One of the phrases I hear often is people don’t understand what is wrong with me. I’m going to share a way to have better communication with friends and family.
Think about this
You’re a new student taking a class you know nothing about. The professor is talking fast and breezing thru the material, you don’t even know what the words mean. You’re in a state of frustration and you’re overwhelmed.
Now think about your friends and family, do you brain dump on someone with every Chronic Illness you have, every symptom and side effect? That is too much information. People can’t remember and they don’t care like you do.
The most productive way to educate people on what Chronic Illness you have is to think about the most debilitating illness you have. Now, ask yourself if this illness going to potentially interfere with the relationship. Those are the only illnesses you need to talk about.
Take the one illness that may interfere with your relationship to talk about. Wait for the right setting, if they are working or on the phone, you’ve lost them. Meeting face-to-face is best. When the time is right let them know you have something important to talk about.
Then give a very brief overview of your illness and how it might impact them. Like having to cancel at the last minute, not being able to go, or having to cut the trip short. Don’t go into the symptoms or side effects of medication, you’ve lost them. If they have questions that’s great if not, that’s ok too. Maybe at the end of the conversation say, I have other Chronic Illnesses and I’ll share them on another day.
Then a couple months later talk with them about the second illness that may interfere with your relationship. Keep it short. I would not share more than three of the most debilitating illnesses. If you talk about your illnesses in great detail all the time you run the risk of being thought of as a hypochondriac.
I’m not a communications expert, take what you like from the post and throw the rest away.