Ab·i·gail (b-gl): Joy Of The Father

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My Story of Scoliosis

Today I am going to share a story with you-my story. Even though it's mostly a story about physical problems, if you look closely, it is also a story about God's provision and grace.
When I was 10 years old I was diagnosed with idiopathic juvenile scoliosis. Basically, I was growing so fast that my spine couldn't keep up, and as a result it was ending up curved instead of straight. Obviously, this can cause some pretty serious problems if not treated. My parents decided to have my treatment at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, even though it was a 2-1/2-hour drive. (By the way, I loved Mayo Clinic.)
At my first appointment, we found out from the x-rays that I had a 27 degree curve. The doctor recommended bracing me. He normally wouldn't recommend that on the first visit, but my scoliosis was already progressed enough that bracing was needed immediately. So I was fitted for my first back brace. I wore a back brace for the next 4 years. It was not easy! I had to wear the brace for 20-23 hours a day, taking it off for bathing or sports, and/or an hour or so break a day. I was able to take it off myself, but had to have someone to help me put it on.
Having a brace was hard. I could do normal things when it was off, but after having it off for too long, my back got extremely sore. It was hard for me to go to sleepovers or summer camp. And because of the design of my brace, my posture was always crooked with 1 shoulder higher than the other-something that didn't look very nice in pictures.
Wearing the brace was sometimes painful, especially during the adjustment period. There was an initial adjustment period, when I adjusted to wearing the brace. There were also 2 other adjustment periods when I had to adjust to a new brace after outgrowing the one I was in. Even though a long undershirt is worn under the brace, sometimes sores can still develop on the skin. So we had rub my skin with rubbing alcohol to toughen it up. We were told that the first 2 weeks would probably be the worst-because of the adjustment period. Remarkably, those first 2 weeks were really not bad at all. I know it is because I had so many people praying for me. My diagnosis was quite a surprise to my family, so our church family was remembering us in prayer.
The hardest time for me was adjusting from my first to my second brace. It was extremely painful. That second brace continued to give me problems-it had not been formed right, so it ended up applying pressure to the wrong spots, creating some bad sore spots. Eventually we had to have a third brace that was formed correctly, but I was left with 2 scars (a small one on my upper back, and a much larger and worse one on my lower back) that I still have to this day.
But in the end, God worked it all out to his glory. You will remember my original x-ray showed a curve of 27 degrees. Now, bracing is not meant to correct a curve, only to keep it from getting worse. A very good brace wearer may, at best, correct their curve by 1 or 2 degrees. But after 4 years, my final x-rays showed a curve of only 11 degrees! I know that through so many people's prayers, God had decided to work a miracle. He had basically healed my scoliosis, as a curve is not even considered scoliosis unless it is higher than 10 degrees. The doctors were amazed and pleased.
After I was done wearing the brace I still had some things to work through. My back was weak after so many years of being supported by a brace. I had some physical therapy exercises to strengthen it. But through exercises, my karate classes, and God's healing, I now do not have those problems.
Today, even though it was extremely painful and difficult, I am so thankful that God gave me scoliosis and used me to show how he can do anything. Don't ever doubt Him! I am a living testimony that he answers prayers.
~Brooke Reninger

1 comment:

  1. I love hearing stories of God's authority over all sickness! Thank you for sharing it with us :)