Things You Shouldn't Say To A Chronically Ill Person

Things You Shouldn't Say To A Chronically Ill Person

If we thought taking a bath in onion peels and grape juice would work, we would have probably done it already, despite the smell of onions.
Jessica
Jessica
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Chronic illness is that issue that seems to not want to be talked about in society (there are many of those), but I'm here to make you talk about it. We are going to talk about it, and we are going to like it... hopefully.

So, what even is chronic illness? Isn't that just something you get past age 70? That's when everything start breaking down, right?

Wrong.

Chronic illness of any type can affect any person, of any age, and of any gender. Make no mistake about it, that it is life changing. Everything you do from then on is like being in a relationship with your body — your body has to want to do it. If it doesn't, well, you can't do it. Sorry. But what's probably worse than being in an unwanted relationship is how people react to it. People don't know what to do, so they kind of just blurt out whatever they think of at the moment. Here's what to not do.

1. I know exactly how you feel. I once sprained my ankle and I had a lot of pain!

I kid with the Dr. House sarcasm. Spraining your ankle does not equate to a life long, life changing illness that needs to be constantly managed for the rest of your life. You do not know exactly how we feel. Unless you are me or someone else chronically ill, and you have the illnesses we do, you cannot know exactly how we feel. You don’t know how we feel. What I have in particular is like spraining every area of your body every day. That said, don't try to pretend to understand. If you don't understand, let us know. We'll be happy to explain. Most of the time, we just want to raise awareness for a certain illness, instead of try to make people to relate to us.

2. Nothing at all.

Society, really, I notice when you are hiding the fact the chronically ill make you uncomfortable. Why is talking about it such taboo? No. People have health problems. Young people have health problems, too, so get it out of your head that only older people can have health problems. These problems are a part of who they am but do not define a person either. You could ask us how we feel, just like I — or any other person, chronically ill or not — would ask you if you had like, a 12 hour stomach virus, which is decidedly not life-changing. Not saying anything makes for a very awkward situation. Even if you don't want to talk about it because it upsets you, you can simply say "I'm sorry to hear that," and get on with your day. Not acknowledging it sort of alienates us, and we didn't intend on making you upset. It's a part of our lives, right?

3. That sucks.

I mean, it does, we know. I'm not usually offended when people say this, but I don't know what to say, since it does kind of suck and it feels like they're saying, "Wow! Glad I'm not you!" I can see why someone would be offended. It also only pays attention to the negative. With every chronic illness, that impacts you every day of your life, you have insight into certain things other people might miss. You have a unique perspective on problems or political issues. It changes your body but also your mind, and this response doesn't account for the perspective you gain.

4. Just get some sleep. You’ll be fine.

If only sleep cured idiocy, too. Some of us sleep more than the average person. If some of us don’t get nine hours of sleep we feel like zombies. In particular, I feel like I have been out drinking in the city when in reality I just got less sleep than my body demands. Telling someone shut up and sleep and you’ll be fine is really rather insensitive. Listen to us. Let us talk. Next time you get into an argument with your brother or sister or parents and have to vent, someone should say just get some sleep and you’ll be fine. It’s just not appropriate. If sleep fixed what we have, we'd break the Guinness book record.

5. I heard about this Dr. Oz remedy...

We really don't want to hear about the remedy Dr. Oz talked about because if we knew of a remedy we would probably use it. A doctor would probably suggest it and if they didn’t, we probably would find it ourselves or ask a support group their thoughts. You will not fix us. Sorry, white knight. We appreciate the thought, but your grandma who told you to take a bath in onion peels and grape juice will not help us. If we thought taking a bath in onion peels and grape juice would work, we would have probably done it already, despite the smell of onions.

Point in case: Listen. Be supportive. TREAT IT LIKE ITS REAL. Don’t take us for granted.

Cover Image Credit: http://georgetownpl.org/

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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My New Infatuation with Instagram

Who knew double-tapping could be so much fun?

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I refused to make an Instagram for years. My friends begged me. Strangers asked me to follow them. Organizations asked me to like their pages. Even my own parents told me to make an Instagram. Everyone wondered why I did not have an Instagram account. Part of it was that I did enjoy seeing people's incredulous expressions. Secondly, it was a fun way to drive my friends crazy by adamantly refusing to make an account. The other reason was that I was too conscious of how having an Instagram account would affect me.

Therefore, on April Fools, I gave in and made an Instagram account. All my friends immediately followed my account in the first hour of its existence. I followed them back and explored the app to become familiar with it. I wondered who to follow and mulled over what to write as my bio. Are emojis too childish? Would quotes be too cheesy? I was already worried about people's perception of me before I even posted my first photo.

After the initial excitement wore off, I realized I had spent too much time scrolling through my feed (that wasn't refreshing to show me anything new since I didn't follow that many people yet). Like any other app, it was addicting, and I was only getting started. I have read article after article about how Instagram damages self-esteem, accustoms people to seeing idealized versions of everyone else's life, and its effects on mental health. As an avid Snapchat user, I did not expect myself to become too bothered by the images I would see on my feed. I saw hundreds of images and videos daily. If I kept in mind that people take the time to only show the best portions of their life, then I thought I would be fine. However, as all things, that is much easier said than done.

I have only had my account for a little over two weeks, and I have tried my best to not become obsessed with comparing myself and my life to other people's. What I didn't anticipate was the feeling of excitement as my notifications overflowed with comments and likes from my friends (and some random people I don't know). It felt invigorating to see the number of likes my first post received and the praise in the comments. Eventually, when it slowed down I was surprised to feel a bit disappointed.

This moment made me remember the real reason why I did not want to make an Instagram in the first place. I did not want to rely on other people's likes and comments to feel good. There is nothing wrong with complimenting other people and recognizing their hard work or talent. I enjoy praising my friends. Yet, it felt odd to want others to praise me because I took a few nice photos in front of pretty flowers. I love to appreciate aesthetics, but now that I have an Instagram, I must constantly remind myself that when I post, it should be for me first, and not for likes.

As long as I keep that in mind, I'll double-tap to my heart's content. What's not to love about beautiful photos all in one place?

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