Hello there! My name is Kate and I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was 6 years old. Here’s my story.
When I was 6, my mom noticed that my shoulders were uneven. In fact, one of the sleeves of my shirt was always a little bit shorter than the other. So, when I visited my pediatrician, my mom asked her if one of my arms was longer than the other. The doctor took one look at my back and knew that I had scoliosis.
I was young when all this happened, so everything was a blur. However, I do remember loving my first x-ray. I had to wear a lot of protective gear and I stood in front of the machine, cheeks puffed from holding my breath, knowing that I would go to school the next day and brag about how cool it was.
An hour later, we found out that I had a 15 degree curve, which, while it was alarming for someone as young as I was, was just something to monitor, rather than treat. When I went back four short months later, my curve had progressed to 27 degrees - quite alarming for so little time. With that news, my parents and orthopedist decided that it would be best if I was braced right away. At the rate that my curve was growing, I would have to have surgery within the next few years, and being young and not done growing would put me at risk.
Surprisingly enough, I was very accepting of my brace. Despite the unwanted nicknames like “robot”, I loved my brace. I even convinced my friends that it was bulletproof and gave me exclusive powers.
Diagnoses can be scary. They usually consist of a bunch of mumbo jumbo and make it seem like our lives will be made worse by whatever we are diagnosed with. But scoliosis has had such a positive impact on my life, and like with anything, a positive attitude can make make a world of difference. That’s why it’s important to remember, we’re bent, not broken! :)