Sophie had her back to school physical last Friday. They discovered she has scoliosis. It's in her upper back, looks like it's probably a C curve.
It runs in Mark's family. Our niece, Kelly (who got married last year in Colorado) had scoliosis and had to have surgery in her late teens. It was very serious and I remember how concerned my brother in law was about her. (She looks perfect now, so the surgery obviously worked.) And our nephew, Corey, had something wrong with his spine (not sure it was scoliosis, probably was) and had to have a rod put in his spine to keep it straight. Mark's aunt (his mom's sister) had it so bad that her hips were very crooked. She had to have all her skirts altered so they would hang in a straight line (I remember his cousins talking about this after she died and they were going through her clothes).
I am a wreck.
I feel guilty because it's very pronounced and it's hard for me to accept that I didn't catch it earlier. I have noticed a slight bump on her back before, but it's never been pronounced and I didn't think anything of it. So now, of course, I feel like I should have thought something of it and am beating my head against a wall at my stupidity.
Her hair is very long, almost to her waist, and she almost always wears it down. And she's 12--it's not like I inspect her body on a regular basis like I did when she was little. She doesn't have any physical side affects yet, no pain or anything. I can rationalize all these reasons for why I missed it, but I still feel tied up in knots with guilt.
I am filled with fear. This isn't reversible, to my knowledge and from what I've briefly read online. It can get worse. Corrective measures include wearing a brace, surgery, maybe some physical therapy. She'll need regular x-rays to watch the progression.
This is the child who has had "something wrong with her" since she was 2 1/2. She already feels limited by her vertigo and migraines, and has emotional scars from all she missed out on because of her extended vertigo spells and from what she misses out on now. She has almost no arch in her feet and her feet/heels are very narrow; she has problems finding shoes that fit and any time she runs (like on the playground), she feels like she looks weird and her friends have commented on it.
After it was pointed out to me, now it's all I can see when I look at her back. Her right shoulder blade is noticably humped. Her right shoulder is slightly higher than the other. This is such a tough age when it comes to insecurity around physical appearance, and I'm worried about if this will make it worse.
I don't know how to handle all this. She goes to see her doctor next Tuesday. I had her physical done at the Walmart clinic for $30 because her insurance doesn't pay for well care visits. There will be follow ups and specialists involved, which she has already suffered through most of her life because of her vertigo.
I don't know how to help her feel okay about all this because *I* don't feel okay about it. I am terrified I will handle it wrong and really screw her up.
I'm praying. I'm talking to my sponsor today. I don't want to read too much online because I'm afraid I'll read horror stories and make myself more afraid.
I need to talk to my therapist. I have no idea where the money for that is going to come from.
I am a big ball of worry and fear.
She isn't limited physically by it, at least anymore than she was limited before and at least not yet. She isn't obsessing about how she looks, which I hope is a good sign.
It's probably going to be a long road. I have to get it right. And this will all happen during a time when I'm already afraid I won't be a good enough parent during her teen years.
I know that, ultimately, everything will be okay. She's still a beautiful, talented, kind, compassionate, funny, and loving girl, and above all, I don't want this scoliosis to damage any of that. I feel a heavy burden to make sure of it.