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Thread: so you're all ok...?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    10

    Exclamation so you're all ok...?

    Hi,

    Well, I read alot of your messages, and they cover alot of really important issues, and I'm glad that you guys finally have someone to talk to about it. But out of all of the messages I have read, and I've read alot, not ONE of you has mentioned how crappy it feels to wear one at school. Do all of you feel totally comftrable wearing them at school? What clothes do you guys wear? I wear regular jeans (I have a boston brace and i just wear it over the pants) and I wear XL shirts and a sweatshirt everyday. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but if you wear a sweatshirt everyday, in the summer, and you live in southern california, then you know thats its not exactly a walk in the park. I have to wear my brace 23/7. I hate it. I despise it, and I have some self concious issues like you wouldnt believe. But I feel like I cant talk about it, because I'm afraid that all of you will look down on me for being so weak. I wore a sweathirt EVERY SINGLE DAY last year, and I dont want to do it again. Any suggestions that will help me avoid walking around like a human oven????

    Thanks for dealing with my venting, not many people do. lol.
    Janet*

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    255
    Hi Janet,

    It's many years since I wore my brace, but I can't IMAGINE how difficult it must be in Southern California heat. Horrible!! BUT, if I had my time over again I would try to be better about wearing my brace. If I had worn it better (I despised it too), I probably wouldn't be facing the decision whether or not to have surgery. It will be so worth wearing the brace!! You are doing a brilliant job if you are wearing it 23/7. Try and give yourself a little treat at the end of each week to reward yourself for having worn it another week... anything to make it a bit better...

    ~Laura
    30y/o
    Upper curve around 55
    Lower curve around 35

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    60

    Exclamation

    [FONT=Book Antiqua]You've got to be kidding! I know it stinks to have to wear it to school! Don't wear sweatshirts everyday!
    Goodness. I can't imagine dooing that. I just get teeshirts and wear them. As long as they aren't see through or brace tight, they're fine. Just be sure not to bend over a bunch. Yesyesyesyesyesyes. Try some tees. Also, layers help, because tehn the cloths don't cling to your brce as much.
    don't ever feel like we will look down on you.that is awfull.
    hope thsi helps!
    [/FONT
    ]
    ~~Rebecca, 15 years old, 10th grade~~
    I was braced for 2 years and 4 months
    I went through 3 Boston Braces
    Original curve~34*
    Curve in 1st Brace~9*
    Curve in 2nd Brace~14*
    Curve in 3rd Brace~27*
    Curve after bracing~34*

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    60
    wow sorry about that size didn't mean for it to be taht bi! lol
    ~~Rebecca, 15 years old, 10th grade~~
    I was braced for 2 years and 4 months
    I went through 3 Boston Braces
    Original curve~34*
    Curve in 1st Brace~9*
    Curve in 2nd Brace~14*
    Curve in 3rd Brace~27*
    Curve after bracing~34*

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    10

    Cool

    Hey again,
    Thanks for replying. And to stormeygal,about the suggestion for wearing layers, thanks. I might try that. I dont think It'd work that good with my brace though. What size do you get with the shirts? anyway I have enough trouble as it is when people bump into me, and that happens ALOT (we have alot of people at our skool) so i can only imagine wat it'd b like 2 bump into someone juss wearing a T-shirt. Do people at ur school kno u wear a brace??? I dont think anyone at my school knows besides the people I've told. But that also leads to the never ending questions like "Why are you wearing a sweatshirt?" "Arent you hot"? "Whoa, what do you have on your back?"...Eventually I get pretty sarcastic. I'm sarcastic enough already, and I swear its like they try to encourge it. " No, I'm not hot at all. I'm FREEZING!!!! whats that? Its like 90 degrees? Whoo! No wonder I'm cold". or "Whats on my back? A bullet proof vest. duh. don't you know how dangerous the suburbs are?". I know they don't know I wear a brace, and their just wondering, and i dunno, maybe I SHOULD tell them. But everytime I tell someone they get this spacey look on their face, and treat me weird. I'm just fed up with it.Junior high sucks enough as it is, why do I have to wear a back brace too?


    Ok, I should really go or I'm doomed to fail my science benchmark tomorrow. If you dont know what that is, it's just a state test. I know, loads of fun. I can hardly wait. I love tests. I would pay to take them, but I think the teachers would get the wrong idea. crap im wasting time again.

    Wish me luck! (and pray I dont forget everything. I cant have that happen again)
    Janet*

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Caesarea, Israel
    Posts
    72
    I know I'm too old to be posting in here, but I saw this thread and couldn't stay away. I grew up in southern CA and when I found out I had scoliosis, my parents didn't brace me because of the heat. Now I am 27 and having surgery in August. My poor mother blames herself for not bracing me.... I blame myself for not insisting on one.

    On the fashion side, like someone else said, try T-shirts a couple sizes too big; try a hooded shirt that zips up the front over top of that. Seems like I see cute ones in thinner-than-sweatshirt fabric in the junior's department all the time. (I use them now to disguise the "hump" on my back - hoods are a wonderful thing ) That way when you get hot, you can unzip the front.
    Age: 30
    Pre-surgery: upper curve 44 (and kyphosis), lower curve 45
    Post-surgery: under 20, both curves (doesn't even qualify as scoliosis anymore )

    surgery: August 29, 2005
    fusion T5-L3
    Surgeon - Dr. Ted Wagner at University of Washington (Seattle)

    Scar getting to the point where people either don't notice it or think it is from something much less serious!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    new york
    Posts
    30
    i live in the east coast so i don't have the problem of heat... yet .when i went to disney in florida my mom bought these things called Under Armour.theyre thin and stretchy and keep you kool. evry day i wore that under my brace. (u can get it at any sports store) i wore Soffee shorts and they fit over my brace. and a regulur t shirt. but i wore a backpack to cover up the straps and cover the edge of my brace(it is very long) in skool if anybody notices my stomach is reallly hard and they ask what it is i tell them i work out or if they ask whats on my back i just say my shirt! From Mzl's daughter
    Last edited by mzl; 03-25-2005 at 11:10 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1
    I've been reading messages and I notice that a lot of you wear your brace over your clothing, not under.

    I wore a Boston Brace from 5th grade to 8th grade, which was 1995-1998. I can definitely understand where all of you are coming from. I too had to wear it 23 hours a day. I had two curves, and the top curve was about 40* give or take a margin of error.

    But I never wore it over my jeans. I always wore a bodysuit underneath my brace, which protected my skin from the plastic. That was perfect. I always wore my jeans over my brace, so I had a pretty flat butt.

    I wore tee-shirts and button down shirts. I never wore anything too skintight, so you could see the brace through the shirt. I made sure I bent down straight, and didn't bend over so you could see it.

    A LOT of people never knew I wore a brace as I got better at it.

    I live in the SF Bay Area..so I can understand the heat.

    Good luck to you hon. Try a body suit. It will cut down on everything bunching underneath the brace.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    novato, ca
    Posts
    83
    Wearing the brace is not as bad as you think. I only had one after surgery, but I was 12 at the time. I grew up in So Cal, and layered. Now that both my children are in them we take a confidence approach. Be confident in who you are. Yes, like anything out of the ordinary on the body people stare, but we let them know what it is. My daughter's brace is great, all her clothing fits under it. She wears tanks underneath the brace, so you only see the straps on occassion. My son has different issue. He's big for his seven years. So far, none of the braces have quite worked with pants. Plumber's butt is a common issue. I tend to buy larger shirts to hide it. He wears muscles shirts under his, and during summer puts on the same thing over it. Yes, during summer he gets hotter fastter, so we might change the undershirt two or three times a day depending on the activity. Oh, and his friends have learned it does hurt them if they throw a punch at the brace.
    Just remember, your true friends wont make an issue of it. Emily

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    21
    I live on the east coast, so there's not the extreme heat as there is in CA but it still gets pretty hot and VERY humid - very uncomfy. I used to wear (am now successfully finished with bracing! ) a seamless T-shirt/undershirt underneath my brace and regular clothes on top - just nothing too tight. The clothes I bought might have been slightly larger than I had been wearing before the brace, to accommodate for the extra layer.

    About friends/classmates...- what I found worked pretty well for me was that I told my closest friends about my brace, but for anyone who found out - sometimes by banging into me... - I was open about it and din't try to hide the fact that I wore a brace, I just explained that I have scoliosis and have to wear a brace...... Also, your true friends will stick with you, that's what counts.

    Hope this helps,
    AZ

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    671
    Hi, I just read this thread, and wanted to reply. I have lived in So. CA all my life, and wore a Milwaukee brace for 4 years 23/7. My brace had 2 metal bars coming up the back, one up the front, with a metal ring around my neck so there was no hiding it. I too was extremely self-conscious and let it affect my self-esteem. What I realize now is that it probably would have been better to let friends & others know beforehand so it is not such a big suprise. I know it's hard to feel different at a time when your peers are all trying to be the same, but it's absolutely nothing to be ashamed about. It will only become as big an obstacle as YOU LET IT BE!!! If you act like it's not that big of a deal, chances are others will too. One summer when I was braced, this really cute, popular boy from my school came over my house just about every day to hang out. I had relaxed a little by then and was just my joking, tomboy self. Then one day before he left he reached out and tried to kiss me!! I was so self-conscious I thought he would be grossed out if he touched the brace so I pushed him away. What I stupidly did not realize at the time was that he liked me for who I was-and the brace did not matter to him. Anyway, moral of story is-don't let opportunities pass you by, remember this is a temporary thing. Don't let a brace define who or what you are. Just be the same person you always have been. Your true friends, girls AND boys will stick with you no matter what.
    Sincerely,

    Flowerpower

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    671
    Oh yeah, wanted to add something about dealing with heat. I would use baby powder on my body first ( to help with absorbing sweat & chafing) I also wore a cotton camisole-type shirt under the brace and usually wore loose fitting shirts over.
    Flowerpower

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Santa Cruz, California
    Posts
    19
    Hi all! I live in northern CA, and I found that loose T-shirts, like the ones you can get as souveniers in cities you visit are really great for over the brace. My dad would buy them for me every time he went on a business trip, and I got quite a collection! Also, "man-shirts" (those loose, thin, button-up, collared shirts from the young men's department) are wonderful! You can wear a light shirt under it, and then just button up the man-shirt partway-- it looks really stylish, and plus, no one can even tell you're wearing a brace! They've got TONS of great man-shirts at Pacific Sunwear, in case you're interested.
    ~Carole~
    Used to have an S curve of 55 and 55, but now I'm...
    STRAIGHT-SPINED AND HAPPY!!!
    Surgery July 11th went well, and I'm recovering now!
    Feel free to email me--I'm a bracing and surgery veteran and I love to talk!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Morpeth, Northumberland
    Posts
    194
    Hi there,
    My daughter's brace has ventilation holes in it to try to cope some with the heat. They look like they were made with an apple-corer. Maybe that's something you could get done. They're great for tickling through too!

    Lorrie

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Kannapolis, North Carolina, near Charlotte
    Posts
    373
    My daughter has worn her brace for over a year. She also hated to admit she wore the brace. She loves to pay basketball and will hate not playing for a year after her July 18 surgery. When she first got her brace, she was playing basketball against another middle school team and someone bumped her with their hand. She spun a 360, acted like nothing happened, and went to get the ball, while the girl who hit her shook her hand is pain/surprise. The crowd of parents went "ooh" as though expecting my daughter to be in pain from the hit and from spinning. My family laughed at the incident, knowing our daughter had probably not even noticed being hit and how the crowd thought she was hurt really bad. Sometimes, we can sort of laugh with the idea that the brace is so hard and protective. He brothers have learned that if they want her to feel their tough (hit?, their brothers, after all), they have to find an area that doesn't have the brace. That used to end up with painful hands when she first got the brace. Never real pain though. She now tells people she has a brace for her scoliosis if they bother to inquire. Most people don't know she wears a brace, even the Pharmacist near our house who drives past us as we wait on the bus was surprised to find out she wore a brace! She is so athletic that she ALWAYS wears t-shirts, so fortunately, we never have to worry about shirts. She also took the brace in last year to get holes drilled in it for the heat. Now she is on a mission trip in Puerto Rico and insisted on wearing her brace because she said the back pain without it is too miserable. I wonder how she is doing in that heat, as it is in the upper 90's here, and muggy. She also wears a body sock under her brace. Kris

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