Dealing with a Child’s Chronic Illness

Dear Reader,

I was interested recently to notice in myself something I first saw 7 years ago. Back then my daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, a life-long, incurable high-maintenance disease. Now my son had something they are calling new persistent daily headache. He has had daily headaches for six months now and while I hope that there is still an end for him, there is no doubting that this is at least a long-term battle.

What I noticed is that there are stages in how I deal with the onset of an illness in my children. In the first stage, I am eager to share and talk about what is going on. I ask for prayer. I volunteer details to friends. I am overwhelmed and seek out understanding and support from others. But as time goes on, I find myself doing this less and less. It is not that the medical condition takes up any less of my own mental energies. It is always there in my mind. This was especially true of diabetes which requires so many procedures daily (about 8 blood sugar checks, at least  5 insulin injections, and lots of carb counting on a good day). But even with the headaches, it is always on my mind. But these days it is enough for me that it is on my mind. I don’t need to talk about it so much. In fact, I don’t even want to. Not that I am not touched when others ask for an update. I am glad they care and gratified that they are praying. But I just don’t really want to discuss it. It fills up so much of the inside of my head, I just don’t really want it on the outside of my head too if that makes any sense.

How about you? Does your child have a chronic illness? Have you noticed any changes over time?  How you deal with it?



One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Emily on July 31, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    My 14 year old daughter has severe OCD, and my son (10) has anxiety and mild to moderate OCD. My daughter has been medicated for 5 years, and it is still a daily battle. I am resisting medication for my son, but it is coming at some point. I have 3 other children as well. I used to talk about it a lot more at a time when I was sure there would be a “cure”. Now, I prefer not to talk about. My mother thinks I should start a support group in our area. I do not have the emotional energy for that. I’m still so in it, daily, especially since we homeschool. People also will make comments like, “well, maybe you should…..” As if we haven’t explored everything. All I can say is that having a reformed view helps me tremendously. If they suffer like this because I haven’t prayed enough, been “good” enough, etc., I would feel hopeless indeed. Thanks for this post.


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