I like to call life a rollercoaster; sometimes you go up, and sometimes you go down. When you’re up, you are going through parts in your life when you are happy, and when you’re down, you’re going through parts in your life that make you sad, and nothing can make you feel happy. At one point in my life, I was always riding down.
Frustration. Exasperation. Annoyance. Those were some of the emotions that consumed me the first day I wore my brace. Frustrated that a crooked spine was interfering in my happy teenage life, frustrated that I felt restricted from my normal activities, and worst of all, frustrated that the end was nowhere in sight. There was no set duration, no calendar countdown; it seemed like an eternal waiting game.
The initial days, weeks and months with my brace brought physical pain, sleepless nights and feelings of desolation and despair. It was painful to eat, as my stomach would press against the rigid plastic when it expanded. It was agonizing to ride in the car. But like many uncomfortable things, we learn to adjust, adapt and quite honestly, deal.
A couple months after I received my brace, I attended the Passion for Fashion event sponsored by Nordstrom and NOPCO Brace—a fashion show and shopping day for patients with braces. The number of fellow brace wearers shocked me. For months I had felt like the only one. The event opened my eyes—there are actually a lot of kids on this journey. …