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if your child has been really ill, do you struggle with not wrapping them in cotton wool?

(8 Posts)
deaconblue Fri 15-Aug-08 17:47:31

Ds was really poorly last summer with what was suspected to be lymphoma (luckily was a less serious condition) and had two operations. Today at nursery he fell and caught his operation scar on the corner of the table and I nearly broke down in tears when they told me. I do try hard not to panic if he's ill or hurts himself but the fear I felt when we were waiting for a diagnosis comes flooding back. How do you cope and does the fear fade with time?

Janni Fri 15-Aug-08 18:23:36

This is a really tough one. I have a DD with cystic fibrosis and she is likely to have periods of hospitalisation throughout her life. She also has a shorter life expectancy than non CF children. She has medication and physio every day. Luckily she's a third child, so I am automatically more laid back than I would be if she were a first. I tell myself that she needs a NORMAL CHILDHOOD as that's what's been drummed into me by her hospital team. So she goes to nursery, does everything her brothers do and I just hope for the best.

Even if you FEEL anxious, try as hard as possible not to show it to your LO. He needs to grow up seeing himself as a strong person and that will help him fight any illness which might come his way.

Good luck - I know it's hard!

Elibean Fri 15-Aug-08 20:12:17

It is hard, I understand what you're describing and think its totally natural and dd2 nearly died at 4 weeks from a combination of undiagnosed laryngomalacia and RSV bronchiolitis. She still has a few issues, but nothing life threatening - and yet the anxiety I feel when she's ill is out of proportion, because all the old feelings flood back.

Also...the fear you felt while waiting for diagnosis sounds like a sort of trauma to me...a moment frozen in time, IYSWIM, along with all the feelings that went with it. I had one of those moments too (when I walked into the ward after a quick trip home to get clothes, thinking my baby had the equivalent of a bad cold, and saw six doctors looking grim around dd's bed) and needed to talk and talk and talk about it. Then the feelings did soften and ebb, but it took a lot of talking - sort of like a de-brief. I think thats what it takes, with shock.

How long were you waiting for diagnosis?

deaconblue Fri 15-Aug-08 20:46:41

it was 6 weeks from the first lumps appearing to finally getting the all clear. Felt like a lifetime. He's pretty robust really and most things don't worry me but anything where his glands are puffy and today with the knock on the scar makes me really anxious.

farfaraway Fri 15-Aug-08 21:56:26

Aslo relate to Janni. DD3 needed open heart surgery at birth for a heart problem. Very traumatic for DD3 and us. Now we are very aware she can will never be an olympic sportswoman and need regular scans and checks BUT feel laid back.
But..remember the first time a ballon burst next to dd3 and almost hyper-ventilating that the sudden noise would have affected her heart!

Agree do not show anxiety to your Ds or older siblings. To have sick baby is very stressful and any future sickness can make things/memories come rushing back. (DD3 had repeated chest infections and I was wrongly convinced it was connected to heart problem.) Perhaps you need time to deal with the shock/surprise of DS illness. Have you spoken to your gp about this? Mine surprised me when I mentioned a few things by telling me he thought I was so together and surprised to learn things were not quite so smooth emotionally for the parents as we had made out. Six weeks for a diagnois means you spent six weeks in limbo, fearing the worst but hoping for best. Happily things are OK but you may be anxious for a while yet.

Elibean Fri 15-Aug-08 22:11:15

Yes, six weeks is a long time to be that scared, and in limbo. Did you get to talk about it much? The thoughts that ran through you mind, the worst moments, that kind of thing?

I can see why anything gland related would trigger that fear now. And anything heart/chest related would touch farfaraway - I react to anything breathing related.

Kitstelsmum Sun 24-Aug-08 22:45:51

i totally see where you're coming from! But if it helps - DD had septicaemia at 4 months, urinary tract infection at 5 months, and was then told that she's got cyclical neutropenia (when your immune system dips around once a month making you vulnerable to catching any bug going) We spent a few months while she was having tests totally stressed out and living in a limbo like you did - but she's 14 months now and absolutely fine, and even after starting nursery she's not been ill apart from the odd cold. As time goes on their immune system really improves so less chance of it happening again (touch wood!)

morocco Sun 24-Aug-08 22:58:40

I've found the fear to fade with time and with ds1's continued good health. the icy feeling still grabs me round the throat sometimes but it's easier to pretend it's all fine and treat him normally now. I'm not sure I would be so laid back if he was still in and out of hospital though. that is tough to deal with. do you ever talk about what you went through to anyone? I still find things going round in my mind a few years on. I wonder if some of my/his experiences are 'post traumatic stress' type

one thing I have found that makes me sad is that it has affected ds1's reaction to things so now if he sees blood he more or less hyperventilates for example

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