I Have It Too

I have scoliosis....my curve used to be around 45 degrees but I had a spinal fusion surgery and now I think it's less than 20 degrees.

I worked really hard to get up the confidence to feel proud of my back and my scar and understand that my body is beautiful. It has now been 8 years since my surgery (I'm about to turn 22), and I really do think this challenge was an important growing experience.

When I was 12 or 13 I started having pretty intense back pain, usually if I would bend over for a long time or be hunched at my desk. I remember when I was screened for scoliosis at school, the nurse gave this worried look at the other nurse and I could just tell something was wrong with me. I went to see a surgeon, and when they took an xray and hung it up in the room, I remember being like WHAT? that's my back!?!? I had to wear a back brace when I was 12 and eventually I had surgery when I was in 8th grade. The surgery was a very tough experience. It was super painful...I remember coming out of the operating room and just crying because I hurt so much. They gave me painkillers and morphine but the drugs made me puke everywhere. I was in bed for a week, and had to be fed. I had to learn how to walk again, and I was in constant pain and immobile for weeks after. The worst was having to wear a back brace to school, because even if I wore a sweatshirt over it people still found out or poked my stomach to see if it was there.

I still have a noticeable curve in my back, and a right rib "hump". I also have the scar, which is like a zip all the way from my neck to my butt. It used to kill me to wear bathing suits, or change in front of my friends. Not to mention have sex with my first boyfriend. Now, as I'm about to graduate from college, I feel happy with my body and I really want other people to feel the same way.

As far as physical pain goes, I still have lower back aches from time to time. I try and pop a few ibuprofen or, even better, go to a yoga class. Hot yoga helps my back in ways you wouldn't believe. I think if you work out a lot and try and get those back muscles strong, it will help a lot with the pain. I do yoga fairly often, I bike all the time, I LOVE running, and I play on a competitive women's ultimate frisbee team. I love being an athlete, and it is is so important that you cherish your body and make it work hard and it will pay off!

For all the girls (and guys) who have scoliosis and are mad/self conscious about it, please don't be. It is a huge challenge to overcome, but I really have faith that if I can do it, anyone can. Nobody is perfect...really!! There are tons of actors and even models with scoliosis. Google it! What has worked for me is really figuring out what clothes "work" on my body, and which ones don't. If you're shoulders are uneven, try an off-shoulder top, or a strapless top. I sometimes like to wear loose fitting, sheer tops and tight jeans, which still makes me feel sexy and proud of my body. I also have long hair, and part of me keeps it long because it covers my back if I wear strapless or low-back tops. What's more important than "disguising" your scoliosis is just wearing whatever the hell you want, knowing scoliosis is part of you and being proud. Scoliosis is a challenge, but it makes you unique, and your body is beautiful in a way that is unlike anyone else's. I promise!

Good luck to everyone!
An Ep User An EP User
2 Responses Jan 11, 2013

I have 2 curves. The upper is 58° and the bottom is 44°. I will be going to schedule the actual appointment October 3rd. I am eager for my recovery and my future.

I have 2 curves. The upper is 58° and the bottom is 44°. I will be going to schedule the actual appointment October we 3rd. I am eager for my recovery and my future.