Scoliosis Stories

Written by a Teen for Teens

                                       Mia's Story

 

Hi, my name is Mia and I am 11 years old. When I was seven, my pediatrician noticed a slight curve in my spine. She referred me to a back doctor at a rehab center in White Plains, NY. We live just outside of the state so it was only about an hour's worth of driving. He checked my back and told my mom that my back was only nine degrees. I was only seven so I acknowledged I had scoliosis, but never really thought about the potential. The doctor told us to come back in one year, since the curve was so slight. We did, and it had progressed to 12. He said to come back in two years. We returned when I was 10, and it was 20 degrees. He said to wait another six months, and that appointment was to determine whether bracing was needed or not. By that time I was 10 so I understood what a brace was and how bad my scoliosis could get. Six months later, we drove into New York to see him. My spine curve had progressed to 38 degrees. I was shocked. The doctor said I needed a brace. It was all I could do not to cry right then and there. I thought of my little sister, who does not have scoliosis and did not know what was happening. I told myself to be strong for her sake but I silently cried the entire ride home. My mom didn't waste a minute scheduling the fitting for my brace. When we went to the hospital for the fitting, the specialist put me in a skin-tight knee-length sock like piece of fabric with arm and head holes. He then laid me on a weird table. It was a metal outline with a strip of fabric about a foot wide running down the middle. He strappped me to it and then wrapped me in plaster. The plaster feels like a heat massage at first, but then hardens. Once it was hard, I couldn't expand my lungs all the way. He then cut it off and unbound me from the table. It was scary but not a big deal compared to surgery. I am getting the brace in a few weeks and hope for the best. For all of you dreading the date of your fitting, don't sweat it. It may seem awkward at first, but in the end, it's no biggie. Just relax and envision yourself in a spa, getting one of those warm seaweed wraps! Good luck!

-Mia

 

Thank you so much Mia for letting me post your story!