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The Shadow Of Illness Case Study

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In the Shadow of Illness, the book describes different experiences of families who have or had children with cystic fibrosis (CF). CF is an inherited disease that is passed on from the mother or father who is a carrier, but doesn’t have the condition. Doctors have figured that in this scenario, the parents are likely to have a child with CF. Individuals with CF have to take Cotazymes to help the pancreas digest food. If the person does not take these enzymes, the food goes straight through them as diarrhea. Also, the person’s lungs are affected by a thick mucus that must be removed or thinned before it clogs. Doctors recommend the patient to perform daily breathing exercises that prevent the mucus from thickening; for example, swimming…show more content…
Mrs. Farrington was constantly worrying about allowing him out of the house or be with other kids. The hospital constantly kept correcting this behavior by stating that she needs to allow him to be like other kids but sometimes it was her first instinct to prevent hospitalization. Mainly Cody is hospitalized due to weight loss or to clean mucus out of his lungs completely. Unlike Mrs. Farrington who has to deal with the medical treatments daily, her husband is in more denial. When Cody becomes sick he understands to call the hospital but Mr. Farrington has no understanding of Cody’s medicine and such. Though studies have shown that children who are cared by their mother recover faster and are discharged earlier, Mr. Farrington behavior is very concerning (Family-Centered Care and the Pediatrician’s Role, 692). He avoids the topic overall by working constantly. Mrs. Farrington finds this behavior to be strange because if something negative happened to her, Mr. Farrington needs to know these treatments, so they aren’t neglected or performed incorrectly. However, this arrangement between the parents is not very healthy because the stress of Cody condition is completely Mrs. Farrington burden. This makes Mrs. Farrington struggle giving her other children the fair attention they deserve as…show more content…
Farrington strives for the entire family to understand why Cody constantly goes to the hospital. Mrs. Farrington has noticed in her children that they have different comprehensions and involvement of Cody’s condition. Holly, who is thirteen years old, understands everything her mom knows about the disease. However, Heather, who is ten years old, doesn’t ask many question. They both understand that Cody needs to take certain enzymes for every time he eats and is required to take vitamins. They also understand that when Cody gets a cold, it is taken very serious and that he might need to go to the hospital. Mrs. Farrington has never explained to her children that Cody has the potential to die, but she feels they are all too young to understand or cope with this knowledge. However, if Cody did come to a point that he could die, the siblings may struggle coping even more unless their mother was honest about the potential situation. She would like them to treat Cody as any other sibling would without that concern. However, the children feel that Cody is
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