We don’t always know what hardships life will hold for us or our kids. We know they’ll come but I’m sure we all hope that it’s later in life and not when they’re young. If we could hold off pain and suffering I know we would. But life doesn’t always work that way.
When my daughter was 11, at her well-child check up we discovered she had scoliosis. Not the minor kind but the severe, life altering kind.
The majority of cases are discovered between the ages of 10-15, 2-3% of the population has a mild scoliosis (or curve of the spine) but even less have severe scoliosis. It also effects girls 8 times more than boys and although it can be genetic, most cases are labeled “idopathic” meaning they don’t know what causes it. (Although, our clinic believes there is always a cause and it can be traced. They have amazing research and reasons why scoliosis happens. Many cases are caused by nerve tension. Go read more about it here https://scoliosiscarecenters.com/nerve-tension-and-scoliosis/)
We were sent right away for an x-ray. Her doctor told us that if it was under 40 degrees we would watch it and see if it changed. We soon would find out that was terrible advice. Never take that approach with anything over 10 degrees, especially in a child who has their biggest growing days ahead (unless you’re monitoring it every few months).
Her x-ray came back with a 45 degree curve and we were devastated. The next week we found ourselves at Shriner’s Children’s Hospital doing more X-rays and visiting with an orthopedic surgeon. This was traumatic experience #2.
I didn’t do much research before going in because google can be terrifying. Although I’m sure that was somewhat wise, it was also completely naive in other ways. We were totally unprepared for the words that came out of the Dr.’s mouth within minutes of her walking into the room. She said that my daughter would need to be fitted for a brace that she would wear 22 hours a day in hopes it would hold the curve there until they did a spinal fusion surgery from top to bottom in a few years. I very quickly began to cry at the shock of them cutting my daughter open and putting a rod in her spine and the nonchalant way she explained it all. The doctor proceeded to tell me to stop crying and that there was no reason to cry. She was brilliant at her job and this was not going to be a big deal. We asked if there were alternatives to which she said there were none.
Now, many parents will take what the doctor says at face value and not question it. Maybe they would have been comforted by her pride in skill but I am not most parents. I’ve been around the block too many times with my own medical issues for most of my life only to have found natural, alternative methods that did in fact work. As a result, I knew in my gut she was wrong.
We did go and get fitted for a Boston brace (our only option given) that day because we didn’t know what our other options were and we were in a total daze. But I also knew we would be doing some fast and furious research as soon as we left the hospital.
Thankfully my mama bear instinct and God’s leading took us down a road that would not only be the other option but it would be the avenue of proving that surgeon wrong.