Thread: Meet and Greet
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Old 06-10-2017, 04:13 PM
Backtothefuture Backtothefuture is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2017
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Default Re: Meet and Greet- 46M Melbourne- First time & nervous

I’m ‘starting out’ (again?) seeking clinical/medical help. I’m 46, Male, Melbourne based. Why am I starting to look for medical help middle aged?? I’d like to share a story- preserved by the anonymity of this forum- a first share. Naturally, no names, places per forum rules.

When I was a teenager, I noticed one shoulder higher than the other and that my back would ‘hump’ when I bent over to touch my toes, peering over my shoulder in a mirror I noticed with horror a lateral ‘S’ visage. I went to my parents but they discouraged medical intervention (misplaced religious doctrine mainly) so it wasn’t until I was 19 and ‘rebelled’ and saw a Chiro, a Dr and ultimately, an orthopedic surgeon. I was already deeply body conscious, a shy teenager that was already accustomed to avoiding the beach and ‘over-dressing’ to mask what I felt was a deformity.

‘Deformity’ was one of the words used by this Surgeon when he stepped me out of a small office in a Melbourne hospital in my underwear into a theatre full of students and medical professions- (approx 50) after having mislead me that there was a “couple of colleagues” in the next room that could assist resolve the question of surgical intervention or not. I was then paraded, a study. At one point, he said “do that thing” (indicating for me to touch my toes to demonstrate the ‘hump’ forming when I did).

I remember almost everything, what he wore, the faces of his colleagues, the students, the room and most of all the shame that I did nothing. I said nothing, even when he twirled his finger at me (“Do that thing…”) all I did is tilt my head like a confused dog wondering where the cheese treat is for the trick.

After I walked back into the smaller consulting room (office?) and put my clothes on, another more astute Dr knocked and entered, seeming aghast he asked me “Did you know that was an auditorium?”. I think he clocked the shocked look I had when walked out like an exhibit. I shook my head, mumbled something… he apologized…a lot, but I didn’t seek medical attention for another 17 years.

At 36 I grew so comfortable with my GP that I mentioned my back and he ordered some X-rays but I think mainly through ignorance advised that as I appeared comfortable and mobile, orthopedic intervention was unlikely at my age and it was sidelined again.

Now, after months of pain it’s impacting my life again- carrying my young children upstairs from the car when they’re asleep saw me staggering to the medicine cabinet, cramps and leg pains. Right now, I’m dad- and in their eyes, I’m bullet proof and yes, they’ll develop to a point where my humanity and vulnerability will be understood but for now- it’s my job to be a total rock for them (together with their mum) and I’m scared of failing… all of them.

So, here I am, pouring it out (very cathartic). When I stumbled on this forum (thanks google) I thought maybe…. Just maybe I can feel a connection (despite the anonymity) to others that might have done such things growing up like… avoid the beach, agonize over clothing choices to select those that were the most concealing.. rather than the most flattering, over-dress in warm weather, avoid relationships, self-exclude from social activities etc… or maybe it was just me and I handled it all rather badly.

Either way, this long-winded introduction serves two purposes; 1) It was cathartic like I said.. please forgive my indulgence and 2) Obtain qualified recommendations from people in Melbourne that have had spinal surgery and/or alternative treatments. The backstory gives context- I don’t think I could go knocking on specialist’s doors/ health providers somewhat randomly, I need to limit who I trust with my care to those that have gotten results for real people in Melbourne. Please, if you can spare a moment PM me your recommendations- I’m open to various treatments but primarily I expect that orthopedic intervention is the only course that will secure the results I need physically as well as psychologically providing I am a suitable candidate. Thanks so much, apologies if I bruised any eyeballs.
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