Your Orthopedist The most obvious option, and the most trustworthy. Of course, meeting with the doctor who will be performing your surgery is essential. It is important that a doctor is able to give you a valid evaluation before any actions are taken. I would also recommend getting multiple consultations. When my spine was getting worse quickly, and for no apparent reason, a few years ago, my family and I saw several other doctors to get an information or see if they could find a solution for me.
Research While it is important not to do so much research that you get panicky (I’m sure you’ve all heard of the WebMD stories...there have been multiple occasions when I’ve had a minor headache or stubbed my toe and somehow convinced myself that I had cancer), the internet has great resources to keep you informed. Mayo Clinic, OrthoInfo, and WebMD are a couple great credible resources.
Physical Therapy After surgery, physical therapy can help with pain and recovery. So, meeting with a physical therapist who can offer a targeted routine specific to your experience can be very helpful. Another option that is completely free is YouTube! There are many videos that scoliosis patients have made with yoga and other stretches that are super easy to follow and can be done anywhere - from your living room to the park.
Support Groups Family and friends have proven it be extremely important to my journey with scoliosis, but it can be hard to be surrounded by people who don’t really know what you’re going through. We’ve all thought it at one point or another. But there are SO many people who have gone through similar experiences to you. There are many support groups, such as the Curvy Girls, that offer meetings where you can talk to other patients.
Social Media Aside from support groups, virtual “support groups” are a great option as well. There are many social media accounts on instagram and facebook that are usually open to messaging. In the past couple of months, I’ve been able to use instagram to communicate with a few other patients, and talking to other people helps more than I would have ever imagined. Feel free to email/dm me, too if you need someone to talk to!
Whatever is going through your mind as you go into or recover from surgery, know that there are resources for everything you are feeling, and remember, we’re bent, not broken! :)