I wore this brace 20 hours a day for a year and half, starting the first day of sixth grade. It was uncomfortable, painful, embarrassing, frustrating...I could go on forever. I had to wear clothes two sizes too big in order for them to fit over my brace, I couldn't wear the cute clothes my friends were wearing, and I had to have a friend help me put it on after PE class. These things may seem silly or superficial, but as an 11 year old girl, it was quite devastating.
After a year and half of wearing the brace, my scoliosis had progressed from about 27 degrees to 40 degrees. At 40 degrees it was very likely that the curve would continue to get worse even after I stopped growing so I was told by my doctor that I could stop wearing the back brace! It was a great day. I continued going to the doctor to check my scoliosis for several years and every time I was given the good news that the curve hadn't gotten worse. My doctor told that I would need to consider having surgery if/when my scoliosis started causing a lot of pain or affecting my everyday life.
The curvature of my spine did cause pain and difficulty breathing but it was tolerable and not a huge concern at the time. However I was very concerned with the way my body looked because of scoliosis. I was embarrassed and self conscious. I didn't wear tight clothing or swimsuits because I was so uncomfortable with my body.
If you are wearing a brace or getting ready to start wearing one, know that you will get through it. Other kids will ask questions and be curious about it but there is no reason to be embarrassed.
This is something I am really passionate about sharing. Before I started wearing my brace, my mom and I read story after story trying to learn as much as we could. If you have had the unfortunate experience of wearing a scoliosis brace, tell me a little bit about it. I would love to know your story.
Read part 2 of my scoliosis story on May 17 and share this story with anyone you know who may be going through the same thing.