My Scoliosis Journey

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My name is Samson Macharia. I am abled differently. I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was three years old. Scoliosis is a disorder in which there is a sideways curve of the spine or backbone. Curves are often S-shaped or C-shaped. In most people, there is no known cause for this curve. This is known as idiopathic scoliosis. It’s characterized by one shoulder blade that is higher than the other, one shoulder blade that sticks out more than another, uneven hips, spinal twist, problems breathing because of reduction of chest area for the lungs to expand.

My parents sought treatment for me at War memorial hospital, Nairobi and Kenyatta National Hospital. They were advised that a surgery could be done but with risks. Due to the risks they postponed the surgery until I was a bit older. I eventually went through the surgery when I was seven years at Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi.

After my first surgery, I joined Ol Kalou School for the Disabled. This was my turning point. I had new friends who were quite different from the ones I was used to in public school. These children also had various physical challenges,

A second surgery was done one and half years later. This was to change the rod since as I had grown. One and half years later I underwent a similar surgery. I was eleven.  When I was thirteen a final surgery was done to completely remove the rod.

After the first surgery life was never the same. I was in pain all the time as adjusted having the rod that was put to correct the spine bend. I couldn’t bend. I couldn’t stand or sit for long. A plaster was put around my body like a vest. I felt like I had luggage on my back all the time. It bulged under my clothes. People were curious. They stared and asked questions. What happened to you? Will you ever get better? Is it painful? Is it genetic? Children touched and imitated my walking style. It was humiliating. Sometimes I felt so demoralized and I wanted to withdraw from the world.

That was just on the face. My parents were very supportive during this period. Then hello, adolescence! At adolescence, I was conscious of my physical appearance. I compared myself with boys my age and I felt hollow inside. I could not wear fitting t-shirts like my age mates. My back protruded and showed the bend so I stuck to baggy t-shirts. I mastered the art of avoiding new people rest they note that I was different. When I was 22 years I had this sudden internal conviction to accept who I am. I could not live in denial anymore. I discovered there is more to my life than how I look. I realized that the only limitation was in my mind, and as the word of God says in Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength, I became determined to face all challenges head on.

Today, I am a Certified Public Accountant, a member of Institute of Certified public accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) and I hold a degree in Commerce (finance option) and I currently work for a Sacco. I might not have it easy but I am living life and that’s what we all should aspire to do.

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