In August of 2010 I went for my 10 year old
check up at the pediatrician. I remember when she looked
at my spine then told us that I should go to an orthopedic
doctor to check for scoliosis. My mom made an appointment
with the doctor’s office I went to when I sprained my ankle.
They did xrays and told me that I have scoliosis. My top
curve was 24 and the bottom was 20. They wanted to send me
to a pediatric orthopedic at Johns Hopkins because of my age and
possibility for the curves to get worse.
My mom made an appointment with a physician’s assistant at Hopkins. She looked closely at my xrays and told us that my curves were 25 and 20. She also explained that I needed to wear a brace 23 hours a day. We asked a lot of questions about gym, swimming, and school. When we got home we started looking for information about scoliosis and support groups but did not find any. I went for the brace fitting in late September. It felt awkward and strange getting molding while lying with my butt and head supported while the rest was in midair. We went back to pick up the brace in October. I was really nervous about going to school and people making fun of me. My mom and I went shopping for clothes that would hide the brace and found undershirts that were more comfortable.
At school, I talked to the guidance counselor about telling a few of my closest friends. After that, I picked one friend, Jenni, to be my assistant to help me in the bathroom. When kids run into me, they ask me questions but no one knows right now about the brace. One boy figured it out because his mom had a brace when she was younger and he knew about scoliosis. My mom looked again for information online and found Sara’s group in Southern Md. We quickly learned about Leah and watched the Teen Nick Halo Awards. We contacted Sara and went to a meeting. It was great meeting the other girls but we found out that I live really far away.
I went back to the doctor for xrays in January 2011. My curves went to 25 and 28. I had to wear my brace more often and get used to wearing it while I was sleeping. This was really hard. I tried extra pillows but it was still hard. Then I had a growth spurt and the brace did not fit anymore. When I went back to the doctor four months later, my curves were 29 and 29. I went for my brace fitting again. This time I got another TLSO brace for daytime and a Providence for night. I think it is going to be hard to wear the brace during the day in school because it is not air conditioned. And in the summer I will be at camp.
My mom and I thought about starting a central md group because I live near a big city and hospital. We know there are other girls who have scoliosis and I would really like to meet them and share our experiences.