It is going to be a strange Christmas and New Year, different from any other. So, as we reach the end of 2020, we send you not only our sincerest greetings, but also a story of hope, trust and new life. Here Rossella, a former patient recalls the end of her treatment.
“You can never really forget something that was, in effect, a part of you for a very long time. Sometimes I feel like I have forgotten all about it, and yet it only takes a passing thought to take me back to four years ago.
To say that I remember it with pleasure, that I miss it, and that with hindsight the whole thing was actually quite easy, would be both untruthful and hypocritical. It was difficult, painful and a real burden, and the reality of this is something I can only appreciate fully now that it is all behind me.
There is nothing unusual about my experience, quite the opposite. Like countless other Isico patients, I was just a normal adolescent, albeit one who had to live her everyday life in a brace.
Every so often, I still find myself thinking back what life was like in a brace.
When I curl up in bed, for example, I suddenly remember all those nights when I simply couldn’t do that, because in a brace you have to lie straight, and turning your head to one side on the pillow is literally the only movement that you do with ease.
Now, if a pen falls off my desk when I’m working, I just bend down and pick it up, without having to think twice about it. But this sometimes makes remember how picking up a pen used to be quite a performance! Back then, I would have to get up from the chair, bend my knees to lower myself to the ground, and then reach out at full stretch, scrabbling for the pen, before then standing up again and returning to my chair.
I also remember that when we went on our summer holidays, I would only go on the beach in the mornings, because in the afternoons I had to wear my brace, and it was so hot I would end up spending the whole time in my hotel room.
Another thing, how could I possibly forget the way my entire day (going out with friends, going to school, doing sport and so on) had to be planned around when I was meant to be wearing my brace? I used to think of my brace-off time as my “hours of freedom”, because it was then that I was able to behave just like any other girl.
As I say, it would be wrong to claim that brace wearing wasn’t difficult for me. But, in the same way, it would be dishonest of me if I didn’t make it clear that I have absolutely no regrets about any of it.
Even though they are now relegated to the cellar, I have kept my braces, all five of them, each stored in its grey bag with “Isico” written on it in big blue letters. I have never put them on since my treatment came to an end, but occasionally I go and get them out.
Had it not been for them, I might now have a curve measuring more than 30°, and would probably be in much more pain than I ever experienced during the treatment
I well remember going to see Prof. Negrini for my very last visit. Inside my head, a voice was crying out: “Please, tell me it’s all over!”. Well, it was! With the help and support of Prof. Negrini and all the Isico doctors and physiotherapists, I really had done it!
I left his office and burst into tears. I went on crying all afternoon, but they were tears of great joy.
I was elated. It was over. I had won my battle“.