Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 1, 2012: Every Journey Has a Beginning

Now, where did all of this begin?
Well, let me first start by explaining exactly what deformity I am affected by.
I tried to find an official definition to spondyloptosis but it kept taking me to links talking about spondylolisthesis. I will do my best using words to describe what I am talking about and pictures I found on the internet.  On the image I have pasted you will see different levels of spondylolisthesis and spondyloptosis. Grades 1-4 are spondylolisthesis and grade 5 is spondyloptosis. I have grade 5 spondyloptosis. Except my L5 vertebrae (its the one that is barely hanging on in that last picture) is lower about 1-2 inches. One of these days I will find a picture of an MRI/CT scan that I had gotten done recently so you can see just how bad mine is (and probably the stuff I say will make more sense).  This slip of course not only moved my spine, it has shifted my upper body down. So my lowest rib is literally resting on my hips. So it gives me the appearance that I have a rectangular body shape, or I read somewhere, a "ruler" body shape and I am about 1-2 inches shorter than I should be.

I was 9 years old when I first started experiencing back pain. I remember the day, the weather and where I was. It was at my old house by the river my family and I were sweeping our long driveway. It was a sunny/cloudy day, not windy, perfect for sweeping away all debris from our gravel road. I was wearing this color-challenged, itchy knitted sweater and neon pink pants working as efficiently and quickly as I could, so I would be able to continue playing in the forest that acted as a wall between us and our neighbors. When out of no where I felt a pain in my lower back.

When the pain started to become stronger and more often my mom decided to take me to Doernbecher Child Hospital in Oregon. They took an x-ray and the doctor said he couldn't find anything wrong with me. I should say so. The quality of the x-ray was horrible. You couldn't tell what in the world you were looking at. In the next couple of years there were more x-rays but they still couldn't see what was wrong. I guess since this is a rare deformity they weren't looking for it thus didnt see it.

Because the problem persisted and got so worse I couldn't concentrate at school, my aunt took me to a chiropractor in upper Washington. Lets just say I've been going to him ever since. He definitely was a blessing in my life.

That's the gist of my story. I hope that my blog will help any other soul with this rare kind of suffering. It definitely took a weight off my shoulders to find someone else who shared her stories and thoughts of spondyloptosis and how it effected her life.