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How Not to Treat the Sick

I admit, it’s not a cold. It’s not likely to kill me. Still, it is pneumonia, I don’t feel well and hearing some of these off hand comments makes me angry, which is energy I should be spending elsewhere.

It’s just a cold.” Maybe and maybe not. Other illnesses look like a cold and get treated like one. Even if is a cold the word “just” in front of it is not always accurate. If our 89 year old elder catches it, the malady can go from a cold to a memorial service rather rapidly.

You’re young, you’ll get over it.” In some cases age has nothing to do with the severity of an illness. Children still die from curable (and preventable) illnesses. On top of that, who decides when I’m too old to get over it? I’m I still too young at 52?

Anger: There have been people who have gotten angry because I have a health issue. Usually the health issue is not of my choosing nor by doing things to cause it. I don’t need that and neither does anyone else who is ill. I’m sorry if it upset your plans but if I can’t help it why blame me?

Bossy: This is one I dislike but am also frequently guilty of. No adult likes to be told what to do, unless it’s by an authority figure like the doctor. Even then we may not like it… but the doc is the boss.

We know we need to rest. We know we need to drink plenty of fluids. We know we need to take our medication and we know when to take it. Unless we are so ill that we can’t remember our first name you may want to try an approach other than, “Now the doctor told you that you need to rest, so why don’t we go in and do that.”

I hate the Victorian “we” and the only person who gets to do that is my husband who knows better than to say stuff like that.

Here’s the bottom line. When someone is ill they feel grouchy enough. Have a care what you say and how you word it. Otherwise the patient is going to get upset and that’s something no one wants.