Storytime: My Experience with Scoliosis

Scoliosis Storytime

Hey guys! I missed you all! Apologies for the random disappearance… For three weeks. If I do go on hiatus, I’d like to at least notify you all! Anyway, this is just a post to explain what’s been happening with me and get my story out there. I’m not looking for pity (and no, I’m not dying, don’t worry), I simply want to share my experiences, and I’d love to hear about yours!

It all started when I went to the doctor to get my sports physical for track and tennis.

(I say all as if it’s really that complicated, ha!) My doctor went through all the usual motions for my physical, obviously, and then my mom mentioned that last year the PA that had done my physical said that my spine was shaped a little different, and we should check on it next year. My doctor checked it out and immediately said I had scoliosis (if you don’t know what that means, my spine is curved) and should get it x-rayed to see how bad it was. Before I left, I even became the “what not to do” example for a student- he brought said student in and showed her the curve in my back. AKA if you see this = BAD. So… Off to a rocky start. Anyway, his office told us (my mom and I) to get my back x-rayed on Friday, no appointment necessary.

Come Friday, it was x-ray time.

I’d gotten a couple of x-rays before when I broke my toe (I think that was what it was for- maybe my finger?). Anyhoo, I’d never had to wear the gown or anything. Honestly, the most uncomfortable part about the x-ray is simply after they take the picture, and you have to sit and wait until they’re ready for the next one. Awkward.

My appointment was scheduled for a Monday, which was actually the day after spring break ended.

This was actually extremely lucky, because it was only a couple of weeks after my physical. My doctor actually said that they couldn’t usually schedule appointments so soon at the hospital I was going to- which, by the way, is in Chicago. I live a couple of hours from there in a small town, so it was definitely a day trip.

When we got to said hospital, we immediately got something to eat.

Because obviously, I’m going to talk about the food. It was DELICIOUS. My dad and I had pizza, and it was just FABULOUS. They had a huge selection of other stuff, too. Okay, moving on….

When we finally got into the appointment, a very young doctor came in.

I’m sure none of you know this about me, but I have some significant hearing loss that I was actually born with. I’m used to it, obviously, so it’s mostly just irritating, but this guy talked so quietly and had such a low voice that I couldn’t understand him at all. I mean, seriously. It’s always filled out on the forms. You would think doctors would look at those things before talking with the patient.

Thank goodness, he was not the surgeon.

Very relieving. The next guy that came in WAS the surgeon. His name is… Dr. Swarlar? Sarwar? I can never remember. He’s probably in his sixties, so as my mom says, the perfect age (he’s had plenty of experience, but he’s not too old, haha). He was extremely nice (and understandable, HALLELUJAH), and as soon as he saw my x-rays, he jumped straight to surgery. Basically, I was always going to have one of four options:

  1. Wait 5-10 years- My curvature is bad enough that I would definitely have to get surgery by then;
  2. Do physical therapy- My curvature is bad enough that therapy couldn’t really help me;
  3. Wear a brace- A brace is more to prevent more of a curve from happening, so that wouldn’t really help me, and
  4. Have surgery- The most sensical (is that not a word? Whaaaat?) option; I would get rods in my back to fix the curve.

When he puts it that way, what are you to do? He said that surgery was a moderate to strong recommendation, and he started explaining how it would all work. They would schedule a conference time for my parents and I to come in and ask questions, etc. The surgery would take 4-6 hours, and then I would be in the hospital for 5-7 days. After that, I’d have restrictions for… 4-6 weeks I believe? He did mention that if it would be during the school year, I’d go back to school around the 3 week mark, but that won’t be the case for me since it’s not during school.

As for my actual back…

I evidently have a 60 degree curve in my spine. I am apparently still growing a little bit, so the curve will get worse by about a degree each month for the next six or so months, and then it’ll gradually get worse after that. It would definitely cause me pain when I’m older, and the surgery is much more difficult on adults, so it’s best to get it done now.

And so, I left the hospital with a conference and a surgery date-

My conference thing will be May 15, and the surgery June 21. The conference is a Monday, and I do feel bad about the fact that it’s my mom’s birthday. My dad asked about the next possible date, and it was somewhere around a month later, so May 15 it is! We’ll have to stay there overnight, because I believe the conference is at… 10? 10:30? Ish? And again, we live a couple of hours from there. On the same day, I need to do more x-rays as well as a pulmonary test to check my breathing, as I’ll be under for 4-6 hours (a LOOOONG time). I think one of those is before the conference, so we’ll have to be there bright and early! As for the surgery, like I said, I’ll be in the hospital for 5-7 days and have restrictions for a month… Ish. In other words? My summer will be… Pretty boring. Lots of resting. But hey, that means lots of blogging and reading, am I right? Maybe I’ll finally catch up on all those shows I need to watch… Not to mention my ever-growing TBR. Yikes!

P.S. I do know that my mom has been looking into another type of surgery that uses tendons instead of metal rods. It’s pretty new, and it requires you to have a certain amount of growing left to do, so I’m not sure whether I’ll even qualify. But this may not be set in stone, in any case.

Whew, that was long!

Like I said, I’m not looking for pity- I just wanted to share my story! And by the way, this is absolutely one of those situations where you should share your story too! I’d love to hear about your experiences with scoliosis, or your mom’s, or best friend’s, or whomever! Because there’s six hundred of you and…

Wait.

SIX HUNDRED???

You guys are the best. I love you all! ANYhoo, I’m sure some of you have had some similar experiences. 😉

AND remember, that’s just a theory, a…

Nope, that’s not it…

Ba-choo! Whooosh…

Nah, that’s not it either. Man, I’ve been watching too much YouTube. And gone far too long!

Lots of Love, Amy ❤

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5 thoughts on “Storytime: My Experience with Scoliosis

  1. Hii! I am going to have my surgery on april 28th. I am 23 with a 60 degree curve. Did physiotherapy, that didnt help much. I waited so long to find a good doctor. Make sure your doctor is good. Meet with other people he did surgery on? Any questions you have i think i can answer 😅 Found out when i was 13 and i have done lots of research. My email id is jovi.blu@hotmail.com .

    Liked by 1 person

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