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Thread: 10 THings you can say to someone with a Chronic Illness...good article

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    Distinguished Community Member Lazarus's Avatar
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    Default 10 THings you can say to someone with a Chronic Illness...good article

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    10 Things That Someone with a Chronic Illness Might Like to Hear
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    By Gay Falkowski

    As a person living with MS, youíve likely got a long list of things that well-meaning friends and family have said to you that youíd like to never hear again ó such as the dreaded ďBut you donít look sick.Ē You know what you donít want to hear, but have you thought about what you do want people to say to you? Here are 10 suggestions from others who have a chronic illness.

    1) I wish I knew what to say, but I care and Iím here for you. Ultimately this is the truth behind any other heartfelt statement so itís a good all-rorund sentiment to express when nothing else comes to mind.

    2) I believe you. This one of the most powerful things you can say to someone with a chronic illness such as MS that has invisible symptoms. Itís validating and comforting.

    3) Can I bring you food? Or is there a chore around the house I can help with? Doing the dishes or putting together even a simple meal can be a huge energy drain when fatigue sets in, so when others take care of these tasks it can be a big relief.

    4) I know how hard youíre trying. This acknowledgement can be a really big motivator to someone who feels as though no one understands how difficult it can be to push through the tough times.

    5) Donít feel bad if you have to cancel plans at the last minute, I understand. Guilt from having to cancel plans because of not feeling well, or not having the energy, is common for people with MS. When someone expresses understanding, itís a great relief.

    6) You look so good, but how are you really feeling? When someone says you donít look sick, most of the time they think theyíre paying you a compliment. Itís nice to hear someone acknowledge they understand you may look good but not feel well.

    7) I hope youíre as well as possible. No matter how hard you try to Ďbe well,í a chronic illness limits your well being. Good wishes that give a nod to those limitations take the pressure off and let you know they Ďget it.í

    8) It must be difficult to be in pain or feel sick all the time. The idea is to let someone know youíve really heard what theyíve told you by reflecting that back to them in your own words. When you actively listen to someone, they feel validated, which is important to people with a chronic illness.

    9) I just wanted to check up on you and let you know I miss you! After being out of the loop for a while, itís nice to know that your friends miss you and think of you ó and that they want to be around you whenever youíre up to it.

    10) Youíre doing everything you can. This one can be such a relief to hear instead of another piece of unsolicited advice. Guilt from feeling like you should be doing more is common, so having someone recognize that you are doing everything you can is uplifting.
    Linda~~~~

    Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says:"Oh Crap, She's up!"


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    Distinguished Community Member Frog42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lazarus View Post
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    9) I just wanted to check up on you and let you know I miss you! After being out of the loop for a while, itís nice to know that your friends miss you and think of you ó and that they want to be around you whenever youíre up to it.
    I've been feeling this often lately but how do I accomplish this? Send them all this article and hope they get it? Hope they understand that doing it once isn't enough?


    Whatever happens around you, don't take it personally. Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. -- Miguel Ruiz


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    Distinguished Community Member SalpalSally's Avatar
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    Num one is the best!
    Love, Sally


    "The best way out is always through". Robert Frost







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    Distinguished Community Member Cherie's Avatar
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    I like number 6.

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    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    I wish I'd hear more of #5 ("Don't feel bad if you have to cancel plans at the last minute. I understand"). I have big problems dealing with how to cancel plans so as not to inconvenience anyone.
    MS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009.

    "Always put off until tomorrow whatever you think you should do today." --Anonymous




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    Numbers 5 and 6 would be high on my list.
    Virginia

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    Distinguished Community Member SuzE-Q's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agate View Post
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    I wish I'd hear more of #5 ("Don't feel bad if you have to cancel plans at the last minute. I understand"). I have big problems dealing with how to cancel plans so as not to inconvenience anyone.
    I've sadly become a consummate liar. Some of my excuses defy credulity actually, I really don't even know if they're believed.

    I just can't keep saying "I'm tired" at the last minute over and over again, I feel the need to come up with more interesting excuses in order not to distance people even more. I just don't think people believe that someone can be THAT tired THAT often.

    People think I have a far more interesting life than I have. My excuses sound like I'm off saving the world half the time. I've gotten rather creative in order to be believable and to add variety, I'm afraid...gulp...
    Last edited by SuzE-Q; 04-16-2016 at 12:36 PM.

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    Distinguished Community Member Sunshine's Avatar
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    I am especially fond of #10. But I like all of them!

    I know I am doing pretty well for having MS. I mean, I go surfing for crying out loud. But only my family knows that much of the day I am laying down resting. And that many nights I can't cook. I can't work full time...And that I am in bed at 8pm-- sharp. And that I don't attend any parties in the evening. And that I can't surf after lunch.

    The list goes on, right?

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    It's 2 and 3 for me. It took me along time to get diagnosed. Decades. "I believe you" would have really helped.

    And bringing me food or fruit or take out or your leftovers could save me energy that I don't have. When I was writing the service for our wedding, a friend who was going out to lunch w me brought it instead. I cried. She had no idea that I needed to stay home in comfy clothes that hot day. She is the real "Ann."

    Amor y chocolate,
    ANN
    Last edited by stillstANNding; 04-16-2016 at 02:12 PM.
    There comes a time when silence is betrayal.- MLK

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    SuseQ, your post is exactly me. I feel so guilty about saying I am so fatigued all the time that I too try to come up with something else. When really it is just plain so much fatigue it is unbelievable. But how many people can understand that kind of fatigue? No one who hasn't been there I am sure.
    Virginia

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