Since the subjects on my blog lately have seemed to revolve around the medical industry, pharmaceutical industry, or healthcare, I decided that today would be a good day to dedicate the post to what friends and family, could, should, or in some cases shouldn’t do when a loved one is ill.
Now , before I start, please know this. I have been a chronically ill person for almost half my life. I ‘ve been in , out, around, up and down with the whole medical business. I also have a habit of saying things without thinking about it first. So, for this post please, please, please try not to be offended if I come across as rude, or unthinking. Believe it or not, I have some experience with this particular subject. Now, rocket science, or alternative music, I will leave to the experts on those particular subjects! Now, onward and upward!
Things That Are Nice~
1. Short , “Hope you are okay , phone calls”
I love to talk. But when I am sick, and tired, phone calls can be draining . I am glad that you thought of me! But having to do more than string two thoughts together can be exhausting , I’m sorry!
2. Asking “Could I do anything for you? If so, let me know.”
You don’t have to offer money , or flowers. You don’t even have to offer housecleaning. But it is nice to offer. One thing, though? Don’ t offer if you DON’T really plan on doing anything if I call on you.
3. Saying “I’m praying for you. ”
And leaving it at that.
Things THAT ARE NOT SO NICE~
1. Long , protracted phone calls.
I am sick. I just got out of the hospital. Please understand. I love you. I really do. But , my brain hurts.
2. Showing up unannounced.
See first answer.
3. Asking overly nosy questions as to what happened.
I have lupus. It is not going to go away. I will be tired. I will be sick. I probably even will be in and out of the hospital from now on. This is NOT being negative, just realistic. I know it is very hard for people to understand how I could be only 33 years old, and feel 93. They must think , “Well, geez. It couldn’t be THAT bad. ” Well. It is. So, deal with it. I am.
And I do want to add , less this makes me sound like an ogre, I have wonderful friends. I have fantastic family. I am blessed beyond imagining to even wake up every day. But, certain ones have asked, “How could I make your life, or journey with this pain easier?” . Well, these are some of the ways you could!
Think about the fact that if I seemed reluctant to have you come visit, that perhaps I have an embarrassing lupus rash. Or my house is dirty because I wasn’t able to get up. Or maybe I haven’t even felt like combing my hair yet today, and feel “ugly”.
Maybe if I seemed unkind on the phone, I had just taken some of my many meds and my mood is not what I would have wished.
Maybe if I didn’t remember to call you when I got admitted to the hospital, it was because I hurt so badly that my caregiver had their hands full with just getting the nurses to make sure I was getting pain relief, and phone calls were far from their mind.
I said all that to say this, “You weren’t unthought of!” “I love my friends and am so appreciative of them!” and remember that my only goal some days is to make it through to the next one. So, please if you felt slighted in any way by my actions, or lack thereof, it was nothing personal. I’m fighting for my life, here, for lack of a better way to put it. I hope this helps make it a little easier to understand. Thanks for listening!