When a child is struggling with a disease, parents seek the best specialists and treatments for them. It is important to find people who are not only professionals in their field, but also approach each patient individually and with empathy.

At the Paley European Institute, the patient is looked after by a whole team of specialists who help him through the meanders of the treatment process. After the initial consultations and tests, the patient receives his individual plan, which includes complete and reliable information about the treatment path from the beginning to the end of the therapeutic process.

Our team is open to conversation and accompanying patients at every stage of treatment. We encourage our patients to actively participate in the whole process – ask questions, share their doubts, anxiety, but also successes and moments of joy.

In the treatment process, the medical staff and the patients have traditionally focused mainly on the body. However, more and more specialists, including employees of the Paley European Institute, as well as patients pay attention to the aspect of emotions and mental health. The body is inseparably connected with the mentality. Studies have reported that depression or anxiety disorders occurring before or after surgery may slow down and hinder wound healing, resulting in patients spending longer periods in the hospital. With this in mind, a psychologist is at the disposal of our patients, with whom every patient can meet at every stage of the treatment.

When a disease affects us, it affects not only the body, but also our well-being. You have to face pain, disappointment, and lost hopes. Putting your health in the hands of another person makes us extremely vulnerable and can cause a number of strong emotions. Patients who choose to undergo treatment at the Paley European Institute are usually those who require long-term physical therapy and medical care. They often need several surgical interventions to improve the quality of their lives. Hence, an extremely important role is played by preparation for this process and obtaining support – not only informative, but also emotional.

Patients undergoing elective orthopedic surgery are in a slightly more comfortable position than those who need emergency surgery. They have time to prepare themselves physically and mentally for what lies ahead. Treatment anxiety, however, is a natural thing and cannot be completely eliminated.

During the operation, the body suffers controlled trauma. And, although the body can recover quickly and efficiently, the mind needs more time for it. Hence, it happens that patients report sleep disturbances and mood swings for some time after surgery. The most common ailment in this regard usually concerns a drop in energy and a depressed mood. Everything should be back into balance within a few weeks of surgery. However, any disturbing mood changes (including prolonged ones) should be discussed with your doctor, physical therapist or psychologist. At times like this, it is better to act in an exaggerated fashion than to be too late.

In the treatment process, the patient’s parents are as important as the patient. Parents usually operate at high speed and are fully mobilized in treating their children. Although it is difficult, especially when all responsibilities rest on the shoulders of one person, it is also worth taking a look at your adult emotions. Being overloaded with matters related to caring for a child sometimes leads to a situation where, after the treatment stage is completed and when it is time to temporarily calm down, the parent experiences a significant drop in mood, intense anxiety or a strong cold. Finally, the body does not need to mobilize and instead of spending time on a dreamy rest, it comes to release all the tensions that have accumulated so far.

When starting treatment, it is worth considering your expectations related to the therapeutic process. Everyone dreams of being healthy and fit. Especially when he is a parent and thinks about his child. If you want the best for your child, you can easily fall into the trap of excessive expectations as to the effects of the treatment. Therefore, it is a good idea to discuss everything carefully with your healthcare professional so that you know what is possible and what is not. It is also worth including the child in such a conversation, especially when he is old enough to talk about his plans and hopes. Ask your child how he or she imagines the healing process and what changes they would like to experience. Some of them are sure to happen. Others may not be feasible, in which case it is worth addressing the emotions associated with regret and disappointment.

Sometimes you have to wait a long time for the effects of treatment. In the meantime, discouragement and “what’s all this for?” Was it really worth it? Recalling why we started the treatment and what effects it will bring may be a helpful strategy. For children, it may well work to record videos of, for example, subsequent physical therapy classes, and then compare how much progress has already been made. Visualizing what we have already achieved is extremely motivating. It shows us that it was worth the effort.


Sources of knowledge and inspiration thanks to which this article was created:

Britteon, P., Cullum, N., & Sutton, M. (2017). Association between psychological health and wound complications after surgery. British Journal of Surgery