In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, the Center of Excellence for Pectus, wants to remind parents and caregivers to be diligent about their mental health so they don’t burn out during this stressful time. Dr. LoSasso, one of the world’s leading physicians for treating pectus excavatum, regularly sees the stress parents and caregivers experience when a child has a serious condition or is about to undergo surgery.
A child’s stress can trigger the same anxiety in a parent and vice versa. The high incidence of what has been termed “toxic stress” has serious repercussions in terms of disease, suffering, and financial expenses. Almost 80% percent of Americans claim that they experience physical symptoms as a result of stress and nearly half of adults cite stress for adversely impacting their personal and professional lives. A child’s illness can exacerbate these symptoms significantly, and it is in everyone’s interest to devise appropriate coping mechanisms.
Based on his experience, Dr. LoSasso recommends a number of steps that should be taken if to effectively manage stress levels when tending to an ailing child. None of them are overly involved or difficult, Dr. LoSasso notes, but with consistency, can help lower stress and protect mental health. First, work to avoid external stimulants like alcohol or drugs: a short-term crutch has a longer-lasting, detrimental effect on well-being and capacity to be ‘present’ for a child.
In addition to proper nutrition and plenty of sunshine, parents and caregivers are advised to accept help – willingly and gratefully – from family and loved ones. While it may be tempting to do all of the regular tasks to keep life moving along, in an attempt to feel a measure of normalcy, allowing others to help can dramatically reduce stress levels. Many times, friends and extended family feel helpless and hopeless, too. Letting them help out, even in small ways, reduces their stress as well.
By the same token, it is vital that parents and caretakers simply take care of themselves – this, too, is what the suffering child needs. Getting outside, eating right, employing natural relaxation techniques, being kind to yourself, and leaning on loved ones will help enormously to reduce the stress associated with an ill child.
With over 1,000 successful pectus excavatum surgeries completed, Dr. LoSasso – with one of the only centers to also treat Pectus in adults – is well-regarded by peers and patients not only for his surgical skills but also for his compassion.
One patient commented, “Doctor LoSasso is a complete professional with an outstanding bedside manner. He takes the time to explain everything in detail, go over everything so you understand, and answers all of your questions. Doctor LoSasso keeps to his word for timeframes and gives you his feelings and opinions as if he was you.”
Go to https://www.nussprocedure.com if a loved one has been diagnosed with or suspect they may have pectus excavatum.
Center of Excellence for Pectus
Center of Excellence for Pectus
30 West Century Road
Suite 235 Paramus
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Sounder Mirror journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.