Have you met Shelley at ChronicMom.com? If not you should visit her site and some of her great articles – this one follows on from my last one beautifully.
“When you have a chronic illness you tend to get the same reactions from people over and over again. As much as you try to remember that most people have good intentions being regularly put into a position where you have to defend your illness is exasperating. Here are some suggestions for what not to say to someone with chronic illness:
- Saying things like, “But you don’t look sick”!
It’s really nice of you to say that I look good, but I have an invisible illness. You can’t see my pain, but believe me it is there. On a regular day I’m in more pain than most people could ever imagine, but I’m very good at hiding it. If you look closely you will notice that I hold my body in a different way than most people. You may notice the lines of tension if I’m trying to keep the pain at bay. You may notice that I’m especially quiet. You may notice that underneath my makeup I am pale and have huge circles under my eyes. You may notice that I’ve gained some weight lately, because I’ve been in too much pain to exercise and my body is too messed up to regulate correctly. You may notice that I seem spaced out, and that’s because I had to take pain medication that day.
The signs are there. Even if they are not visible immediately. The more you spend time with me, the more you will notice. My invisible illness will become more visible to you.”
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