Band-Aides and Blackboards:
When Chronic Illness...or
Some Other Medical Problem...
Tell or Not to Tell, That is the Question
Goes to School
Some kinds of medical
conditions are visible, and other kinds are invisible. Because people can't
actually see them, lots of kids decide to keep them secret. They don't
tell their classmates about them. They may not tell their teachers about
them. Even their dogs and cats might not know about them. You may think
that's strange, but here's why secrets seem necessary to these kids...
are nobody else's business."
"if my classmates
knew, they would make fun of me."
"if I told
people, they'd treat me differently--special--that would be awful!"
found out, they would stop being my friends."
would stare at me. It would be horrible!"
Now, lots of kids
with medical conditions don't feel that way. Here's why they decide to
tell other people and NOT to keep secrets...
to keep secrets from your friends."
have a secret, it's like I'm carrying a backpack with a bowling ball in
people about my problem is like telling them that I trust them. That I
Then they understand when I have to go to the hospital."
I explain what I have to do every day to stay healthy, my friends sort
of respect me."
So what do
you think? If you have suggestions for this page, whisper in my ear to
tell me what they are!
Or, if you'd
prefer, tap the frog on its back to hop on over to the table of contents!
Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
Professor of Nursing, Lehman College, CUNY
Bronx, New York 10468
updated: November 14, 2004