My daughter’s broken again?

We’ve just been through my daughter’s third broken bone (or technically fractured) and she’s only four years old. Is it bad luck, genetics or that her bones aren’t strong enough? I don’t know and I’m not sure who’s going to give me an answer.

She did fall about six feet from a tree fort that her dad’s building for her and her sister, so some might say (and I thought too) that the fall was worthy of something being broken, but really – three breaks in three years, I think that’s a bit much.

So I started to question everything that she eats, or doesn’t (as I’m a nutritionist thru and thru).

My daughters and I get reactions to dairy, so we eat and drink alternatives; rice and almond milk, goat’s and sheep’s yogurt and cheese. We eat a diet which includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lots of calcium and vitamin D rich foods (Ca; green leafy vegetables, avocados, celery, seaweed, carrots, dried fruit, apricots, almonds, nuts and seeds, garlic, brown rice, dried herbs, raisins, amaranth, beans, shellfish, and even molasses. Vit D; salmon, cod-liver oil, egg yolks, oats, as well as supplements and sunshine!) so I think we’ve got it covered.

But I found myself, sitting in the back seat of the car with her on the way to the ER after she fell, wondering if I should abandon what I know to be true and start giving her cow’s milk, yogurt, cottage cheese and cheddar cheese like everyone else does.

My conversation with myself was a tough one. I immediately went to what has been drilled into us forever – milk makes strong bones. Well I know that not to be completely true, and after researching bone health for my book ‘Sprout Right’, I know that it’s not all about calcium.

But as I sat there, holding my daughters arm, trying to keep her calm for the hour-long drive, I felt guilty. Guilty for somehow failing her, which lead to her bones not being strong enough to withstand a fall like that. Or not crack when she fell two years earlier.

The doctors that I’ve asked don’t seem concerned. When her dad took her to Sick Kids for a follow up, they didn’t even re-x-ray her arm, or suggest a bone density scan (which is what I was hoping for!). In fact, he came back with no answers at all, which was frustrating for me. They just did a wiggle around of her wrist, gave her a new sling and said don’t do sports for two weeks.

So, with that said, I’m still looking for the answer to my original question, and not getting one. Although I’m still worried, she has healed and is back to doing her crazy cartwheels, jumping off the couch and climbing everything that she can, all the while telling me “I’m ok mom”!

My job now (other than to worry every time I hear a thud) is to do what I know best—feed her the food and nutrients that her body needs to be strong. And in the process, teach her about why I’m putting tahini in her smoothie every morning, and why she must eat all of her salmon for dinner – and hope that as her body heals itself, she learns a lesson or two about being safe and why mama puts all that food on her plate!

Have you had a similar experience? What did you do about healing the broken bone? Can you an swer my question??



  • Annette d. Giacomazzi

    Lianne,
    I just came across your post!  How are you and your daughter?  Any more broken bones?  I think I can add value to your questions, even one year later.  My daughter, Elli, broke 6 bones by the time she was 10.  When she was 3 (her third break) we had her tested for O.I. aka “brittle bone disease.”  Blessedly, she was negative.  Either you test positive or you don’t.  You can’t get diagnosed later with it, either.  She always had the recommended calcium and other bone building minerals in her diet…through milk, yogurt, cheese, even broccoli.  She got plenty of excersize and sunshine and she still broke bones. 

    Orthopedic Surgeon’s (if you don’t have one, get one and memorize their number! ;) ) anecdotally maintain fractures come in clusters by patient, by family and even by neighborhood.  Personally, I always say, “you know how we all went to school with one of “those” kids?  Well, I’m just raising one!”  Her brother, now 15, knock on wood, has never broken a bone.  But, bless his big-brother-by-only-19-months-heart, he sure knows the drill (how to apply pressure to her wounds, give her comfort,…) as I drove quickly to the ER. 

    My cousin, a doctor, believes there will be a test in 2 or 3 decades that will discover that she doesn’t have certain cross fibers.  In the meantime, every time I hear a thud, instead of me saying, “Are you OK?” it is now followed by a cheerful, “I’m OK!”  But, I must admit, whenever I hear a thud, I still wince, even at a friends’ house and my children aren’t with me. 

    Elli, since the age of 2, wants to be a doctor.  By 5 she defined her goal to be a trauma surgeon.  At 13, she’s thinking she might be a great pediatric orthopedic surgeon. I think she will, too.  Maybe your daughter will have similar plans? 

    In the meantime, my daughter was the inspiration behind CastCoverZ!  We provide fun and functional products for the after-care orthopedic market.  Our products help patients feel better, so they heal better.  We have cast covers that prevent snagging and keep the cast clean, we have products to waterproof casts, we have a cool product that eliminates the itch and stench of wearing a cast, and so much more.  We quickly discovered the need is great.  In just over two years, we have distribution nationally and internationally and we’ve been featured in consumer and trade journals.  Check out our press page, http://www.castcoverz.com/cast-covers-in-the-news.php for more info.  In fact, we recently introduced the Broken Bones Club.  Your daughter is automatically a member (check out the membership certificate…it’s good natured fun and free http://www.castcoverz.com/broken_bones_club_cast_gear.php.  We hope you never have to need us.  But, we’re here if you do. 

    Lianne, feel free to call me, anytime, to talk, mom-to-mom, about our broken girls, 1(877) 633-4310.  I hope I shed a little light (and hope!) on your questions and the future. 

    Best Regardz,
    Annette d. Giacomazzi
    Founder and Owner
    CastCoverZ!
    http://www.castcoverz.com




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