For Teens_848x280

For Teens

For Teens

Being diagnosed with an eosinophil-associated disease is life changing. In addition to physical symptoms, there are also social and emotional obstacles you must learn to cope with. It’s okay to be sad and/or angry that you have this disease that makes life more difficult. But, life isn’t over – you just have to be more creative about doing the things you want to do.

Coping

  • Become knowledgeable. Seek out reliable information from APFED, PubMed.gov, and your health care providers to learn more.
  • Focus on what you can do, not on what you can’t. Get involved in activities or in your community.
  • Connect with others who struggle with similar issues by joining a local support group, or start your own. Get your parent’s permission to join APFED’s Online Community.
  • Stay positive. Creativity and a good attitude will go a long way in learning to live with an eosinophil-associated disease.
  • If your treatment plan involves dietary restrictions, focus on non-food activities.
  • Ask for help. Be honest with family, friends, and professional if you are feeling down, depressed, or anxious. If you are having difficulty coping, get help early. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist who understands the psychological impact of chronic disease.

At School

  • Find at least one trusted adult, maybe a nurse or a counselor, who understands your health needs.
  • If you are having trouble keeping up with your schoolwork because you’re not feeling well, ask for extra time and other accommodations before your grades suffer. Sometimes there are official forms to fill out (504 or IEP plans) to allow for special accommodations.
  • When you find yourself missing a lot of school, try to keep your homework up to date by communicating with your teachers and/or asking a friend to bring you material from class or books that you need.  When you return to school, make it a point to meet with your teachers in person to discuss make up work that may be necessary.
  • Ask a friend to tutor you so that you stay up to date on what is being taught in class, or speak to the school’s guidance counselor about other tutoring options or what online courses might be available in your state.

At Work

  • When looking for employment, carefully examine the medical benefits, including health insurance coverage and short- and long-term disability
  • Communicate with your boss and coworkers about special needs you may have.
  • If you have dietary restrictions:
    • Bring your own meals and snacks.
    • If employees are not allowed to eat at their workspace and it’s not safe for you to enter the eating area, ask for an exception.
    • When planning social activities after hours, suggest activities or places where you can comfortably bring your own food.

At Play

  • If you have diet restrictions, call ahead to restaurants to see if they can prepare safe foods for you. Keep a stash of safe foods handy at all times so that you have access to something to eat and aren’t tempted to make a poor decision because you are hungry.
  • When going on a date or hanging out with friends, suggestplans that don’t involve food. Go for a bike ride, play a round of mini golf,window shop at a mall.

Taking Care of Yourself

Since childhood, you’ve been gradually taking on new responsibilities as you mature. Learning to take care of your eosinophil-associated disease and how to manage your life accordingly is part of the process of transitioning into adulthood.

Managing chronic illness is a lifelong process.  To do this successfully, you must make appropriate choices when it comes to

  • sticking with your treatment plan,
  • monitoring your symptoms, and
  • responding to symptoms when they occur.

Your goal is to optimize your overall health and well-being.

 

Other Resources

EoE and the Six Food Elimination Diet (post on Neocate’s Food Allergy Living Blog)