Matter-of-factly, Rosalie Griesse offers a series of loosely threaded vignettes about her 33 years as a ""scolie""--victim of scoliosis, lateral curvature of the spine--a status she attained at the tender age of 13. Confined (sometimes exiled) to a hospital bed for as much as six months at a time, she withstood seven spinal fusions, five related operations, and three debilitating accidents. Despite all, she graduated from college, married a minister, raised three daughters, and danced her way through a hectic parish life. There are two overriding themes to all of this--the chronic pain with which she learned to ""make friends,"" and from which she grew; and the medical advances that enabled her daughters, likewise stricken, to be cured in a couple of years of brace-wearing (thus sparing them their mother's almost medieval torture of operations and body casts). Griesse is probably a little too conscious of the love and admiration she elicits with the ""strength"" she exhibits; she is also a little too prone to discover an endless stream of doctors and nurses who are downright lovable, bordering on the impish--a tough pill to swallow. But her quiet perspective on life as larger than ""a crooked back or painful knees or a 'bum ticker,'"" though not new, may have a balming effect on the afflicted.