Happy Birthday, Spine of Mine

10 years ago today I had my first spinal fusion. Having been diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 12, every rapid growth spurt had made this day increasingly inevitable. The three operations I ended up having were horrendous, each in their own uniquely awful ways, but that’s a story for another day.
Today was the day to celebrate my new, straight(er) spine and titanium hitch-hikers and the journey we’ve been on together. This spine of mine has had a pre-tty interesting 10 years and I wanted to mark it’s 10th birthday in a suitable fashion.
First, I treated you to a nice lie in. Nothing like some horizontal time for a tired spine. Remember when I was on bed rest and I insisted I’d never need to sleep again? Well…

For breakfast, I made gluten free pancakes with bacon and maple syrup. Hella better than hospital food, let me tell you. Let’s not mention the fact that you, dear spine, probably triggered my coeliac disease as well. This is your day, and we don’t pick fights on birthdays.
In the afternoon we headed out and bought some provisions for the party we’re throwing you at the weekend. I wonder how many other spines get parties? Oh well. Good thing you like to eat all the same kinds of things I like to eat.


In the evening, we headed out to watch the Christmas Lights Switch-on & Fireworks Happy 10th Birthday Rachel’s Spine Fireworks down by the river. Thanks, Bedford Borough Council! They were beautiful, spectacular, and they even played ELO’s Mr Blue Sky. Do you remember listening to that while we were recovering? 


Afterwards, we had some of The Good Hot Chocolate (basically chocolate shavings) and watched some Gilmore Girls. Aren’t you glad we have Mr ANN to watch things with now? He’s much better company than Fred SP ever was. Sorry, Fred, it’s not your fault you’re only a cuddly toy.
Well, spine of mine, we’ve certainly had our ups and downs. Today, you’re still making your presence felt in all sorts of ways but I know it’s just so that I don’t forget about you. No hard feelings. You’ve taught me a lot; about real lives and the real people who live them, family, pain, joy, determination, loss, faith, empathy, friends, resilience, luck, how kick-ass nurses can be, and which ones are the good pills. Also, you gave me some really awesome scars which are not only some of my favourite things about me, but a fantastic way to wind people up – shark attacks, freak accidents involving Edward Scissorhands, or my true identity as Frankenstein’s Monsteress.
Here’s to the next 10 years. I wonder what will have happened by then? 
Love,
-Rachel


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