We all get sick, it’s an unfortunate fact of life. When we get a cold we take tablets, sleep a little more and increase our vitamins. After a few days it goes away. Same thing goes for tummy bugs, headaches etc.
Unfortunately this doesn’t happen with Chronic illnesses. If it did, myself and other people I know with them would be having a much more physically active life. I’d certainly be spending much more time travelling, hiking and rock climbing rather than just reading about it online, but hey ho, that’s just the way life goes. Hench my love for all things crafty, doesn’t take much energy to colour, paint, sew or scrap book. Plus they are all things you just set down if you need a nap. Don’t think half way up a climbing wall would be the best place for napping.
Anyways getting off point here. What Im trying to get at is there are certain things that when talking to someone with a Chronic illness you really shouldn’t say.
1. “Oh, but you look so well” or my favourite “you don’t look ill”.
My usual witty response to this “be glad I put make up on today then” when all I really want to say is “if I was having a bad day, do you really think I’d have actually been able to make it here?”
2. “I’m sure if you just get a good night’s sleep you will feel better by morning”
Please promise me that you will never, ever say this to anyone with a chronic illness. If you do I will go full on Liam Neeson on your ass. I will find you!!
3. “Must be nice not having to work”
This one is my biggest pet hate as it shows just how little understanding is put into such a careless statement. Imagine you had a job you really enjoyed. You looked forward to going to it since you had fab work mates and you felt you acheived something good every day (well that’s the job I had). Now imagine that all gets taken away from you, you have to stay at home because you’re in pain. You struggle to get dressed, to lift a mug, boil the kettle or just get up a flight of stairs. Now do you think it’s great not having to work? or do you realise it wasn’t a “choice” I got to make, rather just a sad fact of life? I’d give anything to have my healthy body back and be working again. So please don’t make anyone with a Chronic illness feel like they aren’t pulling their weight.
4. “I wish I could take naps all day”
I can’t get too annoyed at people for this one as we all do love a good nap time. However when just making a cup of tea or walking up stairs makes you so exhausted you have to just lay down for a bit wherever you can find space, the fun kinda wears off.
If anyone has any other good ideas for what not to say, or what would be encouraging things to say (next post), please feel free to comment below.