I come from the Philippines, and when I was 11, my mom noticed that I was not standing straight. We went to the doctor and the doctor said, "I think you have scoliosis." The doctor checked me and everything and he said, "I'm really so sorry. There is really nothing we can do." We pretty much said, "Okay. I will have to grow up with this. I will be like this the rest of my life."
Dot N's Story
Growing up was not easy. People look at you different
. Of course, they notice right away the curve, and it was hard. Here in the States I had to go to a maternity store so that everything I wear is loose. Everything had to be done for my measurements because I'm different.
One day I wasn't feeling well again. I could hardly breathe, and I knew that this was because, as you grow older, it will be compressing your lungs, and breathing will be hard. So I said, "Oh, here it is,"
One day I went with my daughter to her orthodontist. While waiting for her I happened to check this magazine out, and it said, "Scoliosis is not only for kids
I became very curious. I said, "Nah. I don't want my hopes too high," because if I go to this doctor, he will tell me again, "I'm sorry. You're too old." But I said, "Let me just call and try." The minute I got home I got on the phone and I called Dr. Shelokov's office and I said, "I just want to know more about what you're doing."
The minute I met Dr. Shelokov I had so much positive feeling with him.
When he sat down with us and he said, "Oh, yes. I can fix you." I'm like, "Are you for real?" I did not expect that answer
. We were already bracing ourselves for him to tell us that, "I'm so sorry, you know, you have to live up to that," but he said he can fix me.
So the first time we were there the receptionist, they were so nice, you know. And then when we had the nurses -- the best. And when I was in surgery, during surgery, after surgery, in the hospital, everybody was just awesome. And every single day Dr. Shelokov would come with a nurse. And every single thing -- I would be like asking for, you know, I thought it would be like the stupidest things, but they said, "No, it is not stupid. It is not silly. It's all right if you ask these questions. If you need anything, tell us."
In my lifetime I never thought I would be straight. I thought I would bring it in my grave. But thank God for Dr. Shelokov.
I'm so happy because it changes you emotionally. The way you look at yourself, the way you treat yourself is so different
. Before I look in the mirror, and I'm like, "Oh, my God. I am so crooked." But now I look at myself different. The confidence that he has put on me is awesome, and you go through life so different, so amazed and so happy. It's beyond words, really. It's beyond words.
A lot has changed. Physically, of course, that's the number one, but inside, oh, my God, it's unexplainable. Like my husband would look at me different, you know. He would said, "Oh, my God. You are really tall." And I grew three inches. My growth was also hampered with the scoliosis. It's just amazing what has changed with me. The way I look at life now is so different because you already have that positive attitude. I can pretty much do anything. You know, I don't have to go to a maternity store anymore, and people don't have to look at me different.
Now I am able to do everything, but I don't take things for granted now.
Like my daughter. Growing up it was hard to explain that, "Look, Mommy has this defect, you know." And now, she's so proud of me it's awesome. It's just all positive. I feel so confident now. You know, to be able to live like this, it's so awesome
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