Hello, I’m Louise!
I run the Life with Scoliosis Blog.
I started this scoliosis blog following my scoliosis surgery on July 29th 2010.
I’m fused T3 to L3, which basically means that pretty much my whole spine is fused apart from 3 discs at the bottom. You can see my scoliosis x-rays below.
I was diagnosed with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (this means there is no known cause) when I was 14. My scoliosis was considered to be very severe, with two curves that measured over 80 degrees and so I was told I needed surgery, to prevent progression and problems in the future.
Being told such a thing at age 14 when you have had no previous medical issues was shocking and very upsetting. I thought my life was over and found it all very hard to deal with. I was terrified of the surgery and my parents at the time were very against it, and so as a result, I was monitored for 10 years before I had scoliosis surgery at the age of 24.
These 10 years preceding the surgery, which are supposed to be one of the best times of a person’s life, were, for me, the worst years of my life. I was battling pain, depression (due to the pain and hating the appearance of my back) and I was terrified of the potential of surgery in the future and that the curves would progress.
In the end, I decided to research into the surgery more, started using a scoliosis forum and talking to others. This helped me MASSIVELY and contributed to my extremely difficult decision to have the surgery when I was 24.
Recovery was very slow, frustrating, painful and difficult but I got through and it’s an experience I will never forget. I think going through something like this makes you stronger and makes you appreciate all the things you can do that much more once you recover.
Now, 10 years later, I don’t really think about my scoliosis all that much. I do get back pain sometimes and neurological issues (numbness). However, I minimise the symptoms by following a healthy diet and undergoing regular exercise focusing on strengthening my back and core muscles.
Having a fused spine does affect my life. I can no longer bend my back, so if I want to pick something up I have to bend using my knees (which is better for your back anyway).
In the grand scheme of things though, this doesn’t affect my life that much. On the plus side, I have amazing posture and am always sat up completely straight. This was a bit weird at first (I remember it feeling like I had a wooden board strapped to my back!) but I soon got used to it and it became normal after a while 🙂
Why did I start this blog?
This blog is an honest account about my experiences with scoliosis and the surgery, my recovery process and how I now live my life post scoliosis surgery.
I set it up mainly to share my experiences in the hope that it would help and inspire others who live with scoliosis or may be facing or recovering from scoliosis surgery.
When I was first diagnosed at the age of 14, I was devastated and constantly burst into tears asking myself – why me? It was so unfair, I thought.
I’m also passionate about raising awareness of scoliosis through my various fundraising activities.
Why should you read my blog?
My blog is aimed at anyone who has scoliosis, or is interested in what life is like years after scoliosis surgery.
I’m not a scoliosis expert by any means, but I have the experience. I have lived through the surgery and continue to live my adult life with scoliosis.
What I want to show with this blog is that having scoliosis isn’t the end of the world.
Scoliosis is a chronic condition. So yes, it can be difficult, uncomfortable and painful to live with at times, but it has made me who I am and I honestly wouldn’t change that now.
On this blog, I hope to share useful and inspiring content relating to scoliosis and my life. This includes a wide range of content – from how I deal with back pain and anxiety, to fundraising activities for scoliosis, my running and hiking adventures, health and fitness and product reviews. Everything I post will always be 100% honest and based on my own, true experiences.
I have completely changed my outlook on my scoliosis from negative to positive over the years and I have realised that I can do anything I want to do… and so can YOU!
My scoliosis doesn’t need to stop me from living my life and it doesn’t have to bring me down – in fact, it has made me more determined to succeed and I have achieved so much since having the surgery that I never thought would be possible.
It has motivated me to do so many things that I wouldn’t have done otherwise, such as starting this blog to help and inspire others with scoliosis.
Since having my scoliosis surgery, I have joined a running club, completed over 50 parkruns, ran 6 half marathons, climbed mountains and completed a trek on the Great Wall of China.
I have also completed an MSc in Digital Marketing Communications with distinction and I now work as a Marketing Manager, which I have been doing for the past 5 years. My digital marketing experience has certainly helped me with setting up this blog, and I hope to also eventually provide marketing advice to fellow bloggers in the blogging section of this site.
My Next Challenge…
To mark my 10 year rod-versary, once I am able to (pandemic allowing), I plan to complete a charity trek to Machu Picchu to increase awareness of scoliosis and to raise vital finds for the Scoliosis Campaign Fund. You can read more about my challenge and sponsor me here.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about my surgery or experiences with scoliosis and I’ll do my best to help 🙂
I hope you enjoy the site and find it useful.
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