'My boyfriend has scoliosis...'

Dear Diana,
I have been with my boyfriend for a year and five months now. A couple of months into our relationship, he told me about a problem he has — scoliosis. What it means is that his spine is slightly curved. It does not really concern me and it is not very noticeable. He has never mentioned about having anything done about it nor have I asked him if he has sought any treatment for it. But I worry that it could cause problems for him in the future. I also worry about the fact that I really enjoy swimming, but have never been able to go with him as he is quite sensitive around others when he has to remove his shirt. Bare chested his condition gets more attention. What can I do to help him?
— Anita

Illustration/Amit Bandre
Illustration/Amit Bandre 

Dear Anita,
Scoliosis is a medical condition. It is an abnormal curving of the spine though the extent of the bend varies from person to person who is afflicted by it. The spine is the backbone and runs straight down our back. Everyone’s spine naturally curves a bit, but people with scoliosis have a spine that curves too much. The spine might look like the letter C or S. Your guy has been honest about his condition from the beginning. He has not hidden it from you. You say that you have not asked him about his condition and he has not told you what treatment he is seeking or took recourse to in the past. This is strange. If you want to help him, you need to ask him about it. He may not want to talk about it, but if he has told you about his medical condition he can reveal the treatment process. He requires medical attention and the doctors can accordingly suggest what he has to do. In some cases, patients need to wear a back brace while in extreme cases surgery is advised. For all this you need to consult a specialist.

Diana will solve it!
Write to Diana at, or fax her on 24112009. You can also post letters to Dear Diana, Mid Day, Peninsula Centre, Dr S S Rao Road, opp Mahatma Gandhi Hospital, Parel, Mumbai 400012

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