I am an eighteen year old male, and my spinal fusion surgery is scheduled for October 13. Here's a bit of my story.
(just go to the last paragraph if you don't like reading)
Ten years ago, my sister and I were diagnosed with scoliosis. My curves were minor, two curves around 20 degrees. Hers were more severe, two curves around 60 degrees; although in a way where it didn't really show. We were horrified by the x-rays - both of us had pretty good posture, no one thought we'd both have scoliosis. My sister was scheduled for the surgery, and got it a year later at the age of thirteen.
She spent about eight days in Shriner's Hospital for Children. I remember the pain she went through, physically, and psychologically. It was pretty hard for her to come to terms with a permanently fixed spine.
Anyways, my spine progressed quite a bit as I developed. I was braced for about two years, starting when I was eleven, but that didn't really work; my curves progressed at the same rate. When I turned fourteen, my curves slowed down to the point that my doctor thought I wouldn't even need the surgery, which was a huge relief, as both curves were around 35-40 degrees.
I started ballet and tai-chi to keep my back as healthy as I could, and it worked for awhile. Although, when I turned eighteen, I went to Shriner's for my routine 6-month checkup, and both curves had surpassed 50 degrees... They had progressed over 5 degrees each in six months, due to a "late growth spurt".
Another six months later, I'm sitting down behind a computer screen at 1am, unable to sleep, just like the few weeks preceding, scared out of my wits. I keep having nightmares about my legs being paralyzed during the operation, or having uncontrollable twitches that turn my spine and bend the rods, and other related things. I have spine related nerve damage, and although I know that my nightmares are unrealistic, my current conditions just want to amplify themselves in my subconscious.
I've battled with clinical depression for a long time, but this is pretty hard to push through... I feel like I've had ten years to prepare for this, and I had thought I'd left the fear behind after seeing my sister go through it. I've talked to five other people who've had it, all of them close to me, but the experience is so different for everyone. I've had the same doctor/orthopedic surgeon for as long as I've known my spine was crooked, and although I trust him like a family member, I still can't shake my fear.
I need help... I know all I need or want to know about this surgery and the alternatives, and its too close to call it off (not that I want to), so I don't need facts; thats why I've left out most of the specifics of my condition. If you've had the surgery, or personally know people who've gotten it, I'd like to hear about the personal troubles you went through during it, and how you got through that week or so in the hospital, and beyond that. I'm just looking for a bit of hope
From a sleepless boy-man,