Friday, July 18, 2008

Momma, am I crooked?

Time is getting closer and closer. Shay and Nate's dr appt. Shay will have x-rays of her spine again and we will find out what her rate of progression is. Shay has jeuvenile thoracic scoliosis.

Most people know someone who has scoliosis. Some of us have it ourselves. We all remember bending over in phys ed while the school nurse looked and our backs. We remember that child that got pulled off to the side afterwords with a note to bring home to her mother. No big deal, right?

It depends. Some people are born with scoliosis or develop it before age 3. Infantile scoliosis. Those children generally outgrow it and are fine. Some children are diagnosed as teenagers. Those children generally end up with small spinal curves and go on to lead normal lives. Then there are those in the middle, the children with Jeuvenile scoliosis, these children face a much less favorable fight.

70% of children diagnosed with scoliosis between ages 3 and 10 will have curve progression requiring treatment. Half of those will require wearing a brace for years, half of them will require a very risky spinal surgery or risk heart and lung problems as the bones of the ribs are twisted into the very organs they are meant to protect.

Shaylin was diagnosed at age 6 at which time it was mentioned and the plan was the re-evaluate in a year. At age 7 the pediatrician noticed progression on visual examination and periodic x-rays were required. The problem is.... Shaylin is only beginning her time of rapid growth. Between now and age 13 she will grow immensly in height. This growth will put tremendous strain on a spine that is already bending, very likely causing it to bend more and more. Shaylin will spend her pre-teen years in a brace that goes from her armpits to her waist (under clothing) and may require surgery after she's done growing.

Time will tell if now is the time she gets her brace or if she is given more time. The brace will not fix any curving already done, rather hopefully prevent more severe curving while she grows. As of now her shoulders are visibly uneven, and her hips are becoming so every so slightly. She does not yet have the "hump" in her back that frequents the diagnosis.

It's one of those things that you never know what's right. You have to put faith in the doctors that she will get her brace when the time is right, and that she will be confident enough to deal with the questions and stares as she goes through the years of her life that are so very difficult on their own for a young girl.

So, I'm nervous as the time draws near for this appointment. I pray that her spine hasn't curved much if any this year.


Shannon said...

I'm one of those diagnoised as a teen. I have a slight curvature but nothing that bothers me. I'm sure Shay will be just fine!

cindys_family_eveything_blog said...

i understand what your going through. my eldest daughter has always looked "differen" she has had to contend with teasing and abuse because of the tumor in her face.

just last year steph, on top of all her over medical problems was diagnoised with osteoporois in her spine.

Her bones are so weak that shes not allowed to play sports or do things that will put her spine at risk of a short or sharp blow.. this means she can even jump on the tramperline.

Steph is on a bone building medication, that if taken in high doses is a form of chemopherapy for bone cancer. there are risks associated with taking this medication, but the risk to her back is far greater.

she is now evaulated each year, but could need to take this medication for years and years.

just recently a friend sent me a link that said they were finding leg fractures in women taking this class of drug (not the exact one she takes)

i hope shay's back is ok... if she has to have a brace, know that she will cope with it, kids learn to cope with the most amazing things.

it can be difficult to make choices, espically when it comes to the back/spine... but i tend to look at how it will help or not help and decide from there. Choosing to believe a doctor is hard, espically when its your child their talking about... but you need to have a specialist you trust impliciatily... someone you know cares enough to make the exact right choices.

good luck

ollyhop said...

When is Shay's appt.? Keep us posted. We're all thinking about her and praying. Holly Hopkins