After talking to a specialist, I was instructed to wear a Boston back brace designed specifically for me. The purpose of the brace was to prevent my spine from getting worse. I started wearing the brace at the start of my 8th-grade year and continued to wear the brace until my junior year in high school.
Bracing My Life
Technically speaking, my scoliosis is moderately severe, which typically causes substantial physical pain. Luckily I have experienced little back pain over the years. However, I have experienced quite a bit of emotional pain since being diagnosed with scoliosis. Wearing a back brace changed who I was. Wearing the brace made me feel insecure about how I looked. The timing didn’t help much either. Most 14-year-olds already deal with enough changes that involve self-esteem issues.
Before I was diagnosed with scoliosis, I felt confident about how I looked and who I was as a person. I had little to worry about since I was healthy and enjoyed being with my friends and family. I have always been a small, short, and skinny person. Once I began wearing the brace, I had to ditch my old clothes and exchange them for larger baggy clothes. I had to buy clothes two sizes larger. I felt uncomfortable around people because I was afraid someone might bump into me and realize I had hard plastic going around my body. The brace also limited my movement. I could no longer participate in sports or any other activities that required flexibility. I felt like an alien in my own body.
At the end of the summer before my junior year, I found out that I no longer had to wear the brace. That day I cried, rejoiced, and praised God!
Since shedding the brace, I have had to have yearly checkups to monitor my growth. The summer before my freshman year in college, my scoliosis doctor, who had been with me from the beginning, retired. At my first appointment with the new doctor, he said something that scared me very much. The doctor didn’t think I was doing as well as I should. I had to wait until the following summer, right before my sophomore year, to meet with the new doctor again. My parents and I were terrified to hear an update on my condition from the doctor.
A couple of weeks before my appointment, my mom asked our home church to add my checkup to the prayer chain, hoping to get good news from the doctor this time. I was kind of surprised that my mom had asked our church to pray for me. It’s not that I didn’t need prayer, but I didn’t really think it was serious enough to bother our church members for prayer. I know that prayer is powerful, but I had never really had a large number of people praying for me specifically.
The day of the appointment came. I went in, as usual, got my x-ray, and then went to a room to wait for my doctor. I experienced how powerful prayer is on the receiving end. All those prayers from my church family must have helped because we received fabulous news from the doctor. He explained that my curve had not increased since the summer before and that my hips were finally close to ending their growth. Also, the best part of the doctor’s analysis was that I no longer needed yearly checkups. He still wants me to get checked, but there are no exact dates. He said he really didn’t need to see me again until I graduate college and then after that every five to ten years.
I’ve always known prayer is powerful, but now I have experienced how powerful it is in a more personal and physical way. God loves us so much, and it was nice to be reminded how much He loves me.
Emily Sunken Forshee writes from the Pacific Northwest.© 2002 - 2021, AnswersForMe.org. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.