Use caution when talking to someone with a chronic illness
When you talk to someone with a chronic illness, you can do and say things with the best of intentions, but sometimes it can not translate well. Here are some of the things I don’t like to hear.
Sometimes when I tell someone I have sickle cell anemia, they instantly apologize. I don’t think this is the best answer.
For me, apologize to someone with a chronic condition it is like assuming that they are suffering because of their health. Things might not be amazing when it comes to dealing with sickle cell disease, but I love my life regardless, and I love all of the things that make me who I am.
I know people whose chronic illnesses develop later in life. In these situations, they often mourn their past healthier lives. Although I sympathize, I cannot sympathize.
Sickle cell disease is a genetic condition, and those of us who have it experience it from birth. Life with sickle cell disease is all I’ve known, and I’ve learned to thrive with it all my life. When people apologize to me for not living a normal life, I feel quite uncomfortable and never know how to react.
Due to the platforms I have and my willingness to be so open about my health, many people – including complete strangers – send me messages urging me to consider a bone marrow / cell transplant. strain to help treat my sickle cell anemia. Again, I know people are well-meaning in suggesting that I go through this procedure, but it’s not something I don’t like to discuss, and I currently have no intention of having the procedure done. at least not yet.
I can assure you that no one is better informed about their options than someone with a chronic illness. If there is anything that could potentially cure us of our disease, trust me that we have done our due diligence, considered all of our options, and made an informed decision. If this decision is to live your life while managing the disease instead of undergoing treatment, please believe there is a good reason!
I consider myself very lucky with my health. I’m doing a decent job of minimizing the number of sickle cell symptoms I experience, and the idea of having a stem cell transplant seems too risky right now.
We don’t talk as much about health issues as we would like. Due to a lack of awareness of certain conditions, people who are not affected by a chronic disease do not know the best ways to interact with people with these conditions.
Hopefully this column has provided some insight into the best ways to interact with people with health issues. If you have a chronic illness, what don’t you like to hear? Please share in the comments below.
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