Tough Stuff

So bummed by scoliosis


I have scoliosis (a condition where your spine is curved) and recently had to get  a back brace. I need to wear it all day except when I shower. I'll have it for more than a year-and-a-half and if it doesn't work, I might even need to undergo a risky surgery.

I know that it will help me but when I am home alone I sometimes take it off and slip it back on before anyone finds out. I feel like no one  understands. The pressure from brace makes the skin on my hips bruise and hurts my ribs.  I am not getting enough sleep with it on which is affecting my schoolwork.

I knew that the brace would change my life but I don't want it to ruin it!  HELP!

Hey girl, I'm sorry you're going through this right now, but like you said, it's for the best and hopefully the brace will be able to improve your scoliosis. Try to remember that although it's painful now both mentally and physically, if it works in helping your back then it'll all be worth it in the long run!

Making the best of the brace

I kind know where you're coming from. I had to wear a knee brace when I injured my knee. The brace was bulky and annoying, and if it was on too tight it cut into my leg and hurt. But honestly, once it was on for a while I totally forgot it was there and just kind of got used to it. I learned how to adapt and I know you will, too. It might be hard for the first few weeks, but soon enough it'll become like second nature to ya and you won't even realize it's there.

No cheating!

When you take, it's kind of just like lying to yourself, ya know? If the doc says you need it at all times then it could be setting you back in progress and might mean that you'll have to wear the brace for even longer. I would def talk to your doc and see if there's any amount of time that he or she recommends you can safely take a break from wearing it. I know there are plenty of GL girls here who go through the same thing with wearing other painful stuff—retainers, palette expanders and casts—who can relate to the discomfort that's getting to you.

R &R

I would talk to your doc and see if the bruised ribs and hurting hips is normal or not . It could be that it's just your body getting used to the brace at first and it'll get stronger and be able to deal with the pressure of it in time, but if it's just on too tight then you might be able to adjust it a little. Don't be afraid to show a pro how it hurts, and hopefully they can help ya.

If you can't loosen the brace any then try different ways to fall asleep. Maybe if you slept with an extra pillow or sleeping more up-right you might feel less pressure and get more shut-eye. You can also try to drink some decaff tea or warm milk and read a book in bed to relax.

Talk to your teachers and let them know what's going on. I'm sure they'll understand and be willing to be a little more patient and lenient until you get the hang of the brace. Also, don't be afraid to ask your parents for help with schoolwork. They'll be glad you're being honest with them and I'm sure they'd be happy to help you. Vent to your BFFs and jot it down in a journal. Scoliosis is a tough thing to deal with but I know you can get through it! Stay tough, sistah!

-Katie S.

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12/8/2009 7:00:00 AM