What to Do When Your Parent Becomes Sick

Katie Sweeney
PHOTO:

Cultiver

Whether it’s a stroke, a bad fall, breast cancer, or an incurable rare skin disease, when a parent becomes sick, your life instantly changes. You’re forced to grow up in ways that you never imagined. Suddenly, you find yourself on an emotional roller coaster—one second, you feel angry; the next, overwhelmed, stressed, or upset. All of these reactions are instinctual and natural. Dealing with a sick parent is difficult, and no matter what people tell you or what you read in this article, it’s hard to actually prepare. You can only deal once the diagnosis has been made. My family has been handling my father’s health issues—a rare incurable skin disease followed by congestive heart failure followed by a severe brain injury with stroke-like results—for six years now. If you’ve just learned that your mom or dad is experiencing a medical crisis, I’m sorry. It’s not easy, but here’s what you should do when a parent becomes sick. 

Have you dealt with a sick parent? What happened? How did you cope?

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