Hi, my name is Chloe and I am 15 years old. In the beginning of 2012 my Mom noticed that my shoulders were hunched and that I was starting to have what appeared to be poor posture. Up until August 2012 we just brushed it off, assuming I was just getting in the habit of slouching. But when I began training for Cross-Country with my high school team, one of my coaches approached my mom and told her that I ran with my body tilted to the side. When I went to my sports physical a few weeks later, my mom asked the doctor to take a look at my back and he then recommended that we schedule an appointment with a spine specialist to have my back further examined. I also visited my pediatrician who told me that I had scoliosis and that I would need x-rays and an appointment at Boston Children’s Hospital.
In October I went to my first scoliosis appointment. My scoliosis doctor told me I had an S curve. The upper curve was 18 degrees. I was told then that I would have to continue to be X-Rayed and checked every 4-6 months. In January my upper curve increased to 24 degrees. I was told that they started bracing at 25. My mom was a little reluctant to not begin bracing at that time but the doctor said there was no need. When my April appointment occurred, the results of the X-Ray came back showing my upper curve had increased to 32 degrees. I needed a brace! I was sent down to the NOPCO brace shop where they measured me for my new brace. I picked a flesh color so that it would not show as much under clothing.
At first wearing the brace was so incredibly difficult and hard on my body that I would count down the minutes until I could take it off. Eventually I became used to it and most of the time I forget I even have it on. I now wear it 18-21 hours a day. Some days are harder then others; my back becomes really sore, and my muscles are tighter than before. So in order to improve my flexibility, my mom and I decided that I would start Pilates and yoga to strengthen my core and stretch. My doctor also advised me to start lap swimming. Interestingly enough, swimming laps counts as “out of brace” time!
In June of 2013, I heard about the Curvy Girls website from the Nordstrom Fashion Show for girls with scoliosis, so my parents and I then went on and read about the support groups. I looked for a New Hampshire group, but when I didn’t find one I instantly became interested in creating one. I am so excited to be the New Hampshire Curvy Girl leader! I want to be able to support other girls with scoliosis and to be able to raise awareness of scoliosis. I hope that I can help other girls, like me, learn to emBRACE the curve!