Friday, December 10, 2010
Well... this journey for Kaeli, our second daughter, with Scoliosis originally started almost 3 years ago now. When she was 5 and at her yearly check up, our pediatrician asked her to bend over for the Adam's Forward Bend Test (I know, really original name! lol), but that is when we first noticed "something". We weren't totally sure, but she wanted it checked out. BTW... I love love love our pediatrician... she is totally late ALL the time and it drives me crazy, but because of things she has found out for us and all she does for us, I will NOT switch!! ok... back on track... she sent us for x-rays and it came back "mild" but she would still send in a recommendation to get Kaeli in with a specialist because she was so young.
At her 6yr. appointment, she checked again and asked if we had been called and I said "no." She said she would send in the paperwork again, but because it was so mild, it would take a while. I didn't think anything more of it because no one seemed to be worried.
Anyhow... we finally got an appointment to get in with a Scoliosis Specialist at the Stollery Children's Hospital here in Edmonton for last Jan. (2009). Kaeli was just about 7. They, of course, did more x-rays. That is when we were shocked with the news. She had a curve of 21-23 degrees and would need a brace that she would wear full time. WHAT? REALLY? I can tell you... there were so many thoughts running through my head at that point and I know through Kaeli's head that it was hard to keep my mind straight to be able to ask enough questions in such a short period of time before he moved on to the next patient. I know this was "normal" for him, but for us... this was a shock!
You see... I only had ever known 1 person with Scoliosis and it obviously is very serious, but he is in severe pain ALL the time. He has had many surgeries and has many problems. However, in the midst of all this, he has massively successful businesses and speaks around the world!
So... I tried to focus, calm Kaeli and ask as many questions as I could before they ushered us out the door to another room to fit her for her brace. I really felt for Kaeli here... this was all moving so fast. I mean, I was thankful, but it was still so fast.
This all really had God's hand in it though. You see... if our pediatrician had never requested the first x-rays, they never would have done the brace at this point. The specialist said that they normally don't brace any curve unless it is over 25 degrees and showing progression. But, because she is so young and they could see progression from the first x-ray 2 years before, they were definitely going to brace now. So... we really were thanking God!
We did have a few weeks to prepare for the brace. Kaeli received the brace the end of February of 2009, just after turning 7 on Feb.9. We planned a party with very close friends in case she wasn't all too excited about it- but she was!! But we made it a great, big deal that this was awesome- it was going to help her. She ate it all up!
I have to say, that the 3 weeks between finding out that she would be getting the brace and getting it, I pretty much lived on the computer- again. (Last time was the year before when Erika was diagnosed with Uveitis.) I was also on the phone talking to as many people as I could. I won't go into all the details here... but if you want more info.... please ask... long story short- I was able to put together a team of people from many different professions that were willing to work "together" to help Kaeli beat the Scoliosis.
and if you are going to tell me that there isn't anything you can do about Scoliosis, save your breath. I don't mean to be rude, but I have done my research. I know there are many types of it and some are far more serious than others, etc., etc., and I know all the studies that say that you can't reverse it, you can only hope that it doesn't progress farther. Well... we have chosen to believe that we can do something about it and we will continue to do everything we can to fight it! You see... by the time she (anyone) is done growing... if you can keep the curvature degree as low as possible, there is a point where it tends not to progress! I don't have the exact numbers in front of me now, but let me tell you... this can work!
our team... they all had to 1. be willing to work "together"- not all disciplines like working with others, you know! and 2. believe that they could make a difference in her Scoliosis! We started... a chiropractor, Rolfing, physio and the orthotist... along with a pilates instructor along the way.
ok... better fast forward a bit... I can give more details if you are interested... I have done hours and hours and hours of research! lol But let me tell you- there is some amazing info. out there and hope!!
April 2007... mild thoracic scoliosis convex right centered T9 at 15.3 degrees.
May 2009... no change
February 2010... from inferior end plate of T11 to superior end plate of T7, 21 degrees, no other changes (increase of 6 degrees in less than a year)
May 2010... x-rays with brace on (been wearing for 3 months now) 8 degrees (yay!! PTL!! **they say that they HOPE for a 10degree improvement... we had 13!), and lower (which they never told me about in the beginning- NOT happy about this, but thankfully they let me know now!!) around 11 degrees... added extra padding into brace for this curve
December 2010... x-rays "with" brace, upper about 8 degrees and lower about 7 degrees... yay! PTL!! So... this is awesome news because the numbers are the same/better, which we were told doesn't happen... ha! NOT in God's world!!
Now, I will explain the " around with. For our next appointment (in 6 months), the specialist said that because these numbers were so good, he would like to do the x-rays OUT of her brace, meaning that she should go to bed the night before without her brace on so that it is off at least 12hrs. before the x-ray. I asked, "Oh! It only takes that long for the spine to adjust?" He said, "yes." I said, "Well then... I guess we did that today because she hasn't had her brace on for over 24hrs.." (she had a rash on her tummy, so had it off until just before the x-ray)
Sooooooo... do you know what this means??? those numbers that were already awesome are now AWESOME-ER!! God totally turned those numbers around. He has used many people to help Kaeli out! I am totally thanking God for his wisdom and leading in this area!! and thank you for all of you who have prayed! Please keep praying. We are not "out of the woods". Kaeli asked right away, "So, can I keep my brace off now?" "ummmm... no! You still are going to grow!"
With that... we still need prayer... and thank you. We have a long road because it's not "over" until she is through puberty, until she is done growing. But for right now- we are celebrating!! and please, celebrate with us!!