The thought of this was the end of the world for me at the time. There was no way we could take that chance but there was no way my parents could take the risk of me being functionally impaired. My parents knew that it would be the better choice for me at the time especially in the long run. I just was hopeful that it would all work out and I would return to be an athlete.
The surgery was overall a success with a few complications along the way. My lung collapsed during surgery which lengthened the surgery time along with recovery. My back would not heal completely requiring a second surgery to revise the first. However, I was overall able to recover to a functionally, and healthy teenager even though I didn’t quite return to the athlete I wanted to be. I continued to play sports recreationally but was mildly limited on what I could do with my new and improved spine. It was difficult and frustrating at times but I learned a lot during it all especially to be appreciative of what I could still do.
Also during the difficult recovery time, I became very familiar with physical therapy. I attended PT appointments 3 times per week for approximately 3-4 months as I weaned myself from a back brace. Although sometimes PT was hard and painful, I truly enjoyed it! The rehabilitation clinic was full of fun and laughter despite the sweat and tears from patients. It was evident that they all enjoyed their profession and I would forever be grateful to them for impacting my life in recovering from a back surgery in addition to being role models and guiding me to a profession I now love.
From that moment on in my life, I was always interested in healthcare and the idea of helping others recover from events and injuries in their lives that may be hard and difficult for them. In middle school, I found my future profession in physical therapy. During high school years, I was also introduced to athletic training as I tried to return to sports which I would also pursue in my future.
Not only did I learn about myself and what I dreamed of doing in the future, but I also learned how I wanted to act in my future profession. I want to create a light-hearted and fun atmosphere for those that may be going through a very painful or difficult time in their lives. I want to educate and motivate them to work hard to recover but to have a little fun while we accomplish that. Also, I want them to appreciate that these moments may not be the “end of the world” and hopefully this difficult situation for them may be happening for a reason. Maybe I am inspiring them to live a healthier lifestyle, preventing them from a more serious impairment down the road, or possibly becoming a role model for that next future physical therapist.
In a moment that I thought life would never be the same and would be worse, it became a moment that would change my life forever but for the better! Thanks to Scoliosis, I became an athletic trainer and physical therapist and I get to have fun and help others every day!