October 1, 2011

The Impact of Disease on Childhood

Somewhere between the ages of 8 and 10, my father became seriously ill from the effects of diabetes. He did not handle this well and would not follow Doctor's orders on how to become healthier. I remember he was recommended to lose a significant amount of weight, stop smoking and exercise more. Well, he did not want to believe the Doctors. Dad would say "Those doctors do not know what they are talking about."

Fast forward a few years, my father ends up being hospitalized for a few weeks because his organs were failing and sugar levels were really high. The stress on me caused me to be hurt by my father, emotionally. I could not understand why he would not take care of himself and want to be there for me and my sisters.

Another few years would go by, and he would be hospitalized again. Only this time, for much longer than 2 weeks. Seeing my father in the hospital was heart-breaking, scary, and emotional. At this time, I became angry with my father for neglecting to listen to what the Doctors had been telling him for years. When he got out of the hospital this time, my sisters and I all told him to stop smoking, especially because he relied on the use of an oxygen tank. Did that make him stop? No! It was at this time, that I began reducing the amount of time spent with my father, because I was so upset with him. He also became very lazy, relying on my mom or sisters to help him with daily functions - putting on shoes, fixing a plate for dinner, or even getting the television remote from across the room! I could not believe it! He was giving up on every part of life... I ended up seeing a counselor throughout high school and into college because I was so angry about my father's poor lifestyle choices. 

May 16, 2010 - My father becomes ill with pneumonia, and goes into a coma because of labored breathing.  The doctors put him on a ventilator, and he is forced to breathe for a month, doing little work on his own. On June 21, 2010, my father would let go of this world and go on to Heaven with the angels and his own mother. Again, I was distraught, my Wedding was planned for April 9, 2011 and now he cannot be there to walk me down the aisle. 

Looking back, my father's choices led to a lot of sadness and depression in me that stemmed from his lack of control over his diabetes.

Poland's Stressors on Children

I chose to research stressors in Poland as that is my father's nationality. The effects of previous wars and poor government policy have led to poverty in Poland. This has led to many of the children there being abandoned at orphanages, so their parents can leave and find better opportunities in other countries, such as England. Older children that are neglected turn to running away, stealing and truancy issues. Again, problems that arise when a family is living in poor conditions. 
There are also limited play areas for children growing up in Poland as the land has deteriorated from the wars and development. 
Another stressor on children in Poland is child prostitution:
According to the Baltic Sea States Support Group, the number of children engaged in prostitution increases every year. In 1995, the number of girls 12 to 14 years of age engaged in prostitution was estimated to 100-150. The number had increased to 400 in 1996."

Dobbie, P. (2006 July). Polish children dumped by parents heading for Britain. Mail Online.
Retrieved October 1, 2011 from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-398233/Polish-children-dumped-parents-heading-Britain.html

The Baltic Sea States Support Group. (1998 March)Commercial sexual exploitation of children in the
baltic sea region. Retrieved on October 1, 2011 from http://www.sasian.org/legal/baltic/baltic2.htm

RIP: Daniel Kielbasa  - 9/7/1954 - 6/21/2010 -  I love you Daddy!


  1. Clara,
    I too have a father that left this world at the very young age of 58, one week after his birthday. Alcohol was his drug of choice which led to his diabetes. I am grateful that he did listen to his physician (ten years earlier) when he was diagnosed because in addition to his diabetes, his liver was in bad shape due to the alcohol. My father stop drinking, his abusive behavior ceased, he started attending church with my mom and became such a wonder man.

    I am grateful that I made my piece with my father prior to his passing but like you I was impacted by his choices and behavior. When I saw the wonderful relationship he developed with my two boys, I was happy for my children but sad for myself that I missed out on that same quality. I am grateful for God’s intervention 10 years before his passing as it gave us a man (my father) that loved his children even if it was for a short time.

    How tragic and scary for the children and the families of Poland. As I was reaching the different countries this week, I was overcome with emotion as I read some of the articles of what other countries endure; it is difficult to put it into words because of the living conditions they are forced to live with.



  2. Clara I understand exactly what you mean, my mother died at age 42 due to diabetes. She used to drink alcohol heavily when her and my father split up. She did not take care of herself until it is too late. We as people must utilize healthcare when available and think about the family members and friends that it will effect when we don't take care of ourselves.