Summertime crazies

Hi everyone.  I wanted to write a quick post to update on how things are here.  We have had several huge changes this month!  First, my business EmBraced In Comfort moved out of the house and into a separate facility.  We had officially grown out of our space a long time ago, so we are very happy to have this new place.

Additionally, my daughter FINALLY reached the 6 month post-surgery point and officially has the green light for any activity she desires – just in time for summer!  She can now swim, bike ride, weight lift, play basketball – anything she desires.  We are still having a lot of muscle tension in her left shoulder/neck area and that side juts up quite a bit.  I guess the physics makes sense – her whole spine was pushed way over to that side and those muscles are reacting to being squished for the first time ever.  I try to massage her a bit every night, but sometimes we just don’t have the time and she never complains.  And, her ribs are permanently deformed as a result of being so crooked for so long- so the left ribs jut up oddly as well (exacerbating the left shoulder issue).  We took a family bike ride to the next town for ice cream the other day (just 5 miles through the corn and soy fields) and I was riding behind her bike.  I just kept staring at her back.  She is not straight – not even close.  And, she never will be.  I sometimes get teary eyed thinking of it…after ALL we have been through, she will still never be straight!  But, she is ok with it – she is ok with her scar that runs down her back (she says she “earned it”) and she recognizes that she will never be straight but is WAY straighter than she was.  But, it makes me sad nontheless.  She’s only 12 and I have no idea how this will continue to creep up and effect her quality of life.  But, all I can do is sigh and realize that God creates all of us perfectly imperfect.  My daughter’s spine is not perfect and never will be – but she’s perfect nonetheless – created that way for a reason and a purpose.  She has actually influenced more people in her short life than some of us have in nice long lives.  She just doesn’t realize the full impact yet.  But, she doesn’t wear her condition like a martyr.  She is extremely hard working, positive, and ambitious – full of dreams and excitement about the future.

Which brings me to the last bit of crazy – she started her OWN business this summer (to dip her toes into the working world).  It’s called Sweet Success, and she makes cake pops and cupcakes.  We have a facebook page for her at: Sweet Success Cake Pops.  I am on her staff, as business consultant and marketing manager.  So, while her Mother’s life may revolve around Scoliosis, my daughter’s life does not – it doesn’t stop her, limit her, depress her.  She is proud of how far she’s come, and I am, too.  She inspires me.  We may be crazy and in total chaos this month, but we are blessed.  I love to keep hearing from you all, though, in comments and emails.  Even though we have already walked a VERY long road in dealing with Scoliosis, we will never be done.  Let’s keep walking the crazy road together…

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Here a stress, there a stress, everywhere a stress, stress…

Yes, for some reason I just had the “Old MacDonald” tune ruminating in my head – my very frazzled, somewhat brain-dead head.  It has been what I will call “one of THOSE months”.  It started with my ankle injury (which is doing better, but not totally healed – thanks to everyone who asked! 🙂 )  Then, we made the final push for a move for the business this week (Yes, EmBraced In Comfort is getting a new home, but more on that later).  Then, there is family stress around an upcoming wedding (who DOESN’T stress about a wedding?)  and lots of other stress that I won’t name here…but it ALL ADDS UP!  Some of it is good, some bad, some ridiculous (I am, after all, a “reforming” worrier and sometimes stress about the dumbest of things). But, this week my brain had reached its max – somewhere around Sunday – and Monday, come to think of it,  I had that breakdown that I just KNEW was coming.  But, I kept soldiering on, dripping tears into the paint I was applying to the walls.

We ALL have those days, weeks, months – and, eventually we all need to cry it out (or scream, or whatever).  As an amazing former Pastor told me: “Crying is like going to the bathroom – it gets the Sh*t out”.  Yup – and, if we leave the “stress” in, we just make ourselves sick.  So, a release is necessary, but then after we cry it out, we think “silly you – why are you so upset?  Aren’t there much greater concerns in the world?”  And, this is true.  I’ve said it time and time again – thank God my kids have Scoliosis and not cancer, thank God I have a healthy husband, despite occasional irritations, when others’ husbands are on their deathbeds at the hospital, etc, etc.  I am VERY thankful for the lot I do have, but let’s be frank.  Stress is stress.  Good stress or bad, it all becomes pretty overwhelming at times.  And, we can’t feel guilty for feeling those emotions, or we just add the stress of guilt onto the great big heaping pile we already have.

I am sure it has happened to many of you – when you announce that your child has Scoliosis, two things happen in quick succession.  First, people ask “What is Scoliosis?”  And, when they find out they say “Oh” or – worse yet – “Oh, is that it?”  or – even worse – “Whew, at least it’s nothing major like Cancer”.  While I agree partially with the last point, it is still MAJOR and it is a BIG STRESS!  And, there is so much information to plod through, so many decisions to make about treatments, so many opinions – it is just downright overwhelming.  With Scoliosis, we don’t have just ONE type of expert, we have MANY – all with treatments and options that have seen success in many patients (at least the valid experts).  The problem is that Scoliosis is a constant and long-term stress and there are so many unknowns – every patient responds so differently to treatments.  So, my wonderful reader-friends, I want you to know that I get it and the best thing to do is reach out to other people who are also dealing with Scoliosis – the internet makes that so easy now.  Or, you can educate your friends list about Scoliosis – because many people poo-poo it so much they don’t do anything about it and regret it later.  People who haven’t done the hours of research (and worrying) may not ever get the significance, but stress is stress, and Scoliosis is a big stress.  I don’t believe in the saying “God only gives us what we can handle.”  I think it’s just the opposite – he gives us more than we can handle, so we are forced to handle it with his strength.  Lean on God’s strength, your friends, and other Scoliosis community members.  YOU CAN DO THIS! Well, maybe after a good cry…