My name is Lisa, and I am currently 26 years old. I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was in middle school during a physical in P.E. I was unfamiliar with the condition, and it was all very frightening for me. Initially, I was referred to Dr. Peter Newton at Rady Children’s Hospital and was fitted for a brace that I was supposed to wear twenty-three hours a day. I tried my best for a year, but it eventually became so uncomfortable, and I felt so self-conscious that I stopped wearing the brace to school. I had surgery in October of 2000, just one month into my freshman year of high school. The immediate days following surgery were a struggle. I was very dependent on my family and had to relearn simple tasks like walking and sitting up. Slowly but surely, I was able to move about freely with some limited physical activity. It was a journey.
I am very grateful to have had such an awesome experience with the doctors and nurses at Rady Children’s Hospital. Throughout the years they have continued to stay in contact with me and have really helped me become the confident person that I am today. Years following my surgery, I do not feel limited to any physical activity. I have gone parasailing, zip-lining, kayaking, snorkeling, snowboarding, and have even sky dived. Today, I am on a new and exciting career path. I am studying to become a Radiologic Technologist and am doing my first clinical rotation at Rady Children’s Hospital. Now, instead of being the patient with scoliosis getting her x-rays taken, I do x-ray exams on patients who have scoliosis! It has been so amazing to be able to experience the other side of this process. Eleven years following my surgery, I cannot imagine how my life would be had I not had it.
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