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Thread: She slept in it! (and preparing for school)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    She slept in it! (and preparing for school)

    I am so proud of Becca. Thursday night she slept in her brace for the first time!! She said he had a some trouble getting to sleep but once she was asleep she was FINE! YEA!!!! I did let her wear it a little bit loose and the next few nights I will make it a bit tighter each time. I feel this is GREAT considering that we got her brace just a week ago! She is already up to wearing it about 15-17 hours a day now that she can sleep in it! She Dr wants her in it 20-22. I am just so proud I could burst!

    We had middle school orientation for her on Thursday and got her schedule, locker, and ID. I got to talk to the principal for a little bit and I let him know about Becca and her scoliosis. Also got to speak with her PE teacher. I had already been in the school earlier this week and spoke with the nurse and I showed her how to help Becca into her brace after PE. Since we have her school schedule I was able to go to the school website and got all the teachers email addresses and emailed them about Becca and what they should expect. School starts on Tuesday and I think we are ready! Here is a copy of the email I sent.



    My name is Kelly xxxxx and my daughter Rebecca will be in your class this year. I am emailing to let you know a little bit about her.

    Rebecca has scoliosis. The curve in her spine has progressed to the point that she is required to wear a brace. The brace she has is called the Boston brace, it is made of hard plastic and was made specifically for her. She wears it under her clothes and under most of her clothes it is pretty undetectable and you might actually forget that she has it on until she mentions something about it. Her Drs would like her to wear it for 20-22 hours a day, so that means during school hours as well. We have gotten the ok from her Dr that she can take it off for PE. She is in no way limited in what physical activities she can participate in. She is on a soccer team in TC, loves to swim, and is perfectly healthy. We just got her brace on 8/13 so we are all still getting used to it and we are finding out everyday what her limitations are while in the brace and trying to accommodate and adjust where we need to.

    I have already spoken briefly to Ms. Shilling and Mr. Blankenship. We have also been in to see Mrs. Phalen. Becca is able to remove her brace by herself but requires help to put it back on. We have worked out that Becca will be excused from PE 5 minutes early so she can go to the nurses office to get help in putting her brace back on so she can make it to her next class on time (3rd period Pre-AP Math). We have already be in to visit with Mrs. Phalen and I have gone over with her how to help Becca into her brace. However, you should know that if your class plans to partake in any water play where the kids will be getting wet Rebecca will need to remove her brace then as well since her brace can not get very wet and then would need to see the nurse for assistance getting back into her brace. Part of wearing her brace is to make sure her skin stays healthy and tolerant of her brace, so while in PE after she takes off her brace she is to apply rubbing alcohol to any red areas to help "toughen" her skin. The nurse will have permission from the Dr for her to able to apply this to herself while change out in PE and will be able to store pre-moistened alcohol wipes in her PE locker.

    We are going to work on possibly getting and extra set of text books for her to keep at home so to ease the load she is carrying home each day for homework. Mr. Blankenship mentioned that we just need a note from the Dr. about this, she has an appt on the 3rd and we will get a note then. However, if your class has a class set in the classroom that Becca can use so she can go ahead and bring her issued text book home could you please let me know.

    Since we are SO new to the brace, there are a lot of unknowns right now as she starts school. As problems arise I will try and keep everyone informed and ask for help or suggestions to make her school days easier. A couple of my concerns I have now follows:

    -Longs days of sitting
    I wouldn't be surprised if she get back aches from being in the brace and sitting for so long. I will have a note from the Dr stating that she can go to the nurse to get pain meds so she can hopefully manage it some. Please be tolerant and give her a pass to see the nurse if the need arises.

    -Her locker is on bottom.
    While Becca claims that this shouldn't be a problem for her I can't help but worry. She doesn't want to change lockers, but I did tell her to keep an open mind about it and if she DOES end up having problems or is uncomfortable getting stuff out of her locker because of its location to let me know and we will see about a switch.

    -Sitting on the floor.
    At the orientation yesterday Mr. Blankenship mentioned that the 6th grades are to sit on the floor for pep rallys and such. Depending on HOW long they are on the floor she might get uncomfortable, the only comfortable position for her to sit on the floor is on her knees. Again I told her if things change and she starts getting uncomfortable on the floor she needs to be able to bring it up to a teacher.

    I am SO proud of Becca and she is handling this so much better than I could expect her to! She is such a bright easy going girl. She loves to speak up in class and offer help to those that are behind. I am sure you will find that she is a JOY to have in the classroom. Though, you might need to tell her to shorten her stories some as she likes to go off on a tangent when trying to relate something in her life to something in the classroom. *laugh* But really all I ask of you as her teachers is to just watch her and if you see she is having troubles offer her a solution that might make her tasks easier or give me a call and we can try and work out something together. I am hoping since she is being pretty open about her brace and scoliosis when people ask that there won't be much teasing.

    That is all for now. Like I said as we get into the school year I am sure we will come across other hurdles and we will figure out together how to handle them.

    If you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to contact me via phone or email. I am blessed to be a stay at home mom so I am pretty easy to get a hold of. Thank you for your time and I look forward to meeting you all.
    Mom to Becca (11), Mikey (8) and Tommy (3)
    Becca started wearing boston brace 8/13/08
    38* curve out of brace

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Thumbs up Whoo hoo!

    Yay, Kelly! I am so excited for you and Becca about her sleeping through the night ok. It sounds like she is really adjusting well!

    Your letter is excellent in informing the teachers about the brace, explaining your concerns, and all that. It's super that Becca has such a great advocate! I am sure the teachers will be more than happy to help out in any way they can. Now they will all clearly understand about the brace and how this is the "breaking in and adjustment" time for her-- and that she needs a little tlc with it. Super job, Kelly!
    67 and plugging along...
    2007 52 w/ severe lumbar stenosis & L2L3 lateral listhesis (side shift)
    5/4/07 posterior spinal fusion T2-L4 w/ laminectomies and osteotomies @L2L3, L3L4
    Dr. Kim Hammerberg, Rush Univ. Medical Center in Chicago

    Corrected to 15
    CMT (type 2) DX in 2014, progressing
    NEW 10/2018 x-rays show spondylolisthesis at L4/L5 - Dr. DeWald is monitoring

    Click to view my pics: pics of scoli x-rays digital x-rays, and pics of me

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Thats great Kelly, I hope things continue to go well. Good Luck.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Houston, TX
    Great letter, Kelly. I can't imagine any teacher would be opposed to any possible accommodations, and I bet they appreciate the information.

    Surely it will contribute towards a successful school year for Becca!

    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!

    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op 53, Post-op < 20
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Rugby, UK

    Thank you for sharing this great email. My daughter is also 11 and started secondary school this week (no middle schools in UK anymore).

    I hope you don't mind but I intend to use some of your excellent ideas in a letter to Imogen's form teacher.

    Good luck to Becca.

    UK based Mum of Imogen, 38 degree curve at 9 years old. SpineCor since 15/6/07, 31 degrees in brace.
    10th December 07 - 27 degrees, 23rd June 08 - 26 degrees, Feb 09 - 24 degrees, Aug 09 - 35 degrees, Jul 10 - 47 degrees, Dec 10 - 50+ degrees.
    Surgery due to take place early December 2011 at the RNOH, England.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Hi Kelly,

    Thats great your daughter was able to sleep all night in her brace. Our daughter has just gotten her brace one week ago and we're at the stage of working her into. The last two nights she was supposed to be in it 8-10 hours, unfortunately though she was only able to go for 5 hours. She just couldn't get comfortable. She too is supposed to end up wearing it for 20-22 hours a day. Last night I tried propping pillows around her thinking that might help, did you do anything special? I'm open to any suggestions.
    My daughter's curve is 42.6 and she is almost 12.

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