Loving Someone With Scoliosis | Ad

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Let’s face it: Scoliosis can be a real pain in the ass at times. The pain associated with it can be mentally draining and is physically demanding at the best of times. Unfortunately, it changes from day-to-day, making it emotionally taxing not only for the people living with it but also for the people who love them.

Sometimes, situations have to be avoided, needs need to be accommodated, plans change, and ultimately, pain takes top priority. It’s all these factors that can make scoliosis understandably exhausting for everyone involved. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been together for years or you’ve recently met on a disabled dating site, if you love someone with scoliosis and you’re having trouble dealing with it, here’s a cheat sheet to help you get started. I hope you enjoy having a read!

Woman with heart eyes

01. Consider yourself super lucky to know them. They are probably one of the strongest people you will ever meet. Let me break it down for you: it’s pretty easy to get caught up with the small things. You know, all the pain and issues associated with scoliosis, and the not-so-fun, unavoidable spinal deterioration can be a real mood-killer. However, you know and love one of the strongest people alive. They are determined, dedicated, and full of strength. They have dealt with agonising pain and discomfort for years with a smile on their face. And your job is to support and love them for the years to come. You are pretty damn lucky in my book. Not everyone knows and loves someone as tough as you do.

02. Remember they are more than just their scoliosis. I know this sounds pretty obvious, but people tend to become blind-sided by any physical limitation. It’s as if once they know the person has an invisible disability, they have to walk on eggshells. But trust me on this one – it’s weird – don’t do it. The person you know is a complex and wonderful human being and doesn’t need to be labelled by one small characteristic. They are so much more than this one trait.

03. Sometimes even the smallest things can be exhausting. Pain is exhausting and completely draining. And if you are not in pain, it’s sometimes hard to remember just how tiring it can be. Pain comes from the body constantly fighting its issues, and it’s that internal fight that leads to exhaustion. Everyday situations tend to be a lot more draining for people dealing with pain all the time. So the next time you’re pushing your friend with scoliosis to do something like signing up to a free disabled dating site or asking them to go somewhere with you and they don’t want to join your proposed adventure – just remember that they may genuinely be really tired and need a break. Don’t force them to do anything they don’t want to do.

04. They are well aware that their pain doesn’t always make sense. Pain doesn’t always accommodate pre-existing plans. Being aware of this might make it all easier to deal with. One of the most frustrating aspects of scoliosis is the difference one day can make. One day, they can be running a marathon, and the next day, they might not want to move. Pointing out what they were able to do yesterday, but are having trouble doing today, doesn’t help at all. Instead, try being supportive and understanding of their needs.

05. Don’t keep asking “Are you OK?” while they’re dealing with muscle spasms. When you see someone clenching for dear life because they’re trying to survive a muscle spasm, please don’t ask them if they’re okay. To be frank, they probably feel like their entire body is giving up on them. So instead of asking them if they are OK, try saying something helpful, like “You’re doing great – remember to breathe”.

Couple with heart eyes

06. They appreciate you being there. Let’s be honest, we all know scoliosis sucks sometimes. It’s hard for everyone involved, including the people supporting them. But your support doesn’t go unmissed; they’ll hopefully recognise all you’ve done for them, and they’re most definitely not oblivious to what it takes to stick by them. So on behalf of my fellow people living with scoliosis, I would like to personally thank all those supporting and loving a person with the condition. In the words of Tina Turner – you’re simply the best!

07. Don’t get sad if you feel ignored; I swear it’s not intentional. It’s very challenging being uncomfortable and in pain most of the time. Chairs are not made for people with deformities or people with rods in their spines. So if you’re in the middle of telling a story and you notice they are twitching and spacing out, remember they might be dealing with something internally that they’re not vocalising. It takes a lot of concentration to be able to ignore discomfort and pain and focus on a story or conversation. They want to be a part of the conversation. They want to be involved in what you’re saying. I promise they’re not ignoring you; they’re just trying not to break down right there in front of you.

08. They might not know how to ask for help. They’ve probably dealt with pain their entire life, so they know what they’re doing. But even the toughest of people need a little help sometimes. And that’s not always easy to recognise. As a support system, remember to be available so when they do finally reach out for your help, you’re always there.

09. It’s totally OK to be frustrated. Part of loving someone with scoliosis is taking on some of their frustration. There are times you may want to scream, to cry, to be completely upset that there aren’t more solutions available for people living with scoliosis. You may go through days where you will wish it was you instead of them. You may want nothing more than to change their situation, to fight with every orthopaedist that provides zero solutions, because you will want nothing more than to make their life easier. And it can be incredibly frustrating knowing that there’s actually very little you can do. Just remember, you are vicariously dealing with scoliosis, so it’s OK to be frustrated. And it’s OK to be upset. You’re only human, after all.

10. Remember they don’t always see their scoliosis as a limitation, and neither should you. The pain sucks. The discomfort is challenging. The deteriorative nature of the condition can be debilitating. But just because it’s challenging, that doesn’t mean their life is over. Scoliosis has likely influenced the person they are today. Remember they are who they are — the incredible person you love — is at least in part because of what they’ve been through.

So there you have it – the ultimate cheat sheet. Keep this list in mind for when you’re next having trouble being the support person. It might help you survive those tough days. Good luck!

Loving Someone With Scoliosis

Have you ever dated someone with scoliosis before?
Be sure to let me know in the comments below.

Louise x

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16 Comments

  1. October 7, 2020 / 2:29 pm

    This is such a great post. Dating is difficult enough and often people are striving for ‘perfection’ and are actually missing out.

    Thank you for sharing x

  2. October 7, 2020 / 3:04 pm

    What a great post, this is something that can be used with any illness, thank you for bringing this into conversation and highlighting

  3. October 7, 2020 / 6:34 pm

    Thank you for sharing this insight. As someone who struggles with an invisible illness I can identify with so many of the points you’ve made, and I know the hurt that happens when people don’t take the time to understand the challenges you might be facing. Just because we can’t always do everything in the way society things is ‘ideal’ (which is crap anyway!) doesn’t mean we’re not awesome people! x

  4. October 7, 2020 / 7:56 pm

    one of my closest friends has scoliosis and she is the most wonderful human being! Thank you for the amazing post.

  5. October 8, 2020 / 12:25 am

    As a woman with scoliosis, I count myself lucky that someone loves me no matter what. I’ve had 3 spinal fusions and still it is getting worse. We are taking it day by day as we walk closer to the wheelchair stage and yet, his love couldn’t be stronger as he helps me through it. I loved this post and shared it. So many things I’ve wanted people to know, but didn’t know how to say it. Thank you!

  6. Valerie
    October 8, 2020 / 12:56 am

    You’ve suggested some good points here, new for some and perhaps a reminder for others. I’d say they could apply to relationships with a person with almost any illness or condition.

  7. October 8, 2020 / 8:39 am

    I know a couple of people that have scoliosis and I find the way they cope amazing, but they just get on with it. I think these tips are great for everyone, not just those with a disability

  8. Rhian westbury
    October 8, 2020 / 8:57 am

    Dating is tough but I can’t imagine how much tougher it can be if you have an illness or disability. I think just making sure they know you’re there to support them should they need it is important x

  9. Jess Howliston
    October 8, 2020 / 10:11 am

    This is such a great post and such a good insight too! I think the biggest thing comes from understanding and this post really helps!

  10. Knashz
    October 8, 2020 / 12:02 pm

    Love really is universal! It’s not that hard to love people regardless of what condition they may have.

  11. Tammy
    October 8, 2020 / 2:50 pm

    Everyone has something and no one should be left to feel like they need to hide their scars or ailments. Beautiful post and reminder.

  12. October 8, 2020 / 4:51 pm

    someone very dear to me suffers from scoliosis. this was a very thoughtful post

  13. October 8, 2020 / 8:15 pm

    This is really insightful. I have a cousin with scoliosis and have seen how painful it can be. This is a great way to let people know more about it.

  14. October 8, 2020 / 8:30 pm

    Thank you for highlighting the difficulties of dating someone with Scoliosis. It can’t be easy but they are human too and it is nice to understand that and to create awareness for others

  15. October 9, 2020 / 5:17 pm

    I think scoliosis is more prevalent than people realise. It can be a very painful condition.

  16. October 11, 2020 / 9:54 am

    My son has scoliosis and I see how much pin he is in on a daily basis and it breaks my heart that I cannot help him.

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