– Brief Intro about you with your image (can add your real X ray images too)
Hi, welcome to surviving scoliosis, my name is Stuti Daga and I have Scoliosis. I myself have scoliosis and was diagnosed in 2015. I am a passionate young girl who loves her sports, food and music. I’m just like any other girl out there, but I have something special – My Scoliosis.
– Your Story
It all started for me, with severe back pain. I was a national level swimmer training day in and out to pursue my dream of a national medal. My back pain got worse and started affecting my training and racing. That is when I had to go see a doctor, and after a couple of x-rays they broke the news to me – that I had scoliosis. I remember seeing the x-ray where my spine was curved like an S. I knew the letter S was special to me, but I didn’t want it to be that special. A 12 year old sat scared that how could this be happening to me, I do everything right, why me? To top of this devastating news tI was told I had adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Now, those were some very big words; I couldn’t even pronounce them.
My initial experience with doctors was terrifying. My curve was already severe, and with my growth spurt it increased rapidly. I had the fortune to have my parents and family behind me, as I approached every single doctor. But I was beyond the limits of bracing, Surgery seemed to be the only permanent correction. Luckily as swimming was beneficial, I didn’t stop. Some of my greatest swimming achievements were with back pain. I had made it clear; I didn’t want surgery. So, we started looking for alternative methods to stop the worsening curve. Physiotherapy in Mumbai, Chiropractic treatment every alternate weekend in Pune, non-surgical treatment in London, Chiropractic methods in New York. This cycle went on for 2 years. But nothing worked, because my spine kept growing, in the wrong direction.
If you tried to google something on my phone in 2017, you’d only find scoliosis. New York was my last treatment method, it was my last hope to avoid surgery. But at that time all had failed. So, after two visits to New York the only option was surgery. It had also become difficult to cope with swimming at this point. It wasn’t helping my spine anymore and hence I stopped swimming after almost 8 years, with it I buried my dream of being a national medal winner.
Early 2018, there was this point where I just got so tired and frustrated that I wanted surgery.
The doctors were amazing, whether in Mumbai or the USA. They were so supportive and so reassuring that surgery didn’t seem all that bad. There was a relatively new surgery called Vertebral Body Tethering or non-fusion corrective surgery. This was the only surgery I was ready to do. Although, this surgery wasn’t all that popular, as at that time it wasn’t FDA approved, for me this was THE SURGERY. So, summer of 2018, I went to New Jersey, where I met a brilliant team of doctors who were going to operate on my curve which was by now an “S” bent almost 90 degrees. The surgery was a long 10 hours, but highly successful. With titanium screws in my spine now, my curve has significantly reduced and kept reducing. Yes, post-surgery was very painful for me and took me a lot of time to get back to normal. But it has made me so much stronger now.
Surviving Scoliosis is a platform to raise awareness about SCOLIOSIS and its impact on our lives. Although scoliosis is a common condition, it goes unheard quite often. Through ‘Surviving Scoliosis’ people can share their stories and struggles with scoliosis, and we can together help ensure a better quality of life for many of those undiagnosed girls and boys struggling with back pain and scoliosis.
– Words of Wisdom
Scoliosis isn’t a restriction. Scoliosis did alter my life – but only for the better.
Scoliosis has made me brave, it has made me a warrier.
Having scoliosis doesn’t make you different – there is no need to hide that scar or brace
We have to embrace our spine and our scoliosis to help the others out there.
– My Inspiration
I was diagnosed when it was already too late for me to try alternate methods like bracing. Scoliosis came into my life like a tornado and wreaked havoc on my dreams. In the initial stage the words scoliosis were like gibberish to me. This lack of awareness and knowledge pushed me to create a platform, a community for scoliosis warriors and survivors to know more about their spine, this condition and how we can rise above it. This is to help people understand that while scoliosis is not life threatening it is definitely life altering.