Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Parenting A Child With A Chronic Illness

Soccer moms and dads concern themselves with getting their kids to practice on time. You balance the art of scheduling appointments with specialists, juggling phone calls from hospitals, and consolidating records of treatment plans, medications, vaccinations, and radiology images. You do it all because no one else can do any better for your child.


-unearthedcomics.com
Questions abound: 


You are not alone. The number of children who require intensive care has gradually increased over time, partly because of advancements in therapeutic techniques and partly because of the altered spectrum of diseases that affect children (read more). These numbers inherently carry a mutual increase in the number of parents who manage care of their chronically ill child. Finding ways to cope with the management, the processing, and the outcomes of long-term healthcare for chronic illness is not something any parent should have to do by themselves.

The most helpful tactics that you can employ in order to both reduce your own stress as well as the inadvertent stress you may bring to your child may seem straightforward- but in trying times, they can be easily forgotten:

  • Increase your knowledge of the emotional processing and behaviors of your child so you can better understand the emotional effect of the illness on your child
  • Talk plainly and openly with your child to help them build resilience
  • Utilize tools to help you better manage your child's healthcare and help reduce your own stress levels:
    • Jack Imaging is a cloud-based platform that allows you to:
      • Upload and view radiological images directly from CD to the web
      • Organize and annotate images and image reports reports from providers
      • Request second opinions or referrals to specialists
      • Share access to your complete image record with trusted providers and loved ones
    • Intake.Me helps you streamline and organize your health record
    • GoodRx helps you cut prescription drug costs by comparing prices at different pharmacies and providing coupons
Again, you are your child's best caregiver, best advocate, and best hero, but you do not have to tackle it all on your own. Reach out for help. There are lots of us out here waiting to help you.

Share your stories or tips about managing your child's healthcare below!

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