What a hectic few months it has been – to say the least! And, with no end in sight to pandemic restrictions, many people are in major stress mode. And, this is in addition to stress resulting from Scoliosis. Many of the medical care providers had to close down for a while for “non-essential” services and treatments, and that included some Scoliosis treatments. I’m sure that many people were feeling additional stress from delays of getting the care and treatment they needed.
I try to remind people, though, that Scoliosis is a marathon, not a sprint. Just like this pandemic, it’s going to be around for a while, so just keep trucking on the best you can. This is also true when your child comes home in a new brace – it can feel like they will be miserable FOREVER. It can feel like this just won’t work and you need to forget all about it. But, most orthotists provide a “ramp up” schedule, and it’s important to follow it. Your child will not be compliant in a brace 22 hours a day from day 1. It takes time to ramp up to full-time and, usually, by the time they get there, they are much more comfortable and have also come up with coping mechanisms (my favorite: the turtle roll out of bed and the robot bend to tie shoes).
TAKE A DEEP BREATH, MOM AND DAD – THEY WILL FIGURE IT OUT.
Scoliosis and the pandemic – both require oodles of patience, faith, and diligence. But, we are not helpless victims in either case. There are things we can do in both situations to improve our chances at long-term health. We all know the steps to take for pandemic safety – washing, masks, social distancing. And, for Scoliosis long-term health, it’s important to take action early as well…ramp up to full-time treatment, and just continue on in the new normal of life in a brace (or whatever other treatment option you are pursuing). I can say, now looking back on going through YEARS of bracing with two children – you will find that new normal.
Be kind to yourself, be understanding that the pandemic increases stress across the board. Take it one day at a time and keep doing what you can to get through it – even if it means a bonus two hours out of the brace on a hot day for some extra swim time. Persistence, not perfection, is the goal. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other as you run YOUR marathon YOUR way.