Scoliosis Awareness Month 2021: Share Your Story – Shannon

Scoliosis Scar

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 – Shannon

Hi my name is Shannon, I’m 19 years old. I have suffered with scoliosis and this my story and how my life is now.

In July 2014, I was on holiday and my mom asked me to straighten my head when she was drying my hair – she realised from then there was something wrong.

As soon as we got back off holiday, I went straight to the doctors and the ball started rolling from there. My doctor referred me to my local hospital, but my pain was getting worse, so we decided to go private for an X-ray. I went for my first X-ray on the 6th March 2015 and my spine had 2 slight curves.

They wanted to get some MRI scans, but we were still waiting for the NHS referral, so we decided to go private until we got the appointment from the NHS. I went for my MRI scan on the 20th May 2015, and we found out from there my spine was significant and would require surgery (Musculoskeletal problem).

On 3rd of December I had another MRI and X-rays. Then, on 16th December, I went to my Dr at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital where I was referred to for all my results from my MRI’s and X-rays. This is where we started with the NHS. On this day, I found out my back had increased in the upper thoracic curve, my lumbar curve was unchanged.

I was selected for a posterior instrumented correction of my spinal deformity. On Monday 11th January 2016, I went for my anaesthetic assessment clinic prior to my surgery. On Thursday 21st January 2016, I went for my Pre-operative assessment. Monday 22nd February, I went to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to see the Neurologist department and for my Nerve testing. Monday 21st March 2016, I went for some final Spinal deformity X-rays.

On 11th April 2016, I went to see my surgeon – Dr Newton Ede – to discuss my operation and I got see what was actually going inside my body. On the 13th April 2016, I went in the day before my operation to get comfortable in my bed on my ward. 14th April 2016 and it was operation day – my operation was 8 hours long. 

Scoliosis Xrays - before and after
Shannon’s Scoliosis X-rays – Before and After Surgery

After my operation, I had to learn how to do everything again – walk, stand, bend, move my body. I felt like this is never going to feel normal again. It took me such a long time to recover. They found out that my curves deferred from my muscling my growing, so my spine was growing around them.

I had to keep going for check ups and more X-rays. I’m still suffering to this day, in a lot of back pain and still on a lot of medication but if someone asked me would you recommend the operation I would say go for it, but I just hope they have a better experience than me.

Scoliosis Scar
Shannon’s Scoliosis Scar

I’m so grateful I had my operation when I did, as I know I would be in a wheelchair by now as my spine kept bending so quick and it formed from a straight spine to an S just within a year – I wasn’t born with it. I still have to go for check ups and I might end up having another operation, as this pain is getting worse and they can see it bending slightly again. 

Having this operation has given me more confidence in myself and made me stronger. I was told I couldn’t swim but I have and swam under water. I was told I wouldn’t be able to ride a bike or ride a horse but I have done – I’ve ran in many races for charities. I have always put my best in everything. I got really bullied at my high school, my mom home schooled me and I got a job working in a dog groomers. Then after 2 years, I thought I’d try and do the job I’ve wanted to do since I was a child and look after elderly people.

I’ve worked in a care home and now I work for Home Instead Senior Care. I love my job, I love just caring for others and making new friends and talking about their past.

If you want to follow me on my journey you can follow me on Instagram: _shannonlouisexx 

Thank you Shannon for sharing your story and helping to raise awareness of scoliosis 🙂

If you would like to share your own scoliosis story, please contact me via email or PM me on Instagram

Stay strong fellow warriors, 

Louise xoxo

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