have him read this
Please read my life with RSD/CRPS
These are the things that I would like you to understand about me before you judge me.
that being sick doesn't mean I'm not still a human being
I don't feel well often times and I might not seem like great company, but I'm still
me stuck inside this body.
I still worry about my kids and work and my family and friends, and I'd like to hear you talk about yours too.
Sometimes I want to talk about my illness sometimes I don't, so please don't roll your eyes when I talk about my pain and please don't pressure me to "get it off my chest" when I just want to pretend it doesn't exist.
the difference between "happy" and "healthy".
When you've got the flu you probably feel miserable with it, but I've been sick for years.
I can't be miserable all the time, in fact I work hard at not being miserable.
So if you're talking to me and I sound happy, it means I'm happy. That's all. I may be tired I may be in pain. I may be sicker than ever.
Please, don't say, "Oh, you're sounding better!" as if I'm healed. I am not sounding better, I am sounding happy. Tomorrow I may sound worse again.
that being able to function for an hour doesn't necessarily mean that I can keep it up all day. Doing everyday things, that everyone else takes for granted, exhausts my resources and I need to recover.
Imagine an athlete after a race. They couldn't repeat that feat right away either.
With a lot of diseases you're either paralyzed or you can move. With this one it gets more confusing. Maybe today, I can handle work and home, tomorrow it may be one or the other but not both. There is actually a name for this it's called postactivity payback and it sucks.
So, please try to keep in mind that I don't function like everyone else and just because I can do it today doesn't mean I can do it everyday.
that the above paragraph can apply to just about anything, "sitting up", "walking", "thinking", "being sociable", and so on it can apply to everything that requires physical or mental effort. That's what a chronic pain illness does to you.
that chronic illnesses are variable. It's quite possible (for me, it's common) that one day I am able to walk to the park and back, while the next day I'll have trouble getting to the kitchen.
Please don't attack me when I'm ill by saying, "But you did it before!".
If you want me to do something, ask if I can and I'll tell you.
In a similar vein, I may need to cancel an invitation at the last minute, if this happens please don't take it personally.
that "getting out and doing things" does not make me feel better, and
can often make me seriously worse.
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy may cause secondary depression (wouldn't you get depressed if you were always in pain and exhausted?) but it is not caused by depression. Telling me that I need some fresh air and exercise is not appreciated and not correct - if I could do it, I would.
that if I say I have to sit down/lie down take these pills now, that I do have to do it right now, it can't be put off or forgotten just because I'm doing something. RSD/CRPS does not forgive.
that I can't spend all of my energy trying to get well. With a short-term illness like the flu, you can afford to put life on hold for a week or two while you get well, But part of having a chronic illness is coming to the realization that you have to spend some energy on having a life now. This doesn't mean I'm not trying to get better.
It doesn't mean I've given up. It's just how life is when you're dealing with a chronic illness. I will go about the business of living, but I won't necessarily be happy about it either so please try to understand that there is a reason I'm a little crabby sometimes. I can't just hide in bed with my head under the covers because I don't feel good everyday. But I sure have tried to do just that.
you want to, you can suggest a cure to me, but please don't act as if
it's going to be my salvation. It's not that I don't appreciate the thought, and it's not because I don't want to get well. It's because I have had almost every single one of my friends suggest something at one point or another. Typically, it's just the same old snake oil in a new package.
If there was something that cured, or even helped, people with RSD/CRPS then we'd already know about it.
There is worldwide networking (both on and off the Internet) between people with RSD/CRPS, if something worked we would KNOW.
I'm happy to hear what you have to offer and if it's something that I haven't heard before, I'll take what you said and discuss it with my doctor.
that getting relief from an illness like this can be very slow if not imposable.
People with RSD/CRPS have so many systems in their bodies out of equilibrium, and functioning wrongly, that it may take a long time to sort everything out.
that if I pull away from a touch or a hug. Its does not mean that I am anti-social. Or that I don't like you. It simply means that my body's ability to enjoy touch has changed and I am unable to greet people in a normal mater because of the chronic burning pain that RSD/CRPS causes.
I depend on you - people who are not sick for many things. But most importantly, I need you to understand me.