Rachel Kenny and her Inspirational Journey with Scoliosis Pt 3

Recovery from Scoliosis Surgery


Early Days After Scoliosis Surgery

I had my operation in the last few days of January 2014 at the age of 13. After many cancelled appointments I got the surgery and needed a blood transfusion. The first few days in the hospital were very tough, learning how to walk again and needed a wheelchair just to get around to the bathroom or for scans. While I was recovering before going back to school a few weeks later I would practice walking with my mother everyday and increased the distance every week. Originally it was just up and down the hallway until eventually it was down the road and back from various markers. My friends would also come to my house or my mothers business with my school work so that I didn’t fall behind in my classes. Despite the levels of pain it is important to go with the recovery plan laid out by the doctors because it will make the long term recovery easier than delaying it.

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Setting Goals

I don’t remember a lot about that year anymore but I do know how important it was to have goals and things to look forward to. I had the goal to run at least part of the 5km Darkness into Light walk/run held a few months later in May. I trained for it as part of my recovery as we had a 5km loop near my house that was later used for this annual walk. I managed to run just under half of the 5kms and walked the rest with my mother. Swimming was also a great way to build strength as going walking around the same places in your local town can get boring. Swimming can be a great activity to do with your friends or find a group of people going through the same or a similar situation. I would go swimming in the long evenings as a way to get out of the house and be active.

Trying New Hobbies

Due to being unable to play sports that I adored I was able to spend more time focusing on other things like my photography and other creative endeavours. Photography allowed me to still participate in these sports like GAA and horse riding and gave my friends the opportunity to have photos of themselves in action. It is vital to be able to have people that you can rely on throughout this process especially when times are rough during your recovery and not to shut people out. This was particularly hard for me. It was a hard thing to do as I was so used to being independent and didn’t want to let other people see me in pain but that’s not helpful in the long run. I still struggle with this from time to time but have amazing people in my life that only want the best for me.

Support Systems

If you’re in a position where you don’t feel like you have that support system in place there are groups on Facebook and instagram pages, among other platforms where people are going through the same things and you will find someone on there you connect with and you can help each other through the process or be guided by them depending on what part of the process you are both in. It’s equally as important to have people there to celebrate the good and your accomplishments as it is to find comfort during the harder times.


Like everything in life progress is not linear and setbacks can happen at any point but if you keep going and pushing through there will also be so much joy. After all you are #BentnotBroken