PLEASE NOTE: Everyone’s SDR experience is different; you’ll notice that throughout this site, I write of my individual experiences. Others’ experiences and perspectives may not mirror mine, and while I have also tried to acknowledge experiences besides my own, it is impossible to capture the full range of SDR experiences. This site is meant as a starting point and (hopefully) helpful resource for anyone who would like to know more about SDR, PERCS, and the rehab process. It’s not the end-all-be-all, and it’s most definitely not a substitute for medical advice; I am not a doctor, just a patient trying to pay it forward the best I can. I encourage you to do your research. Seek out others in the SDR community and beyond. Ask questions. Talk with your care team, actively discover new research, and empower yourself by gathering information from as many reliable sources as you can.
The first chapter of my life was an adventurous one! I came into this world about 3 months ahead of schedule as the only girl in a set of triplets, and our early start is the reason I have mild spastic diplegic cerebral palsy (CP)—an injury to the area of my brain that controls my legs. I’ve had my share of surgeries, including a big one at age 2 that enabled me to walk independently. Then, at 13, I had an accident that required emergency surgery to save the blood supply to my leg, and my surgeon said I’d never walk on my own again. It took me 3 years to prove him wrong.
At 22, I underwent a risky orthopedic surgery to fix the chronic pain I’d endured since that accident—and it worked. At 23, another blessing was in store for me: selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR). And at 24, I had hamstring PERCS, which helped me even more. I’m so grateful for all of the incredible medical professionals who have walked with me on my journey, and for the beautiful CP and HSP families I have met along the way. Your strength and kindness serve as ever-present reminders that our challenges aren’t tragedies; they’re opportunities.
A bit more about me: I’m a grammar nerd and a science nerd, and in my spare time, I like to read, write, and play the piano. I’m also a big fan of sending and receiving snail mail. 🙂 I have a degree in neuroscience from Connecticut College and a master’s in science writing from Johns Hopkins University, and I work full-time as a science curriculum editor (I edit lessons for scientific accuracy, clarity, concision, etc.; I love my job!). I’ve also done some freelance writing for a variety of hospitals and universities, and I’ve written three nonfiction guidebooks for teenagers, but aside from my story above, I haven’t published anything about SDR—until now.