Monday, 24 April 2017

My Scoliosis journey

I decided to do this post because I realised its been about 11 years since I had major surgery. I have Scoliosis. For anyone who doesn't know it is a curvature of the spine. Scoliosis is something you are born with, that usually progresses as you grow. Some people will only have it mildly, whilst others are much more severe. I found out I had it when I was 13 due to collapsing on a day trip to Nottingham (fun day out that turned out to be). One year and many X-rays, appointments and poking and prodding later, it was decided my spine was serious enough to require surgery. At its worst my spine was 75 degrees (away from the centre).

It didn't really sink in until the morning of the surgery when I was showering pre-operation. I remember bits and pieces before surgery, like having to lay watching Big Brother and that a cannula hurts to be put in! Approximately 7 hours later surgery was over and I was woken up in HDU, again memories a little hazy but I was told the couldn't straighten it as much as they wanted to but managed to go from 75 to around 55. They also had to do a bone graft from my hip and put it in my neck bone to prevent my neck from breaking. This was down to the wearing down of my skull into my spine. The surgery itself involves screwing screws and a rod onto the spine to straighten it. The rods and screws were fused from T2 to T12 (no idea, but its about half my spine from the bottom of my neck).
This is me about 5 days after surgery. I stayed in hospital just over a week. About 3 or 4 days I was sitting up and had to remember how to walk again. Which after laying down for that long, not being able to move on my own and now having a metal rod in my spine. It took a little while to get my balance back! I was told I couldn't do any physical activity for a year, so no bungee jumping for me (oh no..)

I had to miss the first month of year 10, which was hard because I had to begin my GCSEs at home and was starting mock exams pretty much as soon as I got back to school again. But I managed with the help from the school and friends. 

Fast forward to today. I still have aches and pains. But without the surgery my quality of life would be so much different. I don't regret having surgery. 

Things I have learnt:

- Scoliosis isn't just back pain. 
- Surgery makes you realise your strength
- It doesn't hold you back
- You will be in pain for the rest of your life the alternative would have meant my life would have
been very different. 
-You have cool scars and a story to tell

My scar is still only just visible. It took me a long time to get comfortable with my scars and now I'm proud of them.  

Any questions just ask :)