There are times I wish folks didn’t know I deal with a chronic illness. Really and truly. When flippant words flow, I’ve often wanted to walk away, to stop the words that reach my ears.
Tales of folks who had illnesses and tried such-and-such a treatment. Stories of failure so horrible they could give nightmares, or success stories that are too good to be true, involving claims of healing, of eradicating this chronic illness for good. Suggestions. Perhaps I should try ________ product, because it worked for the individual’s friend’s cousin’s aunt.
Sometimes, I wish folks would ask questions about my life, instead of attempting to offer me solutions. Many a time, due to the very nature of Lyme I know particular treatments wouldn’t (and couldn’t) work. I also know that to date of this posting, no doctor, natropath, nutritionist or other-apart from God Himself-has eradicated this illness from the body. Do I hope this will one day change? Absolutely! And in my lifetime, I hope. But to date, its been declared impossible. It will always be in my system, suppressed or not, ready to flare up at the slightest slip in weekly disciples.
I know. I really do understand. I remember being in those shoes. Its awkward to talk with someone battling chronic illness. The person you once knew is gone. They’ve been moved into a new realm, a new set of interests, a new way of living their life. And this life is one you know little about. How do you relate to this new individual?
“Dear friends, please don’t try to solve my health problems. Please don’t bring up new “treatment plans” every time I see you, recommending things I ought to try. But rather, talk with me. Get to know the new person I have to become. Ask what I’m learning, what I’m discovering, how I’m adapting and adjusting. I know you don’t live in my realm and won’t fully get it, but I’m still human. I still need others to take an interest in my life, particularly when living in a world that doesn’t have “time” to deal with sick folks. Please don’t overlook my basic needs, not for healing but relationship.”