What Having Scoliosis Surgery Taught Me About Life

13 Life Lessons I Learned From 'Mofo' And 'Lil' S***,' The Two Metal Rods In My Spine

Scoliosis may have left me bent, but my titanium rods Mofo and Lil' S*** really keep me afloat.

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A week before my 17th birthday, I was laying face down on an operating table having my spine aligned. There is a lot that happened leading up to that moment, but the most important part of my Scoliosis journey has come in the two years after my surgery. Here are some of the most important things I have learned since having a straight spine.

1. Self-love is key

Back when I always stood slightly askew, there was so much that made me dislike me. Although I can't contribute all of my growth and self-love to having two metal rods in my spine, standing straight up and down certainly did give 16-year-old me a major confidence boost.

2. Walking is something special

Let me just say, relearning how to walk is incredibly difficult. Everyone on this planet that has had to do it for one reason or another is mad strong and deserves so much respect.

3. True friends are the ones who stick it out

Megan Carmen

I had so many kindhearted and loving people who were there for me before, during, and after my recovery process, and those people who were there then are still here now. Real friends stick it out, and those are the people you should not take for granted.

4. Metal makes you buoyant

I can float without treading water? Explain to me how that is possible. Show me the science, because every time I enter a pool I am perplexed.

5. Be proud of yourself!

There is always a reason to be proud of yourself. Went to class? Yay! Aced a test? Good job! Made it through a big surgery? You should feel proud of yourself because man, you are so awesome.

6. Chaise lounge chairs are just plain rude

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I don't know who designed these monstrosities, but anyone with a permanently fixed spine knows that bending in this fashion is not an option. It is, however, a great party trick... "look at me I'm a human 2 x 4!"

7. Laughter really is the best medicine

A good chuckle can really get you out of the sad. Helping someone laugh is the perfect way to extend a hand, and there is never a time laughing is not a good thing. The number of vine compilations I watched during my recovery because I just needed a good laugh... thank you vine.

8. Don't be afraid to ask for help

Giphy

There are so so SO many people out there that love and care for you and are willing to do anything in their power to help you. For me, it was things as simple as asking my sister to refill my water or as complex and embarrassing as having to have my mom help me shower (thank you, mom). There are people here for you. Always.

9. Don't be afraid to help yourself

Even though there are always people to help you, sometimes you have to take the initiative to help yourself. Being able to help yourself is an equally strong characteristic as asking others for help.

10. "Parks & Rec" is the superior TV show

Giphy

This show never fails to cheer me up and I guarantee it will do the same for you.

11. Midwest weather does not like bodies

When people with metal in their bodies say "I can feel the weather changing"... they are not lying.

12. Faith will move mountains

Having a hard time? Faith. Having a really good time? Faith. Even during the most mediocre of times, having faith will get you through.

13. Grit is good

Giphy

Medical issues happen to everyone, and coming out the other side takes grit. Being able to go through something incredibly hard and making it to the end is a huge accomplishment. You can do anything you set your mind to.

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A list Of 15 Inspiring Words That Mean So Much

A single word can mean a lot.
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Positivity is so important in life. A lot of times we always go to quotes for empowerment but I have realized that just one word can be just as powerful. Here is a list of inspiring words.

1. Worthy

Realizing your self-worth is important. Self-worth can really make or break a persons personality. Always know that you are worthy of respect. And also, never compare yourself to others.

2. Courage

Be courageous in life. Life has so many opportunities so do not be scared to grasp any opportunity that comes your way. You have the ability to do anything you have your heart and mind set to do, even the things that frighten you.

3. Enough

When you are feeling down and feeling that nothing you do is ever good enough, know that you are more than enough. And yes there is always room for improvement but when it comes to my self-worth I always have to remind myself that I am enough.

4. Blessed

Be thankful. A lot of times we forget how blessed we are. We focus so much on stress and the bad things that are going on in our lives that we tend to forget all of the beautiful things we have in life.

5. Focus

Focus on your goals, focus on positive things, and focus on the ones you love. Do not focus on things that will keep you from not reaching your goals and people that do not have good intentions for your life.

6. Laugh

Laughing is one of the best forms of medicine. Life is truly better with laughter.

7. Warrior

Through the good and the bad you are a warrior. Be strong, soldier.

8. Seek

Seek new things. Allow yourself to grow in life. Do not just be stuck.

9. Faith

During the bad times, no matter the circumstances, have faith that everything will be all right.

10. Live

Start living because life is honestly way too short. Live life the way you want to live. Do not let anyone try to control you.

11. Enjoy

Enjoy everything that life has to offer. Enjoy even the littlest of things because, as I said before, life is short. And plus, there is no time to live life with regrets.

12. Believe

Believe in yourself and never stop. Believing in yourself brings so many blessings and opportunities in your life.

13. Serendipity

A lot of times we look for things to fill an empty void that we have. Usually what we are looking for comes when we are not looking at all. Your serendipity will come.

14. Create

Share your ideas with the world. Creativity brings change to your life. However you chose to use your creativity do not be scared to show your intelligence, talent, and passion.

15. Love

The world is already full of so much hate, so love unconditionally with all your heart.

Cover Image Credit: Tanveer Naseer

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5 Ways To Finally Hit Your Water Intake Goal

"Drink more water" — every health advice article ever.

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As everybody always gets told, water is the best way to have clear skin, no headaches, and better skin tones. Well, it's easier said than done, because unless you are a water junkie; you will want to pick that cup of coffee, tea, or yummy pop instead. I know for me that since I actually started increasing my water intake, it truly made an impact.

And these are the things that helped me with having that become a habit.

1. Get a cute cup.

Y'all, getting a cute mug or bottle sounds silly, but truly makes all the difference when you are trying to hit that goal. It doesn't matter the price if it works then it works!

2. Always keep it iced.

When I say iced, I defiantly don't refer to it being iced like in coffee, invest in an ice maker or bagged ice from sonic (yes, that's a thing). Keeping it cold is a necessity because it cools your temperature down, and helps to drink it when it's not lukewarm.

3. Put yummy add-ons in it.

They said to drink water but never said not to add yummy fruit. Adding a simple lemon, a few cut up strawberries, or even some limes can seriously make it taste better and not be so bland!

4. Set an alarm for every two hours.

Every two hours you should be refilling your water bottle to get more. That alarm not only reminds you to be done by that time but holds you accountable; let me tell ya!

5. Every time you use the restroom, drink up!

This might seem silly, but if all else has failed; make it a point to drink three big gulps every time you go to the bathroom. This is not only healthy for your body but puts you closer to that goal.

Now, take those tips and put them into action! Go achieve that water goal, and stay hydrated my friends.

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