View Full Version : Depressed Mom

11-04-2005, 09:35 AM
My 14 yr. old daughter just got a brace Wednesday for Scheuermann's kyphosis. She seems to be handling it well. She went to school yesterday and although she is a bit uncomfortable getting used to it she managed to stay the day, even after our long 2 day trip to Shriner's.

Her curve had gone from 70 degress in late August to 80 degrees Wednesday. The dr. discussed surgery because of her age and the little amount of growing time she has left. But after doing an x-ray to see how flexiable her spine was (they could straighten her spine to 100%, so that was good) it was decided to brace.

Daughter has a good attitude about this. My problem is my husband. He is having trouble seeing her go through this and for some reason wants to blame me. He say's hurtful things to me like "If you didn't take her to the dr. so much...." "You wanted her to be braced. You could have just let nature take its course." etc. etc. I NEVER wanted to see her go through this! His remarks from the beginning have made me feel he thinks it's my fault DD has this problem. What can I do? I think he wants to ignore the problem...but I feel we have to do what we can for our daughter. I'm hurt and confused by his attitude. This is hard enough without his full support.


Mary Lou
11-04-2005, 10:49 AM
Oh Mary,

My heart goes out to you!! I wish I were there with you now to offer a hug. Why do men act this way sometimes? My husband had a similar reaction when we had our daughter in a Milwaukee brace. I was always the one who took her to doctor appointments and also the one who fought with her when trying to get her to wear the brace. He would say, "just make her wear it." Well, that was easier said than done until I made him deal with her just for one day. I put her in the brace and left for the day! He learned pretty quickly what it was like to hear her beg to be taken out of the brace, etc. Jeff too thought that Jamie's Kyphosis and Scoliosis "would just get better on their own." Needless to say, since Jamie didn't wear her brace, she had to have surgery last year.

Please hang in there for your daughter no matter what your husband says. She needs someone to be strong for her. Please know that I applaude you for toughing it out with her even though you don't have the support of your husband. Know that we are all here for you on this forum. Feel free to e-mail me at Spinesupport05@aol.com anytime you want to talk. Feel free to share that address with your daughter if she would like to e-mail with Jamie who is also 14.

Take care,
Mary Lou

11-04-2005, 11:45 AM

I started to post a message earlier but had to quit. I agree with MaryLou though, (most) men react differently than women. Although my husband has gone to most of the appts. we've had, I've been the one asking all the questions, doing ALL the research, calling the post-surgery referral patients our doc gave us, looking into the 504 plan for school, and anything else that comes up. The thing that really gets me is when if he sees me cry & become emotional his attitude is like, "what are you crying for?" WHAT!!!, thinking about my child going through & recovering from a major surgery, and possible complications along the way has me feeling a bit emotional and anxiety ridden lately, although most of the time I am handling it ok. But he will just say, "getting emotional doesn't do any good, this is a technical procedure." But that's the way his family is....so, I totally understand your hurt and confusion over your husband's attitude, but you are doing the best you can for your daughter. Like MaryLou said, there are alot of moms on this forum who support you; maybe your drs. office can put you in touch with other kids/parents dealing with the bracing issue.

Sorry for such a long post, just know that there are others going through the same thing - try to hang in there! feel to e-mail or PM anytime.

Good luck,


Joe's Mom
11-06-2005, 10:28 PM
I wonder what he means by waiting to "let nature take its course"? My son has Sheurman's Kyphosis and Idiopathic Scoliosis. The Scoli has worsened over the past year but the Kyphosis has improved by using a brace and getting PT. If we did nothing and let nature take its course, at least for him, the Scoli and the Kyphosis would have progressed. My son's kyphosis was also described as being "flexible" and that was felt to be a good sign. The PT and brace use (Only at night) seem to have helped him a lot with the kyphosis curve . . . it changed by several degrees in the first 2 months of treatment/bracing and we return Dec 2 to see what is what. Hubbys! Gotta love em sometimes.

11-07-2005, 04:05 AM
I think a lot of men try to cope on the 'ostrich principle' = if I ignore this for long enough it will go away and then I won't have to cope with it at all whereas mums are more 'if I find out everything about this and know what all the possible problems are then I'll be able to cope with whatever does actually happen and meantime I'll worry about all of it'.
It might help to sit him down and explain both how you feel and also what the consequences would have been of 'letting nature take its course' but he might just need time to come to terms with it in his own way.
Best of luck

11-07-2005, 07:17 AM
Mary, you have to trust in your own heart that you are doing what's best for your daughter. Thank goodness she is coping as well as she is with it all! As for your husband...perhaps fear is at the root of his feelings? Of course he doesn't want to see her go through all of this, as I'm sure you don't want to either (and certainly she doesn't want to have it). BUT, she is doing what she needs to do right now, as are you. Has your husband gone with you to the doctor appointments? Maybe he/she can explain the risks/benefits of not taking the current course of treatment. At this point, it sounds like letting "nature take its course" would not be in your daughter's best interests.

Sometimes it seems that if we can just put the blame somewhere it will make things better and relieve our own feelings of responsibility and guilt. I think the hardest part is realizing that it's no one's fault. Life happens. The important thing is to have the courage to face a situation head on (which you and your daughter are doing). Of course it hurts that your husband is not quite there yet, but it sounds like maybe there are some issues that he needs to deal with. Just know that you are not alone and hopefully sooner rather than later your husband will understand what's in your daughter's best interests. I'll keep you all in my prayers!

11-07-2005, 08:09 AM
Good morning,

Thanks to all of you for your responses. I tried talking to Dh this weekend and he only walked away. I think he just needs time.

We went camping over the weekend and Anna had a good weekend even with the brace. She rode her bike, hiked, all the things she did before and I think that helped DH see things are normal despite the brace.

Mary Lou, thanks for your offer for Anna to e-mail your daughter. I'm sure Anna would enjoy that but, we don't have a computer at home. (I e-mail from work) And thanks for the encouragement.

Renee, you're statement "that's the way his family is" reminds me of my DH. His family didn't go to the dr. when he was growing up, even when they should have. He still doesn't go even when he needs to. So that's part of the reason for his negative reaction to dr.s and his statement about "let nature take it's course".

The statement about the "ostrich principle" is an accurate description of my husband! lol Lorrie, you hit the nail on the head!

Thanks for your comments Joe's Mom and anyone I might have missed. I'm feeling better today that I'm doing what's best for Anna...and for myself. If I did nothing I can't imagine the quilt I'd feel later knowing I had'nt done all I could.

My husband is really a good father. He'd do anything for his girls. But I think because this is something he "can't" do for her he's feeling helpless. And in answer to someone's question, no he has only been to one of the dr's appointments. I think if he had seen the curve in her last x-ray he'd better understand why we have to do something, NOW. If only he'd seen her look of surprise and delight the first time she saw herself in the mirror and she saw how straight she stands in her brace!

He'll come around I'm sure.

Thanks for the prayers, Attie. I'll be praying for each of you and your families.
I'm so glad ya'll are here!!!

11-07-2005, 09:49 AM
I can relate to a lot of the problems with fathers/husbands and the issues all of you have mentioned. I even had to be ready to get a cab to come home from sinus surgery 4 years ago because my husband was dead-set against it, until the doctor told him about the bone he had to remove that was blocking my breathing from one side of my nose. My husband finally admitted I made the right decision when I woke up from anesthesia that day. He did drive me home and became very sympathetic about that. He also suggested we borrow a brace from a relative 2 years ago when my daughter was diagnosed and he realized it cost about $1000 or so for our part in insurance. Sometimes I wonder about his common sense. He has been to the major scoliosis appointments with me. That has made a major difference. I didn't have him attend the regular checkups for the brace, once we decided to go that route. However, when I knew we would be making some major decisions, I scheduled for him to be able to attend, such as: the first orthopaedic appointments when they explained our choices: brace/surgery, and we had to discuss these choices later. It was helpful for him to be there when the doctor explained the x-ray and current recommendations. Also, when we visited Shriners to consider where to have surgery, he went on the first appointment to be fully educated so we could make a decision between my husband, myself, and my daughter. Except for surgery, I have done the other appointments with her and not him and just report our findings. I did buy the set of x-rays before and after surgery, so he and all of us can see for real what the doctor says. This is one thing I would emphasize if you husband is unable to attend any appointments. Buy the x-rays, make sure you understand the curve degrees, and show him. Letting it go away on its own is also how people 100 years ago suffered when they could not get help for these conditions. I can very much relate to doing the research in private and having to make decisions on my own. I know our husbands also show fear of their own lack-of-control by blaming things on other places. Keep up the good work, and like I say, show him the x-rays also. Oh, you should also be able to borrow the x-rays instead of buying them if you want. Kris

11-07-2005, 12:00 PM
Good Morning All,

I was reading an article over the weekend in Oct. issue of Readers Digest titled, "The Secret Lives of Men, What They Think, Feel and Hide". I thought I would share some small excerpts that touch on what we've been discussing in this thread.

...Although both men and women sigh, cry, rejoice, rage, shout and pout, the sexes process and express emotions differently. ... Emotions live in the background of a man's life and the foreground of a woman's....testosterone affects feelings in men, who compartmentalize and intellectualize more.....What lurks behind a man's silent, stoic mask? Vulnerability. Most men, experts agree, are far more insecure that they like to admit- and than their wives ever guess. "Inside every man is a secret fear that he lacks competence and courage, that he's not as manly as he should be....A man knows he is supposed to take a bullet for his family. A man knows he is supposed to fix whatever gets broken. When he's feeling powerless, he shuts down and withdraws.

So, I guess the bottom line is, don't take the lack of involvement personally. Like Attie said, fear is probably at the root of the men's feelings and Lorrie did "hit the nail on the head" in the first paragraph of her post as far as the women's approach vs. the men's. Whether dealing with bracing or facing surgery, this is a very emotional issue; I guess it's easier for the men to stay strong by not delving into the subject too much. Thank God we have each other to turn to, ladies!


11-07-2005, 07:36 PM
that's exactly what my dad did when I got my brace! He wanted absolutly nothing to do with it! He never went to any of my doctor's appointments, he never wanted to talk about it with me, and he'd never help me with it. When my mom was out of town (which she is a lot) he wouldn't even help me take it off or put it on, I had to get one of my sisters to do it. Once my dad had to take me to an appointment because my mom was out of town, and my dad checked me into the hosital and then LEFT! My dad's still like that now, he never wants to talk about it, he's never done it once.

11-07-2005, 08:51 PM
Now that you mentioned it, I remember the exact same thing with my dad. I don't have any recollection of any conversation with my dad, encouraging or otherwise about my brace and he certainly never helped me with it or took me to any appointments. Kind of sad for the dads, in my opinion. Sure its hard to deal with but what better way to be there and support your kids? I myself hope it creates an even stronger bond with my son than we already have. Any mom here should feel glad that you're doing everything you can for you child, and they know and will remember who was there for them, just look at LeeLee's post.


11-08-2005, 04:24 AM
Almost makes me wish some of those "tough guy dads" out there would read this thread! Maybe they would wake up and see what they are doing to their families and how tough they really aren't!

11-08-2005, 04:43 PM
On reading through all these comments it seems so apparent that men struggle with facing situations they are not in control of. My husband is a real softie and actually was the one who insisted I take our daughter to the doctor. Did you get the 'I'? He didn't actually want to do it himself but realised the importance of a professional opinion. He hasn't come to any of the appointments with me and she has her surgery in 4 days!! The point I am trying to make is we gave birth to our children and it is our reponsibility as the mum to help/guide and if necessary ensure they receive treatment.. I feel alot of issues would not be addressed if not for the mum. We must keep strong and carry on regardless - if your husband doesn't want to be a part of things then that is fine but you must never let this reflect on your own strength. Look deep within yourself and you will know that you are fulfilling your role as 'mum'

11-08-2005, 06:47 PM
I sure do. It is only now that my husband is starting to wonder how long Joe will be in hospital (he can't believe per my research that average time is about 5-7 days! I know I've told him that before - in one ear and out the other, I guess. And he is the one who wants me (lol Elsa) to look into charter or home schooling for the rest of the year because he's freaking out thinking/wondering about Joe going back to school post-surgery. I would have thought it would be me freaking out over this, BUT, I have researched enough to feel (kind of) comfortable with that thought. I have a list of things ready for when we (or more likely, I) get with the school to put together a 504 plan. Yes, I am anxious but armed with enough knowledge on the general pre and post surgery stuff that I feel I will be as prepared as I can, and I feel good about that! Cheers to the moms!!!

Take Care