We've all played the "open mouth insert foot" game a time or two in our lives. When people give advice to anyone with a chronic illness; they seem to take the game to a whole new level. Some of the things that those of us Lupus have heard are:
- It's not cancer
- Lose weight and Lupus will go away
- Take more vitamins
- It wont kill you
- You look fine to me
- Pray more
- Ignore the pain or don't think about it will go away
- Sinning causes sickness
- Get out and get more sun
- Stop taking all those pills
- Eat better
- Join the army -they have free healthcare
- Exercise more
- Drink this shake, juice, or these vitamins they will cure you
- Those diet drinks are making you sicker
- Stay away from me - your Lupus is making me sick
- I don't understand why you're so tired- you don't do anything
- You'd feel better if you'd get a job
- I know someone with Lupus who has a job
- I looked up Lupus the internet and it won't kill you
The list goes on and on and on of things that we hear from our friends, loved ones, neighbors, and co workers. We make the assumption that our families are trying to support us and make us feel better; but these comments and snide remarks don't help.
These "invisible" illnesses can make you doubt yourself. They can drain away your self esteem, and your self worth. Being in a body that you have no control over isn't an easy thing. Having an illness that not many people including medical personnel don't really understand is terrifying.
Think before you offer advice on a disease that you know little to nothing about. We need support not your judgements or cures. If you really want to know what Lupus is about ask the person that lives with it everyday.