“You need to stop taking so much medicine.”
Unless you've been through our medical records with a fine toothed comb, and attended each and every one of our medical appointments, when it comes to commenting on the types and amount of medication we take, just, NO!
“Your doctors should take you off all your meds and you’ll probably feel much better. They’re probably causing your problems.”
Please see the above point.
“You talk about your sickness too much.”
Gastroparesis is often the biggest and most
traumatic thing our lives (or one of, if you have other illnesses too). It impacts on every part of your life, and your body's systems. Saying this is
so belittling of what anyone with an invisible illness fights through everyday.
If you're bored, then try changing the subject subtly, or try understanding that there are psychological benefits to expressing our pain - physical or emotional. And try imaging what's it like living with a stomach that doesn't work** - food is everywhere! It's such a big part of our social lives.
Sometimes, we talk about our illnesses because we're trying to make you understand how it effects us, our families, friendships, career, freedom, ability to eat, drink, wash, stand, sit...getting the idea yet?
“My stomach acts up sometimes too."
We get that you're probably trying to empathise and show some support by saying things like this, but having a tummy bug or even IBS is
not the same as having a paralysed stomach. Viruses pass and people with IBS do not generally end up needing
feeding tubes. Try saying something like, 'My stomach acts up sometimes, and that's bad enough. I can't imagine what it must be like to have
This way, you're still relating, but also acknowledging that you have no idea what it's like to have a paralysed stomach.
“Hope you get better soon.”
You mean well, right? So what’s wrong with this?
Gastroparesis, like many other invisible illnesses, is never going to get better and go away. There may be easier days and harder days.
Try saying “I hope it eases” or "I hope you have a better day tomorrow" instead. Saying 'a good day' can be equally as irritating, as many people don't have 'good days'
"You’re too young to have that."
Illness does not discriminate against age.