Chronic disease can be hard for anyone to cope with. But if your young child is diagnosed with a chronic illness, such as type 1 diabetes or cancer, it becomes a challenging situation for your child and you as a parent. It is an extremely stressful journey for caregivers and parents. You may undergo a rollercoaster of emotions sometimes – anger, fear, denial, and depression. All this can happen while you are in the coping process and is normal when experiencing a nerve-wracking situation in your life.
Does Your Child Have a Chronic Illness
Parenting a young, sick child is not always easy. There will be days when you want to bury yourselves and feel that everything is against you, while on some days, you will see a ray of hope for your child’s health. It is essential to remember that it may take time, but you will get through it.
Are you a work-from-home parent? You might be juggling your career and home with raising your disabled child, who needs regular medical checkups and your continuous attention. Healthcare informatics, in such situations, can be a great relief for you. Health informatics is the combination of data, technology, and people to enhance the quality of patient care. It can be found in different forms, including electronic medical records (EMRs), healthcare apps, patient portals, telehealth, and a wide range of data reporting tools. Hospitals usually hire professionals with a master’s healthcare informatics degree. They have your child’s complete medical records, so it’s less likely that your kid gets the wrong medication, leading to reactions. Healthcare informatics systems can help you self-manage your child’s long-lasting health condition, and you will be able to access electronic patient records (EMRs) of your kid easily.
Strategies to Cope With the Stressful Situation
Below are a few ways to help you deal with distressing circumstances surrounding your sick child as a parent.
Let’s look at some strategies that you may find beneficial:
1- Get Social Support
When you are stressed out because of your child, getting support from your friends and family is vital to coping with the circumstances. Do not be scared to ask for help from your loved ones. Find a person who can listen to your worries and understand you without being judgmental. Connecting with your loved one even for 10 to 15 minutes can bring peace to your mind. Talking your heart out to your family and friends about what is disturbing you inside will make things better, as the things will not be bottled up. Communication is the key – it helps you develop a network that supports you and your child no matter the difficulties.
2- Take Care of Yourself
As a parent, coping with the chronic sickness of your child means taking good care of yourself. It is essential to look after yourself first to be able to pay attention to the care of your child. Sounds selfish? It actually is not because it is about energizing yourself to be a powerful person for your kid. Finding some relaxing ways, such as breathing exercises, mindfulness, hot bath, reading or whatever you like the most, to refresh your mind, body, and spirit can be beneficial.
3- Check Online Forums
Online Forums such as support groups or blogs are one of the ways for coping with your kid’s diagnosis. You can search for blogs to know that other people are also dealing with such situations, and you’re not alone. Through online forums, you can connect with parents and know about their strategies for coping with the stresses. This way you will be able to learn new ways.
However, you should be aware of the fact that sometimes information on the internet can be overwhelming, so do not panic. Also, everything on the web is not true, so whatever you read, research about it before you believe it.
4- Get Help from Therapy or Counselling
After your kid is diagnosed with a chronic disease, you may have to visit hospitals for several procedures, tests and other obligations. This can take a huge on your mental health. You may start assuming that your child will no longer live, and other negative thoughts may build up in your mind. In such conditions, therapy or individual counseling may relieve your stresses and assist you in managing your emotional and mental health. Many hospitals and therapy centers provide services like individual counseling, so it is necessary to search for your options and ask your provider what’s best for you.
5- Search for Financial Support, If Needed
We can say without any doubt that families can undergo financial hardships due to the chronic health conditions of their kids. You don’t need to worry much, as you can search for financial aid options like disability allowance for your child.
6- Share the Duties
Whether it is about house chores or your sick child, sharing the responsibilities is always helpful. Stress and fatigue can escalate if all the work and planning are on the shoulders of a single parent. Working together with your partner to care for a diagnosed child can help you avoid burnout.
Are you a single parent? Do not stress about it. You can ask for help from a family member or friend with the care of your kid to reduce the load. Just make sure that whoever the caregiver knows how to handle children with chronic diseases.
7- Search for Respite Workers
Parents of sick children can find community health services like respite care. They provide temporary relief and support from the emotional as well as physical needs associated with child care. Respite care services help caregivers and parents relax and look after themselves while providing their kids with chances to get involved in activities and meet with children of different age groups.
8- Maintain Your Physical Health
An important thing you should count on is your health while dealing with your child’s chronic illness. Try to incorporate as many healthy habits in your life as possible. A healthy diet, adequate sleep, and regular exercise are some of the best ways to manage stress. Although it can be difficult for you to find a place in a schedule to do exercise. You can go for a simple 10 min walk to your nearest park – the fresh air will rejuvenate you.
Chronic Illness Conclusion
The day child gets diagnosed with a chronic illness, it is then that stress enters your life like never before. As a parent, taking care of a kid with chronic disease can be a restless situation. You will experience a range of emotions while coping with the matter.