I guess to begin with I will talk about what was happening before I got a diagnosis from a doctor. Like any normal child, I would go to school everyday feeling confident of a great day. I began to see all of that slightly changing throughout the days at school as I began getting a strange pain in my back constantly all the time. The time where it would become unbearable would be walking back home from school. The pain would be stabbing and throbbing at my back, making me feel like I wanted to cry as no matter what I tried doing to stop it, like carrying my school bag by hand, it just wouldn’t stop! This kept repeating every single day and I would constantly complain about my back. But, I thought that maybe it was my back trying to adjust to a healthier posture and just left it at that and hoped it would stop.
Every Saturday, I would go to a gymnastics club for an hour with a coach. Everything was going well, no back pain or anything to do with my back. I began bending backwards, not thinking about if this was the thing that was making my back hurt and it felt weird bending back with a quick sharp pain while doing it. I tried doing some core conditioning by doing a dish shape. I struggled to stay up for more than three seconds before flopping back down. It wasn’t even my core that was in pain. It was my back again! My coach realised and began to inspect me. He ended up realising that one of my shoulders were higher up than the other and one shoulder blade was sticking out more than the other. I would later find out that they were signs of scoliosis and another sign, which I didn’t have, was one hip sticking out more than the other. My coach said that should get that checked up on by a doctor just in case it was something more serious.
The Trip To The Doctors
Later on, we booked an appointment with a doctor to get everything checked up on. During the school day, I was picked up and taken to the doctors. We all stayed in the waiting room way past our appointment time as that place is never really on time. We finally got called into the room and sat down with a doctor. I explained what I was experiencing recently and my dad thought I may have scoliosis a few nights before. The doctor confirmed that I have scoliosis after taking a look at my back. The one question we needed to ask is if I could do gymnastics anymore. They said most likely not but we would need to see an orthopaedic to really see if I can carry on. As if I wasn’t upset enough that really triggered my sadness. My mum was feeling the same way about it. It was hard to be told that you cant do what you love anymore, but especially hard to be told that you have something wrong with you. I generally believed that there was gonna be no way to fix this.
Even though it has been six weeks since I have been diagnosed, I can still remember the day like it was yesterday. Going home I was an emotional wreck. I felt sad and angry at myself as if it were my fault that it happened. It was very emotional for my entire family and I needed a day for it to sink in so I stayed off of school for the rest of the day. I sat down, when I got home, with my mum with some tea. We were extremely upset as I already explained. My mum reassured me that this could be turned into something better than the way we were seeing it. For example, it makes you unique and not like most other people. I called my grandma and talked to her about my whole situation. She said that maybe having to quit gymnastics could be an exciting opportunity to try out something new. You never know what could be your next focus. My mum and grandma told me that all of this is mendable and will not last forever. I’m so glad I have such support from all of my family members. I have got to say without them I don’t know how I would be feeling right now. I would hope that everyone has someone to talk too about what they are feeling in these lows points in life.
Contacting a Physio
Now knowing that I had scoliosis, I would need to try and get some appointments with a physiotherapist. While I was at school, my mum would call every single to day to try and book me an appointment in. Getting these appointments became very stressful for all of us as my referrals got so messed around. To begin with, it got lost in the system and then it got cancelled, got sent to the wrong hospital and eventually for what seemed like forever it got to the right place. During all the time it took, I was still suffering from painful backache. Eventually, we booked an appointment that was right for us and I was due for a physiotherapy appointment very soon. Knowing that I was going to physio definitely gave me some hope for the pain in back to either go away or become bearable.
My dad explained to me that he had found out about a gymnast that once had scoliosis and got surgery and when on to be a successful competitive gymnast. That made me feel good about my gymnastics whether I wanted to one day be competitive or just do it as a fun hobby. I decided that I would go back to the gym in the next session but just be weary of back.
During the next few days I will be talking about my physio appointments and x rays and my chat with an orthopaedic consultant.