Reflecting: 6 Months After My Life-Changing Surgery

Reflecting: 6 Months After My Life-Changing Surgery

It's crazy how one event can completely change the rest of your life.


As I was falling asleep last night, something occurred to me: it has already been 6 months since I got the spinal surgery that changed my life forever. I almost let the day pass by without even noticing.

One year ago, my scoliosis was a constant thought in the back of my mind. I couldn't go a single day, or even a few hours, without thinking about it in some way. I'd wake up in the morning and instantly become aware of the nagging back pain. I'd look in the mirror and think about how much I hated the way my body looked in my clothes. I'd be in constant pain simply sitting in chairs at school.

Over time, I began to realize that my scoliosis would forever be my burden to bear, and those thoughts would likely never dissipate. I tried to convince myself to grow comfortable with that idea, but I just couldn't. I knew it wasn't the worst thing in the world to have to deal with, but I still couldn't accept the thought that I'd never be pain-free and comfortable in my own body.

Once I discovered that spinal fusion surgery was not only an option but also recommended for severe scoliosis like mine, I finally saw a way out of the future I thought I couldn't control. One day, I could actually be happy in my own skin. One day, I could actually be pain-free. I decided to schedule my surgery for the nearest available date. Once I caught a glimpse of those possibilities, I never looked back.

My surgery experience went as smoothly as it could have, and I recovered quickly. Three weeks after my operation, I went back to school. Three more weeks later, I went back to most of my regular activities. Since my 6-week post-op appointment, I haven't returned to the hospital.

Since my surgery, I've had multiple full weeks without pain. Some weeks are better than others, depending on how often I'm sitting, if I've started a new activity, or if I'm exceptionally active. Days go by and the thought of my scoliosis doesn't occupy my mind. It feels as if I weight has been lifted off my shoulders (quite literally).

My scoliosis and my surgery experience will forever be a part of who I am, but I'm so relieved that they no longer define me and control my life. It's only been six months, and so much has changed already. Although I have no idea what the future holds, I know that it's bright!

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I Should Hate Valentine's Day, But I Really Don't

Based on my track record with love, celebrating should be out of the question.


Everything about romance and love and Valentine's Day should disgust me. Romance isn't something I'm very familiar with and my run-ins with it haven't been too great. But love is such a beautiful emotion and I would argue it's the most powerful.

That's why Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays.

It's undeniably a corporate holiday and I never ignore that. But we don't have to make it about greeting cards and heart-shaped chocolates. It's the idea of having a day that revolves around the emotion that controls everything that is good in the world. Because of how much I enjoy showing love, I'm totally for having a day to express it at full volume.

With no one extra special person to share the day with and very few friends who are single like me, it would be easy to stay bitter and spend the day cursing at relationships while I shovel in an endless amount of ice cream. But that's never been how I do things. Taking the easy way out isn't my style.

I celebrate February 14th by taking in and giving out so much love. I look forward to sharing every ounce of joy that exists in my heart. I want to give so much extra love to all the people I care about.

Life sometimes gets in the way of expressing love in the right way and Valentine's Day grants us an opportunity to really focus on it. There's nothing wrong with showing people they're being thought of.

It's also a chance for us to really love ourselves, and I make sure I do that. I try to practice self-care all the time, but I don't always get the chance to. But on Valentine's Day, I like to remind myself that love exists and it's beautiful and I owe it to myself to experience that.

Even if it's on my own and it's just a face mask and some quiet time. It's so important to be conscious of love and the meaning behind it.

Not being able to experience the typical traditions of Valentine's Day shouldn't take away from celebrating it all together. Fellow single friends can do a Galentine's Day and love each other. And if that doesn't work either, we can just love ourselves a little extra to make up for where it gets lost.

With all the negativity in the world already, we shouldn't let a day of love be negative too. We should put our hearts on our sleeves instead.

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10 Easy Ways To Incorporate Essential Oils Into Your Life

You're gonna wanna stock up on your favorite fragrances!


1. Get a diffuser or 8

You know, one for each room? I highly recommend having one in a bedroom and a living area, rooms you spend a lot of time in. For me, I have mine on my desk in my office. Currently diffusing sweet orange to engage my creativity and energy. For the bedroom nothing beats smelling a calm lavender when falling asleep.

2. The new bath bomb

A few drops of a relaxing scent will take your bath to the next level! Try with a peppermint or eucalyptus to relieve tension and sore muscles.

3. Direct application

Sweet orange essential oils are known to help with headaches and stomach cramps. The next time you are faced with these symptoms try applying a small amount to your temples or abdomen.

4. Keeps things fresh and clean

A few drops of a fruity oil on a tissue to use as a facial cleanser when you need a refresher.

5. Shoes will thank you

Tea tree is known for for deodorizing and medicinal. A few drops in a show will have them smelling brand new.

6. Forget lotion

Up your massage game with oils and skip the lotion. A musky and herby blend is great for muscles and most floral scents can be most invigorating.

7. All natural

Essential oils are all natural so you can ease your mind and know you're filling your home and body with something good for you.

8. Purifying the air

Along with filling a room with a sweet scent you are purifying the air.

9. Enhancing quiet time

Relaxing sometimes can use a hand and having a diffuser nearby can help with concentration and meditation.

10. Healing powers

Got bug bites? Use tea tree. Cough? Rosemary or peppermint. Sleepless? Lavender.

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