MichelleT 12:14pm Feb 13 2018
Eric - Donít feel like a terrible dad. This was not your failt. Donít let guilt take hold because youíre going to need to be extra emotionally strong to support your daughter.
The very best thing you can do for her is be supportive. If she needs to cry, let her. You can give pep talks but remember that depression will certainly set in and it feels dark and uncontrollable. Any kind of Ďget over ití pep talk is more harmful than good.
Offer to help her with any and all of her needs, but let her do things if she insists she can or wants to. If she asks you to do something for her, do it right away, not Ďon your timeí.
I broke my leg 4 weeks ago and Iím currently using a wheelchair because Iím not allowed to bear weight yet. The wheelchair has been great for giving me a degree of mobility. You can find a good one for about $100 on amazon and get it in 2 days if youíre a prime member. Iíll post some links at the bottom of items I bought online that have been helpful to me.
I also bought a knee brace for my un-injuried leg. Getting up and down from bed, the couch, a wheelchair, or the toilet will take a toll on the good legís knee joint.
For showering, i tried a cast sleeve but actually found a trash bag with duct tape was so much easier to manage. If you donít have one of those shower heads with a wand extension, get one. She will definately need it. Also, a shower chair is a must. I cover my cast in the trash bag, seal it up with the tape, and prop my leg on the side of the tub while showering.
Having things at a reachable level so she can be as independent as possible is great. This includes bathroom items, snacks in the kitchen, and things like remote controls, phone charger, etc.
Friends and family should definately visit. Feelings of being alone are really tough to deal with.
Encourage her to read forums like this one. Knowing that her struggles are shared by other people helps with coping.
Encourage her to exercise as much as her injury (and doctor) will allow. At about 3 weeks post my injury, I started excercises with 5 lb. handweights, and do ab excercises laying on my bed, and leg lifts - this is the one her doctor should OK.
Donít criticize her choices. For me, if I wanted to order a pizza, my significant other would make a comment like, ďReally, didnít you just order a pizza last week.Ē Or if I asked him to pick me up some cereal at the store, ďDid you eat all the cereal we had already, wow.Ē These types of comments made me feel like I had lost all control over my own life. Granted I am an adult at age 33 and Iím used to doing whatever I darn please; the mentality around freedom to make my own choices without input or criticism from others might be less of a loss for a teenager that hasnít even achieved the freedom a driverís licence affords.
Get her outside as much as possible, even if itís just to sit in the yard and breath fresh air. Riding in a car has been uncomfortable to me so I have only left my property 2x in the last 3 weeks, but I do sit outside sometimes - usually at the encouragement of my SO. Any kind of steps are difficult. I have to go down steps just to get outside my door so I donít often choose to do it myself, although I always feel better once I do manage to get out. Getting her foot on her uninjured leg into the dirt or grass does more than one might think, but connection with the earth is grounding and healing.
In terms of getting back to ďnormalĒ after healing, Iím personally optomistic, or at least I try. Depression has been a big struggle for me. I tell myself this will all get better and Iíll be back to walking and running and it will be like it never happened...but I donít really know that. Your daughterís injury sounds much more extensive then the broken gibula bone I have from an injury playing tennis. For her, physical therapy will probably be hugely impactful on recovery.
Iím taking a bunch of supplements. Hard to say if theyíre doing anything, but I did my research and Iím hopefu. I am taking a womenís multi vitamin, tumeric for inflammation, collegen with vitamin C for aide in bone and tissue repair, a liquid supplement of Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc with Vitamin D for bone repair, and Omega 3 fish oil- a very specific brand that I have been taking since long before this injury to help with inflamation. Iím an athlete and my joints have been troublesome ever since high school. I also drink a glass of oj everyday for the added vitamin C.
I hope this helps. My #1 bit of advice is to focus on being supportive. Your love and help means the difference between this being hell or manageable. Just recently, another person on this site wrote something that really struck a cord with me, ďMy life has completely changed and it feels overwhelming on a good day and absolutely impossible on a bad one.Ē This is exactly how I feel. Keep in mind that your daughter might very well feel the same.
...and remember, this was not your fault.
Wheelchair: Drive Medical Silver Sport 1 Wheelchair with Full Arms and Swing away Removable Footrest https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001HOI7AS?ref=yo_pop_ma_swf
Shower Seat: Medical Tool-Free Assembly Spa Bathtub Shower Lift Chair, Portable Bath Seat, Adjustable Shower Bench, White Bathtub Lift Chair with Arms https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y5Z47HK?ref=yo_pop_ma_swf
Knee brace: Bracoo Knee Support, Open-Patella Stabilizer with Adjustable Strapping & Extra-Thick Breathable Neoprene Sleeve https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005BINV84?ref=yo_pop_ma_swf
Omega 3 fish oil: https://omega3innovations.com/
The other vitamins you can get at a GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, or similar store.
Best of luck to you and your daughter. Sending healing vibes...