So this week it's the healthy people's turn. Often when we talk about sickness and the struggles that come with it, we overlook the very important fact that those who love us struggle with our sickness as well. They, too, deserve understanding.
Here are things a healthy person wishes a sick person knew (again, this may not represent every healthy person's feelings, but hopefully it covers the majority).
1. We can't read your mind. We need you to tell us what you need.
2. We'd make you better if we could.
3. In a crisis, we pull back from regular life to help, but if you're sick all the time, practically speaking, it is impossible to make as big of a deal out of it all the time. This doesn't mean we don't care or it doesn't matter.
4. Our activities and choices are limited by your limitations (spouses, parents), but it's not because we can't do or don't feel like doing those things. We have to make the choice to not do them. You recognizing this helps.
5. Please appreciate what we give up and sometimes give us permission to go do things you can't do.
6. Just because we're tired of or frustrated by your sickness doesn't mean we're tired of or frustrated with you.
7. Your changing feelings are not as obvious as you think they are. Communication about how you're doing is good, especially if it's updating communication rather than complaining communication.
8. We don't like it when you feel cruddy.
9. It is draining emotionally to see someone you love suffer. That can produce many different responses with people trying to deal with that. Sometimes we just need to get away, or not talk about it, or maybe talk about it. Especially if we can't fix it, we may need to get away from the scene for awhile because it hurts to not be able to fix it.
10. Sometimes we'd like a turn. If we get sick sometimes, or are discouraged, it would be nice to have a time of being the focus of attention, of being the one getting taken care of.
If you're the sick person, were you surprised?
If you're the healthy person, can you add to the list? What would help a sick person understand your perspective better?
Next Week: Sick and Tired of Feeling Sick & Tired?
Related Posts: What Sick People Wish Healthy People Knew