“At least it’s not cancer…” How many of us have heard this when we inform others that our child has been diagnosed with Scoliosis? How many of us think this ourselves? Or, maybe the flipside – “At least it’s JUST Scoliosis.”
I have seen cancer touch so many people’s lives over the past year… I’ve seen a young family member walk through it successfully, I’ve seen another friend whose child is newly diagnosed facing uncertainty, and I’ve had a friend diagnosed and pass away within a month’s time. It’s a nasty disease. And, honestly, I am grateful every day that I don’t have to fight this battle with my child. The people who walk through this every day are warriors of a level more admirable than I hope to understand.
However, Scoliosis is also nasty. And, it’s hard, and it’s a long, drawn-out, difficult childhood for our kids for other reasons. It’s not JUST Scoliosis. So many times we try to stifle our feelings because we don’t feel JUSTIFIED feeling bad when our child is dealing with a life-long yet (normally) not life-threatening illness. We think we don’t have a RIGHT to find it hard or to be sad or to grieve the loss of a childhood lived outside the bounds and constraints of whatever we are using to fight this “curve that never rests”.
We need to stop putting our pain on a scale of 1-10 and feeling we only deserve to feel it when it’s a 10. We can simultaneously be grateful and fearful or relieved and disappointed. Our emotions are not black and white, they exist in a swirling whirlwind in between and never quite settle into stillness. If you are dealing with a new diagnosis, or are living the long-term battle that Scoliosis brings, allow yourself whatever you are feeling. Lean on those who don’t try to talk you out of those feelings, but who let you be in them for a while. Then, get back to the fight until the time comes where you need to stop and grieve again. It’s a cycle, not a straight line.