My sister and I were mostly healed in just one year after our surgery. We returned to John Hopkins a few times within the first year for our mandatory routine check up’s. Our last visit to John Hopkins was great, Dr. Sponseller smiled at my sister and I and stated that everything healed just as expected and told us that we no longer needed to come to him for check up’s. My sister and I would graduate High School 3 years later, and everything was great. We read a lot about post scoliosis surgery, and how people would suffer from back pain, and other complications but somehow my sister and I never experienced pain. Honestly, besides the incredibly stiff posture (which was a plus for me, because I always had a lousy posture), and the long scar that stretched along our backs we forgot we even had the surgery half the time.
Two more years would go by and it would be in my second year of college. I was working part time as a retail associate while attending school full-time. I was living with my boyfriend of 2 years at the time when tragedy struck. (Story starts now) My boyfriend and I lived in a cute little townhouse, and it came with a cute little backyard. It was mandatory for us to mow the lawn every so often to avoid overgrown grass. Me being an over achiever, I decided to mow the grass by myself for the first time ( I usually use a weedwacker, much easier than mowing the whole yard) but in order to start the mower I had to pull back the rope on the mower to get it started but every time I pulled it back the lawnmower would not start so I pulled the rope back about 30 times and I eventually gave up. The next day, I was working as a cashier at my retail job and my right shoulder blade muscle began to itch (it’s hard to grasp the feeling of an itchy muscle because its unusual) but the itch soon was being followed by an excruciating painful sensation.
Something was wrong, but I worked my shift till the end because I’m not a quitter. The store was closing and I texted my boyfriend and told him that something was wrong with my arm and that I needed to get to a hospital soon. He overlooked the text, and replied “just come home, and take some Advil”. Something was terribly wrong and I knew advil would not alleviate this pain, and I had no idea what was wrong or what I did. I was clocking out of my shift when I went into a full body sweat, and I felt like my whole body was on fire. without hesitation I began walking to the door to get out to my car but before I could get outside, I fell next to a manikin in the store and started crying my eyes out. It felt like a giant was tearing my right arm out of my body and there was nothing I could do to stop it. Co-workers surrounded me and I asked if I wanted someone to call an ambulance, I refused and reassured them that it wasn’t an emergency. I ran to my car crying, feeling faint and managed to get in and sit in my car for a few minutes. I couldn’t move my right arm. I couldn’t put my seat belt on, and I had to used my left hand to put my right arm on the steering wheel. My right hand would just fall off the steering wheel and the pain would hit me over and over. I attempted to drive but realized I was swerving (still in the parking lot, so no lives were in danger), and doubled over in pain. I pulled into a vacant parking lot and called for my boyfriend to pick me up and he rushed me to the ER. I was screaming in the waiting room begging for someone to save me from the pain, I had a fever of 102 degrees, and I had sweat pellets falling from my face.
The pain was so bad they immediately injected morphine into my blood stream (I talked my boyfriend’s head off during that time.) , and the doctor had ordered x-rays of my shoulder. The doctor came back into my room hours later to confirm that my should blade muscle had disconnected from another muscle (I’m not great with medical terminology, as you can see) and it required a visit back to John Hopkins Hospital to see Dr. Sponseller. The Doctor at my local hospital believed that this tear had something to do with my scoliosis surgery. I would learn that the tear was from the constant pulling motion I was making when trying to get the lawn mower started, and that my surgery is the reason why it was so easy for my shoulder muscle to tear. I had to be more careful with my body, because of my spinal fusion. I realized that not only my back was different, but my whole body needed extra TLC. It took about 3 months before my shoulder completely healed, and soon after the incident I became a hypochondriac along with panic attacks that would consume my life for an entire year. It all stopped when I found the secrets to being happy, and stress free.
Stay tuned to find out what I did to rid my anxiety and panic attacks for good!