Personal Narrative: Finding Out Your Spine

Topics: Family, Mother, Father, Parent, Doctor, Anxiety / Pages: 4 (989 words) / Published: Feb 7th, 2016
It's a strange thing, finding out your spine isn't straight. One day you're blissfully unaware, then the next you find out that your spine is the equivalent of cursive hand writing. If I remember correctly, the date was July 2nd of 2014. I had gone through the day as normal, oblivious to what my mother would discover later that evening. My mother came up the stairs to tell me good night, however when glancing at me she realised that was was standing anything far from straight and my left shoulder was dipping below what it should've been. The following morning I went to my GP. I had Scoliosis. So naturally, I started panicking. Perhaps not verbally, but mentally? Absolutely.

Fast forward several weeks to the 28th of July. The date when I met
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The Walking Dead spoilers? My sister? All of these things were random memories I had from being barely lucid. 1800 hours; approximately 11 hours had passed since I had been knocked out. The most prominent thing I remember feeling was the fact that my spine felt as if it weighed about 16 tonnes. I was stiff. I was sore. I couldn't move. And mostly I was absolutely exhausted. I don't think I even comprehended where I was or what had just happened, most likely a side effect from the drugs I was taking. I can't remember who I saw me wake up. Although I would guess it was my mum. I remember asking for my phone and messaging my group chat. The first thing I said was: “Hey, I'm not dead.”

The second night was the worst. I awoke around 3am feeling like I was going to cough up my stomach. I was always reluctant to press the button that alerted the nurses, but at that point I was desperate. The sickness I felt for all thanks to the mix of morphine and the remnants of half a bag of tortilla chips that rested in my stomach. Or, at least, did until I violently threw them up. That second night was just the beginning of a downward slope that would be the remaining five days in
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My last day in hospital was by far the best. It was the day I got my my final x-ray back and also the day that I got to finally go home. However, there was one final hurdle that I had to overcome before I got the sweet release of going home and sleeping in my own bed. That final challenge was climbing a flight of stairs. Easy, right? Ha ha nope. Imagine feeling like a scarecrow, or like having a pole tied to your back. That's how I felt. Although, I was driven by the temptation of my own bed and one of my mums fish finger butties. According to the nurse that was supporting me, I was the best she has ever witnessed at climbing stairs only a week after spinal fusion surgery. The car ride home wasn't exactly enjoyable.

I think overall I'm definitely glad I had surgery. There were consequences. However, they don't quite outweigh the positives. Nothing that I was worried about pre-op never fell through, although some of the permanent things are definitely a pain in the neck. Literally. I have winged scapula as a result of the surgery, meaning that my shoulder blades sit at a strange angle and trapped nerves are more common. My back is almost always stiff and I can't sit, stand, or lay down in the same position for too long. But on top of that I have a metal spine.

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