Several months ago we published a list (click here to read) of 12 things NOT to say to someone with a chronic illness. We thought it would be fun to do the alternative and give a list of 12 things TO say to a person with a chronic illness…or at least what we wish people would say instead!
1. I know you’re not up for company, but I’m leaving a bag of groceries outside for you
In our opinion, this is just about the nicest gesture you can do for someone under the weather. If someone asks ‘can I bring you something?’, most of the time the person is going to say no in response because they don’t want to be a burden. Stating you’re leaving a few food staples outside for someone takes the decision out of their hands and most of the time, the food is well needed and always appreciated.
2. You’re so tough (or any positive adjective) for fighting this like you do
Recognition of the constant battle someone is fighting means a whole lot. It may not be easy for them, but having someone acknowledge it gives them much needed credit for their fight.
3. Up for some company? I can come by for a movie
Someone may not be up for a day shopping or being around a bunch of people, but that’s not to say they wouldn’t love to have you come over with blankets and snacks for a mellow movie night.
4. How have your appointments been going?
We are always beyond touched when someone asks this, it shows not only that they care, but they care enough to want to details!
5. How are you feeling today?
Similar to the doctor appointment question, small inquires like this just show you constantly care.
6. Can you send me an article on your condition? I’d love to understand it a bit better?
It’s hard to understand conditions you’re not living through, ask your friend to send them an article explaining what they have, it will be incredibly appreciated.
7. Call me when you’re up for going out, we can grab a coffee
This one puts no pressure on the person, but shows them that when they’re up for an outing, you’ll be there.
8. Don’t worry if you have to cancel? I totally get it, no offense taken.
This comment is worth its weight in gold. A person with a chronic illness has most likely avoided making plans for the fear that they would have to cancel. Unpredictability is the name of the game, tell them you understand and know they’re not a flake!
9. Hey do you need any help getting ready for so-and-so? I can help do your hair!
Showers and styling our hair is sometimes enough to wipe us out for the whole day, but it gives you a little boost if you feel clean and somewhat put together. Offering a helping hand may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it could help conserve someone’s energy so they can use it for when they’re actually out!
10. Are there any errands you need to run that you’d like some company while doing? I can drive us
It may seem like a small offer, but it could be the difference between someone being able to complete their errands or having to stay at home.
11. You don’t have to entertain me – I can just be with you
Em: My best friend would always say this to me and it would always make me feel so loved and like I could just be boring and lay there and she wouldn’t mind.
12. Just focus on your health and healing, I can imagine it’s pretty overwhelming
It is! If you can, try to minimize other stress or obligations in someone’s life when they’re overwhelmed with their health situation.