Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Letter K in our A to Z Challenge

K is the next letter of our alphabet challenge for me, because I am behind due to work, storms in the Midwest and the electrical issues that involves,  and life.

K is also for knowledge. Any parent of a child newly diagnosed with a serious illness knows first hand about this K word. Parents are immediately overwhelmed with the need to know and gain more knowledge about the disease the child has. They also become overwhelmed with all the facts and figures that they soon discover. Here are a few tips to organize and keep track of all the new found knowledge that comes with having a child who is ill.

1. First, listen to your doctors and the health care providers with whom you trust before searching the Internet or outside sources. Use what the physician offers as a baseline of information with which to start your research.

2. After the initial diagnosis and the testing that goes along with that, now search the Internet or other resources but do it with a purpose in mind. Do you want to find alternative treatments? Are you  searching to be confident that you are being told the complete story about the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis? Or are you researching to understand and to learn more about the disease to prepare for the future?

3. Keep in mind that you must take one day at a time initially to protect yourself from emotional and physical exhaustion. Basic knowledge is good but you don't have to learn everything there is to know the first 24 hours. Give yourself time to adjust to the initial news before scaring yourself  silly.

4. Do not hesitate to seek a second opinion if you are not confident about what your health care providers are telling you. Be realistic in your expectations, but realize you are the parent and have the right to seek other opinions.

1 comment:

Karen Peterson said...

Fortunately, I've never been in a serious health situation, but I am terrible about asking questions and thinking of second opinions. Very good advice, definitely! Especially for parents that need to advocate for their children.