Monday, November 14, 2011

Having Kids, With Scoliosis

I am now a proud mother of two boys, Alhamdulillah.

I am also still a person with scoliosis, although "corrected", I still have discomfort and slight pains on a daily basis. I have a chubby baby whom I cannot carry as often as I would like to, and although I invest heavily in gadgets that help lighten the burden of caring for two boys, i still worry and "fear" pain on a daily basis. And I still worry when I think about getting old with this Scoliosis.

There, I've bared my soul here in this entry :)

Our second baby, Ilan, was born on 26 August 2011. Weighing 3.11 kilos, through a c-section. There were contractions happening as early as when I was 23 weeks along, so when Ilan was finally taken out, I was told that my womb had grown so thin, it is advised for me ot to have another baby for at least three years. But Alhamdulillah, everything turned out fine.

Ilan is now 6 kilos and even at his weight now, I can feel a strain on my back after carrying im for long periods of time. A few times when I fell asleep in the "wrong" positions after a night of breastfeeding, the old corrected rib hump throbbed, and tingled, like someone was lightly poking needles on it. A few times when that happened, I dragged myself to the gym and walked, or cycled, or cross-trained. Then after the usual back-strengthening exercises on the machines and also with free weights, the back and spine feels human again.

Motherhood is not easy, thus I've grown a newfound respect for my mother and all mothers out there, since I had my first baby years ago. But undeniably, motherhood with Scoliosis.. has its own unique challenges.

Alas, the last thing we should beis discouraged! Scoliosis is and should not be an excuse for us to not have a "normal" life :)

When I was 15, I vowed never to get married because of the boys in school who teased me for being "cacat", because I looked odd with the bulky body braces on! When I was 23, my now-husband was already in my life and went through every step of recovery with me after that first surgery. I had vowed then to never have children, because noone should have to go through the kind of pain I experienced after the surgery! What if my kids get scoliosis....? No, no.

So what am I doing in a marriage, with kids now??

Well call me selfish. I have Scoliosis and still want to live a normal life. My boys are the best thing that have ever happened to me :)

So whatever your chosen path is, dear friends, do not fear to take it! Be it marriage, or career, or any life-changing frightening prospect.. Take it.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

An Excusable Hiatus..?

I've neglected this blog once again for far too long. However... (ehem... yes I do feel guilty even as I am saying this!).. I do have a perfectly good reason this time.

Today I am exactly 33 weeks and 5 days pregnant with our second baby.

Yes we are ecstatic, praise Allah :)

This pregnancy hasn't been as easy as the first one (back in 2006 when I was in my 20s), and I do think that age is indeed a factor. Although this time around the good ol' spine was in good shape when the pregnancy began, it hasn't been easy on the spine since then.

I've tried to keep my weight down (as weight gain isn't good for the spine) through a regular exercise regime involving the gym and outside activities, but have still gained about 10 kilos so far. As the pregnancy progresses, my lower back experiences more pain and my upper back gets stiff easily.. and it isn't very easy to motivate oneself to get out of bed and get to the gym when the body feels so heavy!

But dear friends, the reality is that if we have scoliosis, we cannot afford to be lazy.

So here I am, nearly 9 months pregnant and still exercising 3 to 4 times a week, or as often as I can manage.

InsyaAllah, I will post some entries on how a scoliosis patient can continue exercising while being pregnant soon, hopefully before I give birth :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Pain in The Neck

The trouble with living with Scoliosis is that oftentimes you think you've grown to the physical discomfort and pain that comes with having Scoliosis. Then sometimes life throws you a curve ball which tests your limitations, patience and faith.

The truth is not very spectacular, it's just a pain to deal with *ironic smile* :)

Earlier this week I woke up with severe pain in my neck (yes this does sound really odd, but it's true), which has not ceased since then. Malays would call it "seliuh bantal"; which basically means you'd sprained your neck while sleeping on your pillow. In other words; sprain your neck in your sleep. The trouble about having a sprained neck with this Scoliosis of mine is that it causes a whole lot of other pains. Not only the neck region is throbbing (spasming), my upper curve (i.e. the upper spine.. recall that my spine has the S-curve) as well as the rib hump they'd removed and repaired in the spinal fusion back in 2002 are hurting as well.

And here I thought I'd taken all the precautions to avoid any spine-related injuries! I use proper support pillows, sleep in proper sleeping positions (never on my stomach, never in positions that do not align the spine properly) and on top of that, I exercise the back regularly and try to get sufficient rest every night for the sake of the spine. And still somehow during the early hours of that fated night, I managed to give my neck a really bad sprain.

I went to an acupuncturist in Taman Megah here in Petaling Jaya and Alhamdulillah, the neck can move during the day. But the nights are still utter agony. This being the worst sprain I've had so far, I suppose it'll take time to heal.

If you think I'm moaning about it, well maybe you're right. But the truth is I just want to write about this as a reminder to all of us with Scoliosis.

It's so important for us to take precautions to avoid injuries. To never take for granted about the littlest thing in life, like sleeping positions or daily activities (like lifting a heavy item) that can hurt the spine. Because any injuries, combined with this existing condition that we have (Scoliosis) can bring severe pain and discomfort in our daily lives.

So take care of yourselves, dear friends. Live life, live strong, but live it carefully. May God be with you!