emilys4129c93d9
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    • emilys4129c93d9

      So I’m going to start by saying that my spine has never looked like this, and never will. When I was 15 years old I was diagnosed with severe scoliosis- a 65 degree “s” curve in my spine. It was beyond bracing and without surgery would’ve prevented me from making it to adulthood. The surgery was invasive and dangerous. It involved straightening my spine and spinal chord and installing two titanium rods on either side of my spine and attaching them with 15 screws drilled into my vertebrae. The surgery was 7 hours long and encountered a complication. During the procedure, my spinal chord was injured causing the left side of my body to become paralyzed. I spent quite some time in the hospital, and then moved on to life in a wheelchair at the age of 16. My parents wheeled me to class in high school and managed my medications so I could sill graduate. I am now 23 years old. I relearned to walk despite little or inconstant feeling in my left leg and I will have those titanium rods in my spine for the rest of my life. When I was 20 years old, I decided to get this tattoo as a symbol of my recovery and strength. It is an image from a medical textbook of the backside of a spine. The tattoo spans 17” up my back and if you look closely, you can see the scar from my surgery in the middle of it. My spine never looked like this, never will look like this, but it is the spine I should’ve had.

    • emilys4129c93d9

      So let me start by saying my real spine has never and will never look like this. When I was 15 years old I was diagnosed with severe scoliosis - a 65 degree curve in my spine in the shape of an “S”. It was beyond correction with a brace and I was told that I would need surgery in order to live into adulthood. The surgery was incredibly invasive and involved straightening my spine and surgically planting two titanium rods on either side of my spine attached by 15 screws which were screwed directly into my vertebrae. There was a complication with the surgery which caused my left side to become paralyzed. After remaining in the hospital for quite some time, I moved on to living in a wheelchair. My parents would come to my high school to help wheel me between classes and manage my medications.
      I am now 23 years old, I have relearned how to walk unassisted despite little or inconstant feeling in my left leg, and I will have those titanium rods holding my spine together for the rest of my life. When I was 20 years old, it marked the time of my life where without the surgery I would’ve started experiencing serious medical problems. I got the image of the spine tattooed over my scar which you can barely see in this image running in the center of the tattoo. The tattoo is an image from a medical textbook and spans 17” up my back. It is a symbol of my recovery and strength. My spine has never looked like that, nor will it ever look like that, it is simply the spine that I should’ve had.

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