Dr. Jane and Nicole,
I started writing tonight and all kinds of memories, thoughts and emotions came flooding out…it was more of a therapy session for myself, one year into this battle with scoliosis.
“Yeah, she’s got scoliosis. An S-curve. Nothing you can do about it. Bracing doesn’t work. Best to just enjoy the time you have and we’ll see her in 6 months when we’ll probably have to schedule surgery.”
These are the words of an orthopedic doctor, a so-called “expert” in scoliosis. He said those words like he was reading out of a dictionary: monotone, steady cadence, no emotion, and looking at the x-ray, not us. He said this as if he had said these words to others a hundred times and expected to say them a hundred more times.
I was not going to sit back and let scoliosis or surgery take anything from my daughter. It’s hard enough being a normal “tween”, a girl, and trying to choose right from wrong. To look twisted or have a rod in your back is a huge blow to your life, your future, with no chance to look normal. I spent the next 3 days on the internet looking to prove this expert wrong.
I searched through countless web sites reading about bracing, yoga, chiropractic, and surgery. I wanted to believe everything these ‘experts’ said. I read all about what worked, what didn’t, what had promise and/or what made scoliosis worse from the clinician’s perspective. Many claimed to have the best solutions to scoliosis, but I wasn’t really seeing any encouraging stories to make me the least bit hopeful. I was starting to wonder if fixing my daughters spine was even possible. Then it hit me. It was the patients that I needed to hear from. I realized that I needed to search through stories from the patients and try to find some hope there.
Once I started reading what patients had to say and what they were encouraged by, I started to see a name consistently pop up in the hopeful stories, ‘The Rhino Scoliosis Center’. After reading articles, blogs, watching videos for one night about the Rhino Scoliosis Center, I started to feel that we might have a dim light in the very dark and long tunnel. For the first time since the “expert” had condemned my daughter’s back to surgery, I felt hope. I felt I would take the chance with this Rhino Scoliosis Center, and drive as far as we had too, spend as many nights in hotels as we needed to. I had to fix this. Like any father would, I wanted so badly to fix this.
And then a glimmer of fate occurred came when I saw the address of the Rhino Scoliosis Center. It was 10 minutes from my house! I felt that this was a sign. This had to work; it was the only option I had any hope, faith, and belief in. I made the call to Dr. Jane.
I cried two times with Dr. Jane. The first time was the first day I met her, when I expressed how scared I was for my daughter’s health and future as a vibrant 12-year-old heading into her teens. I remember saying to her that Rhino was my only hope. If this didn’t work it was back to the so-called expert surgeons. Dr. Jane was confident, comforting and understanding. She seemed to know exactly what I had been going through since my daughter was diagnosed with scoliosis. She assured me that if my daughter was not afraid of hard work and effort, she could reduce the S-curve in her spine and then maintain the progress.
The second time I cried with Dr. Jane was when we had just finished the last day of our 4-week therapy. We compared the before and after x-rays and pictures. We saw for our own eyes what so many other “experts” said was not possible. My daughter’s curves in her spine were lessened by 35% in just 4 weeks! We were overcome with joy.
My daughter has worked now for almost a full year with at home therapy. It’s quite a commitment, but she is a fighter. She continues to work, and we continue to see the improvement in her posture, her spine and her belief that she can control her curves. I am more proud of her than she will ever know.
Now, as I write this, we are almost 1 year later from the time we first noticed her scoliosis and worried that it would make her ashamed about the way she looked. I told Dr. Jane the other day that there was only one “negative” about coming to Rhino and having her show us how to straighten my daughter’s spine: now I worry that my beautiful daughter is so comfortable with her spine and posture that she wears spaghetti strap tops almost every day. Even in the middle of winter! Now I don’t worry about scoliosis anymore. It feels good to worry about the normal teen problems!
My eternal gratefulness and thanks go out to you and your team, Dr. Jane. You are a lifelong friend of mine and to our family. I will continue to promote you and your work to anyone who will listen.