Like a caterpillar waiting inside it's cocoon to become something beautiful, I was diagnosed with Scoliosis at the age of 12 and have waited for 16 years and approximately 2 months to become this majestic creature. My life is now a blank slate where not only do I have to go back to school, but I have to find another career. I also have to regain my self assurance and esteem. Like the butterfly, I have finally been able to sprout my uniquely flawed wings and search for my new beginning. This is my chance to prove to myself that I am beautiful.
Hopefully my experiences have assisted you with yours. Remember that you are beautiful inside and out. Never listen to the negativity because it will bring you down. Be strong for yourself and stay positive. Like the butterfly, you will spread your wings and fly to places you never could of without Spinal Fusion surgery. You are not alone in this battle. You are a survivor.
Battle scars and all.
Today was the same as Day 4 except for one thing...they told me I can go home today! I am walking well, eating pretty good, and my incision looks great too! The hospital is giving me a walker and a raised toilet seat to take home.
After lunch, 2 of my coworkers stopped by to check on me. They gave me some beautiful flowers. While they were there, nurses came by to prepare me to be discharged. The girls left and next thing I knew I was being seated in a wheelchair and being took down to my mom's car. I was so excited!
The drive to my mom's house was long, but I was happy. By the time we got there, I was so tired that I feel asleep and slept for a few hours. It felt glorious to lay in a comfortable familiar place again. Unfortunately, the pain was hard to forget. During the night I woke every 2 hours. My pain in my rib cage and hips was unbearable. The Percocet helped but not totally. It was just enough to lull my back to sle
Final pre-op with the surgeon.
Well, today was an interesting day. I had my final pre-op with the surgeon today. He went over how he was going to make the incisions and where. If I remember correctly, the incision will start at T2 and extend to L2. It will be titanium rods and screws as well. Now, the doctor did say that he was doing selective fusion, which means he is basically choosing the best area to fuse since I have a curve in my Thoracic (upper back) and one in my Lumbar (lower back). He says he is not going to extend to far into my Lumbar because he thinks it will correct itself due to manipulating the Thoracic. Of course, there is a chance he will have too. Just depends....
The doctor said he will have me placed in ICU for 1-2 days depending on recovery. He will also have me up and walking the next day. I will be fitted for a brace and will possibly only have to wear it for 6-8 weeks. Just depends on how I am healing. A nurse will also come to my house everyday to check on my incision site.
Now, here's the great news. He informed me that due to the possibility of forming blood clots and the family history of clots, I have to have a IVC filter placed. This contraption is inserted into my main artery and filters out the blood clots. I will have to have this placed prior to the Spinal Fusion.
Yea...more stuff, but if it helps me in the long run, the better.
Below are some pictures that took of my xrays:
September 15th, 2013
Today was one of the hardest things I've had to do. I talked to my 5 year old son today about what is getting ready to happen to his mother.
I decided to tell him at bedtime because that's when he seems to discuss his day a little bit easier than other times of day. I laid down with him and asked him if he remembers that Momma sometimes can't play because of her back. He said, "Yes, your back hurts a lot." I then hugged him as tightly as I could and told him that Momma is getting ready to have an operation to help my back feel better. He started crying saying he didn't want me to hurt. It took everything I had not to cry with him.
I told him that I was going to go to the hospital and then to his Grand-moo's house until I get better, so I will not be around him very much. I told him that he can come see me at Grand-moo's, but he has to stay with Papa (his dad) until I am stronger. My son cried and said he doesn't want me to go, but I said, "You have to stay and take care of Papa. He is scared just like you. He needs you to help him around the house and be a big man." He then replied, " Papa scared too? Oh, I have to be brave!".
I hugged him, kissed him, and told him that when I am gone, if he ever wants to see me, then to look inside his heart and that's where I'll be. I told him to also dream of me because I will be of him. That little boy is my heart and I have to be brave for him. He is the main reason I am having the Spinal Fusion. I want to know what it is like to play with my son without hurting. I want to enjoy the rest of our lives without being in pain. He is my love bug......he gives me strength.
Scoli Club United
I created a Facebook community page called, "Scoli Club United". It's a page where people from all over the world can come together and share their experiences with Scoliosis.
When I was diagnosed with Scoliosis at 12 years old, there was hardly any information or support groups out there. Everything was a take it as it comes experience. It would have been phenomenal is there was something out there to help educate myself and my family, but since there was not, I thought I could lend a helping hand. Educating and showing people with Scoliosis that they are not alone and helping with the self esteem issues that arise, especially since we all know that our society can be cruel. I was on the front lines battling with bullying and body self image problems.
This is where not only the Facebook community page, "Scoli Club United" comes in, but this personal blog of mine that you are currently reading. If I can make one person out there realize that they are beautiful, twisted and all, then I feel I have helped. I felt very alone growing up and my goal is to make the world see that yes, only 2-3% of our population has this condition but it deserves recognition. Just because you see someone who has a hump on their back, can not stand straight, complains about back pain, or you can not see it at all because you were aesthetically lucky growing up until you bend over and cruel peers ridicule you, please know that you are special.
Go to Scoli Club United Facebook page and "Like" it and share your experiences. Whether you or someone you know has Scoliosis, please share your stories, pictures, writings, or artwork.
One day there will be better research, better education, and better treatment options for Scoliosis. We are survivors.
To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.
To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.
― Christian D. Larson
Surrender and Let Go
To be honest with you, I never thought Yoga would be able to relax me or be beneficial to my health. With this Spinal Fusion surgery coming up though, it has me thinking about my life. The tension and negativity that I have carried throughout my life not only made the muscles in my back tight and hurt more, my mind was hardly ever clear. Let me tell you, I have only been doing yoga for a couple of weeks and I can already feel a difference in my muscles when I do the poses. My attitude is changing as well. I have noticed that I let negativity just roll off me, unlike in the past. I got to say....I am liking it. I can see myself doing this for possibly my whole life.
Yoga has positive effects on your body's systems too. Muscles, skeletal system, circulation, glands, immune system, nervous system, and mind. It teaches you to stay grounded, to breathe, and relax. I am mad at myself for not trying Yoga sooner. It doesn't hurt my back; it stretches it really well.
I am still a newbie but hopefully one day I'll be a pro. I really enjoy Yoga and would recommend to to anyone.
June 16th, 2013
Where is the awareness?
Did you know that June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month?
Did you know that the educational tools to teach about Scoliosis are prehistoric?
Did you know that 4 states in the USA have completely omitted the Scoliosis screenings from Public School systems because they thought it was pointless?
Did you know that there are hardly any charities or support groups out there for us?
Did you know that only approximately 3% of the population have some form of Scoliosis?
Did you know that YOU can do something about this?
Stand up and make it known that you are a survivor. Embrace your curves!
June 11th, 2013
I decided to make an appointment at an Orthopedic office about 2 months ago because the pain started to get intolerable. I can barely make it through a day of work. I'm stuck in ergonomically horrible positions for someone like me. Why couldn't they tell me before I started school for dental assisting, " If you have a bad back, do not pursue this career." Private college be truthful? Ha! Yeah right.
Anyway, I arrived at my appointment an hour early. I was so nervous. It poured down rain on the way there and I was yelling at my boyfriend because I thought we'd be late. Poor Yvenson. He just kept calm and kept telling me it would be fine.
He keeps me grounded.
When I was called to go back to a room I thought I was going to puke. 11 years is too long to keep this waiting.... I changed into my gown and took x-rays. The Physician's Assistant came in and got a run down on what's going on and why I came. She checked my reflexes and any areas that did not feel normal to me. Besides the constant thoracic pain, left shoulder feeling on fire, no feeling in my left arm and hand, right palm numb, and hips hurting to walk.... I felt great.
The doctor came in and told me something I never expected. My curve progressed to 62 degrees. My heart fell into the pit of my stomach. It took everything I had not to cry. He said I needed surgery or else it will keep getting worse. It has started to push on my lungs. I will become disabled by the time I am middle aged if I do not do anything. On top of that, my curve has now begun to curve outwards causing my right shoulder blade to protrude.
The surgery will last minimum of 6 hours and I would be opened from basically the point right above my shoulder blades to right above my hips. All types of rods and screws will be placed. He says that he should be able to get my curve to at least 22-24 degrees. Fantastic! That would be like a having a brand new back!
The doctor gave me the information I need on what to do if I decide to have the surgery. His office staff was really nice and told me I can come back to consult again if need be. No paralysis, impairments, or deaths on this doctor's table either.
I have to do it. I have too. My son is counting on me. I do not want to be in a wheelchair or be disabled any worse than what I am.
I felt like I got sucked into another dimension. Yvenson drove home. I do not remember anything that was said. I feel like I am in mourning. Like I'm mourning the normal straight spine I never had. I feel like a freak.
I have not slept tonight.....
New diagnoses: Right Thoracic Kyphoscoliosis