I read this article about this girl with an autoimmune disorder, and how she’d like friends to treat her.
I have this wonky liver problem, and I have a similar set of requests.
- Please come visit me in the hospital- hospitals are boring to be stuck in for 3 to 5 days. True, there’s cable, meal delivery, and a staff of nurses, therapists, social workers, and religious folk from the denomination of your choice. But, they’re not the people I care about. And you know I get it…
- Some people just don’t like hospitals- hospitals are where sick and dying people are, and that makes a lot of people uncomfortable. My oldest son is one of those people. He’d rather do anything else than see someone who’s in the hospital, even his own mother.
- Please don’t make me beg for you to visit- I hate that crap more than anything. If you can’t or won’t come, just say so (see #2). But please, for the love of the deity of your choice, don’t make me beg.
- Pray, think good, healing thoughts, or however you deal with people being sick- I need all the outside help I get, whether it’s to a higher power, or just a kind thought in passing.
- Please don’t try and second guess my healthcare team- they have the education and experience to deal with my particular illness. They encourage me to ask questions if I don’t understand something, or question why I’m getting a particular medication, procedure, etc. They’re human and are not perfect, and I guess that’s why medicine is called a practice.
- And please don’t tell me about some pie in the sky “cure” you heard about from your Aunt Sally or cousin Rufus in Bartlesville- I already know that the so called Big Pharma is a racket and that there’s no money in curing disease. There is no miracle cure for anything. I take diuretics, for example, because I can’t drink enough water to flush it out on its own, because I’ll start sloshing like the gas in the tank of my mother’s old Ford Pinto. Plus I have no burning desire to spend my days in the bathroom peeing up a storm. I’d rather have a natural remedy than chemicals, but medical marijuana is still illegal in my state. And forget suggesting anything to do with apple cider vinegar. I’d rather drink the juice from the pickle jar, thanks.
- Let me vent, swear, cry, etc- I’m not the kind of person who does the having a chronic illness thing well. The fatigue alone will probably do me in, never mind all the other shit that’s wrong with me because of this stupid disease. Just be my sounding board. Give me a hug. A gift. A stuffed toy (I like bears and bunnies, and maybe a Pikachu or a Rumble the Bison, FYI). Don’t pat me on the head and say, “oh you poor thing…” I hate that false sympathy crap.
- Don’t let me get discouraged- things don’t always go according to plan. Sometimes, the docs are wrong. Sometimes I get hospitalized even when I’m following all the advice they give me, and taking my meds on schedule. I do get discouraged. Your job (if you choose to accept it) is to keep me positive. Tell me it’s a beautiful day, or something one of your kids did that you’re proud of, or that your kid’s steer got a blue ribbon at the state fair.
- Most importantly, make me laugh- I like a good dirty joke occasionally; or a bad joke; or whatever stupid ass thing the president did that day. Show me videos on YouTube of your favorite comics.
- Last but not least- be there for me. I don’t care if it’s on Facebook, the phone, by text message, email, or carrier pigeon. If you can visit in person, great! But if you’re Brendon in Australia, or Martin in the UK, or Denise in Germany, or Vikki deep in the heart of Texas, the other methods are fine.
Thank you in advance for your support. Together, I think I can beat this, because I plan on living long enough to be a pain the the ass to my grandchildren.
I’m Stef, and this is where it’s @ !~