There is so much to learn when becoming a young adult and dealing with a chronic condition. It may seem overwhelming, and you may wonder who is going to help you, and what are the most important things you should know as you begin this journey.
Watch this video to learn some of the best advice from young adults who have been in your shoes.
If available, the option to go to medical camp in the summer helps kids and teens with chronic conditions learn independence, and helps parents realize it’s safe for their children to practice more independence with the support of people outside the family. This broadens the base of support for young people and does not replace family support. Campers of all ages ask questions and share information about their medications with those who have a common experience. They learn and support one another and take these new skills back to their lives outside of camp. Older children start to consider their options after high school. Many counselors have been previous campers and bring a whole new perspective from having made the step of increased independence and self-care
Taking medicines is a big part of staying as healthy as possible for people, of all ages, with chronic conditions. If you’re feeling well, it does not mean your disease is cured. You are in remission because of the medications, and when you stop taking your medicines, your symptoms can return or possibly become worse. How you feel is not the only indicator of good disease control and management.
As you transition to adult healthcare, college and employment, your care team at CHOP and Penn Medicine is here to help, and to answer any questions. Don’t be afraid to ask!
Believing in yourself is important as you transition. With your help, the help of your family and your care team, you will get through the rough times. Our goal is to make you feel better and to investigate better treatments and even cures for your disease.
The nationally renowned gastroenterology team at Penn Medicine applies the same principles as CHOP in caring for pediatric and adolescent patients and their families —“What's good for the patients? What's good for their families? How can we make their experience better?” They are here to help you.