I was diagnosed with scoliosis, or the progressive curvature of the spine, around the age of 7. After a brief watch and wait period, I began wearing the Boston brace from ages 9-12. After an unsuccessful few years of conservative treatment, my S-shaped curve had progressed into the 60 plus degree category.
In February of 1988 I underwent a 13 level spinal fusion complete with Cottrell Dubossett instrumentation.
I am now 30 years post surgery, and an active wife, mother, and teacher.
My studies of yoga after spine fusion began with the discovery of a woman named Ellen Kiley, who at the time, lived in St Simons, Georgia. I studied with Ellen to learn a modified yoga practice specific for someone with a T3-L3 spinal fusion. I then took that modified yoga practice home and began to study with various teachers to evolve my understanding of body/mind health and wellness.
Yoga taught me how to listen skillfully, move mindfully, and breathe deeply into the space of my body. Yoga taught me to celebrate and honor the vessel I have been given, and to move forward in the world with honor and appreciation.
I now spend much of my time outreaching to others who are living life post spine fusions of all different levels. I facilitate and maintain a virtual community via Facebook for individuals post spine fusion surgery for scoliosis, and work with others via remote yoga therapy.