Don't want to say I'm shorter than I was,
but I did enjoy this reunion with an old girl friend.
Contrary to popular belief, Scoliosis is not the general who stood up to Caesar as he crossed the Rubicon, but a condition I've had most of my life, more commonly known as curvature of the spine.
For the most part my scoliosis never bothered me. It wasn't painful, didn't hinder my posture, and didn’t interfere with my love life any more than any of the other messed up things about my existence on Earth have interfered with my love life. But as I’ve aged something has changed.
That is, I'm getting shorter. A lot shorter.
It began eight years ago when people started telling me to stand up straight.
"I am standing up straight!" I would protest.
"I don't know," they’d respond, "but I don't think standing up straight involves your chin getting up close and personal with your belt buckle.”
Then I began to hear something even more disturbing.
"Perry, are you getting shorter?" people would ask. "Because I’ve been noticing you're no higher than my coffee table."
Though I hoped they owned a coffee table so tall that LeBron James would bump his head on it, I suspected that this was not the case. So I finally went to see Dr. Simpkin, the orthopedist.
The office assistant took my height and weight.
"Five foot seven," she announced.
"Five foot seven! Wait a minute. I’m supposed to be five ten!"
"Actually it's closer to five six."
Stunned, I entered Dr. Simpkin's office.
"As the scoliosis progresses and your spine curves like the Indianapolis Speedway, your posture will get worse and you will get way shorter," he said casually.
If he was trying to ruin my weekend, there’s no question that he succeeded.
"Let's have a look at your back,” he said. I pulled off my shirt.
"Extreme!" he exclaimed.
The good doctor sent me off to Tiffany, the physical therapist. "May I check the curvature of your spine?" she asked.
I nodded. She ran her hand down my back.
"Extreme!" shouted Tiffany.
Apparently my spinal column has been designed by Zorro.
After Tiffany calmed down, she recommended physical therapy and yoga.
I have also developed a few techniques of my own. I imagine I’m walking with a book on my head, imagine I'm reading the book if it’s about posture, and practice my own patented Jack Benny walk.
None of this will straighten my backbone nor make me taller, but they may halt or at least slow the condition’s progression.
So I will do it all religiously because I do not want a back shaped like the world’s largest question mark and I don’t look forward to the day when pint-sized comedian Kevin Hart starts calling me "squirt."