mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My neck, my back...

So this isn't something I've really mentioned much, but chances are there is a pretty big elephant in the room when it comes to my physical appearance. Occasionally, someone will mention it, and I've always gotten a little uncomfortable about it. See, madanthony is a hunchback.

For a long time, my back has been noticeably curved. I basically have a hump. I don't really remember when I started noticing it, but by my senior year in college it was serious enough to see a specialist about it - who said it was curved, but it wasn't worth doing anything about it, and I should lose some weight and do some situps.

Well, eventually I lost the weight, but I wasn't too into the whole situps thing. And as I lost the weight, it became more noticeable, if only because the more obvious physical deformity - being morbidly obese - was gone. I've changed doctors a few times, and my current doctor has mentioned a few times that I should see a specialist again about it. So a few days ago, I did.

So evidently I have Schuermann's Kyphosis, which would make a great name for a rock band. Basically, my spine is curved, quite a bit - evidently normal is 35 to 50 degrees, mine is around 85. The thing is that as long as it doesn't cause me pain or keep me from doing anything, there isn't really much that can be done. If it had been caught when I was a kid - at age 12 or so - I would have been put in a brace for a few years, and it probably would have corrected it somewhat. But I didn't, and while there is surgery, it's dangerous and only limited in effectiveness. So I was told to come back in 5 years to make sure it wasn't getting worse (because even if it is, it gets worse so gradually that they wouldn't be able to measure it over a shorter period of time, because the change would be within the measurement margin of error) and if it's not, to forget about it.

But I can't really forget about it. When I was fat, I blamed the fact that I couldn't get dates on my weight - which was probably correct to some degree. But now, I wonder how much my giant hump is working against me. When women think about what they want their dream guy to look like, "hunched over" is never on the list. It makes me shorter, and shorter guys have less sex and get fewer emails on online dating sites.

It also makes me look like I have horrible posture, which makes me look even less confident. In the book The Game, the author mentions a number of time the importance of posture in looking confident to attract women, and he went as far as taking posture lessons. But posture lessons don't do much good when the pieces of your spine are permanently bending down.

What's most frustrating about this is that I have no control over it. It's not even a bad choice I made in the past - at the time I could have done something, I didn't know I needed to. I lost weight, and I've started doing some strength training to build muscle. While I'm not sure I could do it, one thing that The Game suggests is that with enough work and practice it is possible to overcome things like social awkwardness to be better perceived by women you want to date as well as people in general. But there is no way I can will my back to be straight, and because of that there's a pretty good chance I'll die alone. And hunched over.


At 4:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking as a woman in her mid-twenties, unfortunately, a significant number of women probably do notice your back problem, particularly as it relates to your overall height. But both issues, at least in my mind, will be most relevant to women in the stage in which they're deciding if they want to get to know you better. Once they get to know you and really like you, I don't think it'll matter to them nearly as much. As a result, if you, say, wear nice jackets (maybe with some good shoulder padding?) to disguise your back and possibly invest in some subtle elevator shoes (hey, they're good enough for Tom Cruise), it may help you get over that initial dating hurdle. Or at any rate, they might make you feel more comfortable approaching women, which would result in women viewing you as being more confident. Good luck!


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