About Me

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East Lansing, MI, United States
I have suffered with scoliosis since I was 14 years old. I wore a Milwaukee Brace for two years when I was young. In 2010 my thorasic curve was 62 degrees. At 49 years old, I had adult scoliosis surgery and this curve was corrected to 13 degrees! This journey has been amazing and I am writing this blog as a resource for other adults with scoliosis. If you would like to send me an email direct, shariberger@gmail.com. If you want to see the surgery experience, look in the blog archives in April 2010. Keeping it straight! Shari

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Four Years and Stronger Than Ever

Wow!! Today is the four year anniversary of my spinal fusion back surgery.  One of the many blessings that has come from this hard time, is meeting so many of you.  I appreciate talking and writing with those of you that have dealt with scoliosis most of your lives too.  Such strength and journeys we all are on.

I will say for those of you going into or coming out of surgery that today at 4 years, recovery was long, almost two years, but was worth it.  Through 3 years of consistent body work, my quality of life is as good if not better than most women in their 50s :)  January 1,  I started back to aggressive workouts, even more intense than I did before surgery and it is so fun to see that I can do it.  Weights and cardio class for a full hour 3 times a week, with walking for an hour on the off days.  My body aches at times (but that could be the age too), but I know it has to be strong to go into the next phases of life.  Strong muscles, strong mind, strong body.

To describe what it "feels" like 4 years later....I would say I have developed new normals.  I'm sure there are things I don't even think about that are different, but doesn't seem different anymore.  Many parts of my back still do not have nerve feelings, or sensitivity to hot or cold.  Not a big deal though.
I can touch and feel the metal if I am looking for it, but otherwise I don't remember it's there.
My flexibility, balance, and movement are great.  Take care of your body and it will take care of you.
It's still so much fun to shop for any style of clothes I want and not look at the back first.  I know you all know what I mean.

To think of all the complications I went through my first 3 months out of surgery, I hope this gives those of you going into surgery confidence and comfort that you can make it through.

My advice to any of you with scoliosis, surgery or no surgery,  is to find a good therapeutic body worker.  Mine has become a dear part of my life and has taught me so much about how to have physical and mental peace within my body and how to take care of this gift I've been given, a healthy body.

It's very sad that I don't have Dr. Herkowitz to talk to today.  We always talked on or near my anniversary date.  RIP Dr. H!  You are still missed!

Remember always, Jeremiah 29:11 - "For surely I know the plans I have for you", says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for harm, to give you a future with hope!"


Shari

Friday, June 7, 2013

Dr. Herkowitz

This afternoon I received very sad news.  My beloved spine surgeon Dr. Harry Herkowitz passed away from a massive heart attack.  This is so shocking as he was so healthy, full of life, and gave the presence of invincibility.  My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and his medical family.  What a loss this is for his family, friends, and the medical community.  He gave so much to us, his patients.  I know he changed my life through my surgery and his compassionate care.    RIP Dr. H

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Imagery for managing chronic back pain


A healthy and beautiful alternative treatment for back pain.  Click the following link:

Where-to-go-what-to-do-for-chronic-back-pain

As time allows I recommend taking some time on this site.  Some very relevant, and alternative ways for healthy living.

Dr. Harry Herkowitz - 2011 Award

A couple of weeks ago I was doing some scoliosis research on the web.  I was so pleasantly surprised to find this great video of my one and only surgeon, Dr. Herkowitz.  He is so humble that through my visits I never learned of this very special award that was bestowed upon him.  I wanted to share this link as recognition to this wonderful doctor, surgeon, and person.  2+ years and I am so grateful for the gifts and skills of Dr. Herkowitz.
Click on the following link to watch the video:

Dr. Harry Herkowitz - 2011 Award


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My mind, spirit, body works specialist recommended a couple of beautiful sites to guide in healing and new way to take control of your health.  Possible ideas in preparing for surgery and also recovering from surgery.  Take time to research the sites if you are open to a dynamic way of thinking.  I am including them in this post, but will also "store" them in the helpful links section of this blog.



Write with any questions or specifics.

Enjoy!!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Post surgery a little over two years

Many of you send me notes asking how I am doing now and what it's like now.  I would sum it up that it has been a journey, but I would say life is back to normal, but far better.
I say after 2 years and 3 months, my body is healed.  So now no more excuses, I have to strengthen my core as well as overall muscle build.

You may remember I started my own business in January 2011.  It has been a tremendous success and I work more than full-time.  I work many hours and days, but I have also learned to listen to my body.  This is something I have really learned through all of this.  How many of you listen to your body, it sure does talk to us.

I believe that on top of my surgeon's (Dr. Herkowitz) amazing work on my spine, my healing was strengthened by bodywork.   K'anna Burton is a spirit plant body works specialist.  I am able to spend time with her 2-4 times a month, and she has reduced the majority of my scar tissue along my spine, and works with every muscle in my body from the tip of my scalp all the way through each toe.  She has taught me how to relax, breathe, and has educated me about the works of the body and many natural techniques.  I am so in-tune with my body that I can sense issues and she has taught me how to resolve.  It is so awesome!

My recommendation is that pre or post surgery you find a body works specialist in your area.  If you are in the Mid-Michigan area, you can find K'anna at the Center for Yoga in East Lansing or give her a call at 517-420-7086.

At the end of July I will be seeing Dr. Herkowitz for my official 2 year follow-up appointment.  I am excited to see my x-rays.

As always, please feel free to write and introduce yourself.  I am always happy to share my surgery experience and answer questions.

Enjoy the rest of July!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Not possible

How is it possible that I have not blogged since November. Where has this time gone.
I am almost at my two year anniversary of my surgery! Does not seem possible. Am I aware of my back? Yes. You can't carry two lbs. of metal in your back and not be aware. But this is not bad. I feel I am stronger and almost as active as I was pre-surgery. I still feel I need to strengthen my core muscles.

I am in a great stage where I am working out 5 days a week and eating healthy. I am able to bike ride about 7 miles in a day now. Loving it as i did not bike ride prior to surgery. Any of you in pain or close to surgery I encourage you to strengthen your body as much as you are able.

Since surgery you know I started my own business, as it was too hard to return to my old career. Business is booming and I work long days when needed and travel often. No one ever guesses what my body has been through. I share with others when I can though. People are amazed what adults with scoliosis endure.

If you are in pain and suffering with scoliosis as an adult, there are so many options now days. Check in to non-surgical and surgical solutions.

I am always happy to share my journey and listen to yours, feel free to write and say hello.

There are some dear ladies that i have grown close to that are in the surgery process as I write this. Thoughts and prayers are with you!

Have a Happy Spring!