#WCW: Tomilola Escada “Watch your Back!”


escada4I remember being slanted in high school, but my mum said it was nothing and that it was simply because I carried a lot of books in my bag and it was weighing one side of my body down. I remember doing a routine x-ray before I got into the Law School and noticed how my ribs were slanted as well. The Doctor paid no attention, told me it was nothing – the x-ray did not even show my spinal cord – just my ribs, and he said it was nothing. I remember having serious back pains in high school but they always associated it with me playing rough in school (because I was quite the “ruffian”).

Two years ago, the Immigration laws changed and I was obliged to do a couple of tests before entering the UK and one of them was an x-ray to check my chest for tuberculosis. I remember them calling out the names of people and everyone was getting their results. But they did not call my name. I proceeded to ask the nurse for my result and she told me that the Doctor wanted to see me. I literally had chills down my spine. A million things went through my mind. I remember doing an HIV test once and they gave everyone their results except this one guy. We all know what it means when they give everyone their results but you. I kept thinking; “Why did the Doctor want to see me? Why me? Did I have tuberculosis? But I was not coughing? Abi, can they see HIV on x-ray? Is this a new something? Tomi, don’t be silly”. This was probably the longest walk to the Doctor’s office (it was just two doors down).

The Doctor sat me down and asked “do you know you have scoliosis?” I was like I don’t know what scoliosis is. She showed me my X-ray result and for the first time I saw it, the curve in my spine – it was like the letter “C”. I asked why my spinal cord was not straight and she said – I don’t know, it’s idiopathic. How long have I had this for? She said, probably 8-10years now. I said well, I can walk and do anything I want to do, trying to brush off the news I had just received.
The Doctor informed me that it may have no effect on me now because I am young and healthy, but it may become a problem when I am older and or pregnant. Did you know that most pregnant women with scoliosis are more prone to having a C-section?

escadaI discussed my options with the Doctor and she stated that if I had discovered earlier, I could have gotten braces to correct it. But my best option now is surgery. I have decided not to have surgery because I am not going to mess with my spinal cord. However, I would not be here if I had insisted on going to the hospital earlier. There’s no known 100% cure for scoliosis. The only cure I know is EARLY DETECTION. So look out for the signs of scoliosis – look at your back – look at your children’s back – look at your siblings’ back. I guess scoliosis is a bigger reminder to all of us to just WATCH OUR BACKS.


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