Random Picture Day #6

surrey

Living On Oxygen for Life

Oh yes.. we are going way, way, way back in the past of my life with this picture. Get your plaid bellbottoms on and step back into the 1970s with me for a bit. This is the house that I grew up in for nearly 10 years of my childhood. If you look on the right side of the picture, you will see the farmer’s corn field that we lived behind and also the forest of Short Story part 1 that I wrote about. This house has changed colors while I lived there from blue to green and back to blue again. It’s all wood too, which isn’t very helpful since we lived in the Tornado Alley. I can remember many of times that my sisters and I were woken up in the middle of the night to run to the closet under the staircase because a tornado was coming.

My parents bought this house when I was a toddler. Since I had so much trouble with being short of breath and heart trouble, my parents put my bedroom downstairs in a room that was meant to be an office or something like that. My bedroom door was actually a set of french doors. I thought I was pretty special because I had a bathroom that connected to my room like Mom and Dad! Everyone else’s bedrooms were upstairs. My short stories that I posted on my blog are based on my memories of this house and the fun I had here.

I guess you are wondering about the surrey. My little sister and I (and I think that my cousin is the driver!) are who you see in the picture. In fact, you can see the back of my grandpa’s head in the garage entrance. He’s the one who built the surrey from parts he found and my grandma had sewn the fringed cover. She has always loved crafts and sewing which is where I think I got my craft bug from. This surrey was awesome and it got a lot of action out of us kids! My little sister did most of the pedaling because I would tire out too fast. We even rode in it during a parade which was a VERY long and tiring pedal job!

I think my mom had to make a lot of my clothes or shirts because I wore a Milwaukee Back brace at this age too. So, shirts had to be big enough to fit over the brace and the neck opening had to be a little more roomy for the top of the brace. I always had to wear an undershirt because I wore one beneath the brace to help prevent rubbing my skin raw. My dad would take my brace off once a day and that’s when he used witch hazel on the pressure points where the brace would rub. Usually my hips, my right shoulder blade (scapula), and under my neck. For a long time, there was a dark brown bruise-like discoloration under my chin. My chin would always be up against the chin piece of the brace. You can see the brace I’m talking about here, under The Braces section of my blog. Scroll to the bottom of that page and the Milwaukee Brace will be there.

If you haven’t guessed already, I am the one with the blue shoes! Try not to laugh over my hair cut. It had to be short or my hair would get caught in the screw that closed the top of the brace which is in the back. I may have had a lot of doctor appointments and trouble during the winter with catching pneumonia occasionally, my life as a child was a good one.

Stay well everyone! FOLLOW my blog by clicking the FOLLOW button and entering your email address to receive notices for when I update my blog with a post. *hugs*

Born with Scoliosis

Living On O2 for Life

Christine's Scoliosis X-ray

Since reading the post: Why I Use Oxygen, you know that I have scoliosis. I was born with it and it was very obvious to the doctors that I have scoliosis. Some people may have been born with it but it was so slight that it isn’t detected until later in life.

I was born with a 71 degree curvature according to the measurements taken March 9, 1973, measuring from T1 to T10. My scoliosis was so severe that wearing just a Milwaukee Back brace would not improve my spine significantly enough without surgery to fuse vertabras. However, before I could be cleared to have any surgery, I had to be consulted by a cardiac specialist. Not only was I born with Scoliosis, I had major cardiac problems. The walls that separate the Atrial and Ventricle chambers had holes in them. Oxygenated blood was being flooded with un-oxygenated blood because of those holes.

After being cleared for surgery by my cardiologist, I had my first spinal fusion. I woke up in Halo Traction at the young age of 3 years old. And yes, I remember it.

Now that you just read a little bit about my childhood, know that I completely understand that life can be difficult at times. Believe me. I truly know. Below is an x-ray of my scoliosis. I’d like to close this post with this advice: When life is hard, don’t forget how to smile. Find something: a person, a memory, a place or a silly joke that makes you smile. When someone sees you smile, you are giving them a gift that can be returned.