My name is Aika. I was diagnosed with scoliosis a month after my 11th birthday. Within 10 months, my T/L curve had jumped 11 degrees to 32 degrees, which meant bracing was the next step. I was nervous when I heard I needed to get a brace; however, there are a LOT of support groups for us bracers. My mommy is my biggest supporter – she went through bracing and surgery in the “ancient” times.
There are groups that are so amazing like Scolios-us, Curvy Girls, and even your own groups you can create to lean on and help you see that you are not alone. There are other kids going through the same thing as you. Remember, this journey does not have been a lonely one! I am now 12, and I have been wearing my TLSO brace since the summer of 2020. I wear it 16-18 hours a day, and my “off” time is when I practice Irish dance and stretching. My brace has a sensor inside it, so that helps keeps me responsible. I like to see my percentage of compliance each visit…so far straight As!!
Once I got my brace, I had to get it adjusted and tweaked to work perfectly for my body. It takes some tweaks, so be sure to tell your parents when and where it hurts. REMEMBER BRACE PAIN and BRUISING ARE NOT NORMAL. It usually means the brace is not fitting right or not being put on quite right!!! When I have my brace on correctly, it is really not that bad.
Another plus is that you will always have an excuse for new clothes! If you want to disguise it, loose and flowing clothes are the best because they does not stick against your brace! Sometimes, my friends forget I have it even on until they bump into me. Then, they feel the brace or say “you have a hard core!”
Try to turn your bracing experience into a positive journey. Just think, when you bump into things where your brace is, it does not hurt since you hit your brace instead. You also have an instant table to write on when you take it off, and you can open straws really easily against it.
I am trying to look at the positives when bracing, remembering that when I am older, I can look back on this time and realize it was only a brief time of my life. Try not to let your head get full of negatives. I am emBRACING the challenge I have been given, and I know that in the end, I can say I did all that I could for my curve!! Happy bracing!