Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Weight Issue

To be perfectly honest, I have never been the thin girl on the block. Well I was never fat, but noone would call me thin, seriously. I was average at the most. My genetics seem to be the bane of my existence. I'm very hourglass shape, though not from the sexy genre. Putting it bluntly; heavy chested, heavy bottomed. Yup, you'll end up with an hourglass figure that ain't necessarily a good thing.

Things changed when I was 18. With school finished, and driving license earned, walking was not a norm any longer. With no extra curriculum activities, and a decent allowance, eating out became the norm. By the time I entered university, I was slightly over weighed and not liking it. I incorporated swimming into my daily routine, but did not manage to shake the extra weight off.

Until I had my first surgery in 2002, and out of sheer will power lost 16 kilos while doing my postgrad in Australia.

After getting married, although I regained a few kilos, I managed to keep my weight down through diet and exercise. After having my first son, I had difficulties losing the weight once again. Walking didn't seem to help, and it was even harder to lose weight once I started having severe pain from the broken implant.

After the second surgery, the weight was still a struggle to manage as I entered my 30s and metabolism took a different turn.

I forced myself to pay for a personal trainer and trained like mad. Controlling my diet this time around was harder because with a kid around, the mum always becomes the household garbage disposal (finishing leftover and whatnot!).

I then lost 8 kilos. Then I conceived and gave birth again.

And now the cycle has started again. Here I am, at the same weight I was at after my first son, and struggling to lose it once again.

The difference now is that I dare not go for personal training again because there is no medically certified trainer at my gym at the moment. My previous trainer had moved to another establishment and is no longer an option. I dare not choose another trainer for fear that I might be putting my spine in jeopardy if bad training was given. Spinal Inc. has also discouraged me from pursuing personal training with an uncertified trainer who might cause the curves to worsen further.

So now I am at my wit's end.

I still go to the gym three times a week at least, but with a baby at home, I cannot work out as long as I would like to.

And why do I bother talking about the weight issue?

Because, here's the thing..

I believe being overweight is bad for your spine. Your spine strains to carry the weight. And any extra strain would and could cause discomfort or pain. And as this holds true for people that do not even have scoliosis, imagine what it could possibly do to us, those with scoliosis.

The bottom line is, I believe people with Scoliosis should strive to keep their weight down, at a healthy range.

Wish me luck!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Facebook Group: Malaysians With Scoliosis

Indeed through this blog I've made numerous friends from all over the world. I can't begin to describe how much it means when someone writes and shares their experiences with me.

I've finally started a group on Facebook. Look it up; it's called Malaysians With Scoliosis. As with everything in my life, it will be another work-in-progress. Isn't everything in life a work in progress, really.

My back aches tonight due to lack of exercise (haven't been to the gym in three days due to work commitments and a bout of food poisoning).. I am tired and hoping that I might have some energy left to do the physio for the night.. and was wishing I knew someone (or could talk to someone) who knew exactly what I was feeling and going through.

May this group be the beginning of plenty of good things. God willing.

If you are like me, constantly looking and hoping for a better understanding of what you go through everyday, join us.

Monday, April 2, 2012

After a Month at Spinal Inc.

I adore my therapists there. In such a short time they have become my friends and confidante. The upside of going to therapy when you're older and no longer a teenager is that you get to be friends with your therapists. And it makes for a much comfortable treatment environment.

Each session the patients come in on their own time, each person would do his/her own exercises, and therapists would go around checking on your exercises. Whether you're doing them correctly or not. They'll correct you and give you tips to improve your exercises. They'll regularly ask how you're feeling, and they never forget to check on you to ensure you're doing the routines correctly.

The Scroth Method involves a lot of breathing exercises. I think these stuff are harder to learn and adapt to when you're learning them at an old-er age. Like me.

The teenagers and little children who go there do their exercises so wonderfully well. I cannot help smiling and feeling warm inside watching the young girls there speeding through their exercises while I do them at a snail's pace. I am determine to do them correctly as well. The thing that is different is all my years growing up with this Scoliosis.. I see it from their viewpoint. I can see it in their eyes. I see their dread, their unhappiness, their gladness when the exercises work out well, their boredom, their rebellion, their denial. These wonderful young people with their exceptional ability to adapt and learn at lightning speed, but not necessarily willing to fully accept the evil necessity of committing themselves to this medical condition that we have.

But already in each of them I see the spirit that will carry them through the rest of their lives with Scoliosis. Some of them will get better. Some of them will get worse. All of them will one day eventually realise that they can embrace this and live with it.

Due to work and family commitments, I can only attend the sessions twice a week. Other days I try to do the exercises at home, but sometimes there are days when I had to skip them. Am hoping I will eventually learn to fit the exercises into our daily routine sooner than later.

It is too soon to say anything but one thing I can say is that the pain has definitely improved :)


A Lifetime Commitment.. what I've given this Scoliosis of mine, and will continue to do so.

The curves have regressed, yes. After the posterior fusion surgery in October 2002, the curves were approximately 20 to 30 degrees each, corrected from its origin of between 90-100 degrees. Prior to surgery my lower curve reached approximately 98 degrees if I recall correctly.

The latest xrays show that the curves have increased (or in a more "correct" medical term.. it has regressed/returned to ...) to between 40-50 degrees. Both upper and lower curve.

No wonder I've had severe pain and aches since carrying and giving birth to Ilan.

Indeed the reality is that I had always known the curves are regressing. Denial is a silly, but sometimes unavoidable thing.

Sometimes I get discouraged, dealing with this Scoliosis for the past 20 years has been challenging, emotionally and physically. But when I look at many many others who are in worse situations, I thank God for this life that I have with its many blessings.

Onward my friends, it's onward.This is the only way to deal with this. Never look backwards.

So I will continue to do what I can for myself and my Scoliosis today. No use thinking about what could have, should have and would have.

This Scroth Method. I pray it works.