Happy 5-Year Anniversary to My Spine
5-years-ago I was in Austin, Texas awaiting a 14-disc spinal fusion to correct my very crooked spine. I was scared to death. Today I could not be more grateful.
October 30, 2014, is a day I will never ever forget. I didn't sleep a wink the night before. For months, years really, I had battled scoliosis. Scoliosis is a spinal deformity that created a hump on the right side of my spine. My breasts were uneven, my ribs were crooked, and my self-esteem was shattered.
Disregarding my mental state, the reality was that my spine was slowly collapsing, getting worse bit by bit year after year. Sometimes the pain was unbearable, but mostly I was used to the chronic burning sensation that encompassed most of my back almost all of the time.
No one wanted to do surgery on me because I was an adult and my deformity took up the majority of my spine. I was told it was too severe, not severe enough, my bones were too small, you name it I heard the excuse until I found Dr. Matthew Geck in Austin, Texas and he told me he could help me. I will never forget those words. We can help you.
We spent every dime we had on that surgery. Without insurance, it was $375,000 worth of work. Luckily, we paid a fraction of that cost, but it still drained our savings and put me out of work for several weeks.
My worst fears were that I wouldn't wake up. That I wouldn't be able to hold my babies again or that I would be paralyzed or feel like a robot with a spine that doesn't bend, and yet the moments before they wheeled me into the operating room are the most spiritual moments of my life. An overwhelming peace came over me and I knew everything would be okay.
After carefully de-rotating my spine, correcting my curvature, and placing 28 three-inch screws and two steel rods in my back, I woke up.
The pain was the most intense pain I have ever felt and the nausea was even worse. Still today I can't look at an IV without it giving me shivers, but bit by bit I started walking and getting better. For the first time in many years that burning sensation was gone. I could walk straight. I could sleep on both sides without it feeling like I couldn't breathe. I could wear a shirt without a jacket to try and hide my deformity. 4 weeks after surgery I walked back into work and I've never looked back.
My scoliosis surgery has completely changed my life and it's made me believe in modern-day miracles. Not a day goes by that I am not thankful for my skilled surgeon's hands, for the village that rallied around me to make sure my kids were taken care of and I was okay, for my ex-husband who put his life on hold to care for me medically. Thank you.
Happy 5 year Anniversary to my new spine. It has served me well. If you or someone you know is suffering from scoliosis, feel free to reach out to me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org You are definitely not alone.