Saturday, February 02, 2013

Surgery That Straightens a Spine and Makes a New Dream Possible

by Zinta Aistars

One of my freelance "gigs" is to write health care patient stories, so that others who may be coping with similar situations can learn more about their options and know that they are not alone. Each and every time someone shares his or her story with me, I feel honored ... and I always learn something I didn't know before. 

This is the story of Ceaira and her scoliosis. 

Twenty-three years old, but Ceaira sometimes felt like she was 90. Her friends loved to go shopping at the mall, and, sure, she would go along, wanting to be one of the group—but after a short while of walking, she would excuse herself to sit somewhere and rest while her friends went on.

And at the park: Ceaira would take her little boy, Jaxen, to play, but after about a half hour, she couldn't stand anymore, couldn't push him on the swing, couldn't carry her little boy on her hip the way other young mothers did.
Life hurt.

Since childhood, Ceaira had lived with a curve in her spine. It became particularly noticeable by the time she was in 7th grade, in middle school. She couldn't participate in school sports anymore. The curve in her back had become a hump. And the pain—the pain had become unendurable.

"The doctors told me it was idiopathic scoliosis," Ceaira said. "Not hereditary, just something that happens. No one else in my family had it."

Ceaira's scoliosis was something she had learned to live with—until she couldn't live with it anymore. When she got married and started thinking about children, and the pain worsened, she knew it was time to address the curve in her spine ...

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