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The diagnosis—and communication—of my scoliosis
Growing up I had never given much thought to occasional back pains, nor to the asymmetries of my body, whether I noticed it in my legs, my ribs or my shoulders. Pain was as irritating to me as it might be for anybody else, but without an explanation for the experience, it was easy to not let the sensations overwhelm me. Everybody experiences discomfort every now and again, and mine were certainly not debilitating enough to change anything about my life.
One day, while being treated for an unrelated wrist injury, my family doctor noticed some of those asymmetries. While the growing pain had generally stopped—I was 17 now—she referred me for an X-ray, and I obliged. In the follow-up I was told that I had scoliosis, with two curves. I was told that there was a risk of the curves progressing, and that I should take steps to avoid such progression. She referred me to a community physiotherapist, and recommended that I self-monitor my posture. I obliged again, attending physiotherapy three times a week. I also started to avoid engaging in other physical activities.
My curves, with hindsight, were not at all severe. But at the time, I grew fearful. My mind …
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