If your child was recently diagnosed with a critical illness, then you are probably going through a time of grieving right now. I want to encourage you to allow yourself that time. It’s okay to withdraw from friends and family and take time to soak in the information that has just been hurled at you. Take time to grieve the plans you had for your child and the life you foresaw with them. You will have a lot of people coming at you with a lot of questions, and its okay to take a step back from that. You don’t have to put on a happy face and pretend that everything is okay, because honestly, it’s not. It can be exhausting to repeat over and over again the news you just received from doctors when friends and family ask how your child is doing. It may be helpful to have a family member or close friend be a liaison to share information or use social media to get the word out – without having to relive the emotion repeatedly. Being able to say bad news without crying is hard, and the emotion of it is draining. My daughter was diagnosed before social media became common, so we used a website called Caring Bridge. https://www.caringbridge.org/ It’s a nonprofit that is a great communication tool. Friends and family can sign up to receive notification of updates. If more of your close friends and family use email instead of social media, this may be a good option for you to keep everyone updated on your child’s condition. Before you dive into that though, take the time to process the news and grieve yourself. I remember sitting at the conference room table at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and hearing the doctors explain the seriousness of my daughter’s life threatening internal bleeding. I didn’t want to absorb the information and the weight begin to press down sitting in that chair, making me feel ten times heavier. It felt like there were boulders placing their enormous weight on my shoulders; huge, uncrushable rocks – and me without even a chisel. I had to go home any cry it out for days, shutting others out. I want to encourage you if this is where you are right now, that is okay; you be there. You take the time you need to grieve and process the information.
But soon, it will be time to get up and fight; to fight for the life of your child. When you have had some time to process information and grieve, come back for some practical tips on managing your child’s healthcare. If you need a listening ear of someone who has been where you are, send me an email and I will get in contact with you. You can reach me at tyiaLynn@criticallyloved.net. We are in this together and I’m glad you are here! Much Love!