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Thread: Help!!!! my 13 yr old daughter won't wear her brace

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    NEW York
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    Question Help!!!! my 13 yr old daughter won't wear her brace

    I am wondering if anyone out there could give me some insight on how to get my daughter to wear her brace. Maybe someone could share past experiances, maybe someone out there didn't wear there brace and had to get surgery. Maybe someone has pictures to show what her back could look like if she don't wear it. The most noticable curve is in the shoulderblades one shoulder blade sticks out further then the other. I am hoping someone could share somthing with my daughter that would make my daughter change her mind about wearing her brace. Thanks
    Ruth

  2. #2
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    Oct 2003
    Location
    Utah
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    Hi Ruth,

    I honestly don't think the scare tactic will work effectively for your daughter. I will be happy to share our experiences, and maybe as she learns more about her body and wearing a brace and what it all involves, she will feel better about it.

    My daughter was diagnosed just before her 13th birthday with scoliosis - a lumbar curve of about 25 degrees. Within 3 months, her curve progressed to about 35 degrees. She was immediately put in a TLSO brace to try and stop the progression of the curve. I was thinking (like you) that if she would remember what her brother had to go through with scoliosis surgery, she would be VERY committed to wearing her brace. She knew how hard it was on him, as an infant, to have major surgery. Not pleasant. But, it didn't affect her much. She talked about the fact that she understood the risks, but said she didn't care. Her teenage rationalization of "this won't happen to me" was shining through. No amount of coersion would change her. She finally agreed to wear the brace at night, and avoid any daytime wearing.

    You are welcome to show your daughter my son's surgical pictures. I have a webpage with a photo journal of his rod implant surgery 2 years ago (click on each photo for a larger view). It shows how invasive surgery can be - the incisions are quite overwhelming. http://pages.ivillage.com/carmellb/surgery

    I have heard teens who give their brace a name. When they are angry, they can be angry at the brace (calling it by name). Other kids try to make wearing a brace fun. My daughter actually liked hers in the beginning - she had abs of steel! She would have the boys at school punch her in the stomach - thinking she was pretty cool. They soon learned that there was an object there.

    You know your daughter best. If she is able to take a positive view on brace wearing, she'll find it is not such a burden. Otherwise, good luck! BTW, Kara stopped wearing her brace about 9 months later. She is now 17-1/2 and her lumbar curve has been stable at 40-ish degrees for 2+ years now. She also has an upper compensatory curve measuring about 25 degrees. Her spine has a "significant rotation" which means her right hip sticks out quite a bit farther than the left, which makes her spine problems more visible.

    My best to you!
    Carmell
    mom to Kara, idiopathic scoliosis, Blake 19, GERD and Braydon 14, VACTERL, GERD, DGE, VEPTR #137, thoracic insufficiency, rib anomalies, congenital scoliosis, missing coccyx, fatty filum/TC, anal stenosis, horseshoe kidney, dbl ureter in left kidney, ureterocele, kidney reflux, neurogenic bladder, bilateral hip dysplasia, right leg/foot dyplasia, tibial torsion, clubfoot with 8 toes, pes cavus, single umblilical artery, etc. http://carmellb-ivil.tripod.com/myfamily/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    42

    HEy there!

    Hi. My name is Hannah and I am 13 and in 7th grade. I have been wearing my brace for about 2 years now. I can understand what ur daughter is going through. HAving a brace is really frustrating, u have no idea! But i knew that i had to do it. U really start getting used to the brace and u learn to love it! I wear jeans and tight shirts and everyone tells me i look great. And i think she is just scared to wear her brace, i deffinatly was at first. U gotta try new things though, even if u think its the end of the world. I thought it was but i wore the brace and it is not that bad! If u have any questions my e-mail is cheerbootyshaker@yahoo.com i would be more than heppy to talk to her, or u. Best of wishes i hope things wok out!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    South of Seattle WA
    Posts
    5

    Smile Hey

    What my mother did to help me with mine, was to bribe me. For every month that I wore it constantly, for 23 hours a day, I would get like clothes, jewelry, something as a reward. Also--check before she leaves the house if she has it on. My brace was worn under my clothes, and I would take it off before I went to school--my mom never found out. But hey--tell her if not--you'll end up like me--facing surgery.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    60
    hi, I just got my brace 2 weeks ago. I really don't like it, but I know I need to have it on. I heard of one mom who found out that her daughter wasn't wearing her brace, and so she would knock on her daughter's stomach every time she saw her to see if she had it on. Also, keep reminding her that if she doesn't wear her brace that her back will keep on curving, and will probably lead to surgery, and she might have back pain. Next week, I'll start wearing the brace to school, and I'm nervous about dressing out during PE. If it hurts her too much at first, start her wearing it at night. Then like a week before she needs to wear it to school, have her start wearing it during the day after school some more( that is if she ever starts to wear it).
    I hope she start's wearing it
    Good luck,
    Rebecca

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    23
    Hi Ruann! Having just (2 months ago) been through getting my 12 year old daughter into a brace I know what you are going through! Two weeks before school started in Sept. she was fitted for a TLSO brace. We knew we had to get her "into it" before school started as it would have been so much more difficult once school had started. She wears it 17 - 18 hours/day. It was a very stressful 2 weeks, but through a lot of determination and prayer she was able to do it. Even though she understood why she needed to wear it, the reality of wearing it was tremendously difficult to accept. Being a very strong willed individual she did not get into the brace without alot of verbal and even physical lashing out - usually directed to me, her mom. But, as I said to her, you can kick and scream all you want but in the end you'll do what you need to do. Every day we worked towards increasing the length of time - an hour at a time. After we got up to 6 hours, then we started working on the night. In the beginning the brace might not have been as tight as it needed to be, but at least she wore it. Then, we worked on getting it to the correct tightness. You have to take it one step at a time, and even if you feel like you take a step backwards, just keep on going the next day. I'd like to think we didn't resort to bribery, but in fact we did. We set up small "rewards" for reaching different milestones. We now have a fish tank and a kitten (which I love dearly) as a result! But, you have to do whatever you need to do. Yes, we did reach a point where we talked about "scaring" her into realizing how crucial it was to get into the brace, but thankfully we didn't have to. All I can say is don't give up! Your daughter needs you to be strong and determined for her right now, even if it means she says she hates you while you are putting her into the brace. I don't think I've ever cried so much! While we were going through this period I wished I had had someone to talk to who had gone through this period of adjustment. If you want to talk, email me at kjmalony@msn.com. I know what you are going through. I hope by the time you read this she has started wearing the brace, but even then there are still issues to deal with. Being 12 or 13 is hard enough, but being in a brace makes it all the more challenging. Hang in there and email me if you want to talk! KJM

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    42
    Originally posted by stormeygal
    hi, I just got my brace 2 weeks ago. I really don't like it, but I know I need to have it on. I heard of one mom who found out that her daughter wasn't wearing her brace, and so she would knock on her daughter's stomach every time she saw her to see if she had it on. Also, keep reminding her that if she doesn't wear her brace that her back will keep on curving, and will probably lead to surgery, and she might have back pain. Next week, I'll start wearing the brace to school, and I'm nervous about dressing out during PE. If it hurts her too much at first, start her wearing it at night. Then like a week before she needs to wear it to school, have her start wearing it during the day after school some more( that is if she ever starts to wear it).
    I hope she start's wearing it
    Good luck,
    Rebecca
    HEy my name is Hannah. I am 13. Will if u need some encouragment or anything on wearing the brace please e-mail me. I would love talking to u. Maybe we could share our scoliosis experiences? my e-mail is cheerbootyshaker@yahoo.com please contact me!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    3

    I wouldnt wear by brace either

    Hi there. I always used my brace as a weapon aginst my mom when we would get in a fight about something. I hated being different and it was so uncomfortable. They found my scoliosis when I was only 5 years old. I had to wear ugly brown shoes with a lift in them untill I was in the 4th grade then I got my first brace. I wore it will the 8th grade. If you want Im more than happy to talk to your daughter about her brace and all the things she is going through. It wasnt too long ago I was in that situation.

    -Pauline

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    1
    My daughter is 14 and was diagnoised with Scoliosis about 2 months (seem a lot longer!). She wears her brace, but not the amount of hours she is supposed to. She is supposed to wear her brace for 14 hours, but only wears it about 8. We keep telling her that if she doesn't wear it longer, she will need surgery. Her curve, when first discovered, was 45 degrees. She says that she doesn't care if she needs surgery, and would rather have the surgery than wear the brace. Now what do respond to that attitude? I am taking her back to the doctors this week because her rib seems to be protuding out further when she lies down on her side. What happens is a person doesn't get any treatment. What does Scoliosis do?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    60

    "mom here's" daughter

    Hi. I'm 13 and my name is Rebecca. I think your daughter is pretty lucky about only having to wear her brace 14hr. I have to wear my brace 20hrs. I don't like it very much, but all of my friends and youth leaders support me, not to mention my family. If your daughter needs to talk to me she can e-mail me at art2cool@yahoo.com. I understand how much she hates the brace, but it is a lot better than having surgary.
    Hope this helps,
    Rebecca

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Minnesoata
    Posts
    40
    Have you told her that she will have a hump back if she doesnt wear it???
    Just keep on telling her that tell her it will Help her sooooo much!!!
    I Am 11 I Will talk to her if you want!!!
    Ciera,

  12. #12
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    Jul 2004
    Location
    Minnesoata
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    Oops Im so Sorry that other one i sent I Didnt mean.This is what I Ment!Tell her it will help her soooo much it is improving soooo much on my back than before!
    I Have wore my brace for 4 years tell her And i'v only complaind about 25 times threw out the years.
    Ciiera,

  13. #13
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    Aug 2004
    Location
    saginaw, mi
    Posts
    32
    if you'd like i can take pictures of my x rays and my scars and send them to you. you just gotta be tough with her. This is nothing to kid about, do not let her slip away with this at all. If she doesn't she'll more than likely end up in the hospital and have back pain all the time. Be hard on her, its for her own good. she's too young to realize this, as was i when i had my brace. I would say punishment for not(no friends, phone, computer) and rewards for doing so. i know many parents do not like to punish their kids at all but this is extremly important.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    554

    help my 13 yr old won't wear her brace

    hi ruth,
    i read your post and know exactly what you are going through. My daughter was 12 and had a 24 degree curve which required a brace, she got the brace and refused to wear it. It was a nightmare. We tried everything from bribing her, to punishing her, to having people who had the surgery talk to her, etc... It made the whole house crazy. We even had a new brace made because she said it hurt too much to wear it. Every appointment her curve would get alittle worse until she started menstrating and it got very bad and here we are 2 years later and we just booked surgery for nov. 3rd. She did finally end up wearing it just to sleep at night but obviously that wasn't enough. I hope your daughter ends up wearing it, good luck. It's really tough on them and also very tough on us. Feel free to e-mail me anytime
    jennifer

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    75
    Very interesting, my daughter Kendra wore a brace at the age of one year old, until she was thirteen. It did help a lot but surgery was still necessary, anyway. We painted and design her braces, some were Wonderwoman, or we painted Mickey Mouse Characters, maybe something like this would work for you. Just food for thought and God Bless.
    Live long and prosper!

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