Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Scoliosis Diagnosis

My last post was on Monday. Today is Wednesday. Well, Monday afternoon my 11 year old daughter Amber complained once again of her back hurting. She has been asking me to take her to the chiropractor for about a month now. In the first week of December my 18 year old daughter came and told me to look at Amber's back. She said Amber had a hump on her shoulder blade and she thought her spine was curved. I looked at it and I had a hard time following Amber's spine between her shoulder blades. She did indeed have a slight raised area over her shoulder blade. I was freaked out to say the least. I had my husband look at it and he said Amber was fine and we were all crazy. That sounded good to me and I lived in that happy denial for a few weeks. Then Amber on Monday said something about her back again. I had already committed to her to taking her during the week to see about it but when I looked at her back that morning I could not believe the size of the hump. I swear it was a significant hump then and there was not a doubt in my mind that my daughter was going to be diagnosed with scoliosis. I made the appt. that day. Sure enough, he diagnosed her with scoliosis and I balled my eyes out. Amber was in shock.

I told one of my friends who had been at my home that same day to chat with me and she immediately sprang into action. She called her chiropractor who has X Ray facilities which ours did not and had an appt. for Amber the next day. She discussed our financial circumstances with the doctor and the doctor said she would see Amber for a free consult and to please come in. So I pulled Amber out of school on Tuesday after I was done babysitting my mom who is disabled while my dad went to the doctor. The second chiropractor we saw said she wanted to X Ray Amber after looking at her. I said go ahead even though I was scared to death I could not pay for the X Ray. She took one X ray and let me see it. I promise you that when I saw Amber's spine my eyes about fell right out of my skull. IT WAS BAD. So the river of tears began again. She said Amber has a greater than 30% curvature of her spine. Her hips and her ribcage are rotating and her jaw line is even off. She said Amber has moderate scoliosis at this point but she is bad enough to need a specialist and she will have to wear a corset type brace immediately. From what I see on the Internet the brace is plastic or fiberglass and should be worn 23 hours a day. That is going to be ugly and I am wondering how painful this is going to be for my little Amber cat. How do you sleep in that thing? The effectiveness of the brace depends on the patients follow through on wearing it. We are talking a 11 year old girl here.

So, the doctor immediately said she was going to do full X ray's on Amber so we could take them to a chiropractor she recommends. She said all he does is see scoliosis patients and she has sent him 5 or 6 patients and he has straightened every one of them and then sent them back to her to maintain them. You see, this is a condition for life. Amber will have to deal with this forever and stay in shape forever, which the in shape thing isn't a bad thing for sure. Pregnancy will be tough but doable if we deal with this quickly. She did the X rays and you know I was freaking out because I had no money. It turns out that my friend had explained that we had no health insurance or money and the doctor did not charge for me a single penny for anything she did to Amber or the X rays. Again, the river of tears flowed. How could she not charge me for anything? She said she didn't need my money and Amber's back needed immediate treatment. Her curve is pretty bad. She has an S curve. Money did not need to be an issue getting Amber treatment. I was highly impressed with her compassion.

I am scheduling an appt. with the chiropractic specialist today for a consult. We are getting Amber peachcare ins. but the specialist does not take peachcare. She said that this specialist has an excellent success rate in getting the spines fairly straight again and that he is the only specialist like this in Atlanta. She called to get a ballpark cost on the European brace and we were told $3200 to $4000 and that we would need to do monthly adjustments on the brace to push her spine properly. Cash money, credit card (don't have any), regular insurance (don't have it), or they finance. My dad gave me a blank check. Again, the river of tears.

Mike wants us to schedule a consult with a pediatric orthopedist doctor to see what he would do in comparison to the chiropractor scoliosis specialist. I think he feels more secure with Amber seeing a doctor doctor versus a chiropractic doctor. But, my thinking is that this is not treatable by medicine. It is going to be treated by bracing by both doctors and by manipulating her spine. So, doesn't it just make sense to see a doctor whose sole job is manipulating spines? He only sees scoliosis patients and that is all he does for a living? The pediatric orthopedist does everything. I want a guy with a high success rate who only does scoliosis. So, to make Mike happy I will schedule consults with both. The lady chiropractor we saw yesterday said if we go to her recommended specialist that in order to save money she will do all X rays and adjustments to Amber's back and she works with the specialists office to know and do what he wants done as she has done with the other patients she refers. She will not charge me for a great deal of these adjustments because it would be too expensive for me and she does not want money to be an issue in Amber's treatment. She said her X rays will be cheaper than his so Amber would be seeing both of them and they would work together. You know, I like that. These people obviously care. Also, she called my home last night around 8 o'clock to see how we were all doing and taking the news. Holy cow, are you kidding me? NEVER had that happen before. I love this lady!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You know I have to mention that when we left the chiropractors office on Monday afternoon from the initial diagnosis I forgot to make a turn to get me home on the quickest route because I was distracted and on this road as I came to my next turn there was a big brand new sign at a stop sign that said "Jesus Loves You." I laughed so hard and I sarcastically said "Thanks Jesus. I'm so glad that I am blessed and highly favored. If I wasn't I could have a daughter with a debilitating lifetime disease, a disabled parent dying a slow and painful death, a business with cash flow problems, customers who constantly don't pay us or cheat us, a church that spoke harshly to my family, financial problems, a stressed out husband..... oh wait, I do have all those things. I'd sure hate it if you didn't' love me Jesus."

I feel bad about that now. I truly do and I think perhaps God understands my frustration. I just don't understand why my family can never just be okay. Something is always wrong, never ending wrongness. It's not just one valley we walk through, we seem to live in the valley and never leave. I'm sick of the valley and I just feel so frustrated that I do what the word says and the stuff that says good things just don't seem to work. There are wonderful devoted followers rotting in Chinese prisons right now. They are beaten, I know of one beaten with a sledge hammer. His back and legs broken and he was just left there in his pain and misery and nobody ever took him to a doctor or set his bones. He just laid there for years. Can a dude like that not get a little angelic help? Anyhoo, I have been in the last day or so reconciling life with God's word. I'm wondering more if God just simply intervenes only when we are in danger of going off the path He has for us whether it is our choice or outside influences that will take us off that path. I am wondering if He is just mostly concerned with the plan He has on our lives for the gospel work He has for us to do and not so much everything else. In other words if we are on our path perhaps he only intervenes in our wordly lives in things that take us off the path. If I am doing His will for me and I get sick or my kids get sick with something really bad but God knows it will not take me from my path, maybe he just doesn't intervene. If my finances are a mess but He knows I am still sticking to the plan He has for me, maybe He just does not intervene. Maybe He is all consuming in our spiritual and relational lives and will direct us and give us His wisdom concerning ministry, sharing the gospel, and being about His business and the rest of our stuff is just up to us unless it is taking us out of His will and plans and then He steps in to say "Oh no child, I need to step in here." I don't know.

I do know that I was much happier and peaceful before we left our church and I felt angry and abandoned by God. Right after I decided to remove my family from a church that I felt was harmful everything in our business went to the dogs. I really felt alone and betrayed by God and may I say, extremely pissed that He would just leave me to rot. I was operating in His will, teaching ladies and kids and happy as a clam to do so. Our studies were awesome. Why did people have to be doody heads and ruin it all? And, as far as I can see my family did all the suffering and for what? Well, that's not so important I guess and one would think that I would be even more enraged that we have now been given the lovely blessing (NOT) of Amber's scoliosis diagnosis but I am too numb to be anymore of anything that I already am. I watched Joyce Meyer Tuesday night and she was so funny and I really needed that. I love that lady. I know that I want my peace back and that means getting myself right with God again. It's not like I can abandon Him. I know He is real and yes I am pretty upset with why He allows my life to stay in complete horribleness for YEARS. I can't even remember a time when things were just okay. I can remember lots of time spans when I didn't worry and relied on the Lord to get through and we got through but still, it was never okay. We just got through and I don't think I serve a God of just getting though. So, I wonder about Him. But, I just can't be mad at Him anymore. I don't have the energy or the inclination to do so. I've decided to get right and I made that decision Monday before I took Amber cat to the doctor so I feel good about that. It may be slow but I guess that's okay. It would be lovely to get some relief from the constant stress. It would be lovely not to watch my mom suffer daily anymore.

The upside to things is that our business is almost out of the caa caa poo poo and we are so busy that we are going to need to hire a guy or two. That is a mega blessing and one company we sub for has just fired the other two contractors they had working for them and are giving us all of their business and we just picked up another company to do the construction restoration work for them too. Sweet mercy, we may just actually be okay this year. Whoopty doo, I won't know what to do with myself. I think I'll be giddy and laugh and be happy and I really look forward to not having to worry about paying bills and making payroll. I look forward to seeing my husband smile more and not having to worry about paying kitty's medical bills. That would be a sweet sweet mercy ;)



Danielle said...

"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Girl, we may never know why some seem to have more on their plate than others, but the fact of the matter is that God is in control and He is always there! I pray that the peace of God would surround you right now in such a way that you have no other thoughts but that you are resting in our Daddy's arms.

Damien Mearns said...

Have a look at the Facebook Group "Scoliois Cures and Pain Relief" and see what Theraflex - a cheap non-surgical back machine did for my scoliosis and what it's doing for others - then ask all those nice therapists to get one to use on your daughter and others in the local area
Damien Mearns

The Working Home Keeper said...

Saying prayers for Amber!

Mary Ellen

Tasha Simons said...

May the Lord be with you in a special way as you love and support Amber through this difficult time. Tasha