Supporting Family Member with Premature Ovarian Failure
Q: I have a lovely thirty-two year old, single daughter that was diagnosed with POF about six years ago. How important is it that she is open to discussing, researching and understanding the issue? She totally avoids the subject and is not interested in the knowledge and plans that I suggest might help her heal and would help her look forward to the next phase of her life. She is just not ready.
A: Boy, parenting is hard and it doesn’t necessarily get easier as our kids age, does it? Everyone deals with a diagnosis of premature ovarian failure (POF) or premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) in a different way. Our dreams and thoughts for our future, as well as our basic temperament and coping styles affects how we react. And for some people, who envision a child free life or are totally open to adoption, this diagnosis in simply not that devastating. (There are other health consequences other than infertility, I should mention.)
I have no idea where your daughter is at on the coping continuum. Truthfully, you probably don’t either. It is entirely possible that she is slowly and surely gathering information in her own way and processing what it means for her, but isn’t ready to share it with you. The hard part is that you too are affected by this diagnosis since it will have an impact on your grandmotherhood. If you are like me, I have spent some time dreaming about being a grandmother. Oh, I’m certainly not in any hurry considering the age of my children, but I have every intention of being a kick-butt granny in the future. I would be very sad if that dream was taken away from me. Perhaps your coping technique for your grief is to take action. (Again, that is my go-to technique as well, so perhaps I’m projecting here.) The problem is that it isn’t yours to fix. And the fix you might want, may not be the best fix for your daughter. I can only guess that you daughter knows about some of the wonderful resources available for POF. I almost hate to post them because I truly don’t think you should mention them to her. You can check them out, in case she comes to you and asks.
Image Credit: Rod Giles