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Chronic Illness & the Well-Meaning Suggestion

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National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week Sept. 10-16, 2012If you have a chronic illness you’re going to chuckle bitterly to yourself as you read this, because you’ve been there. We’ve all been there. You open your email, check your voicemail, or sign on to your favorite social media platform and there it is. The Well-Meaning Suggestion.

It came from someone who cares about you. There’s probably a note with it, something about “it was a miracle for person X” or “have you thought about doing this” or, maybe the worst of all, “X treatment you are taking is so dangerous!” and you are rolling your eyes and sighing before you even get to the headline.

Folks, we love you for thinking of us. We love that we’re on your minds and that you want us to be as well as we can possibly be. You are the best of friends and family, we could not ask for better. But we really want you to stop sending these things to us. Please.

It isn’t that we aren’t interested in learning about whatever miracle cure is out there or that we don’t want to know when something is dangerous. It’s that we already know and can likely pull out two or three scholarly articles to show you. Trust me when I tell you we’ve got this. If we aren’t finding it out on our own, we’re learning it from the team of specialists we have working with us, and for some of us that’s how we prefer it to be.

So, you love us and you just saw an article with a headline about a miracle cure for our illness, but you’ve read this essay and you’re not sure what to do. Ask. Say, is this a thing you’re comfortable talking about? Say, I read about this, would you like me to send it to you? Give us the option to say yes or no. That’ll be a greater gift than any well-meaning suggestion.

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Written by tldegray

September 10, 2012 at 9:00 am

2 Responses

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  1. […] Chronic Illness & the Well-Meaning Suggestion (tldegray.wordpress.com) […]

  2. […] Chronic Illness & the Well-Meaning Suggestion (tldegray.wordpress.com) […]


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