a mother ponders over the possessions and items her children have left behind in the the mudroom

How The Kids Feel When A Parent Has Hepatitis C

In a family with hepatitis C patients, the emotional rollercoaster that happens brings many insecurities. It's a challenge for the caregiver/partner to be alert and pay attention to everything around us. My kids rarely shared their feelings. They wanted to be strong, and since we didn't have family members together with us, it was more difficult. When asked about her feelings, I remember my youngest one telling me, “Mom, you have so many things on your shoulder right now; I don't want to make you more worried!”. That was a big moment for me. I cried a lot after that, just imagining how my kids were feeling inside.

Dealing with school when a parent is sick

Kids can be afraid to lose their parents. My kids were in middle school when my husband started getting worst. It is essential to go to the school and share what is going on in your family with the counselor. Many kids don't tell their friends, don't share their feelings, and start to get worst emotionally; it can lead them to get depressed or aggressive. They can isolate themselves or distract themselves with things like drugs, alcohol, sex... anything that can make them feel, at least for a while, that the emotional pain goes away. If you tell the school that a parent is sick, the counselor can be in touch with the teachers and be alert if anything changes with your kids. Keep in mind that their school performance can be unstable, but you must let the teachers know because some of them can have a different interpretation of that. Please consider additional help if your kids need it. If you and your partner are going through this challenging journey with hepatitis C, keep in mind how it might affect your kids.

Explaining to your kids how hepatitis C is transmitted

Another thing that you must explain to your kids is about how hepatitis C is transmitted. Unfortunately, many people don't know about it until today, giving people the wrong ideas about it, and it can make the kids uncomfortable. Make it clear that hep C is not transmitted with hugs, shaking hands, playing together, or eating or drinking with the same utensils. Please, let them know that it can be transmitted with blood to blood. In case some friends' parents know you have a family member with hepatitis C, make it clear how it can and cannot spread.

Don't put your emotions inside a box

Anxiety, depression, and panic attacks are the ones that can hit your family. There are so many holistic therapies out there that can help. If your child's doctor agrees, please consider it before giving medicine to your kids (which do have risks of side effects). When we learn to control our thoughts and feelings and start to understand it, we can help ourselves, but when we load our body with so many pills, we run the risk of just putting our emotions in a closed box. Your kids are going to feel the results in a terrible way when they get adults. I know it's challenging, but everyone needs to understand that we can handle our emotions differently. Hepatitis C will not define our families' feelings; We are the ones that will give it a different meaning.

Consider visiting my Instagram @_unlockyourthoughts page if you want to learn more about how to help your family. I'm a Spiritual awakening coach, and share my tips and advice for navigating health challenges such as hepatitis C.

Who have you shared your hep C diagnosis with? How did your relationship change?
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