Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Parenting Fail: Taking Miss 13 to the Physio

Madeleine has been complaining of back problems for weeks. Sorry, months. In the early days I dismissed it as a little back strain from carrying a heavy school bag, or maybe a stretched muscle from her dancing classes. Either way, nothing to worry too much about, a bit of rest, a little deep heat, she'll be right.

Maddy is one of life's serial complainers when it comes to her health. I dismiss her complaints quickly and easily because she is actually an incredibly healthy girl who likes to tell me in detail about every twinge or ache she experiences even when there are logical reasons. But in the busyness of life this year, I dismissed her back pain far too quickly.

I finally took her to a physio this week, fully expecting to hear something along the lines of wearing her school bag better, not slouching over her iPad, stretching properly before dancing. All logical things that I have said myself. 

Instead after a few minutes of examining her posture, her dance turnout, and prodding her gently in places, he was able to demonstrate to me how her back muscles are contracting badly when she moves in certain ways and that her hips are not sitting right at times. In fact, whenever she is doing some particular ballet moves, she is stressing them out and causing herself alot of pain as a result.

Parenting fail. We could have picked this up a long time ago. He assures me she will be comfortable again soon enough, but in the meantime we have some work to do. She needs to take a dancing break for starters, and for my ballerina who dances 4 days, 12 hours a week, this is crushing. Fortunately with school holidays coming up I was able to convince her to make the most of the time to get in almost 4 weeks break without too much impact. We also need to do an exercise together at home, 3 times a day if possible, so that involves both of us getting up half an hour earlier to squeeze one in before school.

Maddy has to lie flat, and I place pressure on her lower back to keep her hips in place (because they are moving in some really strange ways) while she uses a rope to lift her leg up to her bottom. A heat pack on her back is also having quick effects in changing how her muscles spasm during certain activities, along with some k-tape on her back for support.

There will be many more physio visits, many more exercises as she improves, and some massages. I know I've mentioned health insurance before, but at $79 per visit, plus another $10 for the k-tape (not a whole roll, just two pieces!) I am so thankful that money restrictions do not have to play a factor in her return to strength as our health insurance covers the whole visit fee. I just have to worry about the k-tape costs (will be sussing out the costs of a whole roll and calling my physio on that exorbitant cost!).

One thing that deterred me initially from going to a physio was thinking I had to have a referral. As it turns out we didn't need one, although it was Madeleine's ballet teacher that gave us the nudge to go, and we did go to our local person who specialises in dancers.

Have you ever let one of your kids ailment get away from you?

Before writing this post about Madeleine, we discussed the appropriateness of the content and the photo. As she becomes a lovely young woman with a right and need for privacy, I like to seek her permission before posting. Although she enjoys being a feature on the blog I feel it is important to role model the behaviours I expect her to display on social media.

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