Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue make everyday a challenge. Here are some helpful tips on coping with things people shouldn’t say to chronic pain sufferers.
Fibromyalgia is a battlefield
Chronic fibromyalgia makes everyday a challenge. Painful limbs, achy joints, tiredness, and fibro fog make it hard (and sometimes impossible) to hold down a job, meet my family’s needs, and run a smooth household.
Most days, you don’t accomplish everything you want, or need. Tensions run high, both at work and at home. You try not to wear your pain symptoms on your sleeve, even though you battle with constant fatigue, anger, agony, and sadness.
Some days, you would just like to give up.
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I haven’t got time for the pain…or for your remarks.
Pain management is one thing, but when you find yourself constantly fielding insensitive comments from people who ought to know better, it’s time to start drawing a line.
Backhanded remarks about your pain medications (You’re like a walking drugstore!), ignorant observations (I thought chronic fatigue was a fake disease), and zingers that were meant to hurt (You’re just lazy, that’s all) should not be tolerated, even from your doctor.
40 things you shouldn’t say to a fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue patient:
With friends like you, who needs chronic pain?
“It’s all in your head.”
“You don’t look sick.”
“Aren’t you feeling better yet?”
“When are you going to lose the cane, already?”
“Come on, it can’t hurt that bad.”
“Are you sure you’re not just doing this for the attention?”
“I’d be sick too, if I saw doctors as much as you do.”
“Just give me a yell if you need something-anything, you hear!”
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Fibromyalgia is the new arthritis…
“I get tired, too- I guess I also have fibromyalgia.”
“I twisted my ankle had to spend the entire weekend in bed, so I totally know how you feel.”
“I used to have chronic fatigue, too. I just started exercising, and now I feel much better.
“My back is killing me (loudly)! I think I’ll just take a few Tylenols and call it day.”
“My friend has fibromyalgia, but she doesn’t have it as bad as you do.”
“My friend has fibromyalgia, but she has it much worse than you do.”
“I’ve heard that Fibromyalgia is just a diagnosis they give when there’s really nothing wrong.”
“My doctor says that fibromyalgia isn’t even a real disease.”
“We all get more aches and pains as we get older.”
“Well, in another ten years from now, you’ll have arthritis”
“Now is the best time to have fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.”
“You’re much too young to be in this kind of pain.”
Count your blessings
“You’re so lucky- I wish I had a handicapped parking sticker!”
“You’re so lucky- I wish I could just stay at home all day and watch TV!”
“You’re so lucky- at least you’re not paraplegic!”
“You’re so lucky- at least fibromyalgia is not fatal!”
“You’re so lucky- you’re able to pretend like nothing’s wrong!”
Should’a, would’a, could’a…
“It’s probably just stress- you should learn how to relax.”
“You’re just depressed. You should take antidepressants.”
“You should get out more, get some exercise.”
“You should eat healthier.”
“You should try to lose weight.”
“You should get a job, or a hobby.”
“You should look up your symptoms on Google.”
“You should get more sleep.”
“You shouldn’t let your kids hear you complaining all the time.”
Papa, don’t preach
“When I was your age, I didn’t have the luxury of being sick.”
“If you really wanted to get better, you’d …”
“Your lack of faith is keeping you disabled. Have you tried praying harder?”
“You must still have sin in your life.”
“You’re turning into a pill junkie.”
“I don’t know what kind of cocktail the doctors have you on, but you need to get off all that stuff and go natural.”
More good reads:
7 Reasons You Have Brain Fog…And What to do About It
100 Best Sites for Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Information
Top 10 Things NOT to Say to a Fibromyalgia Patient – RANT & RAVE-HEALTH TALK Forum
What NOT to Say to Someone in Pain: Pain Management Community – Support Group
Top Ten Things Not to Say to Someone with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome- EmpowHER.com
15 Things Not to Say to Someone with RA – rheumatoid arthritis – Health.com
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