During high school, I got to know one of my very good friends, Payton Leahy. Although we have about five years between us, we have so much in common. We play volleyball. We are pianists and clarinetists. We have had our share of surgeries. And we both understand what it's like to live life with scoliosis. We are brace buddies.
Payton is 14 years old and in 9th grade. She loves to write and is actually in the process of writing two books. She has been making jewely for about two years. She loves music and plays the piano, clarinet, violin, and sings.This is what she has to say about life with scoliosis and a back brace:
When Payton was 6 years old, her mom noticed that her back curved, so she went to get x-rays. They found a small curve, so nothing needed to be done at that time. At 12 years old, her degrees progressed to about 34 degrees. She was fitted for a Boston back brace and had to wear it 20 hours each day for about two and a half years.
She says that the only way she got through wearing her brace for two and a half years was because she realized that God has a plan for her life and is using that certain trial in her life to teach her something. Having that attitude made it so much easier to wear her brace each day!
Recently, her doctor gave her the ok to kiss the brace good-bye! At first the thought scared her, but about after a couple of weeks she was totally used to it. A couple of months ago her doctor said she didn't need to wear it any longer. For now, she still wears it sometimes because she feels more comfortable in it.
Her advice to other teens in braces: Even though at the time it seems like wearing your brace (or what ever you're having to do) will never end, just remember, it will! Now that she's done wearing her brace it, she says it seems like she only wore it for a couple months! Instead of hating the time you wear your brace, try to love wearing your brace and try to learn something from it!
Here are her true thoughts about her scoliosis: "I am very thankful for my scoliosis. It's taught me so much! I guess I'm kind of proud of it in a way that God chose ME to have this 'problem,' so now I have this chance to share it with others!"
Wearing a brace is not always easy. In fact, many would agree that it rarely is. But having God's help and a positive attitude like Payton's is the only way to overcome it (and still manage to enjoy life!). Payton is a great example of a teen who gives her best in every area and encourages others because of it!