I don't know how to deal with this


Hi everyone,

I’m 18 years old, about to graduate HS, and I live with my parents. Well, my dad has Parkinson’s disease. My parents never outright told me anything about this when I was younger. When I was about 14 I learned mainly through inferring what was going on. My dad never talks about it, I think he just wants to live as normally as possible and I give him that. My mom is famous for telling me all this stuff about how sick he is and all of this upsetting stuff just out of the blue…like “You see how bad your daddy was shaking today, it’s all that medicine” and it just upsets me because nobody is upfront about anything. My dad is having surgery to relieve some of his symptoms soon, and my mom didn’t tell me anything but “Oh it won’t interfere with your graduation, it’s in the summer…” and then just as he left she’s telling me all of this stuff that I didn’t know and it upsets me. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to deal with seeing him go through the surgery because I have never seen, heard, or even thought about him being sick even though he is because my parents cover it up. The whole thing has been under hush hush, and now I feel like it’s BAM! in front of my face. I don’t even know how to talk to my parents about that. I wish they wouldn’t treat me like a child and would let me in on this.

Can someone help me, give me any advice at all? I really don’t know how to deal with any of this.

Thank you, everyone! God bless, Happy Easter, and Venerable John Paul II, pray for us!



Maybe if you calmly told your mother what you just told us, and then asked her to let you talk to the family doctor, it might be a way to get some clarity.


I've found that sometimes when it's really difficult to have a conversation with someone about something that you need to "get it all out there" and don't want to get side tracked or interrupted, it is helpful to write it in a letter. Write it all down, and sit with your mother as she reads it, and insist that she not just blow it off or take it off on her own to read it alone. She reads it, gets your full story, then you just look at her and say - "Mom, I love you, and we need to talk about this. I'm not a baby anymore."

Good luck, and prayers for your father and all of you. I'm sure this is a very scary time for you.



[quote="Maturinus, post:2, topic:237674"]
Maybe if you calmly told your mother what you just told us, and then asked her to let you talk to the family doctor, it might be a way to get some clarity.


Was about to write the same. You are no longer a child but an adult. Call and ask if you can talk to the doctor. He might or might not see you probably because of his schedule. See if you can talk to the nurse assistant. Start reading everything you can about the disease. Michael Fox suffers from it and has written books about it. Understand that your mother says things because she needs to vent. Tell her you are there for her but you need to know all that is going on. Tell her you love them both and you are no longer a child. It is now your call as to how much you wish to involve yourself, not hers. Believe me, she'll be relieved to have even your emotional support. You are a good son. :yeah_me::blessyou:


I know someone in a similar situation who was not allowed to talk with the doctor without a patient release.

It sounds like your family is going through a lot. The hospital may have a support group for relatives, and this may be good for both you and your mother.


Everyone has been giving you excellent advice. The hospital should have a counsellor or a social worker that can direct you to someone to help you in this. If it is a Catholic hospital there should be a Catholic chaplain who can talk with you. Write down how you are feeling so you can communicate with those who can help.
Your concerns are very real. My prayers are with you.


Definitly agree with everyone else’s advice. My family isn’t very open about this kind of thing either…when my uncle was diagnosed with ALS everyone tried to keep it on the down low, until the end when he died :frowning: I think covering things up is a sort of defense mechanism…serious illnesses and surgeries are hard to face. However, if you don’t face them head on it will be harder when, like you said, it all comes up at once. I’ll be praying for your dad :slight_smile:


try to research the disease on the internet that may help


You will get through this. You may have to repeat that to yourself a hundred times a day (been there, done that), but it is true. There are many good suggestions here; you will want to talk to someone. Maybe a guidance counselor?

In the meantime, might I hazard one suggestion: do not read too much on the internet. Or if you are surfing related sites, remind yourself that your dad is not every one of these symptoms or scenarios. It can get overwhelming, quickly.:shrug:

You will get through this. :wink:


My thought precisely.:thumbsup:


First, my prayers are with you and your family. We went through something similar when I was a little younger than you.

I agree with the other posters about asking your parents to let you talk to the doctor and hear the explanations of the condition, treatment, and surgery. Understanding it will make it a LOT less stressful for you.

Also, PRAY. You will hear this advice over and over again, and you will probably not take it seriously at first, but really: PRAY! If you feel like your prayer is ineffective, try going into your church and praying there. If you are comfortable, ask your priest to pray with you. It will lift your spirits and help you through this, I promise.


Your parents are probably trying to spare you the worry and concerns related to your Dad’s health. In some calm moment, sit them down and tell them that you are 18 and an adult now and you would appreciate being advised on what is happening with your Dad’s illness. Then when they do tell you, take the information as calmly as you can and offer your support in any way, big or small, and of course, pray, pray, pray for the sucess of your Dad’s surgery this summer.


I think I'm going to ask if I can come along to his next doctor's appointment. I'll be off of school. I deeply appreciate the prayerful support.



Your mom probably finds it difficult to break this issue to you, so she waits until some symptom is physically obvious to do so. Possibly also she thinks she is protecting the last part of your “school days.”

Bringing your concern out into the open will save both of you a lot of tension.

He is risen, ICXC NIKA


That would be the best thing, really. There is a law called HIPPA that prevents the doctor from talking to you about your father’s or anyone else’s medical condition unless they have signed a waiver. But if you are along for the appointment you can ask questions and get more information.

Tell your mother that you need more information or you will worry yourself sick and not know the facts. Tell her that with the facts, you can help her more, and help your dad more. Tell her it’s time she started treating you like an adult, because you are one, not a child.


This must be so hard for you. I’m sure you are praying for your dad. Let God have all your fears and concerns. And take it one day at a time. Get more information and stay focused on God!

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