Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Scoliosis – begining the journey

on June 29, 2010

On Friday June 25th, 2010 after two weeks of antibiotics for a UTI it was discovered that my daughter, 8 year old, Hannah has Thoraic Lumbar Scoliosis.  This was diagnosed after being treated for a UTI which I didn’t believe she had to begin with, a trip to the ER and 6 x-rays over the course of a week and a half (all these with no lead apron – more on that later)  The x-ray showed a 15 degree curve at T1 – T5 and T6 – T10 and a 25 degree curve from T11 – L3.   From what I’m reading a curve with a degree of 25 or more requires bracing.

There were no outward symptoms.  Hannah began to complain of back, stomach pain and some UTI symptoms – which is why they treated her as such even though the medications weren’t working.  The initial x-ray showed some curvature so we were sent for more x-rays and ultrasound (this was requested by me to rule out gallbladder, kidney stones or something with the appendix).  We were given the results I told you above almost immediately – you’ll see why when I post a picture of the x-ray from the chiro.  The curvature is causing the back pain and is being referred into her stomach as well.  Along with scoliosis can be respiratory problems – so I’ll be talking with Hannah’s pulmonologist to take her off all meds until we can tell if she really has asthma or not.

Here is the picture of the x-ray taken at the chiro’s office today.  I had not seen what the previous x-rays were like.  If you can notice her hips – they are uneven.  The curve even took the chiro by surprise as it did Hannah and I and my husband when we got home with it.

I have been doing research and found the National Scoliosis Foundation which has quite a bit of information as well as a forum board.  Here are some things that I have found out, you’ll also see why I’m worried about the effects of 6 x-rays within a week and a half.

  • Scoliosis can impact the quality of life with limited activity, pain, reduced respiratory function, or diminished self-esteem.
  • Scoliosis patients also have increased health risks due to frequent x-ray exposure.  (my note: with females long exposure to x-rays/radiation can cause infertility and other health issues)
  • Despite physicians trying to treat this spinal deformity for centuries, 85% of
    the cases are classified as idiopathic. Consequently, a scoliosis patient’s
    life is exacerbated by many unknowns, and treatments therefore that are often
    ineffective, invasive, and/or costly.

**These facts are from the National Scoliosis Foundation website.

She had her first chiro appointment today and while she didn’t like the TENS unit or the massager she did say she felt better even after one adjustment.  We are praising the Lord for this, since I don’t want to continue to give her tylenol or motrin until her ortho appt on July 21st.  The ped assures me it’s fine to give those pain meds on a regular basis, but I am not an uneducated parent and realize they are fine for some things and on a limited basis but not for a long term daily basis.

I’ll be posting updates as we go through this journey – which will be a long journey – this will be something that will have to be dealt with on a daily basis.  I have to call our insurance to check on what they cover as far as scoliosis is concerned – from what I’m learning most don’t cover much if at all.

20 responses to “Scoliosis – begining the journey

  1. Will keep you in my prayers as you get all of this figured out. Glad she was able to find some relief today. It would be a blessing in disguise if it turns out that her breathing issues are related and will be relieved with the treatments for this, rather than needing asthma meds.

  2. Melinda says:

    We pray recovery will be quick and her pain will be reduced quickly. Makayla had a similar problem a couple yrs ago and a chirop found that one leg was shorter. She now uses a lift in her shoe and her pain is gone and her back is much straighter. PTL

  3. Sarah says:

    Hi Amy,
    Thank you. I pray that the reflief continues especially as she goes again today. Yes it would, I had a feeling that her ‘asthma’ wasn’t really asthma but no one thought to check for scoliosis just pump meds into her 😦 This is why I wish insurances would beging covering naturopaths.

    God bless,

    Thank you for commenting and following.

  4. Sarah says:

    Melinda, thank you for commenting 🙂 I’ll have to ask about a shoe lift, Hannah does not want a brace as she fears what her friends will say and do – thankfully with homeschooling that shouldn’t be as much of a problem.

    Thank you and God bless,

  5. April says:

    Sarah – I’m glad you at least have a definitive diagnosis! I’m sure you all will do just fine with God’s grace – will continue to pray for wisdom for your family!

    • Sarah says:

      Hi April, thank you for your comment. Me too – while it’s going to be a long road I’m glad we know why now. Instead of just having drs giving her medications she doesn’t need. Thank you for the prayers.


  6. Mindy says:

    Praise the Lord for His wisdom and understanding in finding out what’s Really going on. I am praying for you all! I am in agreement with you that, In Jesus Name, she will NOT have infertility or other health problems. He is the Lord who heals her! Exodus 15:26

  7. Ginny says:

    I’m so sorry! My mom has this + other things & I know how hard it is. She never could do the chiro thing, it hurt her more then not going. She is in my thoughts.

  8. Debbie says:

    I will be keeping your family in my prayers. Glad to hear you are going to a chiropractor and that the treatments are already elevating some of the pain your daughter is having. I am adding your daughter and your family to my prayer book. I will be watching for updates as I continue to pray for you.
    FM Debbie Phillips from the TOS Crew

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Debbie, thank you for commenting and visiting. Yes, it’s been so good to see her not in pain all the time and she’s already looking forward to Tuesday’s appt. Thank you for adding us to your list. I had contemplated wether I should stay on the Crew or not but decided for now it’s okay and this is where God wants me as far as I can tell.

      God bless,

  9. Tina says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this.My 8yo ds was diagnosed with a 30 degree curve back in 2008. Our biggest problem is getting him to wear the brace.He is supposed to wear it for 20 hours a day.So, we start off putting it on him at night, but it is usually off before morning because he feels that it is too tight.It’s kindof like a new pair of shoes.You have to break it in.He has a host of medical problems. This is the one I think he dislikes the most.He wears a Boston brace. When being around friends, your dd may want to share with them about it.Most kids think it is”cool”.These companies make “designer prints” on these braces. My ds has had Spiderman, camo, and American flags. I don’t know what your financial/insurance situation is but these braces can be VERY expensive since each one is custom made. We use the Shriner’s hospital.You may consider looking into this.They even pay for my dh and ds to fly out of state to appointments. Praying for your dd and family as you all adjust to this new situation!

    • Sarah says:

      Thank you Tina. That is my worry but maybe it won’t make it so bad with designer prints. I’m not sure what our insurance will cover as far as braces – I’ll need to call. I know they don’t cover foot orthotics for me so I’ll have keep the Shriner’s Hospitals (thankfully there is one in Columbus) in mind. I’m also not familiar with the different braces, so it’ll be a learning experience. I’m thankful for the advice you’ve given.

      God bless,

  10. Julie says:

    Sarah – I was curious to read up on your blog and read about Hannah’s scoliosis. I will definitely keep all of you in thought and prayer. The pictures you posted of their craft day were fabulous. You have such a beautiful family! Blessings and healings to you!

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Julie,
      Thank you for visiting and commenting. Be sure to follow so you can get updates and such as they are posted. Thank you for the prayers. I’m glad you enjoyed them – the children have been enjoying themselves.

      God bless,

  11. Laraba Kendig says:


    I too am glad they figured out why she has been in pain, but am sorry it is scoliosis. I know it will be a long road, and I would guess there is an element of “grieving” her diagnosis. It is going to mean hardship for all of you and especially for Hannah. But God is good and will carry you through.

    I understand your concerns about the long term x-ray exposure and would encourage you to ask them whether they can shield ovaries in future scans. I THINK she’ll probably be just fine. with the ones she just had. I’ve worked with x-rays a long time (in a research capacity) so have done quite a bit of studying up on radiation risks. Were they chest x-rays? I just looked up chest x-rays and they average 20 mrem each, and a child is supposed to have less than 500 mrem total exposure per year. Adults can have 10 times that. Of course, there is theoretically no “lower limit” and everyone wants to keep exposure rates down, but she DOES need these x-rays to figure out what is going on and how best to correct it.

    The body is able to heal lower level damage from x-rays, thankfully. Actually, people in general get hit with radiation every day of the year due to radiation from the sun. Of course, prayer helps and we will be praying fervently that the scoliosis can be corrected and that she won’t have any long term problems of ANY kind.

    One funny joke at work is that a few of the men who have worked with x-rays all their working lives in a research capacity ended up having twins. It has to be coincidence, but it is kind of funny. I’ve worked with them a lot myself but have gotten essentially no exposure. And so far, no twins :-).

    God bless, Laraba

  12. Mandy says:

    Hi Sarah, I received your request for wanting to speak with other mothers of patients under our physician’s care. Could you please contact me via email or phone so I could further help you? Thanks! Mandy

  13. […] you’ve been keeping up on my blog you’ll know that I’ve posted on Hannah’s diagnosis as well as finding out I have a slight case of scoliosis as well.  We were finally able to see […]

  14. […] after much trial and error.  You can read about our initial diagnosis by reading my blog post: Scoliosis – beginning the journey and the other updates by reading, Continuation on Scoliosis…Me, and More on Our Journey […]

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