June is scoliosis awareness month and as part of this, I will be sharing your inspiring scoliosis stories on my blog and via my Instagram.
If you’d like to get involved and help to share awareness, please contact me 🙂
Share Your Scoliosis Story – Sarah
Hi, I am Sarah, a 23 year old from Manchester in the UK!
I was first diagnosed with Scoliosis at the age of 13 following a trip to hospital for an X-ray on my lungs as I suffered for many years as a child with lung issues. I had an ‘S’ shaped curve which progressed over a year of monitoring until age 14 where I was recommended to have the surgery.
My surgery was around 9 years ago now, I stayed in hospital for 2 weeks following my surgery. This time in hospital was hard and I remember being in a lot of pain as well as having a couple of complications with a high heart rate and with my catheter as I turned out to be allergic to latex. The hospital staff encouraged me to get up and start walking very quickly which was scary, however, looking back I know it was for my own good!
Following my surgery I did not have any physiotherapy or PT, this is something I would go back and change if I could – I would definitely advise throwing yourself into your recovery, learning about what your body can do and how to do things safely, this will prevent yourself from worrying as much. I had my surgery before the long summer holidays which meant I didn’t have to rush to get back to school which I think was a really good thing! Once back at school I found it hard to sit in class for a whole lesson so I was allowed to go on a small walk around the corridors when I needed to. This helped me so much!
Going to the gym has helped me a lot, both physically and mentally. I feel stronger (my back muscles especially) and I also notice that being stronger reduces my pain significantly. I also make sure that I go on at least a 1 hour walk a day, usually after work when my pain is at its worst after sitting all day.
Despite my scoliosis and spinal fusion I have gone on to complete a Masters in Architecture and I am now going to do a PhD surrounding inequality in the built environment (my experiences of scoliosis has definitely inspired me!)
A big achievement of mine is my Etsy where I use my passion for scoliosis and spinal fusion awareness combined with my love for art to create custom artwork from peoples X-rays. Each new piece brings along with it a whole beautiful and inspiring story and I love to give people something to hang up on their wall other than their X-ray!
Advice I would give to you if you are affected by scoliosis is to learn & listen! Learn what your body does and doesn’t like and actually listen to it! If your body (and back) is happier with being in a certain position (e.g. laying down) then make sure your teachers or your boss knows that you may have to take breaks to lay down. It is always best to listen to your body- it knows what you need better than anyone!
You can find me on Instagram at @fusionuk_studio
Thank you Sarah for sharing your story and helping to raise awareness of scoliosis 🙂
Stay strong fellow warriors,