A wonderful and honest account of Gabriella’s scoliosis story! Gabriella and her family have been ardent supporters of families dealing with scoliosis and have never been shy about telling their story. Over the last 3 years, Dr. Asghar has watched Gabriella transform from a quiet child into an amazing and confident young woman.
Here is her courageous story:
“My scoliosis adventure began in October of 2015 when I was 12-years-old. My dance teacher noticed my shoulders and hips were a little off and told me to get checked for scoliosis. Later that month, I went to a spinal surgeon and was diagnosed with scoliosis with an “S” curve; the top curve was 35° and the bottom curve was 28°. I was directed to wear a back brace in hopes that it would prevent my curves from increasing. I began wearing my back brace in November of that same year until June of 2016. I wore my brace consistently; every day for 20-23 hours a day. Sadly, the brace didn’t do me much good. It held my curve for the first 2-3 months, but after that, my curve began to increase dramatically. In June of 2016, my top curve was at 48° and my bottom curve was at 36°. Because the brace wasn’t working anymore, my mom and I decided to venture into other alternatives other than surgery.
We came across a therapy program meant to decrease my curves and/or prevent them from getting any worse. I began the 2-week intensive therapy program that summer and we noticed a significant difference. My curves had decrease immensely; my top curve went back down to 32° and the bottom went down to 25°. I was directed to perform some of the exercises at home to maintain my progress. Again, I did my exercises daily, 2-3 times a day, as directed, but when I went for a checkup in July of 2016, my curves had increased dramatically (again); my top curve went back up to 45° and the bottom to 36°. At this point, my mom and I had given up hope and figured that surgery was the only other option. Once again, my mom and I started researching, but this time it was for a different surgeon. My top curve had reached 52° and my bottom curve to 45° and the surgery would need to be scheduled as soon as possible. Luckily, he was very encouraging and insured me that I could start school within 4 weeks post-op and I could be back in dance class within 6 weeks post-op. That did cheer me up, but I was still definitely in shock of the major increase. Dr. Asghar was very reassuring and answered all of our MANY questions.
That day, we scheduled the day and time for my spinal fusion; January 13, 2017, in the morning, since the surgeries are done in age order, youngest to oldest and I was 13 at the time. Dr. Asghar made sure we knew all the details of what we were getting ourselves into and gave us other patients we could contact about their experience and for the first time. I was confident in my decision and was more ready and mentally prepared than ever. Fast-forward to the day before the surgery, we went through a lot of different machines and blood tests and finally, we made it to my room. That night, all I did was eat and watch TV (which looking back I ate way too much). The next day, I woke up at 9 am and really only had time to shower. The moment I stepped out of the bathroom Dr. Asghar knocked on the door and told me my curve had increased; the top was now at 75° and the bottom was at 52° and that they would do the spinal fusion down to L2, since my curve had increased so significantly. After that, the nurses came in and took me away and I started to cry, mainly from the nerves, but they gave me some happy juice and I started to cheer up.
Once I was home, I was happier and more comfortable. We went through some hiccups down the road with medicines, (which I stopped drinking within a week and a half post-op) withdrawal symptoms, and constipation, but I got through it all with the love and support from all my family, friends, and Dr. Ashgar. Now, I’m a year and a half post-op and couldn’t be more grateful to everyone who has been there for me through this roller coaster of my Scoliosis Story. It was an extremely tough two and a half years both mentally and physically, but I made it through. This experience helped me learn so much about myself and how strong I really am. I matured dramatically because of this experience in my life and I’m thankful I was able to learn and grow so much from this adventure.” ~ Gabriella
If your child is exhibiting potential symptoms of scoliosis or you’d like to schedule a complimentary MRI review, please call (954) 567-1332 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Asghar.