Re: How to discuss chronic illnesses with family?
Family dynamics are very interesting. If you have a sibling or best friend that can help you hold a family meeting and just lay it out there you will feel better and they will appreciate being in the know. Plan this meeting before you have it. Do notecards or whatever to keep you focused and sure you have covered everything you feel you need to. You could even have a handout or leaflet to give to them to answer questions when you are done presenting. I would have an opening (the reason you are all here) Get into the facts of what this means. and close with what you ask/expect/want from them. Be prepared to answer questions and if you dont have the answers direct them to where they might find them.
Be prepared for different family dynamics. Fear that it might happen to them. Fear of what that means for them. Fear of losing you or you being hurt. Some people feel helpless unless they can help in some way...be prepared for what you could have them do for you. Take it all for what its worth. Everyones reaction maybe different. Just remember you cant control them and you cant fix them and they cant fix you. They are human. Being prepared is your best bet. Next be ready for anything and maybe have your friend log/journal the meeting.
I believe being prepared will help alleviate everyone of your fears. If you can enlist a friend or family member to help do so. I suggest if you do this around the holidays do it before the actual holiday or after. If getting the actual family together is impossible, you could always present the entire meeting on paper. If you do this, prepare it, edit it, finish it and sit it aside for at least a week. Go back and reread it to see if anything needs changed. Being matter afact and non emotional is best when presenting the actual info.You can be as emotional as you want in your closing. I wish you the best!