Have you ever known how it feels for your life to turn upside down in an instant? In 2013 I had major back surgery. It is called scoliosis and is a condition where your back isn’t straight. Anyway, it started off on a cold January night, when me, my sister, mom, dad, grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousin all went to New York City at the Belair Hotel. This was where my mom, dad, grandparents and sister would stay while I was in the hospital. The hotel was very close to the hospital so it was very convenient. Anyway, when we got there we went to the hotel. I was nervous and scared for the next day. I slept at the hotel the first night, but I would have to go to the hospital the next day. The hospital was like any ordinary hospital, it had a place for kids to play with things. It had the big round desk where all the nurses sat. The name of the hospital was The Hospital for Special Surgery. I was really scared, I had never had surgery before. I didn’t want to have surgery, but I knew it had to be done.
First I had to get a halo, which is a traction thing that got nailed into my head. It was also attached to a hook. You would add weights to it to stretch my back out before the surgery. The halo kind of felt like you were trapped because you couldn’t really do anything you could just sit and look straight ahead. Luckily since my parents were both doctors, my doctor let me go home in it. I was happy to go home. I think I was in the hospital for 3 or 4 weeks and knew I would be staying there longer for the surgery. So I was happy to return home for a while. A tutor came to my house because I couldn’t go to school. Her name was Laura. She was a nice lady, probably in her 50s. Basically what she did was,she went to my school, to my teacher (Mrs.Rifenburgh) and my teacher would give her work for me to do that she thought I would be able to do and Laura, my tutor brought it to me and helped/teached me it. Anyway, my back doctor was amazing, he was the best doctor I could ever have. He was so nice. He was a really good doctor. He goes to Ghana, Africa every year to do back surgery on kids who need it, and he does it for free. He does surgery on homeless people too. His name is Dr. Boachie. He built this hospital in Ghana, Africa to help the people of his country and his whole staff goes with him.
I was really happy when I came home, I still had to go to New York City for appointments and things. I had to get prepped for surgery before I even got the halo. I had to have x-rays, MRI’s, cat scans, blood tests and IVs. I had to have MRI’s of my heart and back because I had had heart surgery when I was 3 months. I also have to get MRI’s of my heart every 10 years. For me, I think that was the worst part because you have to go all the the way to New York City, wait for the time to go in and then get the thing done.
Finally, it was time to get the surgery. It was on February 24 (I think) and was scheduled to be done at 5 A.M. I was so nervous, and scared. But mostly nervous. Anyway, the surgery went really well and we were all very happy. Most of the time I was half asleep and didn’t really notice anything but soon I was better. I have to say even though I had to lay down most of the time, having the actual surgery wasn’t even bad. I was asleep during it and after it I didn’t really feel any pain. I had to wear a brace and then after a while I went home. After I took the brace off I went for physical therapy to get back in shape, for example I had to stretch my back out a lot. I still do it to this day and will for the rest of my life. Before I had my surgery and had the halo on, my mom brought this stuffed animal she got at a nearby drugstore. The stuffed animal was a white polar bear with turquoise eyes. On the tag it said the name was Igloo , so I just kept the name (I am not good at making up names.) I was so happy when my mom brought that for me because it was something I could hold onto and keep with me at the hospital.
Now, I went to a back doctor appointment, except it was not with the same doctor, he has moved to Ghana , Africa and will be continuing his work on patients there. I’m kind of upset because he changed my life and now all of a sudden I won’t be able to have him as my doctor. Now I have a new doctor, his name is Dr. Lenke and he is a very good surgeon. Anyway, I went for an appointment with him a couple weeks ago and he said in about 2 or 3 years, I will have to have back surgery again. I will probably take Igloo with me.
here is a link if you want to learn more about scoliosis : http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Scoliosis/scoliosis_ff.asp