I was in seventh grade when the school nurse told me to bend over so she could run her long finger down my spine. Little did I know that day would eventually change my whole life. I was told the news that I needed to see a chiropractor as soon as possible. Later that week my parents took me to the local chiropractor up the street. We took xray after xray and were told I had Scoliosis. I wasn't that worried since a lot of the woman in my family also have this and they look as perfect as can be. My chiropractor didn't feel the same way however. I started seeing the chiropractor two to three times a week. He would hook me up to wet electric sponges, pop my back, neck, (basically everything), and strap me into a suit that was hooked to the wall and make me run on the treadmill. I would be lying if I said I enjoyed any of it. With an initial spinal curve of 43 degrees we hadn't seen any progress over the next year of constant chiropractor visits. We decided I should be fitted for a back brace. For the next two years I wore a plastic brace that fit snug against my hips and waist. I would get strapped into this brace everyday for at least 18 hours. (which meant I refused to wear this to school) NO ONE could find out about this secret of mine. I was so embarrased that my hips weren't even, or that my shoulders didn't line up or yup, my butt was a little bigger than the next persons. I couldn't let anyone know.
Two years had passed and no change had been made. Luckily my curve hadn't gotten worse, but it hadn't gotten better either. Since I was starting high school now I decided it was time to tuck that brace under my bed and say goodbye to the chiropractor for good. I went all through high school without any of my friends finding out about "my secret." There was the occasional back ache but nothing I couldn't handle. I was finally finding that self confidence I had lost for a bit and I was happier than ever. I tried everyday to shift my hips over and lift up one of my shoulders so I could look normal. Life was good and I was happy!
It was time for college and I don't think I've ever had as much fun in my whole life as I did last year. Well second semester had hit and so did a lot of back pain. I hadn't had back pain like this ever and I started to get worried. I really didn't know much about Scoliosis but I wasn't so dumb that I didn't realize it could cause serious problems down the road. After months of talking to my parents I made the decision that I needed to change schools. This came as a surprise to a lot of people and a lot of people heard a lot of made up reasons why I was changing schools. I still couldn't get up the courage to tell anyone about this part of my life. I knew exactly why I was changing schools and why it seemed like the worst decision at the time, I don't think I have ever been happier.
About six months ago I found out that my scoliosis had increased from an initial curvature of 43 degrees to 58 degrees. I was having constant back pain and it was obvious it was only going to get worse. My spine was affecting my lungs, my ribs, and could cause serious heart damage. It was obvious that a Spinal Fusion was the only answer.
On December 16, 2013 I recieved the greatest blessing in the whole world. I have perfectly lined up hips, and my shoulders are finally even. My back is STRAIGHT. That seems silly but this was the biggest life changing experience for me. This ten hour surgery was the scariest thing I have ever done in my entire life. I can't bend, I can't twist, and I can't lift anything over ten pounds. I lay in bed most the day while my sweet family picks up the remote I dropped on the floor, or feeds me dinner, puts on my socks, takes off my socks when I get too hot, holds my hand as I walk, wakes up every two hours to get me my pills, and never once complains. My heart has never felt so much love from everyone. I have been blessed beyond belief. The countless cards, flowers, candy, gifts, and visits have meant more than anyone could ever know. Sometimes I don't understand how I got so blessed. My life has been perfect and I am so completely happy. I wish I could run around and show everyone how good of a job my doctors did! But I have to remember no one really wants to see a giant scar down my back. So instead I'll just say how thankful I am for such talented doctors there are in the world. I have never been so happy in my whole entire life. My Heavenly Father has been my constant comfortor and has been there with me every step of the way. Not once have I ever felt alone during this crazy process. I have been so blessed and I could never explain to someone how thankful I am. I've been given a new life. A healthy life. But most of all, such a happy life.
This surgery changed my life in more ways than just physical. I will never take the littlest of things for granted again. I have been humbled in so many ways and I thank my Heavenly Father for this experience every single day. I am so happy and can't wait to continue life with my "new back!"
So I guess the secret is finally out and I couldn't be anymore excited!
Before and after I had 2 rods and 21 screws placed in my spine. Isn't this incredible!!!
I was so excited!
Life is still good:)
This is the only "gross" picture I promise!
Just hangin in there:)
My incredible Doctors
My Favorite Visitor!
Learning how to walk!
We're Headin Home:)
I have the sweetest family in the world!
Who knew walking up the stairs could be such a workout.
My beautiful sister has been the best "baby sitter"
I'm finally as tall as my sisters!
I am so happy and Life is wonderful:)