Shortly before the new year, I took my daughter to what I was expecting to be simple orthopedist checkup. I was wrong. My 11 year old daughter has scoliosis. We had known this for a while. We never expected it to get worse, but it did. The doctor has recommended a back brace to prevent the curves from getting worse. For braces like these to be effective, they have to be worn 20 hours a day until she stops growing. The worst part is this is not a guarantee it will help. Even after wearing this uncomfortable brace, it’s possible she could still need to have surgery someday.
My daughter is devastated, and as a parent it’s heartbreaking. There is nothing I can do to help her. I can’t even give her a guarantee that the brace will be effective. She cried for a few days after the doctor’s appointment. She’s afraid it will hurt and that she won’t be able to sleep well with it on. More than anything she is worried that others will judge her and make fun of her, and kids can be so cruel at her age.
She is calming down a little more each day but is still very upset. I answer her questions the best I can and listen when she is upset. I desperately wish there were more I could do. I’m incredibly grateful that scoliosis is not life threatening. Surgery is an option if it gets bad, but back surgery is nothing to take lightly. It’s painful and takes a while to recover from. I hate feeling useless as a parent. I wish there were something else I could do to make her feel better. She’s a sensitive kid, and I’m worried about how all of this is going to affect her mental health in the long run.