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Coping with Spondylosis


I was known as a chubby baby. Being the first child I was pampered by my
grandparents. My parents being new to parenthood, were unaware of the nutritional needs of a growing toddler. I was fed with whatever my heart desired. I grew up to be an overweight child, teenager and later as an adult.

Exercise and proper diet was not a part of me for years. I always wondered about the ‘health freaks' that I called them, thinking why were they so bothered about being slim and healthy all the time? My motto for life a few years back was 'Eat what you like as life is short'.

During my teenage years, I used to enjoy fast food. At that point of time, I was least bothered about cholesterol, trans fat or saturated fat products. I just went along feeding my body what my heart desired. Being 'fat' I did not have a posture and presence of myself and I used to follow the mindset of others. I did not have any purpose in life and I did not even know myself. I always used to question myself for what was my goal in life and what I had to achieve but could I if I was not even aware of my strengths and weaknesses?

In the year of 2008, I weighed almost 90 kg. Then the lightning of pain struck me one day. I started having episodes of terrible left arm pain. It used to get worse especially at nights or just simply when I was in a resting mode. I had no idea what was happening to me. I went for alternative treatments like massages, hot and cold therapy. Nothing seemed to work. One night, I just freaked out! My spine, starting from my neck down to my sitting bone, started to have a burning sensation. Life became miserable and I used to mourn in pain everyday. My last choice was to see a doctor and I was referred to a spine specialist immediately.  After a physical examination, I was advised to go for a spine MRI. The results confirmed that I had cervical and lumbar spondylitis. You had no idea what I was going through. Being only 26, the doctors did not encourage me to have surgery. They believed that by changing my diet and lifestyle, I would be able to control my symptoms.

The biggest question in my mind was 'will I be able to do it?' I had did not have any confidence in myself. Unfortunately, the pain and depression made me put on more weight. There came a point of time when my spine could not bear the excessive weight and I started to limp with one leg. A few months down the road, I had to bend over in order to walk. I used to go for acupuncture treatment and various others but everything was unsuccessful. There is a saying that goes 'help yourself and god will help you.'

One fine morning, I made a decision that I would change my circumstances and come out from this. I started to change my mindset and believed in myself. That was when life started to show me a new direction. I was aware of homeopathy and took the chance to try it out. With the tiny tablets taken daily, I was having lesser pain episodes. With the homeopath's advice on diet, instead of having three meals a day, I have six smaller meals. There were many sacrifices that I had to make along the way. I have given up a fast food, high cholesterol, saturated and trans fat diet. It also includes white rice, white bread or bakery breads. In short, I do not consume empty calorie food anymore unless I am left with no choice.

At this present moment, my past is just electricity in my mind but if I look back, I am thankful for what I went through. I express gratitude as the pain allowed me to become what I am today. I am now weighing 64kg, I have an in depth knowledge of the nutritional needs of a person and the greatest thing is I have gained my self-confidence. I love myself and living my life to the fullest. Being a human, there are times when turmoil occurs but for me, if I have turned over my life, I can handle any other situations that come along right?

Contributing Author:  Fatema Zakir

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