Kieran’s chin-up bar

My son Kieran has scoliosis. He has had it since he was born, and no thanks to the Canadians medical system he is currently sitting at about 50 degrees with a single curve, down from almost 90 degrees. The Shriners in Salt Lake City, Utah are helping him using a technique which sounds simplistic, and yet it’s clearly well beyond the advanced skills of we Canucks. Plaster and fibreglass body casting, using a technique first pioneered many, many decades ago. Mehta style EDF. Proven to be highly effective in the treatment of infantile scoliosis, a condition which in Canada oddly enough doesn’t actually exist, per se.

But I digress.

Tonight I installed a chin up bar for him. The goal is to work toward the type of muscle development which will encourage his back to straighten itself as much as possible, as crazy as that might sound to some. My wife is the point person in terms of his treatment and the options currently available to him, with my understanding of his options derived primarily from osmosis of her many updates and discussions. From those discussions we are both dead set against surgery, mostly because it seems to be a bit of a cop-out procedure. I always suspected they do it because the results seem to impress for a little while, but the long term prognosis invariably seems to be crippling pain, decreased mobility, complications galore and generally a conspicuous absence of the kind of permanent progress promised in the brochures. Oh, did I mention there is a lot more money in carving vs. casting? In other words, barring a clearly life threatening development, we are not going to be doing any surgery on our boy.

That leaves physical therapy. Hello chin-up bar.