Jessica - Hot Springs, Arkansas
Entered on October 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: hope

In the seventh grade I moved to a new school much bigger than my previous one, so it was hard to get to know people and have the feeling of wanting to go to school. Right when I started to make new friends, the school had a scoliosis screening which sent me to the doctor to get a better check up than the nurses at school could give me.

My results showed that the scoliosis was progressing rapidly, so to try to prevent any more curvature in my spine, a back brace was made for me. I had to wear the brace twenty-three hours of every day, which meant to school. I hated wearing it because if I didn’t wear baggy t-shirts, the brace would show through and make people stare at me and wonder why I looked different and had a different posture than them.

Being the new kid didn’t help either because people already tended to glance over and look in my direction. From seventh to ninth grade, I went to the state’s children’s hospital every six months for x-rays and check ups, carrying my brace or wearing it over a shirt so the doctor could see it easier, and each time, the results got worse.

But at the hospital, I didn’t feel as self-conscience about my brace because I’d look around and there would be kids just like me; most a lot worse. It made me realize that I didn’t have it so bad after all.

In the end, the brace didn’t work so I had to have two surgeries, the second one because the doctor messed up. But even in the Intensive Care Unit and then in a regular room for a week and in physical therapy I wasn’t the worst case. Some kids had health problems that they would have o deal with throughout their life. Some practically lived in the hospital because they had so many health issues.

That experience made me thankful for all I have and to remember that even if I’m having a bad day, someone else has got it worse and it’ll be okay in the end. I believe that if people would just stop and think for a minute about things besides the problems in their own lives, they would realize how blessed they really are, resulting in a better attitude towards life.

There are still some possibilities that I could have a third surgery, but I’ll go in with a positive attitude, not complaining or wanting attention, and will be able to look at the patient sitting in the chair next to me, truly believing that everything will be okay.