Things they don’t tell you about being a dance mom- the injury and healing journey
Ewwwwwwww. Rachel is going to get vulnerable. Don’t you hate that?! Sorry, but I think I might start doing it more. You don’t have to read it but if ONE PERSON can relate, it’s worth it.
So first of all, let me paint you a picture. My daughter decided mid year last year to really work hard and apply herself. It’s like a switch flipped. Suddenly she WANTED THIS. She always loved dance but she really started being present and it showed. She’s 12 this year, 13 in May. I’ve never been one to be the pushy dance mom. Yes, I’m investing in her but I’ve always just encouraged her and told her that I wanted her to also have fun. Going from summer to fall she grew ALOT height wise too 😝 this really messed her up. Her knee started swelling and bothering her. Doctors appointments, and MRI, PT and waiting to see a specialist for an official diagnosis of Patellar Femoral Syndrome. Basically her knee caps are higher and move around where they shouldn’t. Lillian explains it better than I do by now. She’s very aware of her body these days. We have been so blessed to have a studio that has really been so encouraging and caring about her knee issues and they have really just confirmed that we are at the right place.
The thing is, when your dancer gets injured, they don’t tell you how it’s all going to go down.
You’re going to start with a whole bunch of questions that have no answers. You’ll be frustrated that your dancer is sad. Trust me, it’s ALOT of feelings for them, all the feelings! The waiting game is not fun and even as fast as we got an MRI, into a PT and then into a specialist, it was still so frustrating.
Now that you have a game plan, they aren’t going to tell you that the journey to healing is like a poorly planned rollercoaster ride and if you already hate rollercoasters, you’re not going to like this one! Healing is NOT linear. She has had some really great moments where she could see the big picture, then it gets clouded by a few bad days where her knee really started bothering her again. Rinse. Repeat.
You will also likely deal with a dancer who is really sad to be sitting out. So much so that school suffers, the tidiness of one’s room suffers, other hobbies will just not even cross her mind. She will stop doing fun little things she did and since she’s behind in dance, she may stop focusing at dance and being present when she is there. It just takes a toll on the mental too.
You may worry every time your dancer goes to dance or if she does get to compete, you worry she will injure herself on stage. I do have anxiety over this, probably more than others being an empath, but it stinks.
Lillian isn’t completely better but I do see her improving. It’s really hard. No one tells you how hard it is.
If your dancer has never dealt with an injury or issue that has kept them out for longer than a week ( we are months into this journey) then you can’t really know. I know I didn’t until I have watched my dancer go through it.
My point and advice is make sure you’re on a supportive dance team with supportive people in your corner. It makes a big difference! When you can be a supportive role, try to be one. I know I will!