The way you experience time changes at the moment when you hear the scoliosis diagnosis and treatment plan for your child. You’re facing years of brace because it does not make sense to stop wearing it before the child stops growing. It is hard to predict when that moment exactly is. On average, that is at 15 years of age but can go beyond if the child grows at a calmer pace.
You have to get used to living with years of treatment. The challenge is even more all-embracing because you cannot know if the work will pay off. You still must commit to years of treatment.
We learned to think not even in weeks or months, but years. Still, the most important lesson was to live at the present moment. The perspective of years with the brace taught us to put other things in our life on the right scale. Meaningful things don’t happen now, and you have to give them time to evolve. Huge things often need more time to come true.
Kaisa: “When I was seven, I was told that I would need to wear the brace until I’m 15. Back then, eight years seemed like forever. I couldn’t even think how long that would be. It was one year more than my age.
It was weird to think that I would have worn the brace for more than half of my life when the treatment would be over. I learned to take one day, week, month, and year at a time. After all, time passed surprisingly quickly.”
Mother: “My first concern was how to make a 7-years-old to understand the period that would be longer than her entire life until that moment. I was so worried about how to tell her about it. But it was needless. A child sees time from a completely different perspective. Kaisa didn’t worry about the time because she lived at the present moment.
Also, my understanding of time and achieving results changed. Life was very hectic, and things happened, if not today, at the latest the day after tomorrow. It was challenging to start to understand something that would happen after seven or ten years. The best way to deal with the new issue in our life was to stop thinking. I started, like Kaisa, to live one day at a time. When my mind drifted into the future, I got strength from the visualization of Kaisa as a young woman. With a straight spine with a life ahead of her. Somewhere in the future. This thought helped me through the years.
Fast gains were not the way to cope. Naturally, there were many moments of doubt when the years ahead seemed to be too many. Or at the moments when the brace had pressed the skin and Kaisa had those feelings, it is impossible to wear it. Kaisa’s persistence and determination and doctors’ willingness to look for new solutions to go forward helped over these difficult moments, too.
Likewise, we didn’t TALK about the years ahead with Kaisa. We didn’t talk about it with doctors either. It was like an unwritten rule. We did concentrate on the present moment and tried to find solutions for the problems at hand. “
(This is an excerpt of the Book of Scoliosis’s English version at the verge of a new year. We are translating and updating the book at the moment.)