Coping: Be Prepared

I don’t know about you, but it took me a while to figure out the best way to cope and reduce my anxiety for an upcoming medical procedure.

This is what I have learned:

  • Gather the facts; get your hands on age-appropriate information (only from a trusted source like UKNOW, the age-appropriate medical information database on Upopolis). Research tells us that our imagination is so much worse than the truth.
  • Write down your questions. After you’ve read up, write down any questions that have popped up. If you have time before you go to a test or procedure check-in with your Child Life Specialist or someone from your healthcare team. If you don’t have time to meet before, bring your questions to your procedure, ask them there.
  • Go over the procedure in your mind. Visualize it. Pay attention to what you are doing during the procedure. Are you watching? Are your eyes closed? Do you want to know what’s happening next?
  • Bring an object of comfort with you. Do you like music? Do you like to read? Do you have something you like to snuggle with? You may not be allowed to bring it into the procedure but it will be really nice to have it right after.
  • Finally, reflect. What worked? What didn’t work? Write it down so you can bring these findings with you next time.

I found the biggest thing for me was reflecting. Getting to know and understand myself and how my body reacts in times of stress was HUGE in helping me conquer my anxiety. What works for you[ ?

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