Animals

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I absolutely love animals, and I have made a couple of posts before about animals with scoliosis in the past. Recently, however, I have been really interested in looking up more animal scoliosis cases, and I thought, “Why not make a series on the blog about this?”

There will be five parts to this series, in which, each post will be about a different animal with scoliosis. Here’s part 1 –

Loggerhead Sea Turtle

Out With the Old and In With the New

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I love looking at fashion magazines and style blogs, but honestly I don’t often have the time and energy to figure out exactly what is “in” and what is going “out” each year. Luckily, there is always someone else to do it for me and then post an article summarizing their findings. Here’s the article I found real quick this morning on yahoo.

https://www.yahoo.com/style/goodbye-11-trends-2015-160727491/photo-in-ladylike-heels-out-furry-1450892403771.html

One thing that captured my attention is that the fashion industry is moving towards more scoliosis friendly clothes!

#3 on the list is “In: Super Flares, Out: Slim-Cut Trousers.”

In: Super Flares, Out: Slim-Cut Trousers

Now you tell me, which one can hide a brace easier? With dramatic flares and styles we are already seeing like boyfriend jeans, it becomes so much easier for a young girl with scoliosis to hide her brace while still wearing what’s “in”.

#9 on the list is “In: Volume, Out: Bodycon Looks.”

In: Volume, Out: Bodycon Looks 

Now, I’ll ask you again. If you need a nice dress, which will hide a brace better — ruffles and volume or slick bodycon fabric? I think we all know the answer.

The only trend that I thought was a significant step backwards was the reemergence of 90’s slip dresses over 60’s mod (#2 on the list). I have always loved mod anyway, but the shift dresses always cover a brace well. But I suppose you can’t win everything.

In: Nineties Grunge, Out: Sixties Mod 

Honestly, it just makes me so happy to see styles, especially for pants (probably the most difficult piece to wear with a brace), come around that make it easier for a young girl to wear her brace and not struggle to find cute clothing.

 

 

Family Support

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spence in brace.jpg

The other day, I was having a lazy morning, as many of us do on the weekends and hadn’t quite gotten around to making my bed yet. This is no problem for Spence, though. He fell asleep and then stretched out where part of his body has slithered inside my brace! I guess after all of these years, he wanted to know what it was like. Talk about bringing family support to a new level! ;)

St. Alphonsus Liguori

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While I was in Boston, Mr. O’Brien took my mom and me to walk around Boston College, and while there, we visited the chapel. Inside we found a tribute to St. Alphonsus Liguori, the patron saint of arthritis, sciatica, muscle pains, joint pains, and the like. He is the saint because he, himself, was crippled with these pains for the last 30 years of his life . Scoliosis fits right in with that considering that many suffer from pain in the muscles or nerve problems, etc. because of their scoliosis. As a result, I thought I would share the prayer to St. Alphonsus Liguori with you.

Prayers to St. Alphonsus Liguori

St. Alphonsus, you are the special patron of all who suffer from arthritis and the pains of many years. When our fingers twist with pain, keep us focused on the hands of Christ pierced with nails. When our knees throb with endless aches, allow us to see the knees of Jesus smashing to the street under the heavy cross. When our backs stiffen with soreness, let us remember the back of Christ thrown across the rough wood of the cross. When our hips, elbows, knuckles, and other joints hurt so much that tears well up in our eyes, help us to recall the tears, the sweat, and the blood that flowed from our crucified Jesus, who suffered so much more for each of us.

St. Alphonsus, you were afflicted with curvature of the spine and confined to a wheelchair in your final years. Teach us to unite all our pains with the sufferings of Jesus. By your intercession, may our pain be eased — but even more, may we be one with Jesus in his death and resurrection for the redemption of the world. Amen.

Boston Trip to National Scoliosis Foundation

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Bookmark270 275

Late yesterday I got back from one of the most exciting trips ever! Mr. O’Brien, the CEO and President of National Scoliosis Foundation and a fellow scoliosis patient, invited me to come to Boston to learn how to screen for scoliosis. It was such an amazing experience to be in the office and learn such an important skill from such a special person. He truly is an inspiration and advocate for all of us walking down the path of scoliosis. Everyday he is fighting for each of us around the world. I do think his Irish spirit helps a bit! :)  He is a role model in his personal and professional life, I pray and aspire to be able to emulate in my own life. He is like a walking encyclopedia of information about scoliosis and is willing to share what he knows with everyone, so we are empowered with this knowledge to help ourselves and others. I learned so much about treatments in the past, present, and some hopes for treatments in the future. I have faith we will find the cause and cure for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, which affects one in forty people because we have such caring and intelligent people like Mr. O’Brien in our scoliosis medical community worldwide. There are brilliant minds at work! Until then, we all have to continue using our voices and raising awareness of what scoliosis is and the importance of screening and early detection.

I was also gifted the beautiful bookmark above from Mr. O’Brien. I know some debate who first said this beautiful phrase, but I choose to think it was another Bostonian, Dr. Suess, who many credit. Whoever did pen this originally, had someone of Mr. O’Brien’s character in mind. He really does mean the world to me and many more, giving us all hope, filled with his care and support. Thank you Mr. O’Brien for being there for me and helping me to continue and grow in finding and using my voice! Boston’s past might be filled with many famous people, which we saw on our trip, but you are my pick for the best! What a treasure Boston has in you! What a treasure the scoliosis community has in you!!!