5 things I wish I could tell my 14 year old self about scoliosis

5 things I wish I could tell my 14 year old self about scoliosis

I will never forget the day I was diagnosed with scoliosis. I was 14 years old and until that day, had never had anything medically wrong with me. I was a normal teenager going about my life. I didn’t even know what scoliosis was.

The day I was diagnosed with scoliosis was the day my life changed forever. At 14, I thought it was the end of the world. I thought my life was over and that I’d be in a wheelchair before I was 30. I was terrified, distraught and used to cry myself to sleep each night. Back then, I kept my scoliosis a secret and didn’t tell anybody about it. I was ashamed of how my back looked and of being “different.”


So, what would I tell my 14 year old self now, 17 years later?

Having scoliosis will make you a better person

You don’t know this yet, but in a strange way, being diagnosed with scoliosis will be one of the best things that ever happens to you. Sounds weird I know. Yes, there will be tough times ahead and some days will be hard. But having scoliosis will change you for the better. It will give you drive. It will give you ambition. You will be more determined to push yourself and achieve in life. Trust me – you won’t want to let scoliosis win. I know it’s hard to believe right now, but in the future you will actually be glad you have scoliosis as it will make you who you are.


You are stronger than you think

Don’t worry – you will get through this. You may not realise this right now, but having scoliosis makes you incredibly strong and brave. You will get through the surgery and come out the other side a stronger, happier and more confident person.


You will achieve so much you never thought possible

Did you know that in the future, years after your scoliosis surgery, you will achieve so many amazing things? You will be very active and determined. Please don’t worry – having scoliosis will not stop you from doing anything you want to do. Getting through the surgery will make you want to push yourself and live life to the full. You will go on to get a masters degree, you will travel far and wide, run races, climb mountains, lift weights and have a real thirst for adventure.


Never be ashamed of your scoliosis – embrace it!

I know you hate your back right now and it sucks to be different. But please don’t be ashamed of your scoliosis – it makes you unique and gives you a story to tell. You CAN and WILL turn a negative situation into a positive one.

In the future, you won’t be ashamed anymore, in fact, you will be proud. You will not hide your condition but will publish your story online for others to see. Your experiences will help and inspire so many others with scoliosis.


It’s good to talk

I know it’s hard but you really need to talk to people about your scoliosis. It’s so easy to pretend it’s not happening but you really do need support. You need to talk with your parents. Tell your friends, they will be there for you. Talk to others who have the condition, you’ll be glad you did. Don’t keep things bottled up, it’s the worst thing you can do. In the future, you will discover hundreds of people in the same situation as you, feeling the same emotions. You will realise you are not alone and so many others have backs that look just like yours. Once you accept and embrace your scoliosis you will feel so much better, trust me.


Louise X

4 thoughts on “5 things I wish I could tell my 14 year old self about scoliosis

  1. Don’t really understand your post. You didn’t find out until you were 14? And soon had surgery after you found out. How could you not know something was wrong by that age? Were you braced at all? Or did it come on suddenly somehow? Or did you just not remember it being brought up to you? For it to be so severe enough to suddenly have to have surgery?
    I’m near 50 yrs old now but I was boarded as a child so I could only sleep on my back as an infant. By 5th grade scoliosis screening I was reminded of my “S” scoliosis. And at age 13 I was braced throughout the rest of my junior and high school years. This I say makes a young person strong & brave. I, as I am sure others that have had to wear them back in our day was teased and ridiculed. Kids can be cruel. You are right. But if you did have surgery at that age and it was a wonderful thing how could they see anything was different about you? Just curious. Some things are missing in your article.

    1. Hi Teresa,

      I developed scoliosis when I was a young teenager but it wasn’t spotted until I was 14. I think because I had two curves in the shape of an S they kind of balanced themselves out and it made it less noticeable to the untrained eye. I wasn’t braced because by the time I was diagnosed at age 14 it was too late for bracing, as my curves were already very severe and I had finished growing. This is why early detection is so important. It was severe enough for surgery when I was diagnosed but I was too scared to have the surgery so I was monitored each year with X-rays and I just kind of got on with life and tried to forget about it. When I was in my early 20s, I started to get a lot of pain and I was told my scoliosis had got even worse and was at risk of progression throughout my life. I eventually decided to have surgery at the age of 24.

      Hope that helps
      Louise

  2. I wish to say the same to my 13 and 14 year old self. I had two surgeries and hated talking about it and cryed every night because I couldn’t take it no more and my brace hurt me so much. I never liked talking to people about it until I cryed my eyes out. And before those surgeries I only remember crying when I was 10 when I found out I had scoliosis. My parents were broke poor and they mean the world to me now that I know they did it all for me. Scoliosis is no joke thank you for the post.

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