Friendly Tips for Interacting With a Loved One Who Has Health Issues
Living with and understanding an illness can be difficult. The last thing people with health issues need is for their daily interactions to also be difficult. It’s impossible to know what everyone is going through, so I don’t expect others to know everything about my journey with Cushing’s disease. However, if you regularly engage with someone who has health issues, following are a few tips.
Keep everything as normal as possible
No matter what I was going through while I was ill, I wanted everything to remain normal, as if nothing were wrong. At times, this led to struggles and frustration, but I wanted to push through.
Let your loved one tell you if they are tired or if the activity is too much. Dealing with illness can make us feel as if we don’t have much control, so please try not to take a person’s choices away from them.
Quit pointing out the obvious
This should often go without saying, but it needs to be addressed. When you state an obvious fact, I can guarantee you that the person dealing with the illness already knows and does not need to be reminded of it.
Don’t make them feel crazy
One of the most common complaints I hear from people who deal with pituitary gland issues is that their family, friends, spouses, significant others, and even doctors tell them their symptoms are not real.
Acknowledge their experiences without making them feel as if they are lying or imagining their symptoms. Many of those with pituitary gland issues will be diagnosed through a series of medical tests.
Don’t make jokes at their expense
Humor is one thing, but making jokes about someone’s illness at their expense is cruel. They may laugh with you in the moment, but they may be trying to avoid pain and embarrassment.
I understand that not everyone intends to be mean-spirited, and you may be trying to cheer your loved one up, but I have also seen the discouragement and negative impact this can cause.
I listed a lot of “do nots” above, so let me leave you with some “dos.”
- First, talk with your ill loved one to gain an understanding of what they are experiencing every day.
- Second, allow them to open up to you. Remember this can be a traumatic experience for some, and they may still be processing the news they’ve received and the changes that lie ahead.
- And finally, just let them be in your presence.
Whether we are healthy or battling an illness, there are times when we just want to hang out with someone. I enjoy simply spending time with family. We don’t always have to talk, but it’s a space where I feel comfortable, no matter what’s going on.
Note: Cushing’s Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cushing’s Disease News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Cushing’s.