Wednesday, October 04, 2006

'S' is for spine

Almost a year ago (on the eve of my birthday) i was taken into hospital with a mystery virus. This was the kind of virus where you can't keep water down and keep losing consciousness. I kept blacking out and hitting my head on things. It wasn't nice.
Whilst i was in A&E, they x-rayed my chest to see if there was a problem with my lungs. I asked to look at the photo of the inside of my body, and discovered that i have an S shaped spine. I was extremely disappointed that none of my yoga teachers, lovers, or anyone i had ever been on holiday with, had ever noticed this about me.
A year later, i have decided maybe i have been a little unfair to those closest to me. Perhaps it hasn't been there that long, in which case, i should get it checked out.
I have never had back pain, but since the doctor told me i might need physiotherapy, i have suddenly become ridiculously aware of my back and of the exact location of each vertebrae and muscle. I feel ok standing up - almost automatically applying the principles of tadasana- but sitting down has become a minefield of self-criticism. I don't know how to hold myself: i feel uncomfortable in every position that i find myself in. I have exhausted myself by not allowing myself to sit naturally, and by making mental lists of things that i may or may not be able to do if this gets worse.
I have been veering from nausea - through imagining the worst, to the kind of compulsion one feels when put in danger; to run out immediately and do everything i ever wanted to do, as soon as is humanly possible.
I'm having another x-ray tomorrow. Lots of people have this thing and it's not a problem. I will be fine.
I have been trying to imagine someone massaging my back, patiently, consistently, over along period of time, until every one of those pieces goes back into line.

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