Thursday, July 16, 2009

Living with Scoliosis

I had shared with you my DH living with MS so I thought I would tell you about my life. I was born in 1941 with congenital scoliosis. My parents did not know there was a problem until I started to walk and one shoulder was higher than the other. They took me to Duke Hospital and they recommended I be taken to the Shriner Children's Hospital near Charlotte, NC. When I was around age six, I was put in a body cast from under my arms to my bottom. I wore a cast like this for seven years. Of course, every so often, it had to be sawed off and another put on. That was always a scary experience even though they promised me that the saw would not cut me. I wore this during the years before air conditioning--you can imagine how that felt! Being in the cast did not slow me down except that I could not go swimming like the other kids. All my life, I have been determined to try to do what everyone else could do. After those seven years of wearing the body cast, I was entered into the hospital and put in a cast from my chin to my knees and was there for almost a year. They decided after that there was no surgery they would be able to do. I finished high school and went on to Elon College for a one-year commercial course and was hired immediately when I finished.
A year later a man came into my life. We had know each other as kids growing up in the same neighborhood for a few years and then his family had moved away. Three months later, we were married! They said it would not last but if we make it to August 18, it will be 48 years. I never dreamed I would be married and then God blessed us with a daughter 18 months later. The doctors were concerned about me but I had no problems and a normal delivery. The doctor called me his "star patient". Then in 1971, we were blessed again with a son. Now, our family was complete.
I was doing fairly well until 1991 and I developed a terrible pain in my back and was in bed for a year. We found a doctor in Chapel Hill, NC that dealt with adult scoliosis. He felt sure he could help me. I was taking a risk with this surgery because it was to be three-stage operations. There was a chance that I would die but I had been in such pain and in bed and crying out to the Lord to take me home. I decided that I would do the surgery. On Feb. 23, 1992, I went into the hospital and had my first 10-hour surgery. Two weeks later, they turned me over and did a 10-hour surgery through the front to my spine. I was in intensive care for several days after that. Then two weeks later, they went back into my back and put in rods and screws--this was another 10 hours. When I woke up from this surgery, I was in intensive care on a ventilator. I was on that four days and then moved out to my room. They had to give me shots of morphine to be able to get me out of bed. I developed a kink in my intestines from the second surgery so they had to go into my stomach and fix it but could not put me to sleep. Any way, I finally came home on May 6, 1992. I was barely able to walk and had home PT for at least a month. I continue to have discomfort most of the time. I have had pain so much of my life that I have a high tolerance. I am able to be on my feet to do what I call "piddle". I do a little and then rest and do a little more. I am doing more right now since my DH can not walk.
We are trying our best, with the help of a lot of wonderful people, to stay in our home. Before my DH became unable to walk, he would push me in the wheelchair and we could get out and go to the Mall. Now, we have to have someone to come help us go where ever we need to go. Thank goodness, we both can find satisfaction where we are. I have a pity party once in a while but no one comes. Ha!
I have told you all this not for sympathy but to let you know the person behind the blog. Each day, I get up and try to make the most of the day and some days are not very easy. I am so thankful that our son set me up with a computer and taught me how to use it. It is wonderful all the people that I have met. I have two internet friends that I met in 1998 and have never met them in person but feel like they are almost family. Now, I am making new friends through having a blog.
Thanks for reading this.

The picture on the left is me in 1944 and
the one on the right is today.


  1. Hello Marie, it is very nice to meet you. I won't give you my sympathy but I will give you my prayers and blessings that God will continue to shed grace on you and your husband and to heal your pain.

    Forty Eight years!!! That's wonderful!! My Mom and Dad were married for 54 years. I miss them terribly but they had a good life together until their health went downhill and took them both home.

    Love your pictures! It's fun putting a face with a name. Take care!!! Big hugs!

  2. Marie,
    I will not give you my sympathy either, but I will give you my empathy. I have wondered what your diability was but did not want to pry into your private life. I am so glad you have shared this part of it with us. I will continue to keep you and your husband in my prayers.

    Wow ... 48 years! That's amazing these days. And they said it would never last! Showed them, didn't you?

    Take care and sending my love,

  3. Marie,

    Thanks for telling about your problems. Sometimes, just being able to share makes me feel better. I live with Rheumatoid Arthritis so I know how bad some days can be and how good they can be. I live with it by remembering there are more people much worse of than me and they still get up each morning.

    What a great love story of so many years.


  4. Hi Marie, I am so glad you came by to visit my blog. Thank you for leaving a comment, I wouldn't have found your blog if you hadn't and it is lovely. Your life story is very inspiring to me, thank you for sharing it. I have learned so many wonderful life lessons through the stories of others on their blogs. I am new to blogging also and it is one of the best things I have done because I have met so many nice people like you. Please stop by and visit me at my blog anytime.

    It sounds like you found a wonderful partner and I hope to be blessed to share that many years with my husband. We just had our 24th anniversary, only half of the time you have spent with your husband, wow. :)

    Sincerely, Leslie

  5. Marie: You sound like you have a positive attitude and a wonderful support system. I'm glad you have the internet so you can reach out to others who may need the encouragement you bring. You have a beautiful blog; I'll be back. Hugs to you this special day.

  6. Oh, Marie, I love you and your blog! I check your blog out every day! I am so glad you have told your makes me appreciate you EVEN more! Gotta go to bed has been a long working weekend, dearie! I will visit you again soon via our blogs! :)

  7. Marie - You are beautiful and brave and you inspire others to overcome. Keep writing, many need you in these times. Be well.

  8. Hi Marie, It's nice to meet you. Thanks for coming by my blog and leaving a nice comment. You are so fortunate to have your husband and two children. Blogging is the best medicine for what ails you. You will find lots of friends in Blogland and it's a great place to share your accomplishments, hopes, and wishes. I'll be back soon. Take care.

  9. Hi Marie!

    I wanted to thank you for stopping by my blog for a visit and for the kind comments on my bathroom remodel!

    I really enjoyed reading about you! You are really an inspiration! I admire you for the positive attitude you have! I pray you are riched blessly!

    What an accomplishment to be married almost 48 years! My mom and dad are having their 50th anniversary on August 22nd! We are planning a party for them!

    I'm looking forward to reading more about you! Blogging is a wonderful thing!

    Have a great week!

  10. Oops that was supposed to say blessed richly! I had to laugh at myself! I'm always doing stuff like that! Oh well, now you know the real me! :)


  11. God is good.

    Thank you for visiting my blog this morning.

  12. My word, you have been through a lot in life! And still manage to find humor in things. I too have met many friends through blogging. I'm not exactly a social person, so this has been a life saver for me!

  13. Your story is an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing it. Blessings to you and your husband.

  14. Thank you for sharing your story. It is wonderful that you have the computer. My husband is on disability for about 13 years now and too has learned to live with his breathing problems that he has had since a baby.

  15. Your testimony is inspiring. My husband has been disabled for nearly 2 years. I want to read your story (and your husbands) to him. I know he'll be encouraged.

    I've enjoyed your looking at your craft projects, too. I wish I could get my knitted dishcloths to look like yours. By the time I end they do not look square but pointy. I think I stretch while I knit..or something.