Parenting with serious health issues? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 12-16-2012, 10:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I guess I am just writing this post for ideas, or support, or whatever.  I am the mother of 3 children and I have a lot of health problems.  Previous diagnoses are polycystic ovarian syndrome, fibromyalgia, delayed phase sleep disorder, interstitial cystitis and GERD.  I was recently diagnosed with severe anemia that isn't responding to treatment so I am being referred to a hematologist.  3 weeks ago I was diagnosed with celiac disease and recently started the required gluten free diet.  I thought I would feel better but instead I feel much worse.  I feel sick to my stomach 24/7, constant issues with diarrhea/constipation, headaches, sleep issues.  I am so tired I can't go more than 4 hours without a nap, I am basically in bed all the time.  I am starting to feel like a terrible parent because I can't be out and doing stuff with my kids.  Is anyone else dealing with parenting while having major health issues?  My kids are in school full-time and they go to after school care until 4:15pm when my husband picks them up.  I try to be down in the living room with them when the come home but sometimes I am feeling too sick so I am up in bed.  My DH is a hands-on parent and has no problem being the primary caregiver right now because he knows how sick I am so he is the one helping with homework, baking brownies for the bake sale, and playing games.  And I am tied to my bed or the bathroom.  The kids take turns coming up and cuddling with me and watching tv on my laptop or reading and they've all expressed that they understand but I still feel bad.  I am hoping that my health will improve soon but until/if it does - how do you handle parenting when you're sick, whether temporarily or long term?  If you have long term health issues do you feel guilty about not being able to do as much with your kids as you'd like?

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#2 of 4 Old 12-19-2012, 11:49 PM
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Shawna have you been checked for IBS?


sorry shawna i dont have the correct answers for you. 


dd has grown up seeing grown ups being taken care of. at 4 and 5 she was involved heavily in taking care of both her gparents on hospice. so when i get sick she does all she can to take care of me. as she has gotten older she just loves the opportunity to help out. i think more than anything i feel guilty i cant cook for her hte usual kind of meals i'd like to. 


however i know it really really helps her to take care of me to give her the sense of contribution - that she is actually 'doing' something to help instead of just doing her chores. 


i dont really get sick, but i am depending more and more on dd when i am drowning in finals. it really deeply fulfills her when she can do something for me when i am unable to do it for myself. she loves mothering me. i have to make sure i give her those opportunities often. 


when i see how much of a difference it makes to her, when it meets so many of her needs on many levels, i dont feel so bad. 

 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
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#3 of 4 Old 12-22-2012, 10:02 PM
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I have a chronic illness & am also DS's full-time caretaker. There are days where I just lay on the couch and try my very best to keep DS happy while I'm utterly miserable. I find being out & about with him is easier because I can just sit down & rest while he plays with friends, but this is draining too, and requires a lot of preparation & effort just to get out.

DH does his best to pitch in & plays a lot 1-on-1 with DS plus does most of the cooking/cleaning/laundry, but he works long hours and falls asleep way too early & easily in the evening... We struggle. Really struggle, and DS is an incredibly high-needs kid with some special needs as well.

Of course I feel guilty. It really sucks. greensad.gif Every time I start a new medication or supplement I get so hopeful that *this one* will be the one to make me semi-functional again. I am with DS virtually 24/7 but I feel like I'm missing out on so many opportunities with him. I feel sad for him & for me, and I have a lot of guilt & shame around needing so much of DH, and not being able to do the things other moms do.

I wish I could offer some advice but I don't have much. Sometimes I break down & cry but mostly I try not to dwell on it too much.

hug.gif So sorry you are struggling. And give the GF diet some time, it can take a little while for your body to adjust. Also take a look at your new diet and see if there are any new foods or anything you are eating in larger quantities than you were before going GF. Maybe you're intolerant to something in your GF diet. I find I have to minimize rice and most grains, which were things I relied on a lot when I first went gluten-free.

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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#4 of 4 Old 12-22-2012, 10:26 PM
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I have food allergies/intolerances, as does my son. I have gone through difficult times, because of a new food issue, an increase in sensitivity to an existing food issue, a change in a recipe of a previously trusted food, and the like. With my dairy allergy, depression is one of my symptoms. My son had to learn to recognize it, and deal with it. I did some play acting when he was 9 or 10, to help him with it. He learned much better than his father.

When dealing with food issues, you just do what you can, when you can. Guilt is not helpful. It's not like you did anything to cause the situation.

Do your best to take care of yourself and your children. Be diligent about keeping gluten free. I hope you feel better soon!
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