June is National Scoliosis month and one of my good friends Shelley not only has scoliosis but her daughter has a more severe childhood case. I've watched Shelley as she walks through this with Allyn with so much love and patience and determination to get her the best treatments. Shelley asked me if she could do a guest post in hopes that anyone reading this who might be on this road or just got a diagnosis and might need encouragement or support or information. I have no doubt there are several of you who this affects. Or you may have a friend you can point here who needs to read this.
Thanks to Kelly's Korner Blog for giving me the opportunity to share a little with you about scoliosis. I'm sure almost everyone has heard of scoliosis and there are a lot of people out there that know (or know of) someone with it. Well, June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month. It's kind of an important month in our home. Why? Well, 50% of my household has scoliosis. I have the more traditional kind that begins in adolescence. I honestly have no idea what degree my curve is currently at and the only time it has ever caused me any discomfort is during each of my pregnancies (but isn't every expectant mother uncomfortable in those last weeks?). But more importantly, my daughter has early onset scoliosis. It's something I never even knew existed until she was diagnosed by our pediatrician when she was six months old. I guess when you get down to it, mechanically it's the same as the kind you have probably heard about. Only hers progressed a lot faster and because of that it has the potential to cause a lot more problems now and as she gets older. So these days I'm kind of invested in curvy spines.
This is one of those images that I just want to cry when I see. You can see the curve, but this is how evident the rotation had become just before we started casting.
We will go back in mid-June to have her seventh cast applied. And we will have been casting for an entire year. And I'm just so thankful for all of the people placed in our path so we could try a gentle method to healing her. And there is still a possibility that she won't be cured. And she may still need rods or spinal fusion. But casting is giving us time so that we don't have to make that decision too soon and we give her ribs and lungs time to grow and develop.
There are a couple of things that you can look for when you are examining at home. The most common way is the Adam's Forward Bend Test. You can also check for asymmetry in the shoulders, waist, hips or head leaning to one side. In babies and smaller children you may also notice a rib hump from the spine starting rotate, asymmetry in the chest wall, or a sacral dimple. Often times infants with the condition also present acid reflux and/or developmental delays.
General Scoliosis Information: Scoliosis Research Society
And if you have any questions or need me to help you find someone that can help you find answers, I (Shelley) can be reached at snscarbrough(at)gmail(dot)com.