What Does It Mean to Choose Surgery?

I recently came across a post from someone with scoliosis that said she “rejected spinal surgery and became a yoga teacher instead.” I don’t know her specific situation—especially the degree of her curve(s) but the idea that this is a choice that people with scoliosis can make feels dangerous to me.

I know that many people with mild scoliosis get relief from yoga and Pilates and that’s great! I am so happy for them. But I had surgery when I was 13 because I would have died before I turned 18 without it.

This isn’t meant to be dramatic. It’s just the truth.

I had an S-curve, and, as a child, I wore a back brace for three years to try to prevent my curves from getting progressively worse but they did until they were both curves were over 90 degrees.

One of my lungs had collapsed, and I was in danger of having my spine squeeze my heart and my other lung. I feel so lucky that I had surgery. I am glad that I live in a time in which that is possible and my family could fund it. 

So the idea that I could have rejected the surgery for something more “natural” or less invasive like yoga hurts. A lot.

I definitely didn’t choose this nor am I weak or lazy for having surgery. I had to have surgery twice and both times the recovery was incredibly hard. I had to relearn how to walk, bend over, sit up, etc. I was out of school for months and today I live with chronic pain and physical limitations as a result.

But I am alive. 

Photo courtesy of Photo by Meta Zahren on Unsplash

2 thoughts on “What Does It Mean to Choose Surgery?

  1. I’m certainly glad that you are alive and that you can correct the record. And I’m glad you are willing to share details — it serves us all.

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

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