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How Scoliosis Affects My Life

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When people hear the word “scoliosis” they most likely have no idea what it is. Scoliosis is a very common chronic illness among people ages 10 to 18. Your spine isn’t straight, it either has an “S” curve of a “C” curve. Depending on how bad it is, it could turn your life upside down. So far there only a couple of thing that doctors can do to help keep your curve from getting worse: Bracing and bone grafting and spinal fusion surgery. The problem is, most people think that it doesn’t really affect your daily activities, but it does. The pain is consistent and it hinders you from you for some activities that you love to do. This is my story about a day in my life with scoliosis.

My alarm is blaring and jolts me out of a deep sleep. I get up and tap on my phone so that wretched noise will stop, and I lay back down. I lay in bed staring up at the ceiling thinking to myself, “Gotta get through another day.” I finally get out of bed and take my brace off. I’m relieved because it feels like a corset rather than something trying to prevent my curve from getting worse.

I walk over to my closet to pick an outfit and get ready for school, but as I’m walking a sharp pain goes rushing up my spine and my ribcage aches. This has been going on for a while so I try to brush it off and keep getting ready. I finally get downstairs to eat breakfast and am greeted by my dad who drives me to school every morning. I grab my orange juice and reach for the container of Ibuprofen. I gulp down three Advil’s and sit down and start eating. About 10 minutes later, I am up and ready to go to school. As I put my backpack on my shooting pain gets worse.

“Think about something else,” I say to myself. I can’t think of anything else because I am so tired and the pain is draining.

I meet my friends in the school library and greet them with a “hello” and join in on their conversation. One of my friends is talking about going on a spring break trip to Italy with the band. I join in and talk about my trip to Ireland with the choir in a few weeks, and we ask each other when we’re leaving and talk about the whole itinerary. Soon enough it’s time to go our separate ways, I split away from them and head down to choir for first hour.

I grab my folder and sit down in my assigned seat and my back is still aching. My friends say hi to me and I reply back and browse on the Internet, waiting for my choir teacher to start class. The bell rings for the end of first period and I race out the door to make sure I can make it on time to chemistry class, which is all the way upstairs. I reach the stairs and started lightly jogging up them. The back pain is almost unbearable, so I stop jogging and have to walk up the stairs to class. I find my seat and try to stretch my back to see if the pain will go away, but it doesn’t. It never does.

It’s halfway through the day and I’m telling myself to keep pushing through the pain and focus on what the teacher is saying. It works for only a few minutes until the lesson is over, and then it’s homework time. I sit at my desk focusing on the problems trying to solve them, but it’s impossible at this point.

“Maybe I should crack my back,” and the only thing you hear is my back cracking a thousand times but the pain is still there and nothing helps. The day is done and I head over to the athletic locker room to change into my badminton gear. Within 10 minutes I’m out on the court helping people set up nets and poles.

We then get called over by our coaches and listen up to what they have to say, “We’re going to learn a new strategy today, I call it Serve Clear Clear Drop.”

“This shouldn’t be too hard,” I say to myself.

My back is begging me to give it a rest and go home and lay on the floor to try and unstiffen it. I gotta keep going though and I can’t miss every single practice because of my back. We start running laps and that is when my back hurts even more, my spine feels like it’s being tossed around, hurting every time I run. I push through it and talk to my friend Katherine to try and not focus on the pain.

Laps are done and now it’s time to practice. I get paired up with my friend and we start playing immediately. My back hurts like hell and I’m still pushing through practice no matter what happens. We line up at the end of practice and I am ready to go home and sleep, but I have to deal with homework first – then I can finally relax. My dad picks me up from the school and we’re headed home.

When I get home I go up and take a shower, then I have to start on my homework. I grab my backpack from downstairs and begin working on my homework that’s due tomorrow, as well as the quizzes I have. About an hour and a half later I’m done with homework and studying and go downstairs to eat dinner.

I talk to my parents about how school went and I just tell them the usual, “It was good. I had a good practice and everything went fine but my back still really hurts a lot though.” My parents tell me I should wear my brace tonight and put it on tighter. I already do that though, and nothing is working. My back isn’t getting better, it’s getting worse.

My doctor won’t listen to me because she’s one of those doctors that says, “Everything’s fine. See you next time. I don’t give a shit what you’re concerned about because you’re fine.”

After I finished dinner I head upstairs and get ready for bed. I put my brace on really tight and lay down on my bed to go to sleep. But, before I go to bed, I say to myself, “You’ll be OK. You’re back will be fine,” even though it’s not fine, and it’s not getting better. I prepare for a long night with back pain.

For those of you who have thought scoliosis isn’t painful and said it isn’t “that bad,” you can now see how it affects our daily lives and will interfere with the things we would love to do on a daily basis. It is a serious problem and makes things harder for us to do. Many people have had to stop their favorite activities like I have.

I play three sports: Horseback riding, badminton, and figure skating. We have to make sacrifices everyday just to deal with the pain. There is nothing that will make the pain better or anything we can take to make the pain go away.

We won’t get better, and we will live with this for the rest of our lives. I hope this makes you understand that chronic illnesses that are supposedly “over exaggerated.”  I’m here to tell you it is not exaggerated.

One day in our shoes will change the way you live your life. I hope this sheds some light as to how are lives have been impacted in many ways. When you someone tells you they have a chronic illness, they mean it. Take it seriously. You never know how alone they may feel or feel they are displaced from others.

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Thinkstock Image By: AliSta21

Originally published: May 16, 2017
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