Hi, my name is Glenn, I'm a 42 year old male diagnosed with scoliosis within the last year. I have been trying to get help for over a ten years. Unfortunately my search for help has been hampered by the fact that my former GP and local ER both labelled me as a drug seeker. Not until I went to a walk in clinic which had a strict no narcotics policy was I able to have my symptoms taken seriously and had images of my spine taken revealing that I had scoliosis, ostyeo arthritis and DDD. Today I saw a physiatrist at the same hospital who mentioned his awareness of my problems with the ER department before he told me that there was nothing wrong with me and that "scoliosis is nothing to worry about and it's just like the fact that we both lost our hair; it just happens". He also told me that the numbness, tingling and radiating pain I'm experiencing are likewise nothing to worry about. I was also told that as an adult I had nothing to worry about because it only progresses in children which means one of us is missunderstanding the term 'degenerative' in degenerative scoliosis. I don't understand, because these assertions contradict everything I have read online about scoliosis in adults and frankly lead me to believe that he was parroting what the hospitals legal department told him to tell me because I made a formal complaint about my treatment.
I do not know the angles at which my curvature is because I have yet to have a specialist assess them but I have seen the x-rays and they look comparable to those used as examples on scoliosis websites. I understand that there are others out there with far more severe problems but I have found it devastating that what I am going through is being discounted by so many and that I am assumed to be lazy and looking for drugs rather than someone who has had the 'rug pulled out from under him' and is trying to find a way to get back to being a productive individual which I could do if I had better help managing my pain. I wonder how common my sort of experience is? I know that scoliosis itself isn't common and that it is even less so for adult men to be diagnosed with it so I can kind of understand my difficulty getting a diagnosis but now that I have a diagnosis why am I being told that this is no big deal and that it's just part of life like losing my hair? Is this experience common? Am I over reacting in thinking that I shouldn't have to live in pain and that I shouldn't have to just suck it up and get used to it? I used to own a bar and had a modest career as a musician locally; now I have lost my business and have been forced to move in with my parents, isolated and alone because I can't seem to do anything without losing sensation in my arms and legs and without being fatigued quickly. I have been very depressed by all of this.