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View Full Version : Injury help needed! Help me whack a kid!



Jenifer
05-16-2008, 07:46 AM
I have a young character (six or seven) who has been in an accident and has obtained some sort of (relatively) catastrophic injury. I just can't decide what!

I was thinking of some sort of crushing injury to her pelvis or legs. After the casts come off, she needs extensive physical therapy to help strengthen the atrophied muscles in her leg. Mentally she is having trouble coping and begins to refuse to cooperate with therapists... until her big sister cuts her a deal; one day spent at the barn, including one ride, for every week of therapy that she gets through.

I need an injury that will cause serious mobility problems for a six/seven year old and that will be moderately to severely painful to rehab. http://www.horsegroomingsupplies.com/horse-forums/images/smilies/smile.gif

It also needs to be something that riding/mounted therapy will be beneficial for.

Thanks all!

Jenifer
05-16-2008, 09:28 AM
No one?

The Ambien and I are going to cry if no one posts soon.

NTS: do not wake the WIP until the drugs have worn off. Because at this point it's looking like the point of injury is going to be a confused reinmoose crashing through a screen door and squishing the wibble.

NO. MUST stick with plain old bicycle accident. Yay Ambien.

Appalachian Writer
05-16-2008, 09:56 AM
Okay, I'll give it a shot. Broken pelvis? I don't know if they'd recommend "riding" therapy. Multiple fractures say in one leg, maybe. Or...maybe multiple fractures on one leg and a broken ankle on the other. Any of these injuries would be painful to an adult, not to mention a child.

Jenifer
05-16-2008, 10:10 AM
Recommendations aren't really necessary because the riding is going on behind mom's back (for a good reason). I still think I'm going to hit her with a car when she's riding her bike across the road. Hopefully crush her pelvis and smash her legs below the knee.

What I really want is something to leave her mobile bits in casts for a while, giving them to atrophy... the atrophy being the harder thing to overcome in a six year old, sister starts sneaking her to the barn on her "off" days to get in some horse time as a reward for completed days in therapy. Mom HATES the horse thing to the point where she tries to hide their existence from youngest daughter- stuffs toys given by MC into the back of the closet, distracts in the car, ect. never lets youngest daughter go to sister's horse shows. Throughout mom is trying to "save" oldest daughter from the horse thing, drag her into more ladylike activities. Rabidly hates horses.

Through the youngest daughter's progression in therapeutic riding, mom is shown light, starts to come around- but not before tormenting oldest daughter in many interesting ways, threatening legal action, ect. ect.

Now I have to decide if I want to whack a chunk or two off.

VERY hard to find lucid on Ambien. Sorry guys.

Puma
05-16-2008, 02:17 PM
From your scenario, it sounds like what would be the most natural would be some type of activity that would be identified as more feminine - dancing (a fall from the stage during a performance), figure skating (a collision with another skater and wipe out into the boards), modeling (fall off runway or car accident getting there). And Appy's right on the broken pelvis - horseback riding would be the last thing the kid should be doing. Try broken arms instead. Puma

JJ Cooper
05-16-2008, 02:26 PM
When I was a youngin, I got smashed by a metal boomgate across my thigh after an idoit drove through a locked gate. The impact caused a massive Hematoma (no idea how to spell it). I needed crutches and couldn't walk properly for weeks. Extensive physiotherapy (didn't include horse riding).

JJ

Elaine Margarett
05-16-2008, 02:54 PM
You might want to check out theraputic riding programs regarding what kind of disabilties riding will help. I'm with the other posters that a crushed pelvis would be a long road to recover from, and riding would probably be prohibited until all but healed.

I think a lot of the riders in therapy have motor issues because of brain injuries and riding helps improve muscle control and balance.

What if she had a head injury? That would certainly come froma car accident. She could have been in a coma, which will cause muscles to atrophy. She could have also broken her leg(s) AND have a head injury. Once her legs have healed, I could see riding being beneficial to restoring strength.

jclarkdawe
05-16-2008, 04:39 PM
First off, you can't do this. I've already copyrighted the idea.

THE PICTURE involves a girl who at age 12 is crushed between some falling concrete. This happens in September 2001. She's kept in a coma until late October 2001. Her hips, pelvis, and upper legs are in a cast until January 2002. Upon removal from the cast, massive pain both from atrophy and nerve damage. She's in the hospital/rehab until June 2002 when she's released from the hospital. She's not released because she's in good shape, she's released because she's not doing squat.

At this point she needs to be pushed around in a wheelchair. Until about June 2004 she goes steadily downhill. The only reason she doesn't commit suicide is because it would take too much effort. She remains in a wheelchair during the little bit of the day she gets out of bed. TV Land is her favorite thing.

In 2004 she decides to adopt a sick horse. The horse encourages her to start pushing herself in the wheelchair. Eventually she reaches the point where for short periods she can use arm-rest crutches. By the end of the book, she is able to ride a smooth gaited horse. All activity is a trade-off of pain. She's still in the wheelchair.

So, no, you can't do this idea. :tongue


I have a young character (six or seven) who has been in an accident and has obtained some sort of (relatively) catastrophic injury. I just can't decide what! There's a wide variety. It really depends on what limitations you want her to have. That's your starting point. Remember that the younger the child, the easier it is to recover from most injuries. Bones are still growing and as a result tend to heal better than for an adult.

I was thinking of some sort of crushing injury to her pelvis or legs. After the casts come off, she needs extensive physical therapy to help strengthen the atrophied muscles in her leg. Mentally she is having trouble coping and begins to refuse to cooperate with therapists... until her big sister cuts her a deal; one day spent at the barn, including one ride, for every week of therapy that she gets through. Reasonable deal and probably effective.

I need an injury that will cause serious mobility problems for a six/seven year old and that will be moderately to severely painful to rehab. http://www.horsegroomingsupplies.com/horse-forums/images/smilies/smile.gif Do you want her in a wheelchair? On crutches? Permanent or eventually heals? Anything that requires rehab is painful. Physical therapy is nicknamed pain and torture. Usually adjectives are added in front of this.

It also needs to be something that riding/mounted therapy will be beneficial for. Riding does not really provide much help for rehab involving muscles. What horses help with is balance and self esteem.

Thanks all!

A book you might want to look at is THE HORSE WHISPERER. This involves a girl whose leg is amputated. If you want to look at my manuscript, I'd be happy to send it to you by email. Send me a PM with your email address.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Jenifer
05-16-2008, 05:33 PM
That isn't even remotely similar to my plot, Jim... heheh.

I don't want anything that involves possible neurological problems- so no head injuries. And ridden therapy will not benefit broken arms in the way I'm looking for, not for a six year old.

Actually, riding does help a great deal concerning muscle. :) In this situation you would begin with side-walkers to keep weak legs on the horse and the rider supported... and move towards a few minutes at a time without them... ect. Riding and giving cues to even a lesson or therapy horse is a LOT of work for young/inexperienced legs, never mind a girl who has run into moderate atrophy after an accident and HAS no muscle to start with.

Of course balance and self-esteem are absolutely paramount, but there are certainly other beneficial aspects to it.

The Horse Whisperer is, again, worlds away from what I'm trying to do here.

The little girl is injured not on or hear a horse but in a car accident... her mother is strictly anti-horses due to the older sister (MC) being so thoroughly obsessed with them and going completely against the mother's every preconception about the way a "lady" should ask. She is in turn obsessive about it herself- constantly hounding the MC to drop the horses, occasionally sabotaging her lessons/plans, intercepting any horse involvement (even to the point of plush toys) that the younger daughter may have. When she begins to refuse therapy, the MC squirrels her away to the barn to meet the horses and eventually ride. It's also YA if that makes a difference.

MC had been in the process of saving to buy her favorite horse at the barn and was just about to do so when she hatched this plan... leading her to use the money to buy a vehicle to take little sister back and forth to the barn instead (she'd been biking previously at 17, just too horse-obsessed to care about a car). They are making good progress and little sister is cooperating with therapists again when mom finds out what's going on and threatens the BO with legal action. BO, while she loves the MC, panics at the thought of losing her place and kicks her out of the barn.

Melenka
05-16-2008, 06:20 PM
My very active ten year old son fell while rollerblading in gym class and in a spectacular nod to my family's inherent klutziness, he landed on his own leg, resulting in a spiral fracture. He was in a cast - to his thigh - for twelve weeks. It took quite awhile after that for his leg to recover from the muscle atrophy. Don't even get me started on young children with body image issues. It's amazing how fast those crop up when you aren't like everyone else - even for a little while.

Now, if you want something that takes physical therapy, turn that spiral fracture into a compound fracture and throw in a little nerve damage. That would still allow for the riding after the cast was off.

Elaine Margarett
05-16-2008, 07:10 PM
... her mother is strictly anti-horses due to the older sister (MC) being so thoroughly obsessed with them and going completely against the mother's every preconception about the way a "lady" should ask. She is in turn obsessive about it herself- constantly hounding the MC to drop the horses, occasionally sabotaging her lessons/plans, intercepting any horse involvement (even to the point of plush toys) that the younger daughter may have. When she begins to refuse therapy, the MC squirrels her away to the barn to meet the horses and eventually ride. It's also YA if that makes a difference.

.

I think your story has great potential for YA!

I have a suggestion (and since you didn't ask my opinion you are even more free to ignore it. lol)...

I can see her mom being against the horse thing; mine certainly was! But the reason of it being unlady-like seems terribly dated and not very strong given modern society's image of horses. Equestrian sports are right up there with the snooty and the rich. We've all seen the ionic images of Jacqueline Kennedy and Caroline on their horse and pony. Think hunt clubs and fox hunting, and Lexus commercials.

*My mom* was terrified I would get hurt. She'd read me any and all article that involved someone getting hurt by a horse. (To this day I will not kiss a horse on the nose and shudder whenever I see some one else do this!) Why not have your mom be afraid of the daughter getting hurt . To have the younger sibling injured, although unrelated, will play into her fears. This might also be something your young readers will identify with; the overly protective parent.

FWIT
EM,
only wanting to help. :-)

jclarkdawe
05-16-2008, 07:38 PM
That isn't even remotely similar to my plot, Jim... heheh. Actually it's the details that are different, not the plot. Plot here is injured child finds salvation through animal. There are a lot of books with this basic plot, but it's a real good one if you've got the details right.

I don't want anything that involves possible neurological problems- so no head injuries. And ridden therapy will not benefit broken arms in the way I'm looking for, not for a six year old. Remember that neurological problems include nerve damage and spinal injuries. You're right that riding will not especially help arm muscles. Riding would also be probably contraindicated for a head injury, unless it was long term. A head injury would also not help you that much, I'm thinking.

Actually, riding does help a great deal concerning muscle. :) In this situation you would begin with side-walkers to keep weak legs on the horse and the rider supported... and move towards a few minutes at a time without them... ect. Riding and giving cues to even a lesson or therapy horse is a LOT of work for young/inexperienced legs, never mind a girl who has run into moderate atrophy after an accident and HAS no muscle to start with. Riding does involve muscles, but it's not a good exercise. The muscles would benefit a lot more from a structured PT program. But that requires that the patient is actually willing to work in a PT program.

Of course balance and self-esteem are absolutely paramount, but there are certainly other beneficial aspects to it. For self-esteem I should have added in motivation. If you've got a patient that isn't willing to work with normal PT, horse riding can be very beneficial.

The Horse Whisperer is, again, worlds away from what I'm trying to do here. But it's the last best seller with this plot.

The little girl is injured not on or hear a horse but in a car accident... her mother is strictly anti-horses due to the older sister (MC) being so thoroughly obsessed with them and going completely against the mother's every preconception about the way a "lady" should ask. She is in turn obsessive about it herself- constantly hounding the MC to drop the horses, occasionally sabotaging her lessons/plans, intercepting any horse involvement (even to the point of plush toys) that the younger daughter may have. When she begins to refuse therapy, the MC squirrels her away to the barn to meet the horses and eventually ride. It's not going to be so much her injuries as it's going to be her motivation. You might want to think about whether you need to develop the injury so much as her lack of motivation. I didn't put in much details on my character's injuries, as it wasn't the injury, but the motivation that was important. It's also YA if that makes a difference.

MC had been in the process of saving to buy her favorite horse at the barn and was just about to do so when she hatched this plan... leading her to use the money to buy a vehicle to take little sister back and forth to the barn instead (she'd been biking previously at 17, just too horse-obsessed to care about a car). They are making good progress and little sister is cooperating with therapists again when mom finds out what's going on and threatens the BO with legal action. BO, while she loves the MC, panics at the thought of losing her place and kicks her out of the barn. I like the story.

I should mention that one of my betas runs a therapeutic riding stable and I did the legal work at setting it up.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Jenifer
05-16-2008, 08:46 PM
The plot is actually "young daughter needing therapeutic riding helps to change the views of overbearing, very non-horsey mother". :) The girl is not the MC. Her sister is- the one who has been all but driven away from horses by her mother over the years.

Young daughter does not have self-esteem issues at all. She's just tired of doing things that hurt her and refuses to cooperate. She is as stubborn and hard-headed as her big sister. Thus the secret deal big sister makes.

It's interesting to me that you don't think riding is a good form of exercise. Because it definitely is! Of course targeted PT is better but that's why she's doing both.

I understand that the reasoning is dated, but that's the way people are sometimes- unreasonable, dated, and fixated on strange things. That's the mom in a nutshell.

Thanks!

StephanieFox
05-16-2008, 09:30 PM
Many young girls go through a 'horse' phase. I was lucky enough to have farm friends who had horses and ponys and I learned to ride when I was very young. It is not considered unfeminine at all. Of course, where I was, it wasn't 'snooty' either. We did western style riding. (You'll need to know the difference for your story.) We did not do show jumping. We just rode at breakneck speed through just plowed fields, over small creeks and through wooded areas.

It does take a lot of coordination and I, having none, fell off a lot. I was never hurt more that a few scrapes. Falling off is part of the deal. Perhaps your character could fall off and get back on, showing her new resolve.

Jenifer
05-16-2008, 09:34 PM
I know. ;) I have three horses and have ridden all my life.

The point of mom's issues with horses isn't that they're true- it's that they're her's.

HeronW
05-16-2008, 11:03 PM
Children's bones are fairly flexible due to fast ongoing growth. What shows up alot in hospitals are 'greenstick' fractures & breaks. That's like taking a healthy tree branch about 1/2" and bending it--you'll get lots of thin bits breaking off in lengths off the main branch. Twist fractures/breaks are common--usually from abuse where an adult grabs a child arm and twists it.

Crushed vertebrae--will take a lot of time to heal and learning to balance on horseback will be tough. This could be in parallel with a head injury where the child needs to learn to do things again.

Tsu Dho Nimh
05-17-2008, 12:34 AM
Any injury that puts her in above-the-knee casts for a couple of months will do the trick

1 - bilateral broken femurs (both legs, big thigh bone) are life-threatening, and she'll be in traction/casts/hospital for a long time. Very possible is she gets hit by a car when she's a pedestrian.

They would also be OK for riding, whereas the pelvis would not be.

Mike Martyn
05-17-2008, 01:11 AM
If posssible have those grotesque metal pins sticking out of the cast.

Jenifer
05-17-2008, 05:46 AM
Any injury that puts her in above-the-knee casts for a couple of months will do the trick

This is what I was hoping for. No need for grotesque injury or gory details, just enough to put her in large casts (both legs hopefully) for a few months. I have an ortho nurse on another forum giving me some ideas! :)

The thing is fluffy horse-related YA... no need to graphically maim the six year old.

StickShifty
05-27-2008, 12:48 PM
I was riding (on a nutcase Thoroughbred stallion) and the whole time the horse was trying to get on a mare. Long story short, I was jumping a course and he jumped too far left in an attempt to get closer to the mare. He cleared the fence, but he caught my knee in the jump standard and tore a ligament in my knee.

That was five years ago, and I'm just now almost getting over it after a surgery (another to come after damaging the right knee too), physical therapy (it really is pain and torturement), and dealing with seven doctors, 3 rounds of hyraulonic acid, some cortisone, and much knowledge of anti-inflammatories (Nabumetone was the first of 3 prescriptions) and heavy duty painkillers (Oxycodone, Hydrocodone/Vicodin).

You want a cast, and I don't know anything about them. Knee braces on the other hand... they can be huge, complex, annoying, and long-term. And I know about them. And knees take forever to heal (if at all, depends on the injury).