What to Say and What Not to Say!

We bet you have heard many of the comments that are listed here. People mean well, but many times don’t understand what they are really saying to a person dealing with a chronic medical condition! Are you nodding your head in agreement as you read?

Don’t say this:

You don’t look sick. (We are not quite sure what “sick” looks like.)

You’re too young to be sick. (Like you have some control over this!)

Don’t worry, everyone gets tired. (There are different kinds of tired – tired from running a race or tired from taking a shower.)

You’re just having a bad day. (They sound as if they are brushing off your symptoms.)

It must be nice not having to go to work. (They don’t know how much you miss it!)

You need to get more exercise. (Good idea but they sound like this is going to be the cure for everything.)

It could be worse. (And it could be better!)

I’m sorry, or You’re so brave. (Don’t pity me, just support me!)

Just push through it. (Do I have an- other choice?)

It will get better! (Unless they have a cure we don’t know about, we would rather be the best we can with what we have!)

Have you tried … My second cousin has lung problems and is doing great! (Just smile and agree to try whatever they suggest you try.)

The worst thing you can say to some- one who is coughing or short of breath

Are you okay?

 But do say or do this:

Can I come over and hang out? or Can I bring you food? or Can I come over and help out around the house?

I know how hard you are trying. I believe in you.

A call, email, card or text message just to let you you know they are thinking of you.

You are so strong. This must be frus- trating for you.

How does it feel when …? Tell me about …?

How can I help?

Don’t feel bad if you have to cancel plans at the last minute, I understand. Let’s pencil them in.

Sometimes the best thing you can say is nothing – just listen.

I missed you when you weren’t able to come to the event.

Forget the guilt about smoking – this isn’t your fault.

I wish I knew what to say, but I care about you and I’m here for you.