Sunday, November 15, 2009

When Life Throws You a Curve

When Life Throws You a Curve: One Girl's Triumph Over Scoliosis by Elizabeth Golden is a memoir about her experience with the diagnosis of scoliosis at the young age of 13. Scoliosis ran in her family, as both her Aunt Joanne and her Grammy had also suffered from it.

Scoliosis means curvature of the spine. It is more common in girls than boys, and is usually diagnosed in the adolescent years.

Elizabeth spent a lot of time researching and talking with family members about their experiences. It was determined that surgery would be the best course of action. She would have two rods with hooks placed on either side of her spine, that would be cranked until her spine straightened back out.

This was not her first choice, and she tried alternative treatments, but to no avail. In the end, it was the best choice.

When Life Throws You a Curve is not only a story about dealing with scoliosis, but also a story of a girl finding courage within. She has to make some difficult choices that will affect her for her entire life. She has to be strong for her worried family and friends. And she has to be strong for the inevitable pain and suffering that is going to come during the healing process.

When I was a girl, the only book that was available on the subject was Deenie by Judy Blume. It was one of our favorites, and we read it time and time again. But at the same time, the thought of wearing a brace was terrifying. Lots of movies either from the 80s or taking place in the 80s have the stereotypical girl with the brace, moving around like a robot. I think of Joan Cusack in Sixteen Candles(?).

I am grateful for teenagers today that Elizabeth has written her book. It is more reassuring to hear a true story from someone who has gone through it first-hand, no matter how good the fictional version is.

Purchase When Life Throws You a Curve: One Girl's Triumph Over Scoliosis

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