Joined Apr 8 2010
26 years old
Los Angeles, CA
(Edited: June 2013)
Hi. I'm Carrie and am 21 years old.
My really long and in depth story can be found under the "your stories" tab at the top, but long story short: I discovered I had scoliosis when I was 13. My thoracic (upper) curve was 45 degrees and my lumbar (lower) curve was 35 degrees. I chose to wear a brace, even though my doctor told me that I would still have a 50/50 chance of needing surgery after I was done with the brace. I wore it for 2 1/2 years and was supposed to have it on for at least 20 hours a day. After the first 1 1/2 years, I outgrew my first brace, so I got another one. When I was done growing, I got to stop wearing my brace, but six months later, I had to get surgery because my back had gotten much worse. I ended up getting surgery just on the top curve, since it was the worst and because my doctor told me that I would have more flexibility in the end. When I got surgery on the top, the bottom curve would correct itself some as well. I got surgery late December 2008, making my curves go from at least 60 and 50 degrees to 46 and 37. If I had gotten surgery on my entire back, my curves would be much less, probably in the 10s and 20s degree range. At the one year post-operation mark, my doctor told me I was allowed to do anything I wanted, except for bungee jump, skydive, and tumble. Those I'll never be able to do, but I feel fine and am getting back into shape, since I can't do tumbling anymore. I've found that yoga doesn't work at all for people with metal rods in their backs, well not the one class I went to, but I run and lift weights. I have minimal pain on the few occasions that I do get it, which I'm very thankful for since I've dealt with severe pain from my scoliosis since I was 12. I've also gotten pretty much all of my original flexibility back. I had a post-op appointment at the 2 and 3 year marks as well, and now I only have one more appointment, which will be in Dec. 2013 at the 5 year mark.
Don't hesitate to ask me anything!