Sick with family: “Sometimes I can’t leave the house because I’m so tired” | family

Being sick takes a lot of energy, and parenting has its challenges. But what if you had to raise children with a sick father in the family? “When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I thought: How am I going to tell my children about this?” Mashtild LaVelle (58) said.

I just gave birth to a healthy baby and I feel very tired. It must be a leftover pregnancy,” thought Carmen Holjian-Gronweg (35). Until the complaint persisted and she ended up with a medical professional in a state of fatigue. “Many tests were done and found I had ME, not to be confused with Suspect Syndrome. Chronic tags (CFS). Not only was I tired, but I had many complaints, both mentally and physically. Sometimes I lay in bed for three days with flu symptoms and fever. I have orthostatic tolerance, which simply means my blood is stuck in my leg and not pumping properly. When I wake up, I’m sometimes less fit than when I slept. It was good to have an appreciation for my complaints.”

It’s hard for Hollegien-Groeneweg and her husband to combine this with raising their four-year-old son. “Sometimes I get so tired that I simply can’t leave the house, so I also have a motorbike. This was really a hurdle I had to cross: driving on a motorbike as a 32-year-old woman. Now I’m used to it, I put my son between my legs and I I drive through the whole village. I’m always very honest with my son. If he wants to go out and I’m dead tired, I’ll explain that’s not possible now, but I’d like to do something else with him. Then he comes to lie next to me in bed and says, “Okay mom, we’ll watch a movie.” “.

We have learned to handle the situation well. My husband reported his work and if I am severely attacked, he is allowed to give up everything. Such agreements are useful. Other times he happily works overtime.”

you do not understand

Understanding the employer is not self-evident. “Unfortunately, my parents do not take it seriously and do not understand my condition. Although it is difficult, my advice is to say goodbye to people who do not support you. You simply do not have the energy to deal with it.” She calls herself blessed with a wonderful, caring guy and to make sure he stays put, she calls the doctor every now and then. If I see he’s going through it mentally, I call to ask if he can blow off some steam with the practice nurse. Just like I always let him do his own thing after work, like relax with a string on the couch. This way he is recharged before he can take care of his family again.”

LaVille, who, in addition to being a family counselor, is also a co-author of Plaster Against Tears agrees: “Caring for mantle partners is just as important as caring for the sick. When a family member gets sick, everyone suffers. Once the diagnosis is made, It works like a volcanic eruption after which everyone ends up on their own island. The trick is to create a connection. When I got sick, I realized that as a professional I had always been very patient focused. As an experienced expert, I now know that everyone is equally important.”


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We wanted to save our 9 year old, but were especially angry when my husband and I told them two days later.

Mashtilde LaVille

When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, her world was turned upside down, often because she thought: How do I tell my family? “You get a lot of information, but no one tells you. Our fourteen-year-old came home and immediately sensed something was wrong, we told him right away. We wanted to save our nine-year-old, but we were especially angry when Two days later, my husband and I told them, “Now I can never trust you again, Mama.”

,, Our 2 year old had raised his poo from tension and when I explained to a wooden tree with birds that Mama couldn’t fly for a while, his stomach pain was gone immediately. What I’ve learned the most is: always and immediately involve your children. No matter how small. You can even talk to a baby in your tummy. Children feel the tensions to a great extent, and by being open and engaging, you maintain a streak of trust and connection.”

Advice for a sick parent in the family

After a diagnosis, it’s a good idea to come to yourself first with a partner, friend, or caregiver. Since then, it’s a good idea to be open to kids from the start.

It is a good idea to inform your network, such as schools, as soon as possible. It’s a good idea for teachers, mentors, and other schoolyard parents to know what your family is going through.

Everyone in the family needs care and outlets, including those who are not sick.

Try to keep everyday things going as much as possible, such as sports, eating together, and birthdays. This preserves the structure of family life.

Allow yourself to be helped by others and feel free to tell them that you don’t always have the energy to express gratitude in return. For example, ask them if they put the displayed meal in front of the door, so that you don’t lose your energy afterwards in a conversation or buying a thank-you flower.

By arranging outings for kids with relatives or friends, such as having dinner somewhere or staying overnight, there are situations for them where they can just be a kid or teen for a while.

It is important to have room for everyone’s feelings. This can be done by erecting a wailing wall in the house, so that everyone can express their feelings.

Look for smart energy-saving tricks, such as cooking in the morning when there is still enough energy.

Breast cancer diagnosed? You may wonder what that does to your fertility. Gynecologist Inge Casters explains it on Ouders van Nu.



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