Friday, August 21, 2009


Ok, so I've mentioned before that I have a disability, so I suppose its time to mention that. I was born with scoliosis, and if you haven't clicked that link to find out what this is, its curvature of the spine. I was also born with jaundice and had to have a few blood transfusions. I wasn't allowed to come home right away apparently and had to wait few weeks in an incubator. My mother tells me the day I came home from the hospital there was a huge storm. A sign of things to come I tell her.

Apparently a few weeks after I was home my mother started noticing somethng wrong, although she could not figure out what it was. So she took me to the doctors and they did some xrays that showed each one of my vertebrae were different, I had none that were a normal shape, and also a curve. The doctors told her I would never walk, never speak, and be severly mentally handicapped. They then put my mother through an inquisition trying to put all the blame on her. Mabye she smoked, or drank or did drugs while pregnant. None of that was the case. Its just one of those things that happen in life. I can't imagine how it must have been for my parents at this time.

I was eventually put into a brace, I believe it was at about 2 years old, but I'm not sure about that. My memories of that time are not too reliable. (as with most people I think) When we moved from the east coast of Canada to Winnipeg, MB I had a new doctor named Dr David McQueen. He was amazing. He was both stern and supportive, not only to me but my mother. One of my first visits with him ended up with me being on TV in a news report talking about scoliosis. I don't remember if I spoke, but I was the 'scoliosis model'. lol

By the time I was 12 my scoliosis had progressed to 115 degrees curvature. Extremely severe and Dr. McQueen recommended surgery soon. They wanted to wait until I had gone through puberty, but now that was no longer an option. I was progressing rapidly.

That was my spine (in brace) at age 12. In brace means I'm actually straighter than I would be out of brace. I had to highlight where my spine went because part of the xray is so dark. You can see how the vertebrae are not 'normal'.

I was sent down to the Twin Cities Scoliosis Center to see Dr. David Bradford, who was probably the best doctor in the world for this at the time, and is still very highly regarded today. In July and August of 1983 I had my surgeries. They had originally wanted to hold me at 115 degrees but the second surgery was going so well they decided to straighten me as well. I think they did an excelent job.

Pretty amazing stuff eh? He used the Luque method of using wires instead of the more common practice today of drilling screws into the vertebrae with eyeholes and winding a rod through the eyeholes. (if you're interested a youtube search will bring up videos of this type of surgery) I'm guessing my vertebrae could not hold up to that, so the wires had to be used.

So what is my problem today? Well below my rods my discs have been ground down to pretty much nothing. A year and a half ago I had to stop working because of shooting pain down my leg, that ended up being 24 hours a day. Its gotten so bad I can't walk too far, or stand for too long before it gets too much for me. Even sitting for too long causes problems. My wife gives me massages, but my back immediately goes back to having lots of very large knots. She says they are like rocks. I tell her I should go to a massage school and have them pratice on me, I'd be available every day cause the knots will be right back.

Anyway, thats my issue right now. Its also why I get frustrated as well. How can I find work with these problems? I don't 'look' like I have problems, but I do. So there are days when I'm upbeat and happy and other where I'm not.


  1. I've just discovered your blog, man, I hope you get back to Canada and soon!

  2. Thank you, I hope so too!

    I've been following your blog for awhile now. Its amazing and gives me a pick up when I need it. So thank you for that. :)