Hello! I am Julianne and I'm 15. I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was 9 years old, and I have been going to Curvy Girls meetings since I was 11. I have been doing physical therapy (pilates, working out, and myofascial release) since a year into my scoliosis journey. I was not a very active kid before I started physical therapy, preferring to spend my time reading any book I could get my hands on. So it was a challenge, but I began working out almost every day to try to strengthen my back.
My scoliosis was discovered at my routine 10 y/o physical. I had a slight rib hump, and my shoulders and hips were uneven. I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon, who fitted me for a night-time brace after an X-ray showed that my lumbar/dominant curve was 31°. I wore the brace for the better part of that year, but my curve continued to progress. I tried a 23-hour brace in hopes of another brace helping, but it never fit me right due to the clashing between the brace style and the rotation in my spine. It hurt too much to wear, so I gave up quickly. Soon after I attempted Schroth physical therapy and was fitted for a Wood Rigo Cheneau brace. At this point, my dominant curve was about 55° and I was trying to avoid my doctor's looming surgery recommendations. The thought of surgery terrified me. I wore the brace for several months and did my best with the Schroth therapy (although I could have tried to exercise a lot more than I did, unfortunately). My spine was still resistant, and progressed to 63°, at it's worst.
Fortunately, at this time my parents and I decided that surgery was the best option for me. I stopped the brace and Schroth but kept up my other physical therapies. My surgery was completed in 6.5 hours on 7/7/14. My spinal fusion was T10-L3 with two rods and eleven screws. My dominant curve is now about 30°. I am so glad that I fused my spine. Different things work for everyone, and that was what helped me prevent my spine's curve from increasing.
Having scoliosis made me who I am today. I believe I am a lot stronger physically and mentally than I would have been without scoliosis. It is a part of me that I would not change for the world. The support I received from Curvy Girls means so much to me, and I'm ready to help others in their scoliosis journeys. My positive outlook on my scoliosis is in large part due to the love and support from the Curvy Girls, and I wish to pass that on to other Curvy Girls. I love being a Curvy Girl and I am so thankful for this opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the first Connecticut leader, Jamiah.
Senior Leader Jamiah
Hello Everyone! My name is Jamiah and I am 17 years old. A few years ago I began having back pains when I turned my body aroundaround. When I had that pain, it was difficult to turn back to my original position and I had to slowly. I remembered that our school's nurse sent out the letter about our yearly school screening that was going to occur after Christmas break. So, after talking with my parents about my pain, I told them I thought I should ask the nurse if I could have my screening before the scheduled time. They agreed.
The next day, I went to the nurse to ask and she did it right then. When she was finished she told me she noticed some signs of scoliosis and that I should see my pediatrician. When I got home that day, I told my mom what the nurse said and she set up an appointment asap.
When the date of the appointment came, I was ready. After doing the screening, my pediatrician said that I had scoliosis for sure and sent me for x-rays and to an orthopedic doctor. When I went to see the orthopedist, he sent me for more x-rays. When the doctor came in I was so nervous about what he was going to say. He told me that my curve was around 41* and that it was recommended that I have surgery. He also said if I started to wear a brace now, it wouldn't do anything for my spine. My eyes immediately began to water because I was not expecting surgery. I thought all I would need is a brace. As soon as I got in the car, I began to cry non-stop for the whole ride home.
When I got home after that appointment I went straight to my computer and began to research scoliosis. I found many different things. When I got back to school I told the nurse what happened. Then, she told me about a girl at my school who had scoliosis and had the surgery. The nurse contacted the girl and her parents and we began to talk. She was very nice and supportive. My mom talked to her mom and told her about her experience and I changed doctors to be with the one she had because I felt more comfortable with him.
When I first met with the surgeon, I had to go through the same screening and more x-rays. I was really getting tired of this screening! The surgeon told me the same things as the other doctors but in greater detail. Fast forward to August 12, 2011 (my mom's birthday). I had to have an MRI. I have never had an MRI before and I heard it was very tight and annoying, so I was very nervous. While my mom was at work one day, she got a call from my doctor and he said everything was fine BUT my spine had increased to 51*. I remember that he said I could hold off on the surgery, but since I wanted to get it over with, we scheduled my surgery for October 10, 2011. My surgery was successfully completed taking 5.5 hours. I am very happy that I had this surgery done and happy with the outcome.
I am proud to say that I am a part of the Curvy Girls. I had SO much support from all of the girls that it helped me walk into that hospital with lots of positivity. THANK YOU CURVY GIRLS!!! And now I am ready to give back and help support other girls as the Leader of Southern Connecticut Curvy Girls!
Jamiah Curvy Girl CT Leader
Surgery Completed on October 10, 2011