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Helping my 8yo DD:Depressed w/broken arm

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi All,

My usually active and outgoing 8yo DD broke her left arm after a fall off the monkey bars about 2 weeks ago. She's going to be in a cast for at least 4-6 weeks. She's miserable and seems very depressed. We're talking about it and I've been working hard to set up play dates with friends doing activities that she can do and enjoy.... But she seems to be getting increasingly depressed and isolated. She feels very left out at school. I see her becoming increasingly withdrawn when she does get together with friends.

I'm hoping to get her out for walks/jogging in the park (which she can do now that she's in a hard cast) as the weather gets a bit better. I do think that lack of physical activity is part of the problem---and just suddenly being unable to do all of the things that she loves most (swimming, violin, and basketball...). Has anyone been through this? Any BTDT words of wisdom or ideas?
post #2 of 6
Soccer? I'm not talking about signing up for a team, but if she can jog, then she can work on all sorts of dribbling skills. Set up some pylons, a net and let her have at it. It would be great if some sympathetic friends would play with her too.

Hiking/nature walks? Scavenger hunts? Last weekend, DD 14 y.o. had a friend stay for a sleepover. After breakfast, they were bored but it was beautiful outside. They made up a funny list of things to find and went out looking for them. They used their cameras to "capture" the items - no need to carry anything home.

Best wishes for quick healing!
post #3 of 6
Should they be recasting her arm for any reason ask about a waterproof cast. When my DS broke his arm a waterproof cast meant he could still go swimming that summer, which made a real difference.

Maybe host playdates at your house with some quieter activities -- maybe even movies and computer games that you wouldn't normally allow for playdates? Cooking?

Can you ask her teacher to help?
post #4 of 6
I love the suggestions about soccer and other things she can do with her arm in a cast, but I would also suggest that you check in with her doctor about pain. Even more than the cast itself and the enforced immobility of the arm, pain can cause the withdrawal and depression you're seeing. Your DD may need better pain management strategies while she's healing.
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom View Post
Should they be recasting her arm for any reason ask about a waterproof cast. When my DS broke his arm a waterproof cast meant he could still go swimming that summer, which made a real difference.

Maybe host playdates at your house with some quieter activities -- maybe even movies and computer games that you wouldn't normally allow for playdates? Cooking?

Can you ask her teacher to help?
Our ped Ortho Surgeon has a sign up about the waterproof cast. It basically states insurance companies won't pay for it and must be paid for upfront before casting. Not sure how much it costs out of pocket. We just put a regular purple cast on DD2.
post #6 of 6
Would she like a pen pal?

My 5.5 year old had the same injury--broken arm on the monkey bars! She was the first official one of the season according to the hospital's orthopedic department! Hers was on 3/25. She had to have surgery to insert a screw in her elbow. She was house bound for 2 weeks until we got her cast on because I couldn't get a good fit in her carseat.

For those 2 weeks, we hid presents around the house. Every day she got to open one. It was all things to keep her busy while stuck inside--board games, indoor basketball, new books, etc. She loved it. We homeschool so I also reached out to our network of friends who asked if we needed anything--I said just letters and notes for DD. She got so much mail and was so thrilled.

She got her red cast on 4/9, and is scheduled for a re-check on 5/19. It's the day the pool opens so we are hoping that it comes off, but I'm not holding my breath.

The worst is that she fell the other day and couldn't catch herself and ended up needing stitches for a puncture wound on her temple. This broken bone is haunting us now!

She is disappointed that she had to stop all her favorite activities--gymnastics, yoga, horseback riding. But, it has forced us to find new ones. The cast was a novelty at first, but now she is mostly just annoyed with it because it's limiting her normally very active lifestyle.

I've tracked down just about every book I can about broken bones. I think our favorite is--Kate Larkin, Bone Expert.

Seriously, I know DD would love to "talk" to another girlie going through the same thing. She's fairly precocious and most of her closest friends are 6-8 yo. girls.

I wish I had someone to talk to when this first happened... finding clothing that would work over the splint/sling was a nightmare. It's been much better with the cast. But, it's a full arm cast and it's been such a struggle. We got a waterproof cover for it. Our doc's office doesn't offer the waterproof ones at all; they say that they aren't truly as effective as they claim.

Hugs to your girlie,
Holli
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