Teenager with chronic pain x 4 yrs. Dance injury.
Our 17yo danced for 12years. She suffered 2 disc herniations from a fall she told me about only quite sometime later. She said it felt like her back was breaking in half. Appointnent with MD made, xray negative. MRI showed herniations. We were referred to an ortho specialist here in Gainesville. She stopped dancing for entire summer. rested, had injections, medication. Reevaluted, slowly began dancing again. Pain returned. Back to ortho specialist. Injections, medication, no dancing. Pain changing and getting worse. Ortho MD referred us to a pediatric specialist in Orlando. He told us she probably had a linear fracture missed on the MRI. Nuclear Bone Scane done in Gainesville. MD from Orlando called with results – showed no linear bone fracture, however, he said she lit up like a Christmas tree in her spine and primarily both hips. He prescribed more rest, physical therapy. Keep in mind this is over 2 years going on. We have continued to see her Ortho MD here. We did everything ordered, suggested, massage, chiropractor, swimming, diet. She is over 17 now. Has been living with this since 13-14. She has high anxiety, bouts of depression, fixates on her future. I am not a dancer, this was all very knew to me. She would lose herself in dance, she was amazing! She actually asked her instructor to help her with a modern dance, done to a song that was about what cancer patients experience and go through, she dedicated it to her Music Teacher from elementary school – who had been diagnosed with brain cancer. She went back to her elementary school and danced as an alumni, guest performer. Her music teacher was there. He was crying, people got goosebumps, there were tears everywhere. It was heavy. Strong willed, knew what she wanted, fearless. Her father and I have been right there for her and supported her. Her dream was to become a Rockette. Right before the injury, she flew to New York, by herself and stayed with her Aunt and Uncle, because she wanted to experience New York, see the Rockettes. She loved it, and in her mind, her path was set. Then the injury. She finished highschool online and is taking 1 or 2 online college course. When she was out from dance she would come in with me to the Preschool to read to the kids and they loved her. She is a quiet, silly, tall, strikingly beautiful girl – that did not bode well in school with the other girls. She was bullied and is very outspoken about this topic. A young man took a very unhealthy interest in her, to a degree that there was meeting with school administrators and school resource officers, they didnt want to see her go, but said they could not guarantee her safety and understood – our only choice to ensure her safety was to pull her out and homeschool her. She has become cynical in regards to our Healthcare System. She is not getting better and the doctors she has seen…we return for follow up, she is not better, they put the same plan of care in place and then no return calls, no follow up. If an activity requires sitting for longer than 2 hours, her back can lock up, she had spasms in her legs, the pain is always worse after an activity. I am able to work from home. I am in tune with how bad her pain is by her behavior. I am in tune with her emotions, depression, anxiety. I listen to her, we talk…ALOT. She has good days and bad days. There is so much more to this I could go on about. She is smart and educated on her condition. She understands she will probably never dance like she used to…..and I believe, for her, not dancing has been worse than the pain. We talk about other interests, that she may not be able to dance like she did, but that doesnt mean she can’t dance a different way. For a year she would not talk about dance. She is starting to a little. She knows her dad and I are here for her, to help her, help her with her future. I have never joined a discussion group. As her mom, I cant put my finger on it – there just seems to be an underlying current that something isn’t right, is going on, was missed and then of course the worry and concern about her emotional and mental state. Shortly after her injury, her Aunt that she was very close – her aunt could not have children – died in her sleep – she had overdosed. She never had many friends and her circle has gotten smaller since the injury. She has a 14yo brother – they have a very special relationship and are very close – healthy full term baby – at 6 days old he was diagnosed with necrotizing enterocoltis of his transverse colon – 2 major surgeries, colostomy bags and being told – he is not out of the woods for reoccurrence until at least 5 years of age. So, just 1 more part to her story. She is an amazing big sister! He is absolutely fine. No recurrence and is now becoming his own person and not chasing his big sister around. She told me she could not be prouder of her brother because, she sees and knows he us a good person with good friends, but it makes her sad in a way to know it was going to happen and now it is. I dont know what Im looking for, maybe I just needed to write this out. If anyone can relate to this, I suppose that would be helpful. If anyone can point us in a direction, helpful as well also. Thank you so much! I apologize for being a bit all over the place on this, again, have never joined a group discussion.
Yes, we have explored counseling for her. Again, thank you for letting me share.