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Thread: A new beginning

  1. #16
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    Default Re: A new beginning

    Hi Dave!

    I've been following your story here at SSO and looking at your videos on youtube with great interest! Your success is a motivation for me and I guess many others.

    I guess you're now able to do most/all the things you want to do?

    The only concern I have at the moment is that there seems to be a big divide amongst those for and against surgery. When talking to people some are very positive while others "scare me" with their opinions. Personally I'm very determined for surgery because I just hate being in pain when I'm working and also because I've never been able to accept my appearance. I'm thinking that with modern surgical methods/equipment - like you have been benefitting from yourself - the risks are small and the correction capabilities are huge.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences in this way!

  2. #17
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    Default Re: A new beginning

    Hey I'm really sorry to put this on an already existing thread but as a new user I'm not sure how to start my own. I'm 18 years old and I was recently diagnosed with kyphosis. I had my x-rays taken and the spinal specialist said mine was 43 degrees. I know mine isn't as bad as anyone on here (and you've all been an inspiration to me when I've been checking out this website) but I'm really confused. Some sites say that the normal range of kyphosis is 20-40, while some say 20-50, which one is correct? Also is 43 degrees even noticeable cosmetically and is it likely to increase now that I've stopped growing?
    Again, sorry to bombard you all with questions but you all seem so helpful and informative that I wasn't too afraid to ask and a reply would really be appreciated.

  3. #18
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    Default Re: A new beginning

    Hello. I just thought I would drop in and welcome you to SSO too. Isn't it great just to talk to others? My world changed once I found this place. I appreciate knowing people are just here to encourage and chat with or lend good advice. I have been married for 40 years and even he doesn't get all that our back issues encompass. (By the way his family is of Norwegian ancestry last name Eng). Allen is really sweet and tries to put up with me but we do have our moments. Many of our miscommunications and intense moments usually involve my spine or restricted breathing. I just find it easier to bare my soul to folks here. I hope you will enjoy all my friends. I hope Mark pops in because he is special!
    I am 61 years old and the resident SSO fossil. I live in Oklahoma,USA with my husband Allen. We have one daughter Jae and she has three kids.Our grandkids are: Aidan is8. He's the one pictured in my current avatar. Jenna Jean is 7 and Ryan Allen is just 4 It's full time chaos here! I was diagnosed in 1965 at 14 years with Kyphoscoliosis and 2 curves measuring 68 and 63 degrees. My last measurements were in 2004 at 155, 88 and 55+ degrees. I have never had surgery or bracing so I now am on full time oxygen and use a Non Invasive Ventilator at night. at night.

  4. #19
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    Default Re: A new beginning

    Quote Originally Posted by leighsheridan View Post
    Hey I'm really sorry to put this on an already existing thread but as a new user I'm not sure how to start my own. I'm 18 years old and I was recently diagnosed with kyphosis. I had my x-rays taken and the spinal specialist said mine was 43 degrees. I know mine isn't as bad as anyone on here (and you've all been an inspiration to me when I've been checking out this website) but I'm really confused. Some sites say that the normal range of kyphosis is 20-40, while some say 20-50, which one is correct? Also is 43 degrees even noticeable cosmetically and is it likely to increase now that I've stopped growing?
    Again, sorry to bombard you all with questions but you all seem so helpful and informative that I wasn't too afraid to ask and a reply would really be appreciated.
    Hi there Leigh

    I'm not sure of the 'normal' boundaries for kyphosis - Mark's definitely your man when it comes to this - but I would have thought 43% would be very unlikely to cause any cosmetic issue. The issue of whether it will progress now you've finished growing is a bit of a hot potato I'm afraid. Again, I'm not sure about how it works with kyphosis, but certainly for scoliosis many of us were told it wouldn't get worse and went on to develop severe curvature throughout adulthood

    I'm glad you've joined us, please do start a thread to introduce yourself so that more people will get the chance to welcome you aboard. Just click on the 'New Thread' button at the top of the forum and away you go
    Me, a Mod? Nah ... I'll always be a rocker

  5. #20
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    Default Re: A new beginning

    Why can't I see the new thread button haha. I'm so dozy! If I'm unable to could you please direct someone to my post so that they could give me some info. And thanks so much for your lovely welcome.

  6. #21
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    Default Re: A new beginning

    Welcome Leigh! I'm sure you'll find a lot of great people here on the forum!

    I think the definition of "normal" kyphosis is vague and to me 43 degrees is quite a mild figure. But it's also a personal issue that depends on you're own way of dealing with it. Personally I'm dreaming of getting close to 45 degrees after a correction.

  7. #22
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    Default Re: A new beginning

    Thanks for your reply. Are you scheduled for surgery? 45 degrees would be an amazing result, I'm only complaining about my 43 because it does hurt to be different. I should be grateful though as so many people on here have it much much worse and their strength is really inspiring.

  8. #23
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    Default Re: A new beginning

    Hi Leigh,

    Cosmetically? Or pain wise? A future predictor of possible issues? Or other?

    Many people can have larger curvatures and feel no pain, have no personal cosmetic issues whatsover, and lead very active and successful lives; others, face challenging circumstances; and saints, absolute nightmares. The vice-versa of every factor just listed (including small curvatures with very high pain) also applies.

    Or are you fixated on the numbers for the numbers sake (if so, can you be my accountant please?) and just don't like that 43 is 3 degrees outside a vague definition of a range of what might be considered 'normal' parameters. The 20-40 range limit (is that the general range, I forget) is not intended to be precise; it is a rough guide. In fact in calculus, you find that even a pure number has no meaning or accuracy in itself. It is given meaning by humans who link those numbers to feelings or effects such as personal pain, cosmetic distress, or to predict possible future outcomes be they negative or positive, based on past observations.

    I think you are actually very wise monitoring your angle given you are at the edge of the fuzzy range. Who knows, your spine may weather over your lifetime more quickly as a result - but your angles suggest otherwise and that it will not be a quick progression at all; it may turn out be quite resilent as you age. Spine angles aside, your lifestyle will be an important contributor too. Regardless, make no mistake: like everyone else on this planet your spine will degenerate as you age; that is a fact of life (you find me one straight old person?). We are not designed to be enduring sentinels of the millennia such as the mountains or planets. The key question is this: How long will your degenerative process/cycle take? It can only be faster or slower.

    You look at a person with a perfect spine who has had subjected it to misuse throughout its life as they never worried about it; even those spines will degenerate relatively quicker over their lifespan. In that sense, you are lucky simply because you have learned the importance of your spine at an early age without having extreme curvatures. Love it as much as you can for the rest of your life. But another important fact to consider is this: also make sure you live your life and, while it is good to be aware of such things, be careful to temper that by not worrying all the time as well. We are here to dance, my brother; in the limited time we have, ya gotta dance too.

    Not to hijack the thread; just curious to know how you feel. I know whatever those feelings are that they are significant and meaningful to you because like the rest of us, you are here.

    Best wishes,

    Adaptation

  9. #24
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    Default Re: A new beginning

    Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed reply. I just get quite depressed sometimes of the cosmetic look of my back and the pain. I'm starting physiotherapy soon and have been doing excercises everyday to help my back. I've got quite big back muscles now which disguise the curvature a little. Even though I feel this way about myself, I just hope everyone on this site knows that they are beautiful. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in what we look like, I guess it's just a fact of life haha

  10. #25
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    Default Re: A new beginning

    Being comfortable with one's own body is, I guess, the important thing. We should decide for ourselves how much attention we're giving to the whole idea of being beautiful. This concept is only a superficial dimension of ourselves anyway. But if we are not comfortable with our bodies it is difficult to present the self-esteem and the ‘vigour’ that is so important for an active, varied, social life.

    What I really hate about my own back is that it is an incredibly stigmatized deformity. Every time I come across hunchbacks portrayed in films, theater etc. I cannot help but freeze up. They're regularly used as images of something revolting, unsound, unnatural, inherently unhealthy. “Oh my, I'm one of those.”

  11. #26
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    Default Re: A new beginning

    Hi Toref,

    I really agree with you, and you got me thinking. I'm sorry about the blathering below; feel free to skim past. I just find exploring such lines of subject enquiry, such as the one you have raised, fascinating.

    1. Kyphotic caricatures in Hollywood

    a) Hunched characters who are good: Ugly Betty (she had scoliosis but I'll use it anyway); Quasimodo (Disney version at least, not sure if he was good in the novel)

    b) Hunched characters who are evil: Ephialte in 300; Thin Man (Charlie's Angels movie); Richard III (Shakespeare's play, Richard III; Balrog (Streetfighter Game - compare his boxing stance posture to his boxing opposite, the well-meaning Dudley, whose stance is much straighter).

    From my limited scoping study, it seems if the kyphotic character is the protagonist, they will be of good character, unless they are starring in a Tragedy. Whereas, supporting kyphotic characters are either evil nemeses of, or wise, helpful aids to, the protagonist.

    2. There does seem to be a trend in Western culture to disproportionally value particular ideals (especially physical, not emotional ones), and, if you do not conform to these ideals, you will never be 'happy' (I don't know if I read that here or somewhere else).

    Apparently, in some Chinese provinces, increasing baldness is considered a sign of someone who has gained increasing wisdom, and henceforth is a proud marker. In fact, most signs of aging are not considered detrimental.

    Yet here in the West, if you are bald, or show other signs of aging, wrinkles, etc., you are losing 'value' in the eyes of 'society'. What a limited view of a person's value.

    Yet how many emotional/mental problems exist Western society?; it's brimming and historically we have not liked to talk about it; it has been a taboo subject.

    Clearly there is a seemingly diametric opposite value system between the East and the West here (though there are signs both cultures are now moving the other way).

    3. However, on the flip side, thankfully as humans we can also inherently tell when something clearly looks wrong or is too far removed from the 'ideal natural acceptable limits' - physical or mental - indicating there is problem that needs addressing, and we manage accordingly; so we should.

    To use the previous example, if I went bald in that Chinese province at a very, very young age, although, to those locals, it might indicate I have 'wisdom beyond my years', it probably means I am not healthy and is a sign of a condition I might have, maybe prostrate cancer for argument's sake, needing treatment.

    4. Society need to find a balance between 'perfection' and 'imperfection', both of which represent unbalanced ideals. Wherever you lie on on the spectrum in between determines the kind of management you require.

    Yet regardless, universal respect, acceptance and, especially, a far broader, holistic meter of what constitutes value should be an applied view towards all those struggling with imbalances, especially as we all do have them in some way or another, be it physical or mental.

    Find me a man's strength, and I will find you his weakness. Or: You can be too perfect to realize just how imperfect you are, and too imperfect to realize how perfect you are.

    For argument's sake (these are just examples to illustrate a point and certainly not generally applicable), someone with a spine with ideal angles for carriage and loading from an engineering point of view (and, yes, mathematically golden numbers exist) might be vain and arrogant and subject their spine to stressful tasks with reckless abandon, just as much as someone like you might feel ashamed or inadequate and approach tasks thoughtfully and carefully. In both cases, such feelings can cause both negative and positive outcomes in other spheres of life, confidence, etc., etc.

    So what is 'perfection' or 'imperfection'? Personally, I don't believe static pure state forms do or will ever exist in nature. I'd love to hear other thoughts on this.

    Adaptation.

  12. #27
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    Default Re: A new beginning

    Dear Adaptation,

    Very interesting ideas! You got me thinking as well.

    I think one useful perspective for discussion is the society's evaluation of diversity. This is, in my opinion, strongly linked with the very same society's ability to correct. Let's assume that the Chinese provinces you refer to are less able to correct baldness than a western society. Would it not, then, make more sense if this Chinese province "embraced diversity in baldness" to a greater extent than the western counterpart? Baldness, for the Chinese people would be perfectly natural as (presumably) many of the elders displayed it. The attribution of good qualities to baldness is a perfect example of acceptance of imperfection.

    However, I struggle to think of examples of societies that accepts (i.e. gives positive attributes to) people with kyphotic postures/spines. In all the societies I can think of this is associated with weakness. I can understand why. There's a significant physical aspect to it, obviously. There's a psychological/social aspect as well; one tend to portray a less proud person. One is not as tall, one will have "problems looking up." Despite the evolution of our society towards less reliance on physical capacity in people, I can't really see how a society - as a whole - would be able to accept fully this kind of imperfection. Our physique and thus our physical capacity will always a vital part of our life - and thereby also value. I am thoroughly happy to read the stories of other people on this site that have been able to come to terms with their own curved spines, but I'm afraid that I can't come to terms with mine.

    Being a part of a society, which I think is a fundamental quality for most people, brings the cost of being exposed to the society's value system. This value system is undoubtedly in flux, but in what direction, and with what speed that change occurs, is very difficult to guess.


    Tor

  13. #28
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    Default Re: A new beginning

    Hi Toref,

    I just wanted to say that your history sounds very similar to my own - thanks for sharing it on the forum, it's really helpful. I'm 45 now and looking at surgery (after being told years ago it was too dangerous). I hope all goes well in your quest, I saw your post about your visit with your GP which sounded very promising.

    I wanted to share that if you are told by any of the doctors along the way that you don't really have Scheuermanns (or some type of kyphosis) to keep asking questions and getting other medical opinions. I've read alot of stories of that happening to other folks and I recently experienced it myself. You'd think a curved spine would be obvious but I'm finding that alot of doctors (even specialists) don't understand what Scheuermann's is at all.

    -Kay

  14. #29
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    Default Re: A new beginning

    Kay, thanks for the advice! I'll keep that i mind.

    My biggest concern at the moment is not so much the possibility of wrong diagnosis but rather that the doctors find another reason for not conducting surgery. I keep telling myself that I should not get my hopes up too high yet, before the consultation, but it is sooooo tempting to start dreaming about what a corrected spine would give me. The confirmation from the hospital regarding the referral from the GP should arrive any day now. In the meantime I'm just trying to keep myself busy with work and hobbies.

  15. #30
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    Default Re: A new beginning

    Letter waiting in the mail today. The unit at the hospital needed more clinical info before they could consider me, so now I'm scheduled for x-rays. I'm a bit surprised though, the MRI and x-rays I've had done in 2006 due to a prolapsed disc should clearly show the extent of my spinal curvature. However, taking some new x-rays doesn't take forever I guess.

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