Posted 12/18/2009 5:58 AM (GMT -6)
Most people don't understand chronic illness, period. A lot of folks who suffer from chronic illness generally have a bit more comprehension and empathy.
If you have the same chronic illness as someone else, chances are you can relate, although your overall symptoms may vary, as is often the case with Lyme disease, and other multi-symptom diseases/disorders like MS, CFS. FMS, etc.
I don't understand what it feels like to suffer from congestive heart failure, diabetes or cystic fibrosis, or lupus, but I do understand how a chronic illness comes with its own set of problems and limitations.
In a nutshell, we have to accept that the majority of folks do not understand what we go through. But they most always like to tell you what to do and they will likely tell you how to cure yourself. "You just need to exercise more." ~ "You take too many pills." ~ "You should try (olive leaf extract, apple cider vinegar, yoga, herbs...)... ~ "You sleep too much." ~ "You have to change your diet." And all you can do is imagine screaming at them, or strangling them!! But you don't, so you try to EXPLAIN, because we all want to be understood and accepted, and we all want to belong.
Over the past ten years, I have learned NOT to discuss my health problems with most people. It has only proven to annoy and aggravate me. People don't like illness. Sick is not sexy. Remember, being a "sicky" means that you're now part of the minority. The majority are not sick, and they simply do not comprehend what it's like. Move forward, accept it. Awful words to hear if you're new at this, I know. Consider yourself very lucky if you have ONE loved one who listens without judgment, and who accepts things as they are today.
Just last week, my friend told me "You can't just go on like this" and then "I don't care what you say, but you were doing better earlier this year when you were exercising." Even though I had previously explained that earlier this year, I wasn't getting the fevers and the faint-feeling, and my overall health was better than it had been in years. Weeks before, I had tried to explain (Oh, that word...what a mistake) the change in antibiotics, the herxing, the coinfection, the return of the chronic fevers, etc. But THIS time, I did the right thing. I changed the bloody subject.
Everyone has given tremendously helpful advice. I wish you peace, love, good health, and happiness.