"You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice" -Bob Marley
Hey! I am Raneem, I’m 16, and I have scoliosis. I was first diagnosed when I was 12...everything changed drastically. One day I was completely fine and the next, I was facing the fact that I had an almost 50 degree curve in my spine. It was all so unexpected. Seeing my x-ray for the first time was a massive shock for me! I was supposed to have surgery due to the severity of the curve, but I didn’t, considering my young age and the flexibility of my spine.
I was then fitted in a Boston brace. I wore the brace 23 hours a day. At first it was devastating and extremely painful: not just the physical part, but also the emotional pain that came with it. When I first wore it at school, people started looking at me differently. I didn’t get bullied, but I slowly became left out - people thought it was a disability. I felt very self-conscious! I told myself it wouldn’t last, but instead I was either seen as abnormal or was drowned in pity. It was as if people didn’t see me anymore. They only saw my scoliosis. I hated it. I had also started physical therapy 3-4 times a week, and everything became way too stressful. So, after 3 years of bracing, I decided to change my school. I hid the fact I had scoliosis. Ironically it felt amazing to just be seen as normal!
Now, after 4 years of bracing, I finally only have to wear it at night. I recently went to get a new x-ray and I have an almost 45 degree lumbar curve, and I am most probably going to have surgery. I was really scared at first, but now I’m actually waiting for it, since it’s my best option. I have struggled a lot with scoliosis, but one thing that always helps is to remember everything will pass...it’s only a matter of time!
Thanks for sharing your story, Raneem! I know that scoliosis can be really hard at times, but during those times, remember, we’re bent, not broken! :)
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Hi, I'm Kate.
A 16 year old SoCal-raised student, swimmer, and scoliosis patient with a love for Netflix, Pinterest, and Harry Potter.