It All Starts

It is April, 1948.

I am conceived to Catherine and OT – better known as Cath and Ted.

I will be born in January 1949 as the 3rd of what will be 5 children and the only boy.

I am told that my parents tried “one more time” for a boy and that my father cried at my birth.  It was the only time he ever cried – so I am told.

A little anatomy lesson which was not learned for another 67 years.

In adults, the sacrum is a large triangular bone that forms the base of the spinal column.  It is made up of the bones named S1 through S5.  It sits between the two hip bones.  It provides support for the spine and accommodates the spinal nerves.

As a child and up until the age of 18 or so, these 5 sacral bones are separated but somewhere between 15 and 30 they become completely fused and are a single bone.

For the purposes of this brief anatomy discussion, there are 3 parts to S1 – the left and right hemispheres and the central core.

Some time between April and my birth day (literally), the S1 vertebrae is only formed on one side, the right.  This is called a hemivertebrae.  As a result of the malformation, my spine above the S1 joint does not go straight up, it extends to the left and then straightens as it continues up to my neck.  Nobody notices for 65 years.  Because I never needed glasses or braces for my teeth, I am considered “perfect.”  (My friends might differ.)  It is speculated that in the womb, there was some kind of a blood supply deficiency to this part of the S1 and it didn’t form.

Just my luck.

My research says that 85% of these anomalies are not clinically significant but for me, it eventually caused erosion of the lumbar disks and compression of the spinal cord.

You could call me “spineless” but I wouldn’t answer.

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