Being diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis at age 8 was no surprise. My mom and grandfather also had it, so we knew it ran in my family. Regardless, going in for X-rays every six months to monitor my spine was nerve racking. Watching my spinal curve go from 10 degrees to 20 degrees to eventually about 60 degrees, was a regular part of my life.
Through it all, I have learned how important it is to count my blessings and rely on God’s grace, knowing that it will give me the strength for whatever I face.
We tried everything we could think of to stop the curvature of my spine. We started out by doing simple things such as seeing a chiropractor, yoga, and looking into physical therapy. Unfortunately, these things were only to ease the pain and would not stop my scoliosis from progressing.
Eventually, we looked into more radical solutions, such as bracing and neuromuscular stimulation. Bracing was emotionally and physically draining. The brace was rock hard, restricted my breathing and changed the way I viewed myself. However, the neuromuscular stimulation was the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to endure. These painful sessions sent electric impulses deep into my muscles to try to prevent my spine from causing further damage my body and organs.
We tried all of these so-called “solutions,” but they all had little-to-no impact, so my family and I decided that it was time for me to have surgery. By then, I was more than ready for it.
Since my spinal fusion surgery on January 5, 2018, I have been able to live a fuller and happier life than before. Children’s Hospital Colorado was the answer to my prayers and helped me to put such a painful part of my life behind me.
I am finally able to breathe (both physically and mentally). I am no longer self-conscious that my shoulder blade and uneven shoulders will make people look at me differently. I am no longer concerned that the right side of my back will stick out when I bend over to pick something up.
I am forever grateful that my surgeon, Dr. Sumeet Garg, and his entire team were able to correct my spine with two metal rods and 17 screws. I am also grateful that science and medicine have improved so much that I did not have to go through what my mom went through years ago – her surgery recovery as a teenager was far worse than mine.
The new Children’s Hospital Colorado being built in Colorado Springs is incredibly important to so many people, but especially important to other kids who suffer from conditions like scoliosis.
Because of God’s grace, I have been able to count this life-changing experience as one of my blessings. Children’s Hospital Colorado made it possible for me to overcome so much.
If you’d like to donate to Brianna’s ambassador fundraising page click here.