Congenital Deformities

I was born with what is called congenital deformities of my spinal column as well as Scoliosis of the spine.

These weren't discovered until my early to mid-teens when they began to impact on me greatly.

I have two misplaced vertebrae in my spine, one at the top between my shoulder blades, the other at the base of my spinal column.

The one at the top of my spine belongs at the bottom, and the one at the bottom belongs at the top. Also the one currently at the bottom is malformed and mobile allowing it to 'rotate' from side to side.

I began to experience excruciating pain in my early teens, I spent a year going back to my GP's surgery without any help. By the end of that year the GP - not my GP but her partner - basically accused me of 'making it up to get out of school' or 'it all being in my head making me just think I was in pain!'. He told me on several occasions I was 'too young to have back pain.'

Eventually I managed to see my GP and after a quick exam she diagnosed hammer toes, a calcium deficiency and Scoliosis in my spine. I was referred to the hospital and one x-ray later I had my diagnosis.

I spent almost a decade wearing a spinal brace which I had to be measured for twice a year, these weren't available on the NHS so my Mother (the only wage earner in our house) had to pay to have me measured and pay for two braces to be made to order whenever I needed a new one made up. Two because the firm thick material the brace was made of took literally days to dry after hand washing them and I couldn't be without it.

I attended physiotherapy for the first time at around the age of 14, going through it twice in my teens without any success. The exercises - vastly different from now - actually made me worse and made my spine flare up and hurt more rather than help. My surgeon told me to stop doing them as they were causing further damage not helping at all.

My spinal problems led to me having a bad limp and destroyed my balance quite a bit. I got so bad I almost got confined to a wheelchair at 16 given the problems caused by my spinal deformities, including loosing all feeling in my left arm/leg for periods of time between minutes and weeks.

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