Scoliosis Awareness Month

Good Morning Write It Wednesday!

Throughout the year there are so many days and/or months named for various things, events, or awareness’.  Unfortunately, a lot of other things such as diseases or medical issues are overlooked.  Until last month when I was back in physical therapy for my hip pain, I wasn’t aware that June was Scoliosis Awareness Month.

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Hand drawn using Tombow fudenosuke black hard tip for outline and writing. Used Tombow Dual Brush pen numbers 173 and 245 for coloring.

Scoliosis from personal experience is where the spine is curved instead of straight.  Depending on the severity of the curve depends on the type of problems you could have later in life if not treated.  Though there is not direct cure for scoliosis, these days there are multiple options.  Here, I will only talk about the only option I had at a very young age and my experience of having my surgery and when my sister had hers.  For the most part, females are the ones who gets scoliosis, as it is very rare to find in males.

At the age of 13, I had scoliosis surgery.  From what I remember my parents knew to take my sister and I to have us check for scoliosis at a young age only because my oldest cousin was diagnosed and had surgery when she was in high school.  Luckily for my 3 younger female cousins, scoliosis stopped at me.  As the years went by we went to Shriner’s Children Hospital here in our hometown, I believe every 6 months.

I remember in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade the school would have nurses come in to check each individual for scoliosis and each year they would tell me you have scoliosis you need to go to a doctor for further consultation.  Every year I would tell them I know I have scoliosis, I go to Shriner’s Hospital.  It was very frustrating for me to be told over and over what I had since I already knew and really didn’t need to be told as a reminder since I live with the pain everyday.

During my sisters junior year of high school they found where her scoliosis had progressed even though she had worn her brace like they told her.  Unfortunately, her spin was curved so badly, if not corrected her lung function and other organs would be compromised.  All I really remember for hers (without asking) is they wanted to do the surgery as soon as they could get it scheduled, which meant she had to miss school.

Since my sisters got so bad my parents and doctor decided to go ahead and schedule my surgery for the summer between 8th and 9th grades.  I had it 12 days before my 14th birthday and because I was having my birthday party before my surgery, I had to convince the doctors to release me for my party on that Saturday.

My surgery was on Monday morning June 8th.  I remember being in the surgery room watching the nurses prepare everything needed for the surgery.  I remember when they said everything was ready to go and the anesthesiologist told me to start counting backwards as he put me to sleep.

Side note:

❉ Before both of our surgeries, my sister and I were very, very active.  My sister was in a dance group where they danced in competitions, parades, etc.  She was also on danceline in high school, of which after surgery they made her honorable teammate so she could stay on danceline.  As for myself, I was also in dance and did a few competitions as well as danceline my last year of middle school.  I personally did acrobatics as well and after surgery, I am unable to even do a back bend anymore. ❉

Usually patients who have scoliosis surgery stay in the hospital for at least a full week.  Both my sister and I were released a day early because we did so well.  I remember the day of my surgery (that afternoon) me wanting to get out of bed.

Of course, because I had just had the surgery they wouldn’t allow it; however, the next morning I was up and walking a little.  It was weird feeling because before my surgery my spine was at a curve making me one height, after surgery my spine was straight like everyone else’s, causing me to be taller.

What caused me to be taller?  The doctors inserted 2 titanium rods in my back, one on each side of my spine. To hold the rods in place, I have screws all down my spine in varies places.  When I had x-rays taken a few years ago, I counted about 13 screws but since the x-ray wasn’t of my entire spine I know there’s more.

Once I was released from the hospital, I had a brace to wear for what seemed like forever.  Being summer it wasn’t very comfortable.  Luckily, once school started again I was free from it.  Though free from the brace I wasn’t free to do what I wanted.

I wasn’t able to lift more than 10 pounds which meant I had to have 2 sets of books.  Though not having to carry my books back and forth was great, I wasn’t able to study if I wanted when I rode out to the school where my mom worked.  I also wasn’t able to participate in gym specified by my doctor for my freshman year.

My P.E. teacher had me dress out still and then take score on whatever game the class was playing that day.  Because the sophomore teacher knew about my surgery and everything, she decided to only make me dress out and take score.  So I really missed out on the “fun” class. 🙁

Everyone is different with their scoliosis.  My cousin as far as I know hasn’t had any issues.  My sister every now and then she can feel the rods and her back starts to hurt more.  For myself, my orthopedic doctor believes my hip hurts because of my scoliosis and I will always be in pain so I just have to manage it.  By managing it I do exercises my physical therapist has giving me and use my Young Living Essential Oils. ❊ To find out about which essential oils I use, check back tomorrow for my Oily Thursday post ❊

Well that is my story on having scoliosis surgery.  Thanks for visiting.  Hope to see you back here again.  If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact me and I will try to answer as quickly as possible.

Please be sure to check out my other posts for each day of the week if you have not done so yet.  Once I get a better hang of this I will start at least a monthly email.

Have a great day!!

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Thank you!!

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