All I know about scolosis is thanks to Judy Blume's book "Deenie" back in the day. Physical beauty was so much apart of Deenie's life - she abhored the fact that she had scolosis and knew her life would be forever scarred as a result of having to wear a brace to correct it. Deenie was even such an outsider that the only person who would talk to her was a pitiful girl with eczema. That damn Judy Blume - that book terrorized me and every time we had to bend over and touch our toes at the yearly school scolosis exams, I would hold my breath and hope I didn't have scolosis. I mean I may have had coke bottle glasses, braces and a jheri curl. Lord knows I sure didn't want to add a scolosis brace in the mix. Yikes. But I never saw a black girl with scolosis in the hood. Nobody jumping double dutch in my neighborhood in reciting in the easter pageant. Figured that was a middle class white girl thing like anorexia or cutting.
Two weeks ago, during his yearly exam my son's nurse practitioner asked me if he was screened for scolosis. Nope, I said. She said okay let's screen him now. He bent over and she touched his back and asked me if there was any family history for scolosis. None on my side, I said. Wasn't sure about my husband's. Nurse Practitioner wanted to get him in for an x-ray, so since he (right now) is a child with a parent with health insurance. He got the x-ray the same day as his exam and the results later that night. Scolosis.
What? How could my breakdancing, skateboarding, football playing, biracial prince child have a white girl's disease? What the hell? I immediately took to the message boards, scheduled an appointment with a pediatric orthopedic specialist and prayed. Checked out surgeons from DC to Georgia and thanked God and the federal government that we found out about this while I am a federal employee with health insurance. I also had mommy guilt - how the heck could my child have scolosis and I not know it. Not see the curve in this back. I'm not some un-connected, un-knowing mom. No Columbine planning going on under my roof. I go through laundry baskets, journals, e-mail, cell phones. I know every book, magazine, t-shirt and pair of jeans in that child's room. I have come home five minutes before my child has gone to sleep and notice a scar that hub didn't during a whole afternoon together. So the thought of missing something as serious as a curvature in the spine - is tripping me out.
Anyway - I got my list together for the doctor. Sent hub and kid to the doctor with the list and we're now moving forward with getting a brace. We're also looking at baggy clothes again. Bought our first big t-shirt yesterday to accomodate the brace. Need to figure out how skinny jeans will fit in the equation.
I think Judy Blume may need to write a sequel to Deenie and call it Darnell!!
For more information about scolosis, check out www.scoliosis.org - and get your kids screened!