Rory Rides the Road

Rory Rides the Road

Hi! I'm Rory, I found out I had scoliosis when I had just turned 17, back at the start of 2016. At the time I was in my final year of high school, and my friends and family had noticed that my right shoulder blade had been protruding abnormally (see hilarious school swimming carnival photo below) after returning from a trip to Malaysia, where I had been hiking and community volunteering, involving manual labour. In April of 2016 I went to my doctor who referred me to a physiotherapist who was able to get me to do a forward bend test, attempting to trace my spine down my back, but losing it about 1/3 of the way down my back.

Shortly after, I got my first spinal x-ray to see how severe the scoliosis was, as you can see from the photo above, it was impressive that it had kept itself hidden until it was quite extreme. Due to my age and the severity of the curve, it was considered that my only suitable option would be spinal fusion surgery. I underwent surgery in December of 2016, and spent my 18th birthday in hospital. A mere 8 months after finding out I had severe scoliosis and realising that I would have to undergo not only my first, but an enormous surgical procedure. At the time it was quite scary, for myself and my family. Thankfully the surgery was successful, with no complications despite lasting 7 hours. I now have T2-T12 fused, as you can see below.

The recovery from surgery began immediately, I recall the morning after the surgery shortly after I awoke the ICU nurse came over to me and simply told me to "get up, sit up on the side of your bed" so less than 24 hours after surgery, I was rolling myself and sitting up on the edge of my hospital bed. From that point onwards, there was lots and lots of walking. I really got to know all the local dogs that were regulars at the park behind my house. I also began seeing a physiotherapist to aid in my recovery. The physiotherapist was brilliant, and was able to provide me with exercises that greatly improved my bodies response to the change it had endured from the surgery.

I'm happy to say that I'm now back to living my life with the same ferocity as before I knew I had scoliosis (see pics below). I've now had enough time since the surgery to reflect on my experiences, the late discovery of scoliosis, and the short time between discovery and surgery. At the time it was all a blur, and now I find myself in the position of not wanting others to go through the same experience as myself, or for those that may to have to, to be provided with the greatest care and treatment available.

The question for me became how? what can I do? I know very little about scoliosis, I'm not a medical professional or anything, so how can I help others with scoliosis... the answer would come in the form of one big wheel. Unicycling! A passion that I have had since I was 10 (see photo below). I first got on a unicycle at a school camp in my penultimate year of primary school, I immediately fell in love with the idea of pedal power on one wheel. My parents bought me a unicycle shortly after returning from the camp, I taught myself to ride, then proceeded to ride to and from school every day for the rest of primary school.

As I got older I didn't do a large amount of unicycling, however, during the COVID-19 pandemic, when Melbourne spent long swathes of time in lockdown, there was very little to do other than walking, running or cycling around my local area. So unicycling returned to the forefront of my attention, and I purchased a road unicycle for long distance riding (see right pic below, basically a regular unicycle just with a much larger wheel). My road unicycle allows me to cover much greater distances and allows me to combine my passion for unicycling with my efforts to support those with scoliosis.

I am currently completing long distance rides around my home state of Victoria, Australia, with my next ride happening this June (One day, 121 km along the longest continuous rail trail in Australia), raising funds for SOSORT. SOSORT (The International Society on Scoliosis Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Treatment) operates as an international non-profit through communication, education, collaboration, research and practice guidance. SOSORT has a particular emphasis on the holistic approach to scoliosis treatment: from early detection, to the importance of considering the lives and families of those with scoliosis, and emphasis on implementing effective non-operative treatment of scoliosis.

My unicycle rides also present a chance to raise the profile of scoliosis, and increase awareness. I do this all through my social media pages, I have an Instagram, Facebook and YouTube set up under the title 'Rory Rides The Road', where I post content related to my unicycle rides and fundraising efforts. Please feel free to follow these if you have any interest in what I am doing, and if you'd like to support my efforts further, you can find a link for donations on my socials too. Thanks for listening to my story! I hope you can join me in supporting those with scoliosis!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RoryRidesTheRoad

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/roryridestheroad/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@roryridestheroad7240

 

 

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Rory Rides the Road

Hi! I'm Rory, I found out I had scoliosis when I had just turned 17, back at the start of 2016. At the time I was in my final year of high school, and my friends and family had noticed that my right shoulder blade had been protruding abnormally (see hilarious school swimming carnival photo below) after returning from a trip to Malaysia, where I had been hiking and community volunteering, involving manual labour. In April of 2016 I went to my doctor who referred me to a physiotherapist who was able to get me to do a forward bend test, attempting to trace my spine down my back, but losing it about 1/3 of the way down my back.

Shortly after, I got my first spinal x-ray to see how severe the scoliosis was, as you can see from the photo above, it was impressive that it had kept itself hidden until it was quite extreme. Due to my age and the severity of the curve, it was considered that my only suitable option would be spinal fusion surgery. I underwent surgery in December of 2016, and spent my 18th birthday in hospital. A mere 8 months after finding out I had severe scoliosis and realising that I would have to undergo not only my first, but an enormous surgical procedure. At the time it was quite scary, for myself and my family. Thankfully the surgery was successful, with no complications despite lasting 7 hours. I now have T2-T12 fused, as you can see below.

The recovery from surgery began immediately, I recall the morning after the surgery shortly after I awoke the ICU nurse came over to me and simply told me to "get up, sit up on the side of your bed" so less than 24 hours after surgery, I was rolling myself and sitting up on the edge of my hospital bed. From that point onwards, there was lots and lots of walking. I really got to know all the local dogs that were regulars at the park behind my house. I also began seeing a physiotherapist to aid in my recovery. The physiotherapist was brilliant, and was able to provide me with exercises that greatly improved my bodies response to the change it had endured from the surgery.

I'm happy to say that I'm now back to living my life with the same ferocity as before I knew I had scoliosis (see pics below). I've now had enough time since the surgery to reflect on my experiences, the late discovery of scoliosis, and the short time between discovery and surgery. At the time it was all a blur, and now I find myself in the position of not wanting others to go through the same experience as myself, or for those that may to have to, to be provided with the greatest care and treatment available.

The question for me became how? what can I do? I know very little about scoliosis, I'm not a medical professional or anything, so how can I help others with scoliosis... the answer would come in the form of one big wheel. Unicycling! A passion that I have had since I was 10 (see photo below). I first got on a unicycle at a school camp in my penultimate year of primary school, I immediately fell in love with the idea of pedal power on one wheel. My parents bought me a unicycle shortly after returning from the camp, I taught myself to ride, then proceeded to ride to and from school every day for the rest of primary school.

As I got older I didn't do a large amount of unicycling, however, during the COVID-19 pandemic, when Melbourne spent long swathes of time in lockdown, there was very little to do other than walking, running or cycling around my local area. So unicycling returned to the forefront of my attention, and I purchased a road unicycle for long distance riding (see right pic below, basically a regular unicycle just with a much larger wheel). My road unicycle allows me to cover much greater distances and allows me to combine my passion for unicycling with my efforts to support those with scoliosis.

I am currently completing long distance rides around my home state of Victoria, Australia, with my next ride happening this June (One day, 121 km along the longest continuous rail trail in Australia), raising funds for SOSORT. SOSORT (The International Society on Scoliosis Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Treatment) operates as an international non-profit through communication, education, collaboration, research and practice guidance. SOSORT has a particular emphasis on the holistic approach to scoliosis treatment: from early detection, to the importance of considering the lives and families of those with scoliosis, and emphasis on implementing effective non-operative treatment of scoliosis.

My unicycle rides also present a chance to raise the profile of scoliosis, and increase awareness. I do this all through my social media pages, I have an Instagram, Facebook and YouTube set up under the title 'Rory Rides The Road', where I post content related to my unicycle rides and fundraising efforts. Please feel free to follow these if you have any interest in what I am doing, and if you'd like to support my efforts further, you can find a link for donations on my socials too. Thanks for listening to my story! I hope you can join me in supporting those with scoliosis!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RoryRidesTheRoad

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/roryridestheroad/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@roryridestheroad7240

 

 

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