Our Scoliosis Journey
Welcome back to blondesense, first off my sister Emily and I would REALLY like to thank all of our followers and readers for staying tuned and showing interest in all of our blog posts, we appreciate all of the love and support! This one is a bit more personal, but we hope that you enjoy it just the same. Anyways, a lot of you may not know that Emily and I do have idiopathic scoliosis, which is an unknown cause of scoliosis (curvature of the spine). We were diagnosed with it in Middle School during a routine check-up. We were about 13 years old when we found out with about a 20 degree curvature and as we grew through puberty it worsened to about 40 degrees! Once you reach about a 40-45 degree curvature is when doctors begin to suggest surgery, something we thankfully have not had to endure yet.
Emily and I did wear back braces to bed every night for four years to help prevent our curvatures from getting worse. They were these huge, terrible plastic braces that velcroed around us and forced us to stand or lay at an angle. No one could understand how it was even possible to sleep wearing those things, but we did actually get used to them! We also did traction and Pilates training two to three times a week to build up our back muscles in the hopes of sustaining the curve and forming a stronger core to be able to sit up straighter. We don't typically lift any heavy weights or do any kind of crazy cardio, but Haley's rotated rib cage actually sometimes causes her shooting pain and shortness of breath when doing these kinds of things.
Now that we have stopped growing we do not wear our back braces anymore and we only have to go in every two years for a check-up. Emily and I have been very lucky to avoid surgery, but it is something we do constantly worry about. Since we still do have a 40 degree curvature (it hasn't gotten any worse or any better) they continue keeping an eye out to make sure we do not need surgery. They say the younger you go through with the surgery the easier the recovery is, but it involves months of bed rest regardless. No thank you. For now, our scoliosis is livable and the main concern we have is for when we do decide to become married and pregnant, complications that may arise at that time.
Luckily, we do not suffer from any chronic pain due to our scoliosis and we hope that we remain this lucky, because we know that this is not always the case. Our scoliosis does cause a lot of insecurities in my sister and I because our torsos are a little disproportionate due to our rib cages being rotated. Many shirts and tank tops fit crooked and being in swimsuits is a little difficult for us, but we don't let it get in the way of our day to day lives otherwise. We are super happy and comfortable in our own skin, but far from perfect! When it comes to self-image, we all have to learn to love our imperfections!