May 17, 2015

My Scoliosis Story Part 2 // Surgery

Scoliosis Surgery Story:

Read Part 1 (wearing a back brace) Here.

When I started my freshman year of college in the fall of 2012, I noticed my scoliosis causing significantly more pain and keeping me from doing things I wanted to do. I was also having a lot of trouble breathing because one lung was being compressed. I decided that it was time to look into surgery, so we found Dr. Geck in Austin, Texas-I was 19. When I went to meet with him, he told me that my scoliosis had progressed to a 50 degree curve and surgery was no longer just an option, it was a necessity-it would get worse.  I cried for days. On May 16, 2013  I had scoliosis correctional surgery at Dell Children's Hospital in Austin, Texas. I had no idea what the next year of recovery would be like. 

Scoliosis Story: Before and After Scoliosis Surgery

Left: after surgery (two 10 inch rods and 14 screws and an 8 degree curve) 
Right: before surgery (50 degree curve on bottom and 16 degree curve on top)

Scoliosis Story-surgery scar

I can not even begin to put into words the fear I felt before surgery or the pain and frustration I felt for months after.  Walking, getting dressed, shaving my legs, washing my hair, rolling over in bed, getting in and out of the car, and so many seemingly insignificant tasks were impossible or unbelievably painful. I didn't feel like myself, I was 2 inches taller, I moved differently, and I hurt like I had never hurt before. For months, I thought 'what in the world have I done' until about six months after surgery when I finally decided that it was worth it. When my doctor told me that it take a full year before I felt "normal", he was right!

Now, two years later, I feel better than I ever have! I am stronger, more confident, I can breath without pain, and I even have some days with no pain! I never thought that would be possible!

If you or someone you know has scoliosis, is wearing a back brace, or facing surgery I want you to know that you can do it and you will get through the pain. Always know that you are beautifully and wonderfully made. If you are preparing for surgery, know that it is a long hard recovery but it is worth it. Having scoliosis surgery was one of the best things I have ever done for myself.

I hope reading my story was helpful to anyone who is dealing with scoliosis. If you are, I would love to know a little bit about your story. Please share this story with anyone you know who is going through the same thing or loves someone who is. 

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