Telling Kids About COPD
You have spent the days since your diagnosis thinking about what your chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) means to you. You experience the fear, shock, confusion, sadness and anger that comes with a new medical diagnosis. You worry about yourself. You worry about how you will manage the changes that are coming.
Before long, though, you begin to shift your focus from yourself to the others in your life. Your spouse has been attending your appointments and you have talking to your friends.
But what about your kids? If your children are grown and have a good grasp on your functioning and the warning signs, they will likely handle the news well. But what about your kids’ kids?
Since COPD most often occurs in people over 40, communicating the effects of COPD to children and grandchildren becomes of paramount importance.
You may be thinking that the children in your life are too young or too immature to understand the situation. You may think that you are protecting them by not being honest with them.
But in actuality, even young children are more intuitive and perceptive than you give them credit for, and once children become aware of changes in their environment, they piece together the puzzle.
Unfortunately, if they do not have the correct information, they will be led away from the truth and often imagine a scenario worse than the reality.
Talking to Your Kids
When you discuss the topic of COPD with your kids or grandchildren, good things happen. They feel less isolated and less disconnected from the rest of the family. They learn that they can trust adults, since adults are being truthful.
More importantly, they learn to trust their own perspective as they work through the emotional experience triggered by the situation.
Talking to the children in your life also benefits you as it forces you to process your own thoughts and feelings resulting from the COPD.
It becomes too easy for people with a medical condition to deny or ignore their situation. Staying in denial interrupts the grieving process and leaves you more likely to behave, think and react in ways that hurt yourself and the people around you. Communication is the answer.