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I love keeping things real. I love originality and crafts and working with my hands, honesty and sunshine. I love true love and sparkles inside and out and God. I love people who are genuine and aren’t afraid to show it. I love change and metamorphosis. So in keeping it Real, here is a photo of me.

Me, before Scoliosis surgery next week. This is what I look like when I stand as straight and tall as I can. I wear the wide, tight back brace 24 hours a day.

I have Scoliosis and my spine is one big old S. I don’t talk about it because I am not defined by my disability. I’m all about creativity and encouragement, choosing joy and sparkle. Scoliosis is something I have, not something I am. But the severity of my Scoliosis has slowly increased over the past five years and I can no longer ignore it. For those who are interested in the numbers, The curves are T5-T12 – 41 degrees; T12-L3- 47 degrees; Lumbar lordosis 54 degrees, thoracic kyphosis 49 degrees. I have been encouraged by reading how others get through Scoliosis surgery so I’m posting a little bit to encourage any older readers who are facing the same thing.

Back in July, I did a couple things wrong. I stretched while reaching for laundry and when I sat back down, my vertebrae settled wrong and crunched a disk. I knew it was bad but just put on a little back brace and kept on going. Two days later, I was outside taking photographs of a deer when it started to rain. I didn’t want my camera to get wet so I ran back to the house. I NEVER run. I haven’t run in over 20 years so I don’t know why I ran that day. I remember thinking “I’m running! I’m running!” and the wind on my face felt glorious and I wanted to run forever. The rush of oxygen through my veins and the pounding of my heart and muscles felt magnificent. At the end of my short run across the yard and up the steps, I remember stopping and suddenly thinking “That was a HUGE mistake!” and all the euphoria drained away as searing, burning pain exploded in me. I lost half an inch that day.

I apologize if this next photo makes you queasy; please scroll past the photo if you desire. This was my MRI taken 3 painful weeks after my accident.

Scoliosis MRI of lumbar area after my injury

In five days, surgery will completely change my life. On Tuesday, October 2nd, I will get a series of metal rods and bolts, some fusion and perhaps wires to stabilize and straighten my deteriorating spine. I’ll grow a couple inches in a day and a whole new world of options awaits me. I will be able to pursue all the dreams that have been held captive by pain the past couple years. I will create inventory for my Etsy Shop and have a grand opening. I’ll be more involved with my church. I will pursue photography because I won’t fear the weight of camera gear or getting into positions to capture the perfect angle. I will travel to Japan and Italy. Perhaps I’ll go back to college to finish my degree or pursue a career in baking and catering. And I will RUN.

Thank you, dear readers, for bearing with me as I go through this metamorphosis. I will write as often as I can. Please don’t ever stop sparkling and sharing your joy with others. Sometimes all it takes is a smile to completely change someone’s day. Go for it!

Love you all.