View Full Version : Going through this alone

04-13-2004, 01:40 AM
I've been wanting to seek out information about scoliosis for awhile, but haven't found the right time to do it. I'm 16 years old, I was diagnosed with a mild form of scoliosis about two years ago. That day I was at a clinic to get a physical for football. As I was examined, the doctor noticed the suspicious way I was standing. He started to measure my back, and ordered an x-ray. When the x-ray came back, it revealed I was developing a curve in my spine. I didn't realize there was anything wrong with my back. The doctor didn't think it was too serious yet, so he just told my mom to monitor it. My mom looked sort of concern, but I don't think she really get it. As the months passed, my body started to look more and more different. They were slight changes, but I noticed them. My colar bones were very noticeable. My clothes easily cover these deformities, but it's still a little weird changing in the locker room. My parents did not pay any attention this problem. It's like they don't care. I've showed them how abnormal my back look, but they just act like it's part of growing up. I've asked to go see a chiropractor, and they've said several times that they would, but the appointments keep getting delayed. I feel very alone in this. One of the things that concern me the most is my height. In elementary school, I was always one of the taller kids in class. When I got in to junior high, my height was at around 5'7. For the past two years, I've seen how my friends have gotten so much taller than me. Earlier this year, I was at the nurse's office to get my height and weight measured. I found out that I'm only around 5'4 2/3. This devastated me. My self-esteem has gone down dramendously. I used to be very active, I played many sports, now I just stay home. I haven't told any of my friends about my disorder, and I hope they never find out. Right now, my biggest worry is developing a hump. My stance is pretty awkward. I really don't know what to do. The only thing I'm looking forward to is the day that I stop growing. I'm frustrated, and everyday I asked why this is happening to me. I went to see a doctor two weeks ago, and he said I still don't have a big enough curve to need surgery or treament. I was recomended some exercises to strenghthen my back. I don't feel like anyone understand me. I don't know if anyone wil take the time to read this, but it kind of is a relief to write it down. Email me if you've experienced similar things.


Kimber Leigh
04-13-2004, 09:22 AM
I am a mother of a 13 year old girl who is just starting to go through this. I can understand your frustrations and fears. I think you should stay active in sports as much as you can ( ask your doctor first!!!). I am learning that it can be good for you and it heps to keep you socially active ( VERY IMPORTANT!!!). Tell your friends about the scoliosis, they will support you. One thing that has helped my daughter is watching McKenna's Story on www.iscoliosis.com. Hopefully you will meet other kids through this forum that are your age and going through this and your outlook will be better. You are definitely not alone in this. Your parents may not know what to do and as long as they are being told by the doctors that they should wait that may be what they feel is the right thing to do. Sit down with them and tell them how you feel about all of this. Let them read your posting on this forum. It is very clear how you feel after reading it. If you aren't talking to them about it they just might think you don't want to face the situation. It is a HARD conversation to start, but it will help . Keep in touch.
Kimber Leigh

04-29-2004, 04:16 AM
Don't worry about what other people see or think. Trust me, it just eats away at you wether it be scolio or anything else. I would start lifting weights if I were you. I had a 12 degree curve diagnosed and started lifting around 16, now I can bench about 335 lbs. My curve is now GONE!! I know this sounds false but it is true, it is gone, not even a rib hump or anything like that, a completely straight back, as straight as an arrow. For exercises to build strength start small with many reps, focus on the torso such as incline bench (since you are concerned about your collar bones), and lat pull-downs. Strengthen the abs as well. I did not catch how much your curve is and this is not official advice but it has worked for me. Remember small weights and many reps to start, thats basic technique.

04-29-2004, 08:24 AM
Hi, there,

I am a mom of a 17 year old girl who is in the process of recovering from scoliosis surgery. I think the tendency to keep all this inside you is pretty common for kids your age, but I think the best thing to do is to open up about it. This is a physical condition that you have , you do have to decide how to deal with it, but it does not have to take over and completely dominate your world. YOU ARE STILL YOU, this is just one aspect of it.

I think the first step would be to find out from your x-rays the degree of your curve. Then you will know from a clinical point of view how bad things are. There are many, many sources of information about scoliosis on the internet and several good books you can get at the library. You can then compare your situation to what you find out about scoliosis and get an understanding about what is really going on in there. Scoliosis is peculiar - sometimes what is apparent from the outside doesn't reflect the inside. My daughter's scoliosis, for example, was hardly noticeable to anyone who wasn't looking for it, but she had three curves: 37 degrees, 63 degrees and 50 degrees, which is considered moderately severe and made her a candidate for surgery. We were astonished when we found out about the degree of severity because she looked pretty good and had no pain.

Keeping active is absolutely essential, both from a social point of view as mentioned above - isolating yourself is NOT GOOD - and, if it turns out that you do need surgery, being in shape aids in a good, safe outcome. You are absolutely not alone in this - scoliosis affects about 3-4% of the population - do the math! Good luck!

04-29-2004, 01:47 PM
You can get through this! My mom freaked out too. I was 13 and had an x-ray because of a shoulder injury. The curves were huge! For me, I had to have surgery because I was very bad, but thats not the norm. Usually curves get worse very, very slowly like yours. But there a lotof people who understand what you are going through. Going from my own experience telling your friends is a big help. After I returned to school from surgery my friends always made sure I had someone to talk to during luch time and helped carry my backpack. Your friends can help you with getting your back strong and going back to sports. Defenately tell them, at least the ones your closest to!!