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33 Ways to Encourage a chronically ill friend

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Last fall I bought a T-Shirt that hits home and I wanted to share what it says with you guys :lol:

33 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend

Be Patient when I can't explain myself

Stick Around

Illness gets lonely

Do laundry

Recognize my pain hurts, even though it may not be as bad as some people's

Just listen

Refrain from sharing farfetched cures. I've heard them all.

Don't get upset when I cancel plans

Loan me good books you've read or CD's that have encouraged you.

Believe the illness exists

Don't say "snap out of it!"

Yes, I know my illess is caused by stress

When you don't know what to say, just tell me you care

I know I look good, but looks can be deceptive

Remember me in your prayers

Tell me I'm doing a great job of coping

Remember my whole family is effected by my illness

Don't be afraid to share the challenges going on in your life too. They are important to me

No, you won't catch it.

Take the elevator with me

Understand God heals in his timing

Keep me laughing

My immune system is very fragile

Please wait until you are completely well before you visit

Share how you stay encouraged during difficult times

Understand that though your "normal" and my "normal" will never be the same but we can still be friends.

Try not to tell me, "Everything will be just fine."

Give gentle hugs

Ask me to go do things with you. I won't always be able to go, but I still want to be included.

Sometimes I want to talk sometimes not.

Tell me how I can encourage you. I don't want it to be all about me.

Basics, like errands or help cleaning, mean more than you will ever know

Remember that silly things like the weather significantly can change my pain level

I don't expect you to fix it, just hang in there with me.

Know you mean the world to me, even when I don't say it.

Many of these statements hit home for me and a friend that I work with who has Marfan syndrome, so we talked our manager into letting us make a bulletin board out of them.

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Last fall you guys here made me so passionate about educating people that I approached my manager and asked him if I can do a monthly bulletin board educating staff and public about different illnesses. The month was September and one of the topics was Invisible Chronic Illness Month. Now let me tell you that sometimes it is hard to research a topic and find Credible websites. I can't just throw any information up on the wall :ph34r:

Anyway I found the website that sponsors Invisible Chronic Illness and they actually had a package of stuff, posters, stickers, keychains, buttons and T-shirts. I bought 2 t-shirts and I wear them often at work. People always stop to read all of that info and Yes it's all on the back of one shirt. I took each of those sayings, enlarged them, put them on color paper and pasted them to a different color backing, then posted them on the bulletin. That bulletin board was our biggest hit. I say ours because I talked a gal with Marfan's syndrome into helping me with the board, too much for one person.

Morgan that one made me Laugh too :( Some of those saying just hit home.

Ernie that's pretty much all, but it opens your mind doesn't it. There are so many Invisible chronic illlnesses, it blew me away.

Ok, off topic a little -

All of this makes me think differently. When I'm out on the road and someone is in a hurry, I don't always immediately think road rage anymore, I think maybe they have an emergency, maybe they don't feel good and are trying to get home or to a loved one. I know that there have been a few times when I've been really, really sick and had to drive myself to the doctor, I make stupid mistakes and I know I shouldn't be out on the road. Sometimes I've been honked at and I've pulled over to get my head together or just drive back home. I think that we are really strong people here and sometimes we try to do too much.

Ok, I'm done and thx for listening to me ramble, I've been horrible at that this week :)

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Hi, Briarrose,

I love the list you sent. Thank you! I am the editor of a monthly Senior magazine. Each month, I write an editorial, and I'm going to use that list that you sent in my next editorial. I'm also going to talk a little about dysautonomia and other "invisible" illnesses. Thanks for the info!


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Guest tearose

Hey briar, I love the list and want to do something with it too...a shirt or hang it somewhere.

One comment, the 12th line bothers me...can I change it to "Yes, I know my illness is worsened by stress".

I will go kicking and screaming myself into oblivion if I allow anyone to think my illness is "caused" by stress. It is one of my big "button pushers".

Weird, but that is my sensitive nature in that area.

whatdayathink? tearose

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Thank you for the list. Hits home on many topics. I personally hate the one "But you look so well". Screaming comes to mind when I hear that one. Like which organ in my body that does not work would you like to be able to see? Not to even mention that our bodies have nervous systems that seem to have taken a long holiday to goodness knows where.

Great reading. Thank you. :)

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Guest tearose

Thanks briar, I am taking poetic license and changing that one line and sending it to several people. Isn't is funny how certain lines zing us differently. I guess we know what my trigger is!

I laugh at myself because I can see and hear me getting all pixxed off and ranting and saying "but I am not stressed! I am as cool as a cucumber! THIS is what is making me stressed...your perception that what I have is all due to stress....and on and on...

Oh, well, hopefully I'll get over it someday. :)

Hey Ling, when someone says that to me I usually say "thank you!, that is the wonder of makeup!

We all have our specific sensitivities and I do understand your feelings about this!


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You guys are hilarious. Don't get me wrong, some of those lines set me off at first too and I about popped a cork but my friend who is chronically ill and has had Heart surgery because of Marfans calmed me down and said see the other meaning of these things. Now I have to laugh at most of them.

I wear my shirt to work and people stop me to read the whole thing often, it's great :)

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