Today marks FOUR years since my operation. In that time I have got 3 A Levels, 1 AS Level, 1 Extended Project, Grade 7 Violin, 1/3 of a degree and countless achievements outside of education. I have had multiple jobs, am on committee for two student media outlets and have produced more print and audio content than I could possibly list. I’ve cut my hair for charity and raised £400. I’ve met Prince Harry, seen the Queen and interviewed someone from the BBC. I’ve won a writing competition, most likely to become head teacher and Best Journalist for the student magazine. I don’t even live at home full time anymore.
Of course it’s not all amazing things. I’ve gone through periods of stress, anxiety and potential depression. I lost and painfully rebuilt friendships. I’ve been homesick, I’ve had too many arguments and there’s far too much mess in my room. I eat a lot of rubbish and sometimes I probably don’t eat enough in proper meals. Sleep can be lacking and I don’t keep up with current affairs as much as I would like (so same as when I was in hospital!). Plus I keep missing Bake Off!
But, essentially today marks another year since my operation and 4 in total. In fact it’s been over 8 years since my journey with scoliosis started and I’m excited for the years to come and writing updates for 5/10/15 years post-op!
As you will probably be aware, earlier this year I cut my hair for charity. The hair went to the Little Princess Trust while the money went to Evelina London, where I had my spinal fusion surgery. You can now read my account of why I fundraised on the Support Evelina blog via the link below!
Blog posts are like buses – you spend ages waiting for one and then three come along at once (broadly speaking). It is perhaps not quite that dramatic, but having been quiet for a couple of months, it’s refreshing to have too much to write about!
Today I was just generally looking at Buzzfeed, doing various quizzes and getting quite upset at the mistreatment of pasta by some internet users, when I found a link to an article. Entitled ‘Puberty Gave Me Curves I Never Expected’, I saw a image of a spine and was quite excited to see scoliosis being discussed on a popular website. Rosalind Jana, the author, is someone I was already aware of as a scoliosis sufferer but it was still refreshing and slightly emotional to read of a story much like my own.
You can read the article below, and look forward to hearing more from me very soon!
Around a month ago, you may recall that it was International Scoliosis Awareness Day, when I posted about two special radio shows I was presenting to commemorate the occasion and raise awareness of the condition. As promised, you can listen back to both shows via the two podcasts below!
The first features an interview with SAUK representative, Anna Glendenning, and a mixture of music that helped me through my treatment and songs from 1981, when the Scoliosis Association UK was set up.
The second includes a selection of music from 1981 and information on scoliosis and related conditions.
Today is International Scoliosis Awareness Day. This annual event hopes to raise awareness of the condition and, as explained in the first ISAD poster, “help people understand what curvature of the spine is and to raise funds to support people with the condition.”
In previous years I haven’t been very active in raising awareness or funds, but this year is different! I still haven’t managed to think of a fundraising campaign but I am on the radio twice today, with two shows dedicated to scoliosis on Insanity Radio 103.2FM and Coastway Hospital Radio.
The first, from 12pm until 2pm, features an interview with Anna from Scoliosis Association UK and other information about the condition, alongside songs from the 80s and other favourites from my time undergoing treatment. You can hear it on Insanity Radio 103.2FM across North Surrey and South East Berkshire, online on the Insanity Radio website or via our Android/iOS app.
At 5pm I will be on air with Coastway Hospital Radio, Brighton, talking more generally about the condition and symptoms, what other conditions are associated with it, and playing more musical favourites from the 80s in honour of SAUK’s 35th anniversary. You can listen to Coastway via the TuneIn app or online, as well as in the Royal Sussex County Hospital on Hospedia Channel 1. To get involved, tweet @tweetcoastway too!
Both shows should be podcasted and uploaded to my Mixcloud at a later date so keep an eye on my blog for more links.
I update this blog to bring you some news concerning my general blogging. Firstly, I have a new blog, but that’s not to say that this blog is not going to continue. However, this blog was set up to document my operation and therefore it will always be personal. It’s not the place to showcase my work outside of articles related to scoliosis and not the ideal website to point potential employers to. Therefore I am now blogging at http://escarr15.wordpress.com/ for more professional and student media related things, while this blog will remain for personal updates and general life based posts. There will probably be crossover, one will likely end up neglected in favour of the other at times, and there will inevitably be confusion on my part that may lead to posts being posted on the wrong blog – but that is an issue for another day! Right now, I would love it if you would hop over to my new blog and give me a follow, I promise not to spam you with posts and provide the same well written content as I do here (but probably more edited and polished and a bit less chatty). And stay tuned for a post on this blog in the near future, I have a few sitting in my drafts!
As you may be aware, I had a charity haircut scheduled almost two weeks ago to donate 7 inches of my hair to charity and raise money at the same time. Currently I have raised just under £275 for Evelina London and hope to reach my target once my friends get their student loans in! If you want to donate, my JustGiving page is here: https://www.justgiving.com/bethcarrhaircut. The hair has been donated to the Little Princess Trust and you can find out more about them here: http://www.littleprincesses.org.uk/.
My hair, 4th April 2016