Have you ever had a chronic illness, or rather physical ailment that manifested in a very unattractive visible manner? I have. 3 times. Lasting 6 months or more. Trust me when I tell you I feel far more uncomfortable than you. Here’s a list of things that may go through your mind but are better left unsaid.
1. EWW!– obviously, thank you for adding emotional insecurity on top of the physical pain. I am fully aware it looks kinda gross- I have to look at it a lot more than you do. Plus that’s just plain rude! Also refrain from other jokes unless we are at that level.
2. What happened? In my history, nothing happened to cause these reactions. My body just began to act crazy for no known cause. You may be concerned for my well being but I am sensitive and don’t like that question.
3. Is it contagious? Look, I have common sense. If it were contagious I would be taking the necessary precautions and likely not be around you. Also, I look and feel like crap I don’t need a reminder that people feel like they don’t want to be around me.
4. Did you Google it? Yes because I have internet access. No the information wasn’t helpful.
5. Did you get the test results? Unless you are a family member, friend or person I trusted enough to discuss this issue with you are asking about my personal medical stuff. It’s not your business what the results were.
Now, Here are things I appreciate hearing.
1. How are you feeling today? The condition will likely have bad days and very bad days. Don’t ask if it’s getting better, just ask how I am.
2. Would you like help finding information? If you are someone I have shared the details of my condition with and you think you may have another way to phrase the symptoms in Google search, yes you may help. If you understand some medical jargon, yes you may help. If you or an acquaintance have had experience with this yes you may help. Typing in “red itchy bump rash” does NOT help, but go ahead and look at the pictures in image search :).
3. I know you don’t feel 100%, but you’re doing great. Some days the pain and discomfort is less severe, but it’s still distracting. However, I don’t like to let it get me down too much. Sometimes it does. Just a friendly encouraging word goes a long way.
4. Do you want some chocolate? YES!