I was asked to check in for surgery at 8:30 am.
I can’t believe today is the day. After 15 years of tears, pain and struggles my back is finally being stretched out and straightened. Less than just a few hours I will be heading up to primary hospital and admitted in the Primary Children’s Hospital AKA home for a week or so as I am carefully looked over and observed after my 4 ½ hour procedure.
They will be doing a Posterior Spinal Fusion which will consist of my T3 (thoracic) down to L2 (lumbar). Here is a little anatomy reminder of where that is…
Pretty amazing what doctors are capable of doing these days. I have a converge of 45 degrees S curve in my spine. Seeing me you would of never suspected that I had this. I guess I hide it well. 😉 I was diagnosed in Junior High School during my PE hour. I remember coming home and telling my parents the great news…. not believing me or knowing what this will be for me I turned my back to them and pulled my shirt off right in the kitchen. I think my dad was on the phone at the time with my Aunt Shelly (doctor) began to ask where we should go to get further information and help. This wasn’t to be taken lightly anymore.
A few weeks later I was checked into Shriner’s Hospital in SLC. They had a team of specialist to work with my parents and I to find the best solution for my situation. With in the few hours of scan and observation they saw that I had a curve of 18 and because of my young age I was to be put in a body brace until I was done growing. The brace was to slow the curve or keep it from worsening. Along with wearing the brace for 23 hours a day I was to go through physical therapy. BTW my last hour of the day was spent cleaning my brace (turtle shell) and showering.
The brace never bothered my too much. In fact, some great stories came from having that thing. Hit and run by a car and before I could roll myself back up and over to see who hit me they had left. Probably just thought they ran into some poll. My sisters found it amusing to tell people I had the hardest abs. People would randomly punch me in the stomach finding that I probably had the hardest they will ever punch again. Last but not least, I had these perfect sized holes in my cast that I could fit a number 2 pencil in perfectly and found it amusing and entertaining for myself to poke as many pencils in my chest as the teacher was teaching. LOL the looks I got when they had no idea what was going on. Many actually funny moments of falling and can’t get up or stuck in a door way because the brace had locked on to something. Finally missing to catch the lolly pop that was passed to me and watching the expression on the person’s face when it shattered into millions of pieces off my stomach. I figured they didn’t need to know. ☺
Through the five years of bracing up. I never thought for one second, “why me?” I was positive through it all. I knew that it wasn’t worth crying or wallowing about. This was a challenge and I except a good challenges. Trying my best to focus to overcome this time in my life I drew a lot of my attention to dance.
Dance soon began to play a big part of my life, became an outlet for me. It was a distraction from the world of pain and challenges I was facing.
After I turned 18, the doctors said I had stopped growing and they could see that my curvature had now become 42. This was detrimental to me, thus informed that I will be required to have surgery in my future when I was no longer wanting to deal with the pain. My thoughts where, “Well no pain no gain” lets focus on the good news, I no longer have to wear my body brace!!! This was something worth celebrating.
My parents, grandparents and I went out to eat on the Roof Top in Salt Lake City. To another chapter in life and may I always keep charging and never giving up.
Well I have been married for 6 years now and 25. Yes I know I am young but boy do I feel old. I began to look for doctors in the area that specialized in Scoliosis procedures and could direct me in taking my next big move.
My dear friend Danice Ackley had been asking me all about my experience because her son was dealing with the same thing but had dramatically taken a turn for the worst. His small fragile body was spiraling into a ball and needed some quick relieve. They turned to the Children’s Hospital and met with Dr. Joshua Klatt who works on children with the similar or same scoliosis symptoms. They fell in love with the doctor and scheduled the spinal fusion procedure. I am so happy to say after visiting with Micheal he is sitting up straight and happy as can be. He has such a strong and sweet spirit. When I saw him, he had a huge smile of his face. I stood next to his bed and while I was talking with Danice I felt a small hand brush my back and once I turned to look he had grabbed my hand. Apparently, he never does that to people his mom explained. He didn’t want to let go and kept starring at me while laughing and smiling. Danise had said that he wouldn’t even do that for her all week. I stayed there for quite some time as he had a firm grip of my hand telling him that he was my superman and that I looked up to him.
At that moment, I felt him telling me that everything will be alright. I felt that he knew what I was going through. What an amazing experience it was. So touched by his sweet and endearing spirit I knew it was time for me to start taking the next huge step in my life.
Danise had been talking to the doctor about me and after discussing my situation he wanted to meet me. Dr. Klatt gave her his assistant’s number and advised me to call and set and appointment. I was shocked and so excited to meet this amazing doctor. Calling within the week his assistant was questionable when she asked my age. She informed me that they don’t work with patients over the age of 18. I informed Danice that they wouldn’t take me. Danince obviously didn’t give up. Following her next visit with Dr. Klatt he went ahead and gave her is personal email address. I immediately emailed him over labor day weekend and within 24 hours I received a response.
From: Alayne Wadsworth
Sent: Friday, August 31, 2012 5:26 PM
To: Joshua Klatt
Subject: Danise ackley
Hi My name is Alayne Wadsworth I am 25 and healthy. I have been dealing with scoliosis my whole life. Recently talking to Danise Ackley who just had her son Michael have the procedure last Friday. She has talked to you about me and my situation. I have not seen a doctor since I was 19 getting rid of my back brace that I was in for five years. I am dealing with a huge amount of pain now needing to learn options. Deep researching for a doctor for years that would have good reviews and great results. Danise turned to me and said that I should meet you. She told me to call your assistant Erin but when I did she seemed a little hesitant about my age. I would truly appreciate your consideration if you could take the time to meet with me.
On Sun, Sep 2, 2012 at 7:43 PM, Joshua Klatt wrote:
Danise told me about you! I’m sorry to hear about your back. Yeah, we’re happy to take a look at you. We don’t usually take care of adults, but sometimes make exceptions when it’s a childhood related problem. I’ll have our staff give you a call and get you into clinic. It might be a few weeks as it’s been a busy summer and we’re playing catch-up a bit.
See you soon!
Sure enough!!! A few days later I received a call from his assistant. Oct 16, 2012 at 10 am my appointment was set. I was so excited!! I counted down the days. Enoch my husband kept telling me that I needing to keep looking for other doctors. This was only to be a visit nothing is set in stone yet. But I knew better 😉
October 16, 2012
Both Enoch and I met Dr. Joshua Klatt and his amazing staff. It was a bit odd for them to be meeting with an “adult” so to say… Enoch was loving the place and thinking kids have it good!! We arrived 15 min early and began filling in paper work. Not more than two minutes we were sent in to meet the doctor.
Joshua Klatt walked in and began by saying he usually cracks a joke to make the child laugh but in this case it was a whole other spectrum. We didn’t mind, we said we would still laugh. Standing me up and doing the usual observation (touch toes, lean to the side, other side, walk down the hall, lay down on you back and so on…) He even had me scanned on different X-Rays to observe the curvature of the spine. Klatt took Enoch every where he went and explained what he was looking for and thoughts. This was a big plus for Enoch and made him a lot more confident and secure with the doctor.
After all the testing we were back into the visiting office discussing our options. Klatt drew on the bed a scale of where I am at with my back. “You see this line,” Dr Klatt drawing a vertical and horizontal line across the paper “this dot here tells me where you are.” This was right above the line of “surgical procedure.” Well I knew that but what I didn’t know is that my spin had progressed to worsen from before. Looking at my X-Rays it was a firm reminder of what I had. My rib cage was spiraling along with the S shape of my back. How on earth was I dealing with this I thought.
Dr. Klatt not knowing that I had already made my decision to go on with the procedure continued to tell me that I have five years until I should be required to have the procedure and till then I can go to therapy to help strengthen my back.
I explained that I don’t think I really want to be waiting until then when I’m wanting to have babies soon. That changed the direction back to when I was thinking or wanting the procedure. I explained that I am a dance instructor and would like to do it over the holiday season. Make this long story a bit shorter, two weeks later the date was set:
Nov 13, 2012.
I couldn’t sleep last night thinking of what’s to come after this. You see, the pain that I have been dealing with for so many years and challenges I have faced are all going to be coming to an end… at 8:30 I am emitted into the Children’s Hospital for Spinal Fusion.
I may think that I am nervous but after such a great and powerful blessing on Sunday and prayer in the temple on Saturday. I have an overwhelming feeling of piece and comfort that everything will be fine. I am in the best hands and this couldn’t of been any better.
Thank you for your prayers, thoughts and blessings. This is going to be a rough road ahead for the next 6 months. But like I said before, I enjoy a good challenge. You bet I will be trying my hardest to get back on that floor to dance. 100% nothing holding me back to what I want to do in my life. I am extremely grateful for this chance in life. A new back and 2 inches taller. I can’t wait!!!
Love you all,