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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Old Swayback


Or, if you'd prefer, Lordosis. Brings on visions of an old horse, doesn't it? I think I have it. In fact, I think I've had it for years. Oh now, listen to me being Mr. Diagnosis Doctor for myself. The truth is that I don't know what it is, or what I have, but it has been with me for a long time. It's embarrassing. I remember being around a swimming pool in Mexico in 1997 when one of my buddies yelled across the pool, "Hey, would you look at old swayback over there!" as he was pointing at me. Now, this was the year that I had just been divorced, came out, and was developing a new sense of myself. On a giant learning curve of self-discovery. It was the very last thing I needed to hear. I was still self-conscious about my body, my sexuality, and a whole lot of other unknowns. And I remember that comment and its effect on me to this day. Today, I'd tell him to F-off and poke my stomach out in some contorted gyration for effect and for everyone to see. But way back then......oh no. I ran and hid, at least emotionally.
You see, I've got a lower back that seems to be swayed in more than it should. And that makes my little tummy poke out in the front more than it should. I've tried chiropractic care. And I go to yoga regularly now in an effort to improve my flexibility and balance. And it's very common in yoga to hear phrases like "Keep your belly button tucked in" or "Make sure your tailbone is tucked down." It's all in an effort to keep proper posture. And I've learned that there are even yoga poses that I am not able to do without pain....my body simply won't work the way that some poses require. And it's something I deal with nearly 100% of every single day. Whether I'm sitting, standing, or even lying down -- I'm in nearly continual adjustment to relieve my lower back pain. And to keep my stomach from sticking out and my low back in proper alignment. I nearly always have a pillow behind my low back no matter where I am. Long periods of sitting require me to adjust, shift, move even a bit to lessen the pain. I'm always thinking ahead to exactly how I'm bending, reaching, stretching to reach down at work.....never doing anything without thinking before I act.
So, I could go to this doctor. And he'd send me to that doctor. And there'd be this test and then that test. And I tried to have a regular MRI which sent me into fits of claustrophobia. But then I finally succeeded at having an open MRI done of my entire spine. It showed some age-related arthritis but nothing severe. I'm not really sure why I'm even telling you all of this. Probably just in case you see me looking all funny with my baby belly laying out over the top of my leather Gucci belt. You'll know that I'm trying, I really am. Shoulders back, shoulder blades down. Belly in. Tailbone down and tucked. I go through it a hundred times a day. And the next time you're thinking about calling me, or anybody else, names like Old Swayback, um...yeah, go ahead and see how that works for you.

16 comments:

Breenlantern said...

I am sorry for the insensitivity you were exposed to in the past, the pain you struggle with and the emotional issues that come with it. I look at you and see beauty and strength and charm and I think I'd give anything to have half the body you do...so, for what it's worth, your "flaw" is not evident to me...just your fabulousness.

Ur-spo said...

I am glad you are taking care of your back, with yoga and stretches etc. You will do better than others.

I have a bit of lordosis myself, and try mightily to keep it 'tuned'. I can relate to your matters.

Do you have high arches in your feet? Apparently they two are linked.

LSL said...

We like you just the way you are!

And my belly lays out over the top of my belt, but there's no medical explanation. : )

anne marie in philly said...

I second LSL!

travelling, but not in love said...

Hmm. My brother has a swayback - or is it just a massive arse? i'm not sure.

Brettcajun said...

If it makes you feel any better... I never noticed you had a curvature of the spine when I met you in SF. When I was in elementary school, they diagnosed me as having a slight curvature of the spine. I think working out helped proportion me better so it is not noticeable. Sorry you are living with constant pain boo. BIG HUG.

bridgeout said...

Oh the sting that those comments leave with us! The self examination under the microscope with the harshest of light. Just because we didn't happen to look like what someone thought we should at a given intersection in time. I, too, am sorry you experienced such insensitivity at such a turning point in your life. Why is it that we come up with the perfect "comeback" only years later? {HUGS}!
PS- love your "deep thoughts" quote! I just saw that one recently on the wall at Curves!
See you soon!
Wendy

David said...

I was going to give you the standard yoga line about tucking the tailbone and drawing up the navel center, but apparently you've already heard it.

Have you tried propping your legs and feet up against a wall with your back on the floor, supported by a small pillow? Stay there for five minutes and see how that helps. if it feels good, try to do it every morning.

Birdie said...

Oh, boy, been there. No one teased me but my sister, but that was quite enough, thank you. Until I learned a specific posture, my back was constantly sore even as a kid. Now when I sit, I use a small back pillow. When I stand or walk, I lift my ribcage and drop my shoulders to stack my vertebrae; it really helps. Also, I walk without bobbing up on the balls of my feet. Maybe this could be of help to you. Good luck, sweetie.

wcs said...

Well, apropos of nothing, last night was C.S.N. at our house. Thanks to you I now have a name and handy acronym for it!

Rick said...

We can be our own worst critiques. I find that when I start looking at my faults, I amplify them far more so than than the normal person on the street would. While the insensitivity of others can hurt, it's less than the pain we create ourselves. You're beautiful. Let it go.

TED said...

Well, yeah, I suppose you could learn to accept yourself the way you are, but why not try a corset instead? That would have the side benefit of making you verrrrry popular with the fetishists. You'll also need a whip and some boots, but you probably have those already.

Mark in DE said...

Timing is everything. Had that comment been made at a different time, when you were not as self-concious or vulnerable, you likely wouldn't even remember it.

Fortunately true friends see your fabulosity instead of your flaws.

cb said...

I ain't noticed anything in any pics.

But you know, it 'could' be from all those years standing at the gay bar with that "come hither" ass.

:-)

WAT said...

My poor little hot piece of ass! Teased this way!

It's not LORDOSIS baby, you just got a nice perky sweet ass.

Steven said...

I couldn't believe your friend had the nerve to yell that. Glad that you are taking the proactive approach to try and counteract this. Your post, Ur-spo's comment and my back pain has me thinking.