DAILY LIVING & MOBILITY

When A Brave Caterpillar Finds Her Wings

Scoliosis

Maggie Yastrow

Evolution

My Name is Maggie :) I actually get my name from my first encounter with the fact that sometimes my body does things I don’t have control over. I was born 2 months early and both my amazing mother and I were very “sick” at the time... my mother was placed on a medication called Magnesium, and my amazing father said: let’s call her Maggie! As I approached my first year of life here, my parents noticed I was struggling to walk. My dad recalls that I would reach for things in an effort to stand but I could not. I cried a lot. My father is a physician and during this time found himself at a conference on Spina Bifida. He realized I had it, and soon after I had a de-tethering surgery and walked days after.

In the years to come, my body decided to grow sideways. Despite bracing and PT, my scoliosis began to impede upon my lung function as a 13-year-old. I had spinal fusion surgery at 14. In my adolescent and young adult years after that, I flip-flopped between feelings of self-pity, anger, guilt, superiority, gratitude, etc. Ultimately, though, I found myself not respecting my body as I felt it had not respected me. This conflict between my body and I created lots of conflict between me and other humans, who always supported and loved me unconditionally. But I did not love me with this “condition” and thus was very sad.

As a 28-year-old, beautiful woman today, I am blessed and grateful to say: I love my body and my body loves me. I love the scar that lines my back. I love the fact that my shoulder blades stick out so much that a friend of mine calls them my angel wings. I love the fact that in my current role as a Nurse, I am able to truly feel both the physical and emotional pain that others feel as their bodies change. I love the fact that I am truly blessed to have this body. This body allows me to comfort others, and in doing so I’ve found the ultimate source of self-comfort. This body allows me to snuggle with my family, my friends, and my dogs — who I know will always be there for me regardless of what may or may not happen within my body in the years to come.

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