Dear Carol, I'm insecure about my scoliosis
I have a mildly severe case of scoliosis and have to wear a brace every night. My doctor says it will probably be ineffective and I'll most likely have to have surgery. What should I do if I go to a sleepover and someone makes fun of me? One girl found out and called me "Crooked Back." It made me feel deformed, and I got self-conscious about my uneven shoulders and rib hump. She thought it was just this big joke. Should I tell anybody else? Should I swear them to secrecy? I don't want anyone to think of me as a diseased girl.
—Curvy Inside and Out
Dear Curvy Inside and Out,
I am so sorry that immature, insensitive girl made fun of you. How cruel of her! Luckily, most kids aren't so small minded and mean-spirited. As you become more comfortable with your scoliosis, others will be more at ease, too. When you do confide your condition to close friends, say something like, "It's not what I wanted, but it is what it is. Some people have braces on their teeth; I wear a brace on my back. I don't want you to spread the word to anyone else, but it's not like I'm ashamed of it either. I just want my friends to know, OK?" You are the same wonderful person you have always been, and you will get through this.
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