What not to say when someone is sick or in pain

People with Lyme disease hear from friends and family things like, “You can’t be sick, you look so good” or “You can’t be that sick because you do not look it.” The implication is the patient is faking an illness.

These kinds of words are followed by: “get to work“, “you are so lazy” …  People have no manners and no empathy.

Would they say these words if the diagnosis was cancer?

TOUCHED BY LYME: What not to say when someone is sick or in pain | LymeDisease.org.


2 responses to “What not to say when someone is sick or in pain

  1. Hi Cynthia,
    I have a daughter with congenital heart disease and other than her small stature you are unaware that she is medically frail when you first meet her. She is 27. But she cannot take part in stress physical activity of any kind. Walking is her main exercise and that can fatigue her. She has had 3 heart surgeries so far. But she gets the same kind of comments. And those who know her in her work environment often associate her physical level of capability with mental capability and don’t want to challenger her with tougher work assignments. She, as a result, has to fight to get work that equals her intelligence. She is a reporter, writer, audio editor for an all news radio station.

    My wife also has experienced the kind of judgmental comments throughout her life. She has always been underweight. When she was pregnant doctors accused her of staying thin because she wanted to harm the baby.

    This kind of insensitivity is common currency and modifying people’s behaviours takes a lot of effort. So whether you outwardly appear well and are harbouring illness, or whether you appear ill or not the physical norm, and are well, people say thoughtless, stupid things.

    • People do say stupid things, most not intentionally. Interesting that physical health is connected to intellect. Hope she keeps fighting for more and glad she has the support and love of parents and family.

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