Hi everyone! I'm new here and I really need some advice. I'm a 22 year-old living with scoliosis, and I'm very much bothered by it. I grew up in China and my parents weren't aware of my condition, until I felt back pain and realized I walked funny in my late teenage years. I was finally diagnosed with scoliosis when I was 17. The curvature was around 35 degrees in my lower back/lumbar area. The doctor in China said I could do surgery if I really wanted, but I didn't opt for it in fear of bad consequences.
I came to the US for college when I was 18. The curvature didn't progress a lot after that, but my condition has been bothering me more and more both physically and mentally. I am very self-aware of how I walk and look almost every minute of every day. My back pain has grown worse and worse. I feel constant pain that sometimes disallows me to just sit there and do work. I started to find it harder to make subtle movements such as turning my head, raising and lowering my legs, or doing simple tasks with my fingers such as typing or eating. Lately I became even more depressed because I feel like I have less and less control of my hands and fingers. My hands/fingers become weaker and stiffer, they shake slightly, which I suspect having to do with nerve damages from my scoliosis. I become uncomfortable eating with other people as I'm afraid they'll notice my shaking condition. As an outgoing person, I turned more and more away from people and only find conform lying on bed at home.
I went to a doctor in a good orthopedics and spine clinic in Atlanta. They asked for my pain level but since I'm not in severe pain it was hard for me to really illustrate. My shaking condition is also on a subtle level that they couldn't pin down. I took an x-ray. It's 38 degrees in lumbar area, so they suggested physical therapy and pain medicine. I don't take pain medicines. I tried physical therapy--it was expensive and unhelpful.
I'm so depressed. I feel that no one could help me. I think surgery is the only possibly effective option left, but doctors here seem unlikely to recommend it since my curvature is below 40 degrees. I know some of you guys probably have been through much worse, but I just feel like in so much torture, constantly. I would really appreciate some advice, on possibly how to be eligible for a spinal fusion that medical insurance would cover, and on how to deal with the discomfort and pain associated with scoliosis.
Thanks in advance!!