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Everyone Has Something

By , Cannon Falls, MN
At one of my first doctor's appointments, there was an older guatemalan women sitting in the waiting room. She had just found out that her son had cancer, yet was still sporting a smile on her face. Later, I overheard her speaking with her husband, and what I heard really changed my thoughts on life. She said, ”Everyone has something.” Just those three words made me suddenly stop feeling sorry for myself. It’s true, everyone does have something. Maybe its a bad home life or even cancer like her son, but everyone has a story. I’m going to talk about my story, and not how sorry I feel, but how blessed I really am.

Before October 12th, 2010, I had no idea what scoliosis was, let alone could spell the word. The journey all started when my friend asked me, “What is so wrong with your hips.” I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about, until I gazed in the mirror. One hip was curved to an extent, and the other was perfectly straight. As I stood there dumbfounded, many thoughts entered my head. “Am I injured?” Nothing hurts. “What the heck is wrong with me?” Scoliosis had never popped into my head, because I had the routine screenings in fifth grade. The school nurses checked every girl’s back in the school, and I passed with flying colors.

The second my mom saw my hips, she called mayo clinic. I had an x-ray the next week, and was sent straight to rochester. The doctor put my x-ray on the screen, and I was shocked at what I saw. My back literally looked like a question mark, with 2 forty degree curves that weren’t supposed to be there. That spine skeleton in the school science lab, looked nothing like mine.
From there, I had many choices to make. Will I go with surgery and tons of pain? Or a back brace for two years. My parents and I decided to go with the back brace. My reasoning was that I wasn’t going to let scoliosis win. I’m stronger then it, and I was ready to prove that. I went through many u that.
Many ups and downs occurred with the brace. It wasn’t just the constant heat and claustrophobia, but it just seemed to make me really upset. There were times when I would rip it off, and just chuck it on the ground, because I was just so angry. Whenever I did though, I had to snap out of it and remember: “Stop feeling sorry for yourself, Caroline.”

In the end, the brace didn’t work out. My back got worse, and I will be needing surgery in July. When I found this out, I tried hard to look on the bright side. “Hey, maybe since sports are out of the question, I can try playing an instrument.” Then, I also recollected on all the friends and family that will be with me, through it all. I'm truly blessed that I’ll have them with me, every step of the way.


With Scoliosis, I have learned so much about myself. The journey with all the doctors appointments, and my back brace really taught me to be strong. Most of all I learned to not feel sorry for myself. As the guatemalan woman in the hospital said, “Everyone has something.” We all have a story. Truly though, scoliosis isn’t my whole story. It’s just a chapter in my life, that taught me a lot about myself.





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