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what to do when something bad happens to your child? Help, please!

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by blake, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. blake

    blake Well known member

    Hi all,

    Reaching out today because I'm having a bit of a sad day.

    My 13-year-old was injured in a hockey accident about 6 weeks ago. He badly damaged three of his natural teeth (in the front) and we found out today that 2 will likely not be salvageable. He will need to wear some kind of bridge until he has finished growing at around 20 or so, at which time he might be able to get implants.. Up until this point, I thought the teeth would heal, so I'm very disappointed. This will affect his appearance and he now has to spend a lot of time at the dentist's office. The good news is that his spirits are good. My husband and I give him plenty of support and opportunities to express his sadness and his anger about the whole thing. Plus the fact that his altered appearance has not undermined his confidence in the least makes me feel so incredibly happy, despite my current disappointment.

    I realized today that I've tms symptoms ever since the incident (yeah for me for noticing that only now). I had been enjoying long pain-free stretches before that. This relapse comes as no surprise to me. Ever since he was born I have had major existential anxiety about something happening to me. My tms actually started when he was 3. I don't know how other moms do it? Do you not have this fear? Do you put it out of your minds? This situation has actually brought to light something really important, but I'm not sure what to do with it.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Blake, I sure hope some other parents can respond to your questions, as they are important ones. Not being a parent, I can't actually relate to this natural and deep instinct to protect and to worry. How do you find the right balance?

    I like this - let's discuss! Okay, here are a couple of ideas that popped into my head: Do you feel like you are handling things better than you might have done "Before Sarno"? I REALLY like how you recognized the importance of giving your son the room to express his emotions without judgement. At the same time, it's not too surprising that in your concern over the physical and emotional implications for your son, your own goodism and perfectionism are back to judge and criticize you! The old voices in your head...
  3. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    I thought losing your teeth playing ice hockey, came with the territory. At first I thought you were going to say he had died. I was greatly relieved that it was only his teeth. They do some really great stuff today with implants. I don't think any pro hockey players have their front teeth. I'd suggest having him switch to tennis, it's just a fuzzy little ball, I've never seen anyone seriously injured in tennis.
  4. blake

    blake Well known member

    Hi Jan,

    Good question. I do think I'm handling it better. At least I'm feeling the sadness and I'm reaching out. When it first happened, everyone was super supportive and I really gave myself permission to let all that in. I wouldn't have done that before. But obviously the tms still has the power to hook me. that's what's happening. I took note of the pain and I got caught in its web again. Oh well, that's pretty normal when you have tms, right? Guess I'll just have to wait it out and see what I'll learn from this round.

    Thanks a bunch!
  5. blake

    blake Well known member

    Hi tennis tom, no my son has not died. If he had I doubt I'd be posting online about it. I'd probably be at the nearest psych ward!

    Yes, in the big scheme of things, teeth aren't that big of a deal. But for me, watching him go through this is very painful. It makes me feel powerless to protect him. And there's just something very raw about that. But I get your point about putting things in perspective. But that's exactly what I'm learning from the tms approach: getting these messed up things that are in my mind out in the open.

    As for implants, well they are not an option for children. You have to finish growing first. So he'll need to get something temporary until then.

    Thanks for weighing on.
  6. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Blake, if it is any comfort, I ate a lot of candy and drank a lot of soda when I was a boy, and it gave me bad teeth and some had to come out.
    By the time I was about 2o I had a partial upper plate, and about five years later all the uppers came out and I have had a complete upper plate since then,
    and haven't had toothache since then and I am now 85. My lowers have been mostly okay.

    So artificial teeth are no problem for me. Your son seems to be okay with it, too. Be grateful he only lost a few teeth. I wish more kids were into golf and tennis and swimming. Hockey and football are so dangerous.
  7. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Blake. I can totally relate! When I had my son 16 years ago I would lay awake all night when he was sick. He had croup when he was two months old and it was unbearable listening to that barking cough and sitting up with him for hours in a steaming bathroom. I wondered then how I was going to do it, how I would survive the overwhelming sense of responsibility. It also amazed me how brave I could be to protect them. Me who has always been so terrified of death and illness, and I knew without any doubt that I would jump in front of that bus without hesitation to protect them. We went camping when they were toddlers and it was dark and we could hear animals prowling around. My son asked "is there a bear out there?" and I responded "no, there is no bear. And even if there is, there is nothing to be afraid of, I will keep you safe." The words came out and inside I was laughing at myself. "Since when did you become so brave?" 16 years later and I still don't know how I am going to survive it. A few weeks ago one of our caregivers called because her high school son was being taken to the hospital because of a head injury while playing football. He was knocked unconscious and was momentarily having vision problems. She called me from the hospital and I was as reassuring as I could be. I knew she needed to hear in that moment that it was going to be okay. That is not something the doctors were going to say until they were sure, time had passed and they had run all their scans. In the back of my mind though, I reflected on how terrifying it is to be a parent. I guiltily felt enormous relief that it was not my son laying in that hospital bed. I worried about my teenage son who plays football. Several days later she brought her son into the office and he did turn out to be fine. I think it is normal for mothers to worry about their children. I think the fear and anxiety of what could happen is something we need to try and control because it is impossible to live a full life without risk. I think loosing a child, no matter what the age, is the one of the worst things that can happen to a person. And it is completely understandable that you would feel really bad about your son loosing his teeth. I know I would. My husband lost his front teeth as a child and he had implants and is fine. Its something he told me about when we first met but if he hadn't told me, I never would have known.
  8. blake

    blake Well known member

    Thank you, Walt. It helps knowing other people do just fine with artificial teeth. Of course, this is not what I wanted for him. The change is permanent and that's sad, but at the end of the day, I know he can handle this setback. It's just part of his story now. It's funny/sad that he got injured like this in a stupid floor hockey accident during phys ed. He's a black belt in karate and has never had anything more than the occasional bruise.

    Anne, I can tell from your story that you totally know where I'm coming from, especially when you talk about that sense of responsibility. It's huge for me and has played a role in my developing tms years ago. But what you focus on is the courage. I like that. Like you, being a mom has made me bolder, more confident somehow, but I don't recognize it in myself. I still see myself as lacking (there is that inner critic at work again). But I am doing it! And I have been facing and dealing with that anxiety since he was born. Maybe I needed a little help from tms symptoms back then, but I'm so much stronger than before. Plus I get and let myself receive support - another by product of tms knowledge. In fact, the incident has brought me so much closer to my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Never thought that would happen. And I'm glad your friend's son was ok.

    Thanks for your feedback!

  9. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I had a hard time with my first born, a fussy crying baby and me with post natal depression. It wasn't until she was six that I experienced the full weight of responsibility towards her. I don't recall what triggered it but it fell on me like an anvil. By that point I had already had my second baby. My eldest is a thrill seeking daredevil. She didn't walk until she was just over a year old yet was on roller skates a few months later. She climbed a tree once when I wasn't paying attention. I heard a voice call out "Heeeelllp!!!" She had fallen through the branches and luckily her clothing had caught onto one of them preventing a serious fall. At 12 I watched from the top of a mountain as she and her skiing group started to descend a treacherous icy stretch at the start of a black run, my heart in my mouth. As she backpacked across South America post university I read her online blog, peering through the fingers of my hands covering my eyes. I wanted to know what she was up to but part of me would have preferred complete ignorance. Recently she's taken up cycling, rides over hill and dale and through the traffic-filled streets of London. She's told me she's fallen several times but hasn't suffered any major injuries. I do try to control that fear and anxiety but it's always going to be there. In fact it's even worse now after my youngest, somewhat adventurous herself but not to the same extent as her sister, had a terrible accident through no fault of her own. Just one of those things. She will never be the same again and neither will I. I'm so grateful she survived, a miracle. Her favourite phrase for the last few years has been "Everything happens for a reason." It wasn't her time to go but her life was on a certain course and in a flash has taken a major detour leading to somewhere else entirely.

    Blake, your young man sounds very mature. Give him a great big bear hug.
    Anne Walker likes this.
  10. blake

    blake Well known member

    Wow yb44! What a story. How do you manage all that anxiety? I'm in awe right now. Sounds like you have two wonderful children who love life. If I look at things from their point of view, I get it. They are living life to the fullest. But from the mom's point of view, it's a bit different, isn't it?

    But in your case, does the anxiety trigger your symptoms? It sounds to me like you're doing a beautiful job at just accepting this reality: having kids can be a scary, anxiety-producing experience at times. I,m starting to think that my problem is that I just don't want to feel that. I would like to avoid it. It feels like it shouldn't happen or that I shouldn't be so sensitive. But yet, here I am, so very sad and angry that this has happened. Nothing can be done about it, no amount of rationalization can make it feel better for now. It just is.

    And yes, my son is pretty great. He was sad last night. It's starting to sink in for him, too. I talked to him about feeling his sadness, but also about all the support he has around him and all the courage he has inside of him.And as I say these things to comfort him, I also say them to myself.

    Thank you very much for sharing your story with me. I wish you and your family all the best.

    MWsunin12 likes this.
  11. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi again, Blake. I think your son's acceptance of his teeth problem is wonderful, very healthy. Tell him I (and I'm sure many others in the TMS community) think he is very brave and mature. He's entitled to feel sad at times. I'm glad he is a karate advocate. It's great mental exercise.

    Yb44, You girls are giving you a lot to be anxious about, but you're right that "everything happens for a reason." We learn more from adversity than we do from things going smooth all the time. I wouldn't have learned about TMS if I hadn't had some severe back pain. It led to me not only being healthier but happier than I ever thought I could be. Now when things go wrong, I take some deep breaths and live in the present moment and things go right again.
    blake likes this.
  12. MWsunin12

    MWsunin12 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Blake. A good dentist should be able to match the size and coloring of his natural teeth with a bridge. I doubt anyone will even notice. However, as someone who has a bridge (on the side), you may want to get him a water pik. He probably won't mind using it, and flossing under a bridge might be too much to ask of a teen. He's going to be great. Luckily, modern dentistry can look so natural. P/S: Not meaning to tell you what to do, but don't use a dentist that makes the bridge right there in the office. Use one that still sends out to a lab. In a lab they can match your child's tooth color and they put more natural tooth look to it. They are artists. The machines in the dentist office are generic. He can be fitted with a temporary bridge while the lab makes the real one.
    blake likes this.
  13. blake

    blake Well known member

    That's good advice MWsunin12. I really appreciate it, since at this stage, I don't know anything about bridges and the likes. When the dentist was explaining all the options, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed, so I didn't fully understand what he was saying. It's good to know the results can look natural. My son is slowly getting used to the idea now. So am I, I guess.

    Sure was helpful getting feedback here.

    Thanks again for taking the time to share your experience with me.
    MWsunin12 likes this.

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