaiian, Scottish fling kind of dancer. I started young and spent my childhood in classes and travelling for competitions and when it came time to go to university, I chose to study a BFA in dance. That dream came to an end when I had a bad fall and put my back out of commission, ending my life as a dancer forever.
I was forever in and out of physical therapy, massage therapy, shiatsu, acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, if it was going to ease my pain, I was doing it. After a few years I started doing yoga and pilates and trying to gain strength and mobility again. When I arrived in Mexico, it all kind of went out the window for a variety of reasons and I have not been taking care of my spinal health. The only exception was during my pregnancy when I thought my back might implode with the pain of carrying that load. I saw a chiropractor two or three times a week while knocked up and he did a great job of keeping me on my feet.
Since then I have had pain on and off, headaches and I never feel exactly "right". After last week's incident, it was obviously time to get checked out and start taking care of business. I visited with a great osteopath and this week went for x-rays to check out the ole skeleton. Reading the report from the radiologist was enough to make me paranoid, lots of big medical words (in Spanish of course) which I Googled madly. I have a whack o' knowledge of my inner workings and studied a lot of physiology and biology, but there were a couple of things I didn't quite get. Syndesmophyte for example, a growth on the ligament (yes, had to look it up). Is that bad? Good? Normal? Am I a freak? A hunchback in the making? In the end I decided to relax and look to the experts for an analysis.
After visiting with the osteopath last night, I feel better, concerned, but motivated to make some lifestyle changes. In the most basic of terms, I have C-curve scoliosis and the spine is also twisted and torqued. There are lesions on some of the discs, the discs are not aligned, some discs are degenerating and others are starting to come together. There are some cysts on the lumbar discs that are a bit of a concern, but the osteo is going to get a third opinion on the matter. The radiologist recommended getting a CAT scan, but the doc wants another opinion before sending me for a very expensive test. He said the treatment is the same whether we get the test or not, so it's probably not necessary. (I hope not, 7000 pesos is a bit out of our price range).
For now, the plan of attack is simple. Visit with the osteo once a week for massage and gentle therapies and swim, swim, swim. Once I get strong enough, I can start some yoga and pilates classes and the visits to the doc will go down to once or twice a month. I am very happy with this doctor, he is not calling for prescriptions and surgery, just exercise and care. I am really happy with his prices too, a perk of the job gets me a rate of 200 pesos per consult/treatment, yes, about $15 USD for massage, adjustments, the whole shooting match. Can't beat that with a stick. Now, to find the time to swim without a 17 kg sea monster named Max hanging off my neck, wish me luck!