My Battle with Scoliosis

I was 11 years old, sitting in the gym having a party celebrating the end of volleyball season when a woman visiting my coach asked me to come over there. She said she noticed something when I was sitting that she wanted to check. I was confused, she informed me that she was a nurse who traveled to schools checking for Scoliosis. I had no idea what it was, I actually thought I might be cool for being different than the rest of the girls. I was wrong, she asked me to bend down and touch my toes. When my parents arrived to pick me up they were told to set me up an appointment to get some x-rays. I was in 5th grade, normally you don't get checked until 6th grade for scoliosis.

After that appointment with the doctor I was plastered into a back brace. I felt so trapped and different from everybody a bad way. I went through 3 different kinds of braces in 5 years. The most important years of your adolescence in my opinion. When all the kids are at their meanest stages and like to pick on you for anything and everything. I tried to hide it from everybody. Everything was difficult, sitting in class, riding the bus, finding clothes to hide my brace. I was given permission to remove it for gym class and showers, that was all. When I reached jr. high I often tried to take it off in the morning before I left for the bus stop, trying to sneak around my parents. I had plenty of hiding spots. My dad caught on and brought it to school one day, I was mortified!

The doctors kept telling me they had to wait until I was fully grown to do surgery. I saw a lot of docs. traveled to many hospitals and took so many x-rays. I think I have a few jackets full! When I was 16 years old they finally did my surgery. I had an S curve, by that time my worst curve had reached over 65 degrees!

I remember that time in my life very, very well. I thought I would never walk again. The surgery was very successful, my worst curve was corrected down to I think around 13 degrees. There were 2 rods placed on either side of my spine, along with brackets to hold them together. The top bracket didn't take as well, it was pulling away from my spine. I was told the muscle would eventually build itself up around it and keep it in place. Life was awesome after, I was out of the braces and the cast post-surgery. I had a brand new body to show off and no more worries about somebody bumping into me and feeling my hard brace or seeing something odd coming from my shirt.

It's been 8 years. I have always suffered from daily back pain, but now it is severe. Some days I can barely pick up my 2 year old. Pregnancy was hard! I had bad, bad pain. I wasn't bed ridden or anything, I'm definitely a fighter. When it came time for delivery I was induced and found I wasn't dilating enough after 16 hours of labor. I was told with my scarring and hardware they were unable to give me an epidural. I was told we would have to do a C-section. Due to my condition, I couldn't get a spinal so they had to knock me out for the birth of my child. I was able to come back to reality an hour after she was born and I was so mad that I couldn't see her right away. A mother should be the first to see her child.

Anyway, I'm still in pain, a lot more pain than I have ever experienced in my life. I've been through physical therapy, talked to the Doc plenty of times, and they just keep telling me to take aspirin. On a typical dose I take 4 250 mg tablets at least 3 times a day. I think that's a little much. I need something that's a little stronger and definitely more helpful! I'm only 24, I can't live like this forever, and I know it's only going to get worse. Teri

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