Musings and Writing of GG Alexander

Skeletal Imbalance

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‘You have a skeletal imbalance.’

Marie looked at her doctor, certain she must have misheard her, but Dr Jennings merely looked back, legs crossed and hands clasped, waiting for a response.

‘…a what?’

‘A skeletal imbalance,’ Dr Jennings said. ‘It’s quite easy to determine with a simple examination of the bone structure, as I did there. To understand the extent of the displacement, you would need to undergo an x-ray, but that’s usually not necessary since the effects are quite mild.’

Marie had only made an appointment for her heartburn, but Dr Jennings had looked keenly at her and suggested an examination, which instantly worried her. And this was the result?

‘Wait, wait,’ she said, ‘how can a skeleton be unbalanced? What does that even mean? I can still walk and everything.’

‘Yes, yes, it’s not a debilitating injury, but more a slightly irregularity in the structure of your body. You see,’ Dr Jennings said, shifting forward and wearing her best “placid explaining” face, ‘sometimes in childhood, if the body receives a thorough knock it can be set slightly ajar in your body – nothing major enough to cause problems, but a noticeable shift nonetheless. While the rest of your physiology compensates for this new imbalance, your nervous system still notes that something is not quite right, and continues to send messages to your brain about this, feeding your subconscious a constant message of unease. This is why many people with a skeletal imbalance have a persistent feeling that something is wrong – and more specifically, that something is wrong, not with the world or their circumstances, but themselves. They often feel that, despite what they accomplish in life, there is still something wrong with them at their core, though they do not know what. Does this sound familiar?’

Marie looked at her hands, heart jumping as her psyche was brusquely laid bare.

‘Yes,’ she said. ‘I’ve always had that feeling.’

‘As I said, it is incredibly common in those with skeletal imbalances, and skeletal imbalances themselves are far more common than many will admit. It’s an irrational feeling, caused purely by subconscious processes, but it can be quite stressful for those who have it.’

Dr Jennings pushed back her perfectly-cut, brown bobbed hair, and Marie wondered how she could merely call such a feeling “stressful.” But still, she straightened and played the role of an intelligent in-control woman who had not just heard that one of her most secret feelings was due to an imperfection in her body.

‘So,’ she said, ‘what do you prescribe for it then? Pills? Surgery?’ she added, not disguising the nervousness in her voice. The doctor looked at her as if she was slightly mad, as well as fundamentally off-kilter.

‘Prescribe? Well, nothing, I suppose.’

‘You mean there’s no cure?’ Marie said, heart jumping into her throat. Dr Jennings gave a wry smile.

‘Modern science is not yet able to reconfigure an entire adult skeleton, Miss Merridon, and it especially does not have the precision to move a whole skeleton what may be only a few millimetres in one direction. To attempt it would be foolish, dangerous even.’

‘But you can’t just tell me I’ve got this huge, basic problem and then not tell me what I can do about it!’ Marie cried. Dr Jennings glanced aside to her computer and keyboard and various pieces of paperwork.

‘Well, most people who have a skeletal imbalance never realise their problem and continue to live normal lives – in fact, many doctors do not see the point in telling patients of the problem, since it affects them so little. But I believe that a constant feeling of unease, and a belief that you are mysteriously tarnished and “wrong” at your core, is very unhealthy for a person’s mind, and often leads to unhealthy self-medicating behaviour, such as alcoholism, drug dependency, and other compulsions. Though you cannot cure your imbalance, at least you now know what is causing this feeling you have. As for what you can do about it, well – walk, meditate, go out with your friends, enjoy yourself. Learn to ignore your feeling of unease until you give it no thought in your actions of relationships. All anyone can do in such a situation is distract themselves, after all.’

‘But – but there is something wrong with me deep down! How can I live knowing that, and that there’s nothing I can do about it?’

Dr Jennings lowered her head, and looked at Marie over the top of her rimless spectacles.

‘My dear, just because something is wrong with you, doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you. Your imbalance is no-one’s fault, certainly not yours. No body is perfect, after all.’

Marie wasn’t sure she understood, but the doctor sat back and smiled, before turning and signing a sheet.

‘Here is the prescription for your heartburn – take as instructed, and it should clear up in a few weeks. Don’t let the skeletal imbalance affect you too much, Miss Merridon. You are exactly the same as you were before, only better prepared for what may come.’

Marie nodded as she looked at the prescription, not sure if she believed her, not sure if she could ever shake the feeling that she was Just Wrong. Yet the doctor smiled confidently at her as she stood up.

‘Take care,’ Dr Jennings said as she left.

Once the door was shut, the doctor paused, and shifted in her seat, her own skeletal imbalance telling her that she had done everything wrong in that appointment, and that everything she ever did was wrong. But she put that feeling aside, as she always did, and walked out into the waiting room, ready to see her next patient.


The best thing about writing is that if you ever feel that you are Bad and your writing is Bad and you’re just not cut out for it, you can channel that feeling into your writing and by the end you feel much better  🙂





Written by G.J.

26/09/2012 at 4:39 pm

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