I'm new to these forums, and I've never really posted anywhere about my condition before, so I guess like many other people I'm a little nervous. As a short summary of my case, I was born with a tumor in my chest cavity that was not recognized until I was 1 and a half, due to it being mistaken for my lungs! When they removed the tumor, I developed scoliosis. I had to learn how to walk again and due to an imbalance in my hips I walk with a limp (to conserve energy, I found out from a gait test in 2009). I braced from when I was 6 until I was 9, when my curvature reached 67 degrees, and it was highly recommended I have surgery for the harrington rods. I got titanium rods that year, 1999, and they lowered the curve to 27 degrees, and it's now raised to a fairly stable 31 or so.
I've sort of just been living with it ever since. However, I have always felt that people have judged me (especially initially!)based on my physical appearance. My fiancee's father, after meeting me, told her that he knew nothing about me except that I looked strange and walked with a limp! Talk about insensitive. I get along with him now, but these are the kinds of things I imagine people think at first. I've always been a little bit recluse, but lately I've found that my self-esteem, in general has been falling. I can make friends, but I tend to not want to hold them back (i.e., go hiking, or bike riding, or on trips, feel nervous at the gym) and I worry about what others think. Obviously this is silly, and I recognize the problem.
I guess what I'm asking here is how do other people with scoliosis cope with these kind of interpersonal relationships, as well as come to grips wth their condition (the recognition that it's not going away, that this is you, for the rest of your life, even if you've accepted in the moment that you have it), and generally just stay afloat emotionally so as not to get into a funk. As a note, I am male if that factors into things.