June 15, 2016 |  written by IVX Health

How to Talk to Your Kids About Chronic Illness

When you receive your diagnosis, the first people you tell are likely your close family and friends — the people you interact with on a day-to-day basis.  But telling your kids requires a different set of strategies.  Read on to learn how to talk to your children about your chronic illness.

How to Talk to Your Kids About Chronic Illness
Telling your kids about your chronic illness can seem overwhelming, but our strategies can help you get through it. (Photo by Shafiahmedrizvi, via Wikimedia Commons.)

#1: Deliver Age-Appropriate Information

Perhaps the most important piece of advice for talking to your children about chronic illness is to consider their age and what they can handle hearing.  What you tell a teenager will likely be very different than what you tell a 3-year-old.

#2: Be Honest About What You’re Going Through

Again, you’ll want to stick to age-appropriate information, but you should let them know that sometimes you might not feel well.  That might mean telling them you get tummy aches sometimes, or that your hands or feet might hurt (“ouchies you can’t see”), or that sometimes you might be so tired you can’t get up.

#3: Tell Them What You Need From Them

Let your children know what you need from them when you’re going through a flare-up.  Tell them before it happens so the expectations are set.  Whether it’s simply quiet behavior from little ones or help with household tasks from older kids, tell them how they can help you.

#4: Let Them Ask Questions — Or Not

Children are very curious creatures, but typically on their own schedule.  When you deliver the news, you should be prepared for a conversation, but you should also know that they may hear what you have to say, nod, and then head right back to their train set or TV show.

#5: Keep the Conversation Going

Let them know that the door is always open for them to ask you questions, but don’t pressure them into hearing more than they’re ready for.  You too needed time to process the information, and your kids might as well.

The attention span of children and their ability to process everything varies by age and individual child.  Give them time, but, at the same time, don’t sweep the issue under the carpet either.  If your chronic illness is going to affect their way of life, they especially need to know and eventually accept what the new normal looks like.  It’s a process, but make sure there’s progress too.

#6: Take the Optimistic View

The last thing you want to do is scare your kids, so let them know that, while you may sometimes not feel well, you’ll always feel better after a while.  (This can be a good reminder and mantra for yourself as well!)  Tell them you’re working with your doctor to get healthier and feel better (and follow through).  And giving them ways to help you can help them feel like they’re a part of the team.

IV Treatments for Chronic Illness at IVX Health

If IV infusions are a part of your treatment plan for lupus, know that you have options.  IVX Health offers the best of all options when it comes to receiving treatment, all the way from comfort through cost.

We  understand the demands of a busy schedule, so we offer appointments during days, evenings and on Saturdays at three convenient locations on either side of the state line in Kansas City (MO), Independence and Overland Park. If you’re ready to experience the difference IVX Health can make in your life, give us a call at any of our locations.

Treatment at IVX Health

If biologics like Remicade, Actemra or Orencia  are a part of your chronic illness treatment plan, then consider choosing IVX Health for your ongoing care needs. IVX Health makes it possible to receive your therapy in a comfortable, convenient, and private environment.

With a private suite for every patient, you can watch your favorite Netflix show or movie on the big screen TV in each room, use a laptop or other mobile device to surf the web, or simply hang out with family and friends. We always have chairs for guests, and each center has a family room that is spacious and private if you need to bring your kids to your treatment. We also offer flexible appointment scheduling – including evenings and Saturdays – at any of our convenient locations.

At IVX Health, we truly are invested in helping you live your best life. If you’re ready to experience a new kind of infusion clinic, click here to learn how to move your infusion or injection therapy to IVX Health.