- Frances Smalkowski
"One of these days, someone is going to straighten you out!"
Have you ever heard these words? Have they ever been said to you or someone you know? Never did I expect to experience them late in my life in a different way than their usual, figurative meaning. But thanks to the gifted hands of a spinal surgeon, my severe scoliosis was arrested and I was straightened out, literally, at age seventy-three no less.
I had never expected that I could wear clothing I wore fifty years ago (my religious habit had not changed significantly) or that I could begin living my life without leg swelling, pain and noticeable disfigurement.
For me, this operation was truly a miracle of humanity, technology, interdisciplinary caring, grace, healing, science and interculturalism (where did my two rods and nineteen screws come from?). And what led to this renaissance that I am experiencing in my seventy-fifth year of life?
Certainly it was not simply through examination of X-rays that showed that my scoliosis had shifted 30 percent in six years. Or maybe it was!
In any case, my expectation that I would need to plan for living my remaining days confined to a wheelchair was derailed by the unique and special gift I was given and received.