How to Love Someone With Chronic Pain/Illness

1. Quietly assume that unless they are talking about how good they are feeling, that they might be hurting and tired, but don't want to complain. Understand that they may never have days where they feel 100%.

2. Find ways to help them accomplish their personal goals. Talk to them about the things they would like to do, if they just felt up to it. What part might you be able to play to help them move forward?

3. Restaurant gift cards are always a blessing, especially if they aren't up to making dinner, but don't have a back up plan.

4. Please don't say things that would make them feel like you see them as a hypochondriac or dealing with psychosomatic illness. There are many contributing factors to illness and pain, and doctors don't have it all figured out. Sometimes there's an answer or a diagnosis found, sometimes not. That doesn't make their suffering less real if there isn't a label attached to it.

5. Feelings of guilt, discouragement, and depression can be a real problem. Hear them out, and let them vent. Being stuck at home can be very lonely. Send them texts, emails, or phone calls (depending on their preferences) so they know you are thinking of them. If they're able to get out and about, take them to lunch or invite them over. Sometimes, they're just waiting for an invitation. Help them feel like they are still included in life.

6. If they haven't gotten a break from parenting in a while, offer to not only watch their kids for a few hours, but pick them up too, so they don't have to get up, dressed, and driving.

7. If you're already going to be out and about, ask them if there is anything you can pick up or do for them. They can give you money or their debit card to pay for it, and you can save them a huge hassle.


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