Health & Wellness

Guest Column

Caring for a Chronically Ill Child Impact the Entire Family

2efaff645c379cbd0f59_Maria_-_Hellnic_Therapy_head_shot.jpg
Maria Sikoutris Di Iorio Credits: Hellenic Therapy
2efaff645c379cbd0f59_Maria_-_Hellnic_Therapy_head_shot.jpg

September is Pain Awareness Month. It’s not easy balancing your care giving role and other parts of your life when you care for someone with a chronic health condition. Taking care of a chronically ill child, parent, spouse, or friend can be one of the most draining and difficult tasks we can face.

I have experienced chronic pain through my adult daughter’s illness; endometriosis. She has endured six surgeries and continues to be in daily chronic pain, even after surgery. Endometriosis is a painful, chronic disease that affects at least 6.3 million women and girls in the U.S. It is a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus.

Regardless of age, having a child or family member who has a chronic illness, is not only challenging for them, it affects caregivers and other family members. Family dynamics can be severely tested when a child is sick. Doctor visits, surgical procedures, and frequent checkups can throw everyone’s schedule off and take an emotional and physical toll on relationships and the entire family. It is not uncommon for everyone to become angry, resentful and stressed. 

Sign Up for E-News

As parents we do not want to see our children in pain.We want the very best for them. However, many times this is totally out of our control. It is a difficult process to accept that your child has a chronic illness…whether it be physical or mental illness. How can parents treat a child with a chronic illness?  Children with chronic illness benefit from parents normalizing the situation in an accepting way and can help them by brainstorming together on new coping strategies.

When a child is sick, parents tend to become overprotective. We tend to shelter them or limit their activities because of our own fears. On the other hand, some parents become overly permissive and allow their child more freedom, less structure and try to over compensate for their illness by doing too much for them. There is a fine line between helping them and enabling them. Can they do this for themselves, or do they need assistance. 

Oftentimes it is difficult to decipher whether we are over-doing it or it is truly warranted. In younger children, we potentially are now adding a discipline problem as well. Often this requires accepting that their lifestyle has changed and what was possible at one time no longer is. There is grieving involved in this process for the patient, parent and family. Making adjustments and adapting to new ways is crucial in overcoming any type of chronic illness or pain. What once was, no longer is and this type of thinking requires acceptance and adjustments.

Anyone who has been touched by a loved one’s chronic illness, whether it be endometriosis, cancer, asthma ,mental illness, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, back pain, Crohn’s disease, to name a few of the many, understands the heartache in both patient and care giver. Remember that the chronic illness does not come only with physical pain, it comes with emotional pain and distress accompanied with guilt about their own worries regarding their future as well as the impact it has on their family members. There are many wonderful support groups for families to join to help them during this difficult time.  Hellenic Therapy Center is beginning a chronic pain/illness support group in October.

At the Hellenic Therapy Center, 567 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains, NJ, we have a team of licensed professionals available day, evening and weekend hours who can work with you and your family to navigate during this difficult time.  Call us to learn about our chronic pain group. Visit www.hellenictherapy.com or call 908-322-0112.

 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Hartz Mountain Presents to Cranford Planning Board

July 19, 2018

CRANFORD, NJ – After months of waiting, Hartz Mountain continued its application for 750 Walnut at Wednesday’s Planning Board meeting.

James Rhatican, vice president of land use and development at Hartz Mountain, along two witnesses – real estate broker Matt McDonough and architect Bruce Englebaugh – spoke on Hartz Mountain’s behalf.

Rhatican referred ...

More Traffic, No Solution – Letter to Governor Phil Murphy

July 17, 2018

Dear Governor Phil Murphy,

From the mid-1970s, when I was age 12, I’ve had this vivid memory of watching my parents participate in a peaceful demonstration against the construction of a 12-story hotel complex just behind our backyard. In fact, on Wednesday, September 29, 1976, the local newspaper ran an article with a photo showing my mother and her protest placard. The memory of that ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_6bb3683d2a03ed40d943_scan0046

Thu, July 19, 7:30 PM

Mindowaskin Park, Westfield

Free Swing Band Concert in Mindowaskin Park

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_b8addcbb02045632d9da_450ab88ad88859a2c3df_rlc_rummage_sale_002

Sat, July 21, 9:00 AM

Westfield Community Center , Westfield

Rummage Sale

Westfield Police Blotter: Multiple Businesses Report Thefts & More

July 18, 2018

July 11,2018 3:50 p.m.

A business located on the 100 block of Central Avenue reports being the victim of a theft. Unknown actor came into the business and removed $2,200.00 worth of property.

July 12, 2018 2:40 a.m.

Danny Burke, age 32, of Edison, NJ was arrested for driving while intoxicated pursuant a motor vehicle stop. Subject was arrested, processed and released to a ...

Westfield Resident Named to JBWS Board of Directors

July 19, 2018

Cheryl Green Rosario of Westfield, vice-president of Corporate Social Responsibility at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, bas been named to the JBWS Board of Directors.

JBWS provides safety, support and solutions for abuse. Founded in 1976 as the Jersey Battered Women’s Service, the Morris County-based agency has grown to provide a 24-hour helpline (1-877-R-U-ABUSED), emergency ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.

 

 

Picking up the Pieces – The Benefits of Account Consolidation

Over a lifetime of investing we often have numerous accounts located at different financial firms.  Rarely are these accounts managed with a grand plan that takes into account all the individual pieces.   Account proliferation can be detrimental to your investment performance, increase your risk profile, and lighten your pocketbook.  

Account consolidation offers the ...

Big Changes in Store for New Jersey’s Employers and Employees

Big changes are in store for New Jersey’s workplaces, with dramatic legislation aimed at improving conditions for New Jersey’s workers. These changes include the enactment of New Jersey’s Equal Pay Act, a new law to help the unemployed, and passage of New Jersey’s Paid Sick Leave Act. Most likely one or all these laws will impact you or someone in your family.

New ...

Understand NJ's Shared Responsibility Act

Last year, the President signed legislation that repealed the “penalty tax” for not having health insurance for tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2019.

 

On May 31, Governor Murphy signed into law the “New Jersey Health Insurance Market Preservation Act,” which establishes a “shared responsibility tax” for state residents without ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...

26 Homes Sold July 8-15 in Westfield and Surrounding Towns

There were 26 homes sold between July 8 and July 15 in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Mountainside`

TOWN          ADDRESS    STYLE            RMS   BRS BTH   GAR   Sale Price

Cranford  115  Bryant Ave ...

Dog Found in Garwood

UPDATE: Reunited with owner.

ORIGINAL POST: Dog found on Pine Avenue in Garwood. He was given food and water. Garwood police now has him. Sweet and friendly. Contact the Garwood Police Department.

It's Not What You Are Eating, It's What's Eating You

EMOTIONAL EATING: FEEDING YOUR FEELINGS

Emotional eating can be described as episodes of binge-eating, grazing and/or eating when not hungry to soothe feelings. Emotional eaters have a pattern of eating to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and problems of daily life.

Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. Instead of physical symptoms initiating the eating, ...

What Is Your Bottom Line?

This week's Parshah (Torah reading) is the Parshah of Pinchas the Zealot: the courageous young priest who stood up against idolatry and immorality and, in the end, saved Israel from a devastating plague.

While Pinchas' radical response made him a hero worthy of having a Torah section named after him, we wouldn't necessarily suggest to our children ...

ELL Summer Experience at Westfield Public Schools

Westfield students representing six different languages recently enjoyed a weeklong summer camp focused on providing meaningful enrichment activities for students to continue their English language acquisition while having fun.

The ELL (English Language Learners) Summer Experience ran from July 9-13 at Wilson School, welcoming students in grades 1-4 whose native languages are Russian, ...

Westfield Area YMCA: Take Swim Lessions This Summer

The Westfield Area YMCA is providing a free one-week guest pass to non-members which will also enable access to purchase a week of swim lessons at full member rates during the summer.  The one-week guest pass includes use of the Y’s fitness facilities, land and water group exercise classes and open gym/swim.

“Our goal is to have people of all ages and skill levels grow to ...

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper Welcomes Stephen A. Timoni to Firm

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper P.C., announced that Stephen A. Timoni has joined the firm in its Westfield office. Stephen will focus his practice in the areas of Corporate and Health Care Law.

“Stephen brings additional depth and experience to our firm. He has tremendous experience in complex corporate, M&A and health care areas of practice. We anticipate that Stephen ...

Livingston Council Votes on Ordinance to Prohibit Vape Shops

July 19, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Concern about the increased use of electronic cigarettes and other vapor products were among the reasons why the Livingston Township Council adopted an ordinance prohibiting “vape shops,” or any establishment that primarily sells “electronic devices, liquid nicotine or vapor products,” in the township’s retail commercial ...

Obituaries

Eric Lieberman, 47, of Scotch Plains, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Tuesday, May 22, 2018 ...
Read more