Adenike’s #ConquerStory is in form of a Q & A. Have a #Conquering read! 😉
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself- name, hobbies, you!
A: My name is Adenike Sodeinde. I’m the last born of the family and we are just two girls though. I’m from Ijebu-igbo in Ogun state; I’m an Accountant, recently graduated from the university. My hobbies include reading fiction, listening to music, singing and dancing.
Q: Scoliosis- how did you get diagnosed and at what age? What degree is your curve at (do you know)?
A: I was diagnosed unofficially at age 15 by a friend whose sister also had scoliosis but I didn’t take it seriously, didn’t read about it, did nothing. I even forgot the word “scoliosis” some days after she mentioned it. It took a lot of people asking me why I was standing the way I was or walking the way I was to go to the hospital to find out what was wrong.
I was diagnosed officially at age 17. I don’t know the degree (didn’t even understand all the jargon the doctor was saying) ’cause he was mainly talking to my uncle who was with me and is also a doctor.
Q: What was your reaction when you found out you had scoliosis? How did your parents/guardians react as well?
A: My reaction-oh well, at least it has a name…😂
My mum’s reaction- turn around again let me see you…I don’t still see anything wrong though (love you mama😘)
Q: Treatment- Did you explore any treatment options or are you currently undergoing any treatment?
A: I did not explore any treatment options because I was told by the doctor who reviewed my x-ray then that my degree (which I do not know) has gone past what a braces can correct or help and is not so bad for surgery; He also mentioned that since I’d soon stop growing there was no need to do anything. My uncle who was with me and is also a doctor then told me some do’s and don’ts to help.
I checked out the physiotherapist in my school but they were always undergoing maintenance or construction anytime I went there so I got discouraged.
Q: Surgery- have you ever had surgery? If yes, please share your experience with us. If no, are you considering ever getting surgery done?
A: No and I’m not considering getting surgery done. First of I’m scared of it. Secondly, it’s not like it eradicates the pain completely. Third reason, people will still stare at you and talk about you whether it’s a curve or a scar that goes down your back.
Q: Living with scoliosis- how does it feel physically? do you ever experience back pain, fatigue or any other symptoms? How do you manage/cope with this?
A: Yeah, the back pain! Although I don’t think mine is as bad as other people’s and I get it mostly when I’m stressed, when I sit, stand or walk for too long. I manage it by avoiding some of the things that cause it. For example, when I’m shopping I tend to sit down when I get into stores. I do not read in the library; I read in my room so I’m able to take comfortable positions and I try to have pillows all around me.
Q: Living with scoliosis- how does it feel psychologically? Ever battled self esteem issues? Ever had any experiences of emotional abuse/torture because you had scoliosis? How are you able to cope with it?
A: Erm, kinda… I used to be really lousy and jovial and I just didn’t want to be out there anymore, I was tired of people asking me what was wrong, and why I wasn’t doing anything about it, it’s tiring really! I was tired of wondering why I couldn’t be straight and normal; so I reduced my conversations with people. I avoided walking in front of people at all cost. I stopped being a conversation starter, stopped making friends, would only talk to anyone who talks to me, was always indoors, basically became an introvert by choice.
I’m glad my sister noticed; although she never knew it was the scoliosis ish that caused it. She took me to our school church pastor who encouraged me and handed me over to his wife who then put me in a committee and of course I had to communicate. This was just the starting point.
Let me not bore you with the whole process. With time I realized that nothing and no one should make me feel less of myself. I started making conscious efforts to put myself back out there. I’m not there yet, but I’m getting there.
Q: Scoliosis and Scoliosis Awareness- What’s your take?
A: Scoliosis to me is more curves added to a being☺ It’s a bend in the spine, that’s all and I would really appreciate it if people stop using the word abnormal to define scoliosis. We are not abnormal, We are NORMAL!
Scoliosis awareness is very important because it would aid early detection and control. Also awareness would help people with scoliosis to know what it really means and also to know that it’s not just them. They also need to know that they didn’t do anything wrong: it’s not the heavy bags they carried, it’s not the way they sit, stand or walk.
The current healthcare system in Nigeria in terms of scoliosis as far as I know is poor. They can do better in raising awareness for scoliosis by carrying out routine tests in primary and secondary schools, trainings and health talks on matters relating to scoliosis, liaising with NGO’s.
A support group for scoliosis would really help cause no one knows where your shoe pinches except their leg has been in it. Warriors would be able to help one another fight their battles.
Q: Any final words of encouragement?
A: Be comfortable with who you are, don’t let anyone make you feel any less than you are worth. Only two opinions should matter to you and that’s yours and God’s and he loves you so much, so love yourself!
Wear whatever clothe you are comfortable in; even if you want to wear them fitted clothes, please rock ’em. Don’t let anyone dictate what you should and shouldn’t be wearing.
Surround yourself with relationships that matter be it platonic or romantic relationships. If they don’t make you feel good about yourself discuss it with them and if you don’t notice a change, please dump them at the nearest bus stop.
Do whatever you’re interested in doing: dance, sing, write, take pictures, travel all around, go to the mall, go to the beach, go swimming, go to that party, eat whatever whenever; Don’t let scoliosis stop you!
And always ask them haters why they so pained cause you gat more curves than they do… 😉😉😉