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It is not easy to begin talking about problems with other people. That is human nature. When you have a child with a heart problem, it may be difficult to talk about it with him, your other children or your partner. However, once you discuss it, you may feel the problem is easier to handle. Parents have told us talking with others helps them begin to handle their thoughts and feelings about the heart disease.
The following charts give examples of statements to use when you want to begin a discussion. The charts are divided into comments directed toward your partner, your child with heart disease and your other children. They are further divided into comments when talking about (1) the diagnosis, (2) trips to the hospital and (3) day-to-day life. You may need to change the wording to make it appropriate for a child of a particular age.
It is important to have family discussions about the heart diagnosis and its implications at different times over the years. Ongoing discussion is important because your children will have an increased ability to understand the heart problem as they mature. In addition, the diagnosis must be re-explored since its emotional impact on family members changes with time. Our staff is always available to help with these discussions.
Encourage your family, and especially your child with heart disease, to talk about the problem. This will help you feel more comfortable and bring you closer. It also will let everyone know this or any problem can be discussed when they have concerns or questions.
Listed below are several events and comments/questions for each that may help you with your discussions.
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
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