Not Sure How to Help 11 Y/o Son Deal...

Updated on October 04, 2008
B.G. asks from Columbus, OH
16 answers

i have had many medical issues since my 11 y/o was born. he was born in 1997, in 2002 i had a kidney/pancreas transplant, in 2005 i had a second kidney transplant, i have lost most of my vision due to diabetic retinopathy, and have had lots of other issoes in between. i have just been adnitted on aug 29 to the cleveland clinic where emergency surgeries were done and i was then in ICU for a few weeks, was then moved out of ICU and in a regular room for about a week and a half and now i am home recovering, slowly. i am not sure what my husband and i should be doing in order to help my son speak emotions or vocalize what his feelings were or are. i am pretty sure i shouldn't just let him be but i know my husband and i will probably have some post traumatic stres and i would like to prevent my son from the same. has anyone else dealt with this or have suggestions on what i should do? thanks

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So What Happened?

well as of right now i have not had the chance to look at any suggestions that have been gven to me. i went locally to have blood work done and after sticking me 10 times, no luck so i now am headed back to cleveland to be admitted a few days so they can put in a line, get blood, do the kidney biopsy thats needed and hopefully get me home in a few days. i have let my son son i am ok, they just need to do certain tests that can't be done here. so he is going to my mom's, which he hates to do but he has to go to school so there is not much choic. i hate having to do this again to him but i know for my health it has to be done to protect my kidney. so wish me luck and prayers and that Bryden will be ok and hopefully understand this is just a small set back in being away from him

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answers from Terre Haute on

First of all, I am so sorry that you are going through all of this. I wish you health and happiness, and I hope you get better.
My suggestion is seeing someone professionally. I think it will be worth it, and it will benefit everyone in the family. Another idea is maybe introduce your son to journaling. Sometimes it's easier to write down those feelings, instead of speaking them. It can be something private for him, or if he wants to share the journal he can, but I wouldn't force him to share it.

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answers from Indianapolis on

All you can do is ask him if he has any concerns or fears. Let him know how much you love him, how afraid you were yourself.
Being open about your feelings and sharing them will help him know it is okay to share his fears and concerns as well.
Some area facilities have counciling for families in your position. Check with your physician's office, they usually have a list and are a great resource for this type of situation. If you are affliated with a church as your minister. They are also a great resource!
I will pray for all of you.



answers from Cleveland on

I felt as though I was reading about my life as I read your post. My mother was diabetic (juvenile diabetes) and well controlled but started running the gamut of complications when she was about 35. She died when she was 45 - 2 days before my 25th birthday and Christmas Eve. She started with tendonitis and neuropathy in her hands and feet. Oh, she could only wear all leather shoes because anything else would rub blisters that immediately became staph - she lost the bones in 3 toes because of it and had very poor balance. Then her retinas started hemorraghing so laser treatments at Cleveland Clinic. Eventually total kidney failure, periteneal dialysis (which means 5 times a day - not the weekly thing). She eventually lost her sight and hearing. An infection in her leg led to amputation. I'm more qualified to take care of diabetic patients than the nurses at most hospitals - in fact we had to go to the hospital 5 times a day and do her dialysis for her because the nurses were not qualified to do it.

I feel for your son. He definitely needs someone to talk to. He may not be interested in talking to a psychologist, but, since I've been there - done that, I am happy to talk to him and share my experience and help him find a release because he's going to need it. Feel free to email me anytime.



answers from Columbus on

I went through something similar with a family friend with 5 kids (between 14 and 5 at the time)the dad had cancer and we found a wonderful book, i think it was called, when a parent has cancer. Although it does not sound like you have cancer i think that it would be very helpful for any kind of long term illness. It really went through how to talk to kids of all ages about serious illnesses and even had sections for grandparents and other support people so they could figure out how to help in the situation. I would highly recommend this book, i think it would help out greatly. I found used copies on Amazon for really cheep when i had to get the books.

good luck and i hope that your recovery continues smoothly!



answers from South Bend on

I have not been in this situation. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. The only thing that I can think of is that there are a lot of good counselors and books out there. I would do my research and definitely get him someone to talk to about it. You might even begin with one of the counselors at his school. And you and your husband just making sure to let your son know that he is always welcome to come and speak openly with you both about what it going on. Letting him know that it is ok to feel what he is feeling. Anger? Being scared? Thinking this is unfair? I wish that I could be of more help. Again, prayer is a powerful tool and I will continue to pray for you and your family and I hope that you and your husband will also be in prayer about this.

God Bless!



answers from Dayton on

Let me first ask you know where you are going if you die? The only way you can assure your son and yourself that everything will be ok no matter what happens is if you have a true relationship with Jesus Christ. God loves you and your family. He wants to comfort and care for you you just need to ask Him into your life and into your heart. If you would like some guidence on how to do this, please e-mail me and we can talk. I will be praying for you and your family. God Bless you. T. M.



answers from Muncie on

You could try talking to him, sharing your feelings, you don't want to lay everything out on him of course, but I think if you open up and tell him it's all right to share how he feels with you and your husband, I think he will open up to you too. Hold him, comfort him, you can help him work through his fears and maybe a few of your own too.

Good luck.



answers from Bloomington on

Sounds like counseling is a good idea for all of you. I am looking at it from both sides. Before becoming disabled I was a therapist. I've worked in the mental health field for over 20 years. On the other hand, I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and I know how valuable therapy has been for me. Unfortunately, having a college degree and being a therapist yourself doesn't make you immune from anxiety disorders any more than being a doctor or nurse prevents one from becoming sick! So I can look at it from both sides. As far as Post Traumatic Stress goes people often think once the event that caused the trauma is over and done with that the problem is solved. Not so. Once a person has PTSD they will have it for the rest of their lives. It can be controlled just like diabetes, but there is no cure. So you are very wise to seek help for your son to help him deal with all of this. If you belong to a church perhaps your pastor or someone can either provide counseling or point you in the direction of a good therapist. You might talk to someone at the hospital you go to. I'm sure they have a social service department and a social worker who can help connect you with someone for therapy. You might also call his school. I'd say the school has a counselor who could possibly help. There are community agencies that offer such services. In Indiana, at least in southern IN, we have an agency called Hoosier Uplands. They provide a lot of community services, especially for the elderly, disabled, and low income populations. They provide medical and social services as well. I'm sure there is something similar in your community. Again, the hospital or school system could probably direct you to such a agency. In the mean time I would just be as open as possible with your son about what is going on. Children pick up on things so easily. To tell them there's nothing wrong and nothing to worry about insults their intelligence. Ask him how he feels, ask him if he has any questions, etc. Encourage him to talk about how he feels and to ask any questions that he might have. Keeping the lines of communication open is very important. I hope this helps. I wish you the best of everything and hope you are feeling better soon!



answers from Columbus on

Dear B.,

I'm so sorry to hear about all that you and your family have been through.

I suggest therapy for your son. Just someone he can talk to, who will help him to deal with the fears and confusion that inevitably come along with loving someone who has been through so many challenges.

It's always good to be open with your kids, and to talk things out with them to reassure them. Still, sometimes there are things they don't want to talk to us about, or don't feel comfortable discussing with us. Especially when they're at that "tween" stage in life.

Maybe one of your doctors can suggest someone who would be particularly good for this kind of talk therapy. Perhaps your family could go together for the first few visits, so your son will understand that it's normal for a kid to have questions and confusing emotions about seeing his mom go through so much.

I'll be keeping you and your family in my thoughts.



answers from Cleveland on

At the Cleveland Clinic, they have a great Child Life team! I'd ask the nurses if they could put you in touch with one of them. The social workers can also put you in touch with counselors and the such. Also, have you put in a call to his guidance counselor at the school? They can be a great resource also.

I hope things start to get better for you and your family! Being 11 is hard, and I am sure he is so worried for you!



answers from Cincinnati on

Do you go to church there is a good pace for free therapy. Also check with your school system. Ours has a therapist and they can do family therapy. If you have insurance that is one way they pay this person. Or if you get free or reduced lunch then it's paid for by the government. Ask your son's dr to recommend someone. Possibly your dr could find someone too.



answers from Cleveland on

I know the Cleveland Clinic has a social worker and others in related fields who could help... did they come around while you were there? You could call them up and explain your situation and ask them what to do. That is why they have these professionals.

Good luck.



answers from Toledo on

I am sorry to hear you are having such troubles. I suggest getting a family counselor to work with each member of your family individually and as a whole. I would NOT go to a counselor at the hospital (not b.c there is anything wrong with those counselors) b.c returning to the hospital every week to talk to someone would probably add to your son's pain (i.e. constantly thinking you are going to be re-admitted, something worse happened, etc) and reliving you living in the hospital on a weekly basis is NOT healthy for anyone. Local Churches, Maumee Valley Guidance Center, Harbor Behavioral Health, First Call For Help, are a FEW places that accept insurance and have sliding fee scales. I am sure there is a list a foot long for Cleveland. Also, if your son is at all like my 12yo, he is probably going to be more open to a counselor (that he likes) than to you. I am sure he has the fear of hurting your feelings or scaring you or worrying you. Best of Luck and hope that helps!



answers from Columbus on

I am so sorry to hear of your illnesses. I know this is hard for you. My best friend was diagnosed with cancer not long after her son was born and this continued until the Christmas before he graduated High School. Her goal was to see him Graduate. That said she really believed in positive attitude but honesty and a counseling group for children to talk among their peers for parents with illnesses. The hospital or church should be able to help you locate one in your area.



answers from Columbus on

I would recommend checking with the hospital about meeting with a social worker. That would be a good resource to set up a family therapist. I wish you the best in your recovery!


answers from Elkhart on

I don't have any advice that hasn't already been given. I just wanted to say my heart goes out to you, your son, and your husband as well. I know it has to be incredibly difficult for all of you and I wish you all the strength and courage to deal with the issues, plus hope and comfort during this difficult time. God bless you all!

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