i'm terrified.

so my parents smoke a lot but my dad has been worse off with his health for a long time. he has asthma and he used to drink a lot so it’s not really a surprise that the effects of his past issues with alcohol combined with the heavy smoking is causing him health problems that seems to have gotten worse.

his coughs genuinely scare me and he’s started audibly wheezing too and now i’m so so worried that he might have lung cancer or some fatal health problem. to make matters worse, each time i visit my family doctor, he asks me to ask my dad to get a lung checkup to make sure everything is okay but every time i tell me dad that he pretends everything is okay and brushes me off or he gets angry at me. he’s put it off for so long but only now has he actually looked for a lung specialist to get checked.

i’m so scared that it might be too late by then or he’ll get angry at the doctor for her diagnosis or treatment plans and try to brush her off too. i’m so so scared that i might lose him. i don’t have the best relationship with either of my parents but between the two, my relationship with him was better so i’m really really afraid of losing him. i’m not sure what i would do with myself if that happens.

i’ve also realised that i’m subconsiously preparing for the worst? like since he’s the sole breadwinner of our household, i’ve started stocking up on items just in case (i unknowingly blew $230 today and that worsened ny anxiety of being a burden on my family financially) or i’ve started distancing myself. the whole distancing and isolating part is so contradictory but i think i do that just so i can stop the constant anxiety of losing someone that has such a big impact on my life. i’m 17 going on 18 and my mom is quite emotionally unstable as it is, without my dad around she’s more likely to have episodes and i don’t know how i’m going to be able to manage without him both emotionally and physically.

i don’t know, i’m just so stressed about this. i hate it. i wish i could stop thinking about myself and spending money just in case my dad needs it.

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Hi @plvto

Thank you for sharing your worries with us, I hear you and it sounds like you’re carrying a tremendous weight on your shoulders, and it’s completely understandable to feel overwhelmed and scared in this situation. Watching a loved one struggle with their health can be incredibly distressing, especially when it feels like they’re not taking the steps needed to address it.

Your concern for your dad’s health is palpable, and it’s clear that you care deeply for him :slight_smile: It’s natural to feel a mix of emotions, including fear, frustration, and helplessness, when faced with the possibility of losing someone important to you. The fact that you’re also considering the practical implications, such as the financial impact and the potential emotional strain on your mom, shows a great deal of maturity and responsibility on your part.

It’s important to recognize that while you want to support your dad and your family, you also need to take care of yourself. It’s okay to feel anxious and to struggle with the uncertainty of the situation. You’re doing the best you can with the tools you have, and it’s important to acknowledge that.

I was wondering if you would like to try out these 2 suggestions:

  1. While it’s challenging when your dad brushes off your concerns, it’s important to keep trying to communicate with him about his health in a compassionate and non-confrontational manner. You could let him know how much you care about him and how his health impacts you. Set boundaries around discussions about his health to avoid conflict, but also make it clear that you’re there to support him when he’s ready to address it :slight_smile:

  2. Try to focus on what you can control :slight_smile: It’s natural to feel overwhelmed by the uncertainty of your dad’s health and its potential impact on your family. However, try to focus on what you can control in the present moment. This might include taking care of your own physical and emotional well-being, staying on top of your schoolwork, and finding healthy ways to cope with stress. By focusing on the things you can control, you can regain a sense of agency and reduce feelings of helplessness.

Remember, you’re not alone in this! It’s okay to ask for help! I would also encourage you to speak to a counsellor or someone whom you trust about this issue, so that you can receive the support that you need in this time.

Let us know how you’re coping? We’ll be here for you.

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That’s completely understandable. I think you’re just protecting yourself (emotionally) as you try to navigate this complexity.

What does your mum think about your dad’s health? As children, I find it hard to convince my parents to take better care of their health too. But if it comes from their spouse then maybe they’ll take it more seriously.

Also are you an only child? Is there anyone else in the family that you can share this with and who will be able to talk to your dad for you too?

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my mom has always used me to talk to my dad about serious things ever since i was a child, from his alcohol use to divorce threats so this has been no different. but i’ve kind of just been telling her to try talking to him herself about it and she has but she’s always joked about it instead of talking about it seriously with him, but i think that’s just because she also knows how irritated he gets when he feels people are bossing him around. i don’t really talk to my mom much about more vulnerable stuff.

yeah, i’m an only child

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Your mum probably knows your dad best and is trying her way to get her message into his head.

Besides your mum, is there anyone else that your dad “listens” to? Eg your dad’s family or friends that you know of.

I had a lot of trouble convincing my mum to take her regular meds too. And when I tell her that if you don’t take it, you might just die from high blood pressure. Guess what her response is? Just let me die lor

So I can understand how you’re stressed feeling right now. But you’re doing your best and that is enough.

I hope your dad’s checkup with the specialist goes well, let us know how it went!

Hi @plvto thanks for sharing. I’m sorry to hear about the stress you’re going through with your dad’s health. It’s completely normal to feel scared and anxious in such a situation. Encourage your dad to follow through with the lung specialist’s advice. Take small steps to manage your own anxiety, like talking to someone you trust or seeking professional help. Remember, it’s okay to prioritize your mental well-being. While it’s natural to prepare for the worst, try not to overly burden yourself. Take things one step at a time, and seek support when needed. You’re not alone in this, and there are resources available to help you navigate through these challenging times. Take care. :orange_heart:

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