Interview Paper

January 13, 2010
Back and forth goes the hinge. With a beginning…but no end. This is what Rachel, 13, goes through when going up the stairs.
She says, “Doing bunny hops up the stairs, I can feel it going back and forth like a hinge.”
She has a back brace to prevent the sliding of the vertebra. The car rides give the most pain. Placing pillows on the seat and another behind makes a difference.
She was playing with her next door neighbors on their trampoline. They were having fun until the five-year-old fell on her back. From then on…her back was painful. She was in pain for four months starting in March 2009.
Rachel has a condition called Spondylothesis. This condition is where one of the vertebrae in the spine is broken. Her fifth vertebra is broken in half. The vertebra is slipping by 25 percent.

“It was scary and painful,” she says.
On her good days, on the scale of one to ten, her pain level is one. On her bad days, it is a seven. The doctor put her on pain medication which helps.
It has been a strenuous year for Rachel. She finished physical therapy and was spending blissful time with her friends. But within two months… she was back in therapy. She re-injured her back.
This time, she was playing with her friends. They were giving piggy back rides. The girl she was on tripped and Rachel went flying into the air. The doctor gave her restrictions: no boating, tubing, gym class, sit ups, push ups, contact sports, and running (on bad days).
“I want to be a normal kid,” she says.
Having this condition is long-term. Rachel needs to remember to take her pain medication on time and wear her back brace.
Rachel recently went to the doctor and found out exciting news. She doesn’t need to have surgery…not yet.
To help her keep going, she has one saying: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

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