Addie in running gear under a tree

Jun 04, 2019 / Scoliosis & Spine

Share Your Story: Crossing the Finish Line

Meet Addie, a patient who is treated by our spine experts. Learn more about her journey below.

Blog written by Addie, of San Antonio.  

Hi! My name is Addie and I have been a patient at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children for five years. When I was 9 years old, I had my annual check-up and my pediatrician thought something might be wrong with my back. After X-rays and MRI’s, I was diagnosed with scoliosis. At first, my curvatures measured 18 and 23 degrees. We were recommended to Scottish Rite Hospital by different people. 

At my first appointment, I was fitted for a brace that I was supposed to wear every night to try and correct my curve. After bracing for eight months, my curvature kept progressing, so I was then given a different brace to wear 18-20 hours per day. I am used to being very active, so this was a challenge for me. 

At my next appointment, my curve had progressed so much that it was now time for surgery. My top curve was 45 degrees and my bottom was 43 degrees. After about a month, the reality of surgery and recovery started to settle in. I started to worry if I would ever be able to be active again. Before my surgery, I loved to cheer and do other activities. 

On the day of my surgery, I got to meet some of the Dallas Cowboys players! It was an amazing experience to have right before I was wheeled back into the operating room. After surgery, the next couple of days were rough, but I finally got released four days post-op. 

Surgery temporarily slowed me down, but in no way stopped me.

I was able to cheer again two months after my surgery and was even able to finish out the cheer season. Track was right around the corner and I thought I would try it out, just to see if running would hurt my back. It turns out, running helped me heal and helped build my stamina back up. 

During my track season in 2018, I fell in love with running and continued to run every day. When it was time to participate in cross-country, I definitely felt ready to take on the competition. I ended up dominating that cross-country season! I was the fastest girl on my team and top five overall runner. 

A really big milestone for me was placing in my district meet. I placed 13th and qualified for state. After the cross-country season ended, I did not want to stop my training, so I signed up for the Stars at Night half marathon. I told my friends and most of them supported me, but some of them doubted that I would be able to run 13.1 miles. 

The training leading up to the race was very intense and anything but easy. When the pre-race countdown started, I could feel my heart pounding out of my chest. If you are looking to run a half marathon, I do not suggest that this be your first one. The course is very, very hard and there are so many hills!

I was the youngest runner in the race and even though keeping up with everyone was not easy, I still placed 150th out of 374 racers. I was the 67th girl to cross the finish line and first in my age group. My race time was 2 hours 9 minutes and 10 seconds. 

I finished my first half marathon exactly two years and 10 days after my scoliosis surgery. I am now training for a full marathon and plan on doing a triathlon later in the year. Words can’t express how grateful I am for Dr. McIntosh and all of the amazing people that I have met throughout my years of treatment. Scottish Rite Hospital will forever hold a very special place in my heart.
 

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