Having Surgery

Jonisha - Cambridge, Massachusetts
Entered on August 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks
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It was 2005 and I was in the 5th grade when I started having back problems. I didn’t think it was that serious and then it started hurting even more so I told my parents and they gave me a heating pad. I put it on my back but that didn’t do anything, so we just kept trying to use the heating pad to see if it would eventually work.

One day I went to school and it was time for gym and the nurse called a few girls at a time to check our backs for scoliosis. Out of 25 kids I was the only one that had it. The nurse wrote a little note to my parents saying that I had scoliosis and that I needed to get to the hospital to get checked. When I went to the hospital, they took X-rays of my back to see how curved it was.

It was about the end of the school year and I was getting ready to have my surgery on June 28th. I couldn’t eat anything the day before surgery; I could only drink water. It felt weird to be empty and I was a little nervous. At the hospital, I had to put on a hospital gown and then get into the hospital bed. They gave me anesthesia so that I would go to sleep. I was out for six hours. When I woke up, my back hurt, but my dad was there to make sure I was okay.

I stayed at the hospital for about a week. I wanted to see the mad fireworks over the Charles on July 4th, but I was stuck in the hospital. While I was there, I only stood up twice – once when I took a shower and once when a nurse came to help me take a walk. It hurt when I walked and I was upset to be woken up. She had to wake me up because it was her last day seeing me. I had to take two steps to go up a stair. My back was hurting, and I could barely move even though I was taking a lot of pain medicine to make the pain stop. I took so many pills that the taste of the pills was stuck in my mouth. I had to eat to stay healthy and gain weight, but one time I threw up all my food – because of the nasty taste.

My grandpa visited me in the hospital and my aunt helped me shower. I hated it when the nurses would wake me up because I would feel so much pain. Mostly all I did was sleep, sleep, sleep.

I was happy to leave the hospital. It felt good to go home, even though I couldn’t really do anything at all. I asked the doctor if I could do stuff, and he said that I could go swimming. So I had this big bandage on my back and I had to wear a t-shirt to go swimming, but it was still fun. A few months later, I got to go to Six Flags even though I wasn’t supposed to do that stuff – I still went. It was after I had healed a bit, and the rides didn’t hurt.

Not everyone gets scoliosis. My back still hurts, but I have gotten used to it. The rods in my back will be there forever.