The Trickle Down Affect of Illness

My extended family is dealing with an illness, and I'm experiencing the trickle down affect of that illness.

Illness upsets the equilibrium of family life. The patterns, routines, and focus change when a family member is ill.

The illness we face is small compared to the tremendous challenges others have faced and still face today--the day in-day out disruption that illness creates.

As I think about this tonight, I realize that you have to make changes when a family member is ill. You have to make changes in routines, commitments, expectations, and time.

More than anything you have to make sure that you care for the essentials so that the caretakers are healthy and able to give. You also have to realize that there's a limit to what you can give. No one is superhuman so while you give your best, you can't give it all. That's a delicate balance. You have to be cognizant of the needs of those around you too--how can you support them while still supporting your ill relative or friend.

As an educator this experience also reminds me of the care we need to take when students we teach face illness in their families. We have to alter our expectations for these children and care for them more.

Illness has a trickle down affect that challenges familiar routines and practice. It can also help you to determine what's most important in life and bring the people and activities you cherish most to the forefront of your days.


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