Thursday, May 17, 2018

Spinal Fusions from Two Feet Below.

See the scar in the middle?

So, in Power, I mention about having a spinal fusion to fix my scoliosis.

Let’s back up a bit.  Ever since I can remember when I was a kid, I wore body jackets, hard plastic shells that split in the front and back and were brought together by Velcro.  These body jackets went from my armpits to just to the bottom of my belly.  Although they had ventilation holes, these things were hella hot…it didn’t matter the season.

As I grew, I’d have to be recast for a new body jacket.  That meant a couple hours of getting wrapped in hot, wet plaster cement, then, getting it cut off me to make the jacket.  It was long, hot, dirty hours.

I had to wear these conTRAPtions every day while I was up.  If it rained or was cool, it was a godsend.  Being in Texas, in the middle of the desert, that don’t happen much, so guess who suffered?  Pick me!

Growing up, I was a good hustler, so I was able to weasel out of wearing my jacket SOMETIMES in school and put it back on before I went home.  Sometimes, I got away with just leaving it off.  It depended on the heat, of course.  The body jackets were to correct my scoliosis, not to be half-ass iron maidens without the spikes…although, in hindsight…LOL.

Somewhere during that time, my brother had his spine fused with rods.  This surgery meant we were cut from the top of our spines to the bottom, AND WE STILL HAD TO WEAR A BODY JACKET AFTER until our backs healed.  Docs try to wait until the person quits growing to do the surgery, because the hardware’ll stop growth even though they’ll gain a few inches with a straightened back.  The thing is, Joey’s rods got infected and nearly killed him, so they had to go back in tog clean him up and redo the whole thing.  That didn’t do much to instill much faith in little brother.  Still, when I turned 18 (I think I was that age, I had so many damn surgeries), I went through with it.

It probably was the worst surgery I’ve gone through, even with all my shunt surgeries I’ve had as far as pain and limiting my mobility afterward.  Everything hurt.  I remember being so frustrated the first time I went to play Nintendo, and couldn’t make it happen, because of the pain and the damn body jacket.  But, as with everything, that passed, and I regained my mobility and haven’t worn a body jacket since.

So, you guys looking at getting rods, I won’t lie, it sucks, but it DOES get better.

Be good to each other.


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