Thursday, 21 April 2011

Imperfect me!

It's 3:20am and I can't sleep so I blog....

It has taken ever ounce of strength in me to post this blog. Right now, I am going through a cocktail of contradictory emotions. Fear, anger, sadness, faith, hope but most of all relief. Just after my 17th birthday, my friend noticed my back was distorted, we looked at it in the mirror and I could see my right shoulder blade sticking. I didn't know what it was but I knew I wasn't born with I tried my best to conceal it and act as if it was nothing. The occasional backaches, not been able to wear halter necks without long flowing locks. If I exposed my back, I was asked questions. So I didn't. Well, I thought it would go away.

In 2006 I got a temp job as a chiropractic assistant and that's when my boss told me I had Scoliosis. An 'S' shaped spine. At that time I was entitled to free chiropractic care. Well, my X-Rays showed my spine looking crooked. That explained why my left rib cage was protruding more than the right. aha! Luckily, none of my boyfriends ever pointed it out. I mean, how could they not have noticed? Well, I still thought it would go away...

Then with recent back aches.... I decided to delve into a comprehensive research about scoliosis and it's sufferers. The first shock that hit me was it being called a 'Disease/Disability'. I also realized people can get it at the adolescent stage which I believe is when mine started. Apparently there is no cure. No known cure. No proof that exercise even helps it. (Albeit I observed most celebrities with scoliosis were professional swimmers) Depending on your curve, you could manage it with a brace or undergo surgery where you'd have rods stuck into your spine to straighten it. Well now I know where my breathing problems stemmed from. The neck/shoulder snap was as a result of the shape of my spine. *I knew it wasn't normal*

Oh and its hereditary. I want to be upset but I can't. You know why?  Because I am blessed with people who love me and to be honest living is not that bad. We all know the silent stigma associated with the 'physically challenged'. I keep wondering why I hid it for so long and not telling my mum or going to the doctor when it would have been easily managed. Part of me feels grateful for experiencing what some other people face. Some People with this disease have it worse where their spine is tilted to a 90 degree curve. I am grateful its not worse than it is already. I have a moderate curvature (about a 30 degree curvature) which isn't fatal. I won't have surgery. Never. Sadly, it deteriorates as one gets older...if no measures are taken so I am considering extensive physiotherapy (my friends tease me about being a surly crooked old woman...being surly is bad enough, but surly and crooked? ;-| ) Unfortunately, there isn't any form of awareness about scoliosis in Nigeria (I am still looking) and not enough exposure worldwide. I am trying to be open about it now. Besides the fact that Bra-wearing and tube wearing has been a chore, it's just unpretty to look at. The back aches are part and parcel of the issue. As I am aware, I have been working my ass of at the gym and strengthening my back 5 times a week. I almost always sleep on the Lat Machine!

Next time you see someone with a hunch or an uneven shoulder blade, hip, or legs...just don't stare. Smile and remember, your very own Mamuje is rocking a chip in her shoulder....quite literally:-)



NakedSha said...

I guess life is what you make of it. Rock this attitude always and God be with you.

kitkat said...

aww dnt let it bother u too much though. we all have our little flaws, atleast its not so noticeable :) ..and i bet you're still gorgeous regardless! :p

Nolimit said...

*hugs* a great friend of mine has it and I must say he is one of the coolest dude on planet earth!!!
Rock on babes...there's no perfect being:)

SHE said...

I want to believe its not too bad, if you have been able to hide it.
A school mate of mine had it so bad she had to wear braces. But she was one of the best students in our class!

In any case, a "physical disability" shouldn't make Mamuje any less a great person, yes?

Ginger said...

Thanks for having the gumption to share and inform, Mamuje.
Outer scars are better than the inner ones no-one can see. I recently told Kitkat she's imperfectly perfect - the way i like people. Well, here's your membership card!!!

@ilola said...

As you said, there is little awareness in Nigeria, cos I haven't heard of it before.
I love your attitude towards it and the fact that it has not 'disabled' you progress in anyway.

Northern Girl said...

So sorry :( Thank you for your sincerity. This was really touching.

HoneyDame said...

Great attitude to start with. Please, dont completely rule the surgery out especially since you know that it deteriorates as you get older. Why not sample a couple of professional opinion? And perhaps, even a clergyman's opinion, if you roll that way too.
It is well with you, and scoli...whatever-it-is called, or not, I CANNOT alter God's purpose for your life.

Tega said...

Your attitude to it is well impressive...whatever you choose to do...i doubt you'll be surly

you're perfect for you...and that counts a great deal

Mamuje said...

Thanks guys, you are very kind. Your words make me feel better than ever.

Vyvyka said...

I'v heard of curved spine but I didn't really understand what it meant or I never bothered. Thanks for sharing. You sure do have a positive disposition towards it. You'll surely pull through cos you are a confident strong woman!

Linda Medrano said...

My daughter has scoliosis too, but it's a relatively mild case. Exercise seems to help some. I'm sorry you have pain from it.

itsjustmedaringtodream said...

Well first, I am sorry to hear of it. I actually had a car wreck and when they did an xray thats when I found out I had a slight curve. I was shocked and scared too. Scoliosis severity depends on a lot of things. My curve is an S-curve slight degree. I dont have much problems. But my friend has a high degree curve and its painful on her back a lot. Neither one of us opted for surgery. I dont even think my mother knew! Anyway - you are beautiful on the inside no matter the curve - dont worry to much unless you have severe pain. Most people dont notice slight details like that unless we point them out.

T.Notes said...

We honestly do all have our own unspoken pains/unwellness. Sometimes thats comforting to know uh?

LucidLilith said...

Oh my goodness!!! I absolutely like your attitude about this. It is tough to have a chronic condition but keep taking care of yourself and for goodness sake, take some pain medicine when you are in pain. I learned the hard way that pain seriously makes your quality of life suck. Stay pain free and positive.

Nutty J. said...

This is Big Brother...could Mamuje explain why surgery is *NEVER*?

I mean if its going to help then why shelve it?

Just asking....

You rock with that attitude babes... keep fly

Mamuje said...

Thanks guys for your concern. Much much love.

As for 'Big brother'- I don't think I need surgery if I can manage the pain. Surgery is allowed when one has exhausted all other options. Thanks for the concern Biggie.

chi9ja said...

Always noticed it about u babes, i had a friend who wore like iron braces for his, he said he'd it on all his life n only just took it off i think when he graduated from uni.
I don't n didn't really care dat u had/have it. i saw that it didnt stop u 4rm living life to the fullest, a trait i simply love and want to learn n emulate, i think every single human being in the world should learn how to b like that.
So u just keep doing u gurl, i gotcha back.

Mena UkodoisReady said...

Ok I read the mountain climbing blog before this one and my mouth is agape.

You hid it well as I never noticed enough to actually ask you about it.But as your story unfolded I immediately understood

In as much as the condition is classified as a disability, I disagree!With your achievements and adventures I will classify you the exact opposite in my eyes!

Well done with the climbing project!!


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