How to calm down a kid when you have your own health scare?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by SuZir, Apr 17, 2014.

  1. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Or in this case an almost adult?

    Joy is freaking out, as expected, after I told him about my bone tumor. When it first was found I only told husband, and even to him after thinking it through by myself for a bit. Didn't want to tell the kids before I had information about if it was cancer or benign. Now that it is almost sure it is benign I was still planning waiting for close to operation date before telling to avoid kids getting anxious. But like so often, difficult child ruined that plan. His season is over and he is back home for few weeks or months. And it is simply impossible to keep that kind of secrets from him. He probably sniffed that something was wrong at the moment he opened the front door (has always been like that for some strange reason. Joy with his excellent social skills can be totally clueless about things like that, and difficult child with his very limited social skills somehow always knows and reacts to smallest differences in emotional atmosphere at home.)

    After giving difficult child info, figures and relevant articles he copes okay, but Joy isn't that easy. He wants and needs reassurance I can't give him. It is extremely likely I will be okay. In fact even the worst case scenario would likely be a loss of the leg. While it first looked worse and cancer scare was legit, after further examination it is clear it is now cancer but type of tumors that are seldom malign and mine doesn't show any signs of being malign and is anyway tiny.

    I have told this to Joy again and again, but that doesn't seem to help him much. He is like a lost puppy twirling at my feet and making it almost impossible not to stumble on him. And to be honest, husband is almost as bad. And when I get irritated with them and shoo them away, they get anxious, turn around and bite what ever comes first onto their way, which is usually difficult child.Which of course makes everyone's life so very fun in our house.

    Operating day will likely be at least month from now, could be two and only after that anything absolute can be said. How an earth I stay sane till that if Joy (and husband) keep doing what they are doing? I'm not sure even removing difficult child from the picture would help, they would just find something else to dismount their frustration onto.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  2. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    I would sit them down and explain that their stress about it is increasing your stress level which is not good prior to surgery. Let them know you understand their issues but that you can't think about it 24 hours a day and have them underfoot. Remind them that right now you don't need them hovering but that after surgery you might. Tell them to save that nervous energy for after the surgery when you know everything and need their help.
  3. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    My father had cancer and only knew about it for three months before he died. The only way I was able to stay semi calm about it was by getting the medical updates about what was being done and staying really busy myself. My dad was also very very positive about it and told me repeatedly that he was going to fight and didn't expect to die.

    While dealing with what just happened to mr. lewis. (My children are 9 and 4) I told them that mr lewis had the best doctors and they were doing everything they could, that he was a fighter and was going to come back to us and that it was no ones fault. I sent them to a friends house for a week also out of town, and just maintained contact by phone once a day. My tk is a worrier on an adult scale, so I reassured her that everything possible was being done and reported all the positives.

    I know this was not exactly your question but it's what I have to give. You have a lot of positives to report about, so just be very strong when emphasizing everything was okay. It worked when my dad told me and I was an adult and it seemed to work with my children when dealing with a very scary situation. We are really always children when our family is sick. We just want to know that everything that can be done is being done.

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  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I could use this advice myself...I had an abnormal PAP smear not too long ago and haven't told Miss KT for fear she'd worry herself sick.
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Lordy, you have had a mess of issues on your plate this past month or so. Sorry! The only possible advice I can offer is to explain to each of them that stress is bad for healthy living! My family has just accepted what I've said. Stress is known to be harmful so I don't need it and neither do you. "I promise I will let you know if there is any important change in my condition BUT meanwhile let's live as stressfree and healthily as we can!" It's worked for me. DDD
  6. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Tell them all that if a doctor had a shadow of doubt about cancer, you would be operated on that day! True or not? It will make them all stop and therefore decrease your stress level. It is true anyway. I had cancer. Even thought they were not entirely sure at first, it was an emergency until they knew. At least tell them that. All will be revealed. Hugs.
  7. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    They do know it is not cancer. I was able to hide whole thing from Joy almost till that was evident. But these type of usually benign tumors have a small chance to be malign and while that is even more unlikely with my tiny tumor (that MLC tear early this year turned out to be really lucky, without it this would had been found much, much later when it would had started to cause some symptoms and would had been much bigger) would be malign but it is not totally sure before they have examined tumour tissue. Even if it would be malign, prognosis is very good. That I have also told Joy countless times.

    I guess it comes down to that we are different people and react differently. And to husband and Joy my way to react is difficult to handle and for me their way to react is difficult to handle. I need space and time to think bad thing through before I can share or be consoled or console them. They need to do something, fix something, right now, right there. When it comes to biggies, those styles of handling things don't mix well. They find me to be aloof, indifferent or not caring. I find them to be hovering, in my face, overbearing and annoying.

    It doesn't help that difficult child comes after me and husband and Joy find him to be aloof and not caring too. And while they are too reasonable to attack me over being too aloof for their taste over MY health issue, they do attack him and that is stressful for me too. I also don't like how I feel I have to play referee all the time and how it divides our family to husband and Joy on other side of the fence and me and difficult child on the other. Then again, how do I not take difficult child side when his dad and brother come up with ridiculous accusations of not caring or not loving me when difficult child is just giving me space that I want and need? Just this morning husband went that far that he actually said those words and told difficult child how disgusted he is to have difficult child under his roof when difficult child doesn't even seem to 'give a damn of his mother who has done everything for him.' Joy has said similar things.

    husband is an adult and I can kick his butt into pulp over this - and I do, but with Joy I would want to be more understanding. He is still a kid and scared his mommy could die. And I love him too much not to try to reassure him. But I love also difficult child and it is not fair they are taking their frustration for my behaviour out on him. And it is MY health scare, my leg that is on the chopping block, I need to be allowed to deal with it my way.

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    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  8. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I hear you. They don't get difficult child the way you do. husband should know better. That fact is causing all the trouble. He loves you too and has tunnel vision. Hang on for 1 month. It will be a long month, fear causes people to not think clearly. Reassure them if you can. Tell them how they should act around you, you need your kind of support.
  9. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    A few years ago, H was in the hospital for 2 weeks with heart problems. I never told difficult child or the 2 youngest boys because they were all away at camp. The 2 oldest (19 and 20 at the time) knew because they were home but we all agreed not to tell mother in law or their brothers. H would call his mom from the hospital but she doesn't have caller ID so she never knew. I never even told our friends.

    I've had 2 relatively minor surgeries in the past couple of years and haven't even told my closest friends or my children. I've long since stopped wondering where difficult child gets his absolute refusal to disclose personal information from.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sit them ALL down at one time. Tell them EXACTLY what you want and need from them. Flat out tell them that you NEED them to stop the over worrying and the constant need for you to comfort their poor tender emotions. You need them to stop jumping all over difficult child for not reacting the way they do, for being rather under- emotional/aloof to all of this. Let them know that their treatment of difficult child does NOTHING but make the situation harder for you. Let them know that you do not have the energy or interest to deal with their constant need to fix this and their inability to fix it.

    Flat out SAY that they cannot fix the medical issues, but they CAN fix the stress and disharmony in the household. They can fix it by getting some control over their need to 'help' you (it isn't at all about helping you, it is about making THEM feel better) and their misplaced anger/displeasure with difficult child when he sees no need and no benefit to attempting to 'fix' you.

    Pick a project that will require some hard work. Clean out an attic, paint the house, build a gazebo, plant a special garden, dig a fire pit and put some seating around it, whatever. Think about something that YOU want done around the house that is a pretty big task. Tell them that they CANNOT fix your medical issues, but if they really want to fix something and make YOU feel better, they will do this project with/for you (depending on if you want them to do it or want to do it with them). When they are upset/needy/irritating you with all of this koi, send them to go work on the project.

    Why do a project now? It is a way to burn off that excess energy caused by worry, it gives them something that they actually CAN do to 'help' you, and it lets you bring the entire family together to work on something lasting that you can later look back on and appreciate. It also gives them something to DO and keeps them busy during this waiting period before surgery/treatment starts.
  11. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Thanks Susie! That is a great idea which I did put use and decided one of our outbuildings needs to be cleaned, uncluttered and build storage system in so that it will have some room for gym equipment/crafts projects/something (I really couldn't come up with anything we actually needed that room for in so short notice, I'm working on that...) And I was very clear I want them out of my hair and that I'm done with playing referee. I understand Joy. He is still a kid and worried his mommy may die (even though I have told him numerous times that would be extremely unlikely, at least not because of this tumour.) husband doesn't have excuses and I have had enough of him making this more difficult for me and told him so. And told him I will retreat to our summer cottage and absolutely forbid them coming there or taking calls from them, if he doesn't man up, get a handle of himself and also take care of his sons. And that I mean both of them. He knows difficult child, has known him for over twenty years. He knows his personality and way he reacts. He knows how deeply difficult child feels for me, husband himself and Joy. He has known me longer and he knows how I react. That husband personally doesn't feel like difficult child's, or my, ways of reacting are right or that they are not the way he would like us to react, is not an excuse. He doesn't have excuses in this one.

    At least they have been keeping their koi mostly out from my ears after that, so I'm happy with that. To me it seems husband and difficult child try to be civil to each other but difficult child and Joy are still at odds and there has been few half-play, half-serious wrestling matches between them. That is also something I need to address with Joy. He is an (physical) aggressor on these, always has been, difficult child choice of weapons is always his tongue, Joy is the one who will take arguments physical. In the past size difference has always been so big, that difficult child has never had trouble to handle his brother's violent attempts without risking actually hurting him (and also Joy pulls some punches and doesn't try to actually harm.) But now, while difficult child is still taller, and will stay that way, Joy is in fact heavier and stronger (they are built quite differently and their sports demands quite different kind of training) and Joy could be an actual threat to G FG. And while difficult child is still seeing Joy very much as his baby brother, it could easily end up so, that if easy child gets an upper hand when they wrestle and things just happen to line up badly, difficult child may panic and forget with whom he is wrestling and react from the gut and not from the place where he remembers he is squabbling with his brother. He does have PTSD and rather bad dissociation symptoms after all. And that is something Joy clearly is not understanding or appreciating. That is again something I will have to address with Joy soon. They are simply too old to physically fight any more.

    difficult child has started to make noise about leaving for couple weeks which would likely be helpful for keeping peace. But we have some high stress days coming soon with him because of the mediation thingy and I would like to keep him close through that. And that of course is also something I will have to beat into my husband's thick skull: This thing is important, it will be very hard for difficult child and it will be about difficult child, not about us or how we feel or how we want difficult child this or that. We owe it to difficult child to be fully behind him in this one.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015