September 11, 2008,
B.T. asks from Franklin, WV on August 03, 2008
Please Help Son Cut off End of Finger.
My 10 year old son cut off the end of his finger on his right had down to the first joint. He is very heart broken. He is a sports driven little boy loves to play soccer, baseball, and basketball. I hate to sound like I'm bragging but he is really good at all sports. He was picked for the baseball All Stars team. They traveled alot and won several games this summer. Now he lost part of his finger and they have a game today. He had to turn in his uniform and could not play today as his doctor said no. It is killing him. He has been a part of the All Stars team all summer now he can't. He also had high hope for next year. He has been the pitcher up til this years. This year he was one of the younger boys on the team and his first year at little league. So a last years boy pitched this year. His coach says he will start training him to pitch next year. Now his pitching hand is not normal. So my son is afraid he is not going to be able to pitch or play ball as good as he did. He wanted to play football this year sign ups are going on now. Dr. said no. He has always played soccer since he was 4 years old. Sign ups are going on now. He is really good at it. His Dr. said that if it was his kid he wouldn't let him play until his finger heals, but he would not tell us he couldn't play soccer but there is risks. The dr. said it will take a good three month to heal the skin over. My son lives for sports because he is good and everyone is always telling him how good he is that it makes him feel good. He is ADD and dose not do good in school. So sports gives him something to feel good about himself. When he was telling one of his team mates about his finger he almost cried and he never cries. So my questions are should I get him someone to talk to about it? Has any one had this happen and will it heal up close to normal? Should I let him play soccer?
L.D. answers from Norfolk on August 04, 2008
This must be hard on everyone but I think Beth has the right idea. There has to be time to heal. If he or family remains really depressed and it affects the rest of his life, please tell his M.D. for a possible referral. While healing, try something as the Dr. allows. Swimming?? Art or music?? He will adapt, and he can still do so many things; you'll just have to discover and keep a positive attitude for him. Don't let him quite trying after the healing is done... and you can promise him that now.
G.B. answers from Washington DC on August 04, 2008
Three years ago my friend was driving home with his son when they were in a car accident and the truck rolled causing his son's right arm to be severed above the elbow and doing sever damage to his head and face. He was active in Boy Scouts and an avid sports player. Recovery was a long road back for him, but today not only does he play on an All Star travel soccer team but he also refs for the younger kids.
I would have to balance the risks vs his desire to play soccer this season. Please let him know either way that he will be able to play next year.
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J.B. answers from Washington DC on August 04, 2008
Personally, if it was my son I would hold off on playing contact sports. That said, if he has a relationship with the players/team ask him if he wants to go to the games or even watch the practices. Ask the coach if he can sit with the team. Professional athletes get injured and have to take time off to heal and they are there cheering on their team/friends. Injuries is just a part of sports and being there for his team helps him still keep the relationships he has formed. Remind him it will not be long before he can play again. If you are looking an activity, can he jog to keep in shape with the doctors approval? While it may seem boring, it could make him better at the sport of his choice in the long run.
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E.T. answers from Washington DC on August 04, 2008
My husband's younger brother lost his whole finger (on his right hand) when he was in middle school/junior high. His family made one crucial mistake. They felt sorry him and cut him a lot of slack in areas they shouldn't... as a result, he is much LESS disciplined and proactive as a person.
I am so sorry that your son lost his finger... but it sounds like it will heal? If that is correct, people probably won't even notice it and I can see him still hsving strong performance in sports (even as a picther). I am not an expert in baseball, but it seems like body mechanics, arm and hand technique are just as... if not more important. Soccer definitely seems good for his injury, but wait until the doctor says it is ok to play.
I think there is fine line between sympathy/helping his process this... and victimization. You would be doing a huge disservice to your son by making this much larger than it is. As part of helping him process this, I would definitely help him understand the time of the healing process and help him place this in the context of time overall. He is not a small child anymore and this is great opportunity for him to see how you, your husband respond to adversity... be positive and don't baby him. Maybe teach him about athletes who had to overcome some type of physical illness or disability and still kicked butt. This experience can make him stronger and more confident.
Definitely seek help from a professional to guide you... always good to seek a professional opinion.
Best of luck to you.
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S.C. answers from Norfolk on August 04, 2008
I am sure he will still be able to play sports well when his finger has healed but I would make him wait for the finger to heal. He is young and missing a season of a sport will not damage his ability. I'm sure that he could practice some of his own or with friends at some Dr. approved level. He seems to get most of his self worth from sports. This may be a good time for him to realize that he has intrinsic value not for what he does but for who he is. I think it would be good for him to talk to someone about the feelings he has. If you go to church I would ask your pastor or priest for recommendations for a counselor. If not then I would ask your doctor. I have not had something like this happen in my family but did have a friend of a friend that lost the tips of 4 fingers one hand. He was a gifted guitar player and only 20yr. It healed well but he taught himself to play guitar with the other hand so he could continue to play.
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L.R. answers from Washington DC on August 04, 2008
B., I would follow the doctor's advice. If the doctor is indicating that letting your son play sports right now could even possibly lead to permanent damage, infections etc., you have to consider his lifelong use of that hand, not the short-term issue of whether he plays sports right now, this summer. He will be upset this summer and of course that upsets you, but you have to be the parent and take the harder course sometimes in the interest of the rest of his life.
Is your son's baseball coach an understanding person or a tough guy? I ask because if he's the former, you could get him involved to talk with your son about how there are LOTS of injuries in sports and people often can play later, but involving the coach would be good only if the coach backs YOU and the doctor up 100 percent and does not make your son (1) feel even more left out or (2) promise your son unrealistic things that may never happen, like "You'll be a star pitcher even with that fingertip gone, kid!"
I think some long-term perspective would help you help your son. He's only 10. Yes, sports is his life right now, but other injuries could happen; as he matures, he may be less of a star at sports; other kids will come along who are better than he is at sports; he may lose interest in sports only to find his family defines him as "our sports star" so much that he feels he'll disappoint all of you if he mentions another non-sports interest. If he's always being told what a star he is, he feels he has to live up to that and it can be a lot of pressure. This may be a time to reassess whether he wants to try something different for a while. I'm not being anti-sports here; I'm just saying that very, very few kids really do go on to the high school team, the college team, the scholarship, the big leagues.
I wish he knew my best friend's son. He's 13 and a great sportsman, especially in baseball, though he also plays soccer and basketball at times. Last summer he had a problem that involved his growth plates and had to miss the last half of his All-Star team's season. Like your son, he was very, very disappointed. But he fully realized that if he played anyway (not that his mom would have let him!), he likely would have damaged himself permanently. And this summer, though he was very much eligible and coaches asked him to be on the All-Star team, he actually chose of his own free will to take the summer off. He does not love baseball one bit less; he just knows when he needs "down time" and a break even from his favorite sport. (He's so mature he actually says he would like to work in baseball and of course wants to play, but would be happy to be a team manager, so he works hard on his math!)
By the way, this young man does do a lot of tae kwon do in a good academy, and your son might consider taking some sample classes to see if he wants to drop one of his team sports for an individual pursuit like tae kwon do, which has given my friend's son a LOT of personal discipline and taught him to be very respectful toward all adults because his tae kwon do master expects respect. Just a thought for a pursuit that isn't tied to team sports but is still very athletic. In tae kwon do, you're competing against yourself to do better and achieve more, rather than trying to "win" against others. Good luck with your son's recovery.
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W.M. answers from Dover on August 04, 2008
Please please explain to your son that it will heal and he will be able to do anything he puts his mind to. A very good friend of mine lost his 4 fingers and was left with just a thumb. He was a star pitcher for the baseball team. He had to learn to adjust to not having the fingers but he did. He is mourning a loss right now...but encourage him to get out there again as soon as the doctor says he can. Is there anyway that he could help with a group of younger kids teaching them how to play this season until the finger heals? Hope this helps.
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A.H. answers from Richmond on August 04, 2008
dear B., first of all, I can hear the heartbreak you are experiencing watching your son go through this... as a loving parent, it is difficult to watch a child in physical or emotional pain. First, I would take some private time for yourself to come to peace with this situation. Many times parents feel responsible in some way, no matter that they had nothing to do with it. If you are saying to yourself, "if only I had..." I hope you can find the love and support to heal that.
If you are feeling bad, guilty, sorry, it goes right to your son, and he will continue to feel sad, guilty, sorry and significantly delay his own healing, physically and emotionally. So first, take the time for yourself, to cry, be angry, release in a safe way.
I feel your son would benefit by having some big cries himself. How many times have I heard parents admonishing a child not to cry? Crying can be a very useful outlet, and goodness knows, your son has every right to cry. So as his loving mother, speak to him, encourage him, to cry, it will help him release emotions, instead of them being bottled up and later surfacing as anger or some illness like cancer.
Once he has expressed his emotions, you can show him all the amazing people, with disabilities who have overcome society's so-called norms, and gone on to play sports, be top of their class, be successful in whatever their field of interest. There are so many examples of people who have been injured and overcome it, to go on and play and be even better than before. One example that comes to mind is a young girl in Hawaii, I believe, who, while surfing, lost her arm to a shark. She still surfs, competitively, with one arm. You can easily search online for sports figures who have had injuries and gone on, after healing, to play better than ever.
Now, as to whether your son "should" play any sport now like soccer, contemplate this deeply. It is an opportunity for a good life lesson here for your son. Yes, Life holds situations where something unexpected may happen and how one reacts to it, and adapts to it, is what is important. Teach your son that Life can throw curve balls. Let him know that months of healing time without sports, is better than a lifetime with pain, with further complications, and possibly taking longer to heal, if not causing an infection that could require amputation of the remainder of his finger. And who wants to go through more pain after what he just went through? The suggestion a responder made of wearing a metal splint over the finger will not do. In soccer, there is physical contact with one's opponents, people run into each other all the time (jammed finger sounds incredibly painful to me on a raw non-healed wound) and soccer players do use their hands to play. In the heat of the moment, he will not be thinking about his finger and could reinjure it. Have you ever experienced, personally or someone you know, fracturing an ankle or arm and it is in a sling or cast and everybody and everything is bumping into it? Really think deeply about short term vs long term gains and plain common sense.
You can see this temporary sitting out on sports to develop and focus on another area that your son could have missed by being so singularly focused on sports. What if it turns out, he has another latent gift, painting, art, photography, creative writing, that he would never have uncovered if he only immersed himself in sports. This is teaching him he has many aspects. If you listen to anyone in sports, it is a sort term career, and the wise ones develop and prepare themselves in other ways so they don't fall apart (financially and emotionally) when their career ends.
I will hold you and your son and any other family members in my prayers, that you each heal from this, and receive the Peace, the deeper healing, the opportunities, gifts being offered. Blessings to you all...
C.J. answers from Danville on August 04, 2008
I know this response is a little late. I hope I am not duplicating any of the other advice that you have received. I am sorry to hear about your son's finger. I know this is difficult for him because he is so active in sports. I would not allow him to play in any sports just yet until he has healed completeley. My daughter had foot surgery on July 7th. So far she has been healing wonderfully. She had to sit out during some activities as well. She thought her foot was healed enough to wear a regular sneaker the other day. However, after being on the foot half of the day, her foot was swollen and she was not able to wear the sneaker. She had to put on her doctor required shoe. I know this is not the same but the best thing to do is allow your son to heal. Ask the coaches if he can attend practices to give the other kids advice and and help out, without any physical contact.That way he can still remain a part of the team without feeling left out of the entire season. Be blessed!!
T.C. answers from Washington DC on August 04, 2008
I have young children but I think that the same rules apply for all ages. I think first and foremost talk to your son, help him let all of his feelings, of frustration, anger an sadness out of his system. And then secondly, redirect him. Find something else that maybe you could do together or something else that he may be good at. Im sure that your son not only enjoys sports because he is good, but also because he gets praise and positive feedback but from you, his coaches and peers, probably something lacking in other areas(school) because of his ADD. Mostly I think you need to talk to him and really listen, because Im sure as an adult you know that summer will be over so quickly and here again, but to him its the end of the world. Think of something adventurous and completely different to do. Praise him more than ever for other aspects of hisself, his manners, his compassion etc. Mostly all you can do is love him, which Im sure you do more than anything already by the sound of your plea. Good luck to your family, hope this helps. Also, would soccer really hurt his finger so much? They say, when you lose one sense, your other ones become stronger than ever!