I had been coming in and out of therapy for the past two weeks. I had been experiencing backpains again due to my dextroscoliosis that the doctor decided to let me go through a series of physical therapy sessions again that were a bit strenuous but relaxing at the same time. My sessions are finally done but my struggle with dextroscoliosis is not yet over. I was formally diagnosed with this physical ailment 12 years ago. By that time it was too late to correct the spine because it was forty five degrees already. The only option that time was spine surgery. For lack of money and fear of the major operation and its after effects, my family decided against it. So I had to go through the physical therapy and back braces to stop the progress of the curve. I wore the back brace all through college, well not all the time since being strapped with metal is kind of uncomfortable and hard so I wore it only some days. When I was working already, I decided to discard the back braces and just stick with the series of exercises that I had to do for the rest of my life. My rehab doctor advised me not to get pregnant for it would be risky. But nothing can stop those raging hormones and the promising stage of motherhood so I went ahead with my pregnancy which drove my father crazy. The whole pregnancy was without problems, I didn’t experience back pains and the other horrors that my rehab doctor was telling me about. But come delivery time, I never thought it’ll be that traumatic. At the last minute, my doctor decided to cut me up because the baby wouldn’t fit into that thing where she was supposed to come out. It required epidural anesthesia because my doctor ruled out general anesthesia for it was too risky.  They had a hard time inserting the needle in my twisting “S” curve spine. It seemed endless, I felt each poke of the needle, each hit and miss. It took three anesthesiologist before they were able to insert the anesthesia in my spine. Each poke of the needle was like a poke in my soul because I feared not only for my life but for the life of my baby as well because time was running out. But that’s all water under the bridge now, I was able to deliver my baby safely sans dextoscoliosis.

My daughter always asks me about the hump in my back before but unlike some people who will just come up to me, feel my hump and tactlessly say “ano to? Kuba ka?”, she would say it and feel it with awe and reverence. Lately, when I’m rubbing her back, she would asks me “mommy do you feel any hump?” and when I tell her no, she would get disappointed because she wants to have one like me because she wants to look like me. It was a long time coming, my acceptance that I’ll never have the perfect back like other people. It was a constant source of insecurity for me. I tried to hide it by growing long, black gloriously beautiful hair back in high school. It was like a deep dark secret. I was successful in hiding it well until college. I was conscious with the way I move and with the clothes I wear. I detested tight fitting clothes and develop this snobby air more as a defense mechanism rather than an attitude. It took my husband who loves me hunchback and all for me to slowly accept that I’m never going to have that perfect back like other people. He doesn’t know that each time he rubs my back and says I’m beautiful, he strips away one layer of insecurity. It took a while before I can easily explain to others about the hump and not feel any stab of pain or embarrassment. A while before I was able to accept, understand and be comfortable with myself. I still have long way to go I know, there are still moments of uneasiness and self-consciousness.  I took a big step though last summer which tells me that I’m slowly getting there, I finally cut my hair short.

I always say that how people see you is not important but how you view yourself and how proud you are of what you see are what matters. I learned that the hard way. I’ve been labeled maliciously “kuba or hunchback’ a lot of times by playmates when I was young and by somebody who truly hates me before, they bruised my ego big time. But the people who see me, like me and love me everyday despite my hunchback, my family and friends, they do more than just give my ego a good rub, they fill and lift my spirit up and bless my soul.  You guys just don’t know how important your presence and friendship are to somebody like me who up until now is still struggling with dextroscoliosis…

About Me

I am better known as Nan’s widow, Bianca Angela’s mom, and Woodrose’s Mrs. Dela Cruz.  I am a full time teacher and mentor, a freelance writer for various print and online publications, a marathoner, and a curator of inspiring faith stories.
I am also the author of the best selling book, Grace Upon Grace: A widow’s journey.:)

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