The 3 Types of People You Meet After a Diagnosis
Since my journey to diagnosis began two years ago, I have received comments of all kinds about my many conditions. Being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, infertility and migraines, there are a number of options to discuss, people to share with, and different types of people you will encounter.
There are three specific types of people I have met since my journey began: The Cruel, The Insincere and The Genuine. While everyone may not be able to relate, I have noticed a change in how people communicate with me after a diagnosis that doesn’t have a cure.
I could never see myself putting someone down or poking fun at someone else, especially not for a diagnosis that is out of their control. I try not to intentionally hurt others because, well, I’m human, and it’s the right thing to do.
I have received love and hopefulness, but I have received a number of spiteful comments, surprisingly. My “body” weaknesses have often been turned into blackmail and ammunition, with me being the constant running joke. I have been the victim of bullying and online slander from people I would never have guessed.
There are still some details of my life I have tried to keep private, like any couple, but some think it’s OK to share those intimate details with others, despite my wishes against it. Incorrect versions have been shared by these sources, but they must forget, this is my story to share.
Some individuals have blamed me for my body issues, saying I deserve them. Some have blamed me for my infertility, migraines and my Crohn’s diagnoses, saying it’s karma’s form of punishment. I have even been told to kill myself — these comments are always shocking to see.
While those comments are rare, they are more than cruel. This negativity sticks with you, echoing in the back of your mind, in an already difficult situation. It makes me question or dislike myself a little bit more each time. Anyone with a diagnosis, new or old, can tell you it’s best to be kind. We can’t control it and we didn’t cause it, and definitely don’t give us “advice” on what we are “doing wrong” with our lives.
I have received multiple “trying to help” messages, with information on how I am the one causing my infertility or Crohn’s through the things I eat or the products I use, etc. There are also individuals who take my diagnosis as an invitation for unsolicited kindness, while also trying to sell me their product. It’s not the time or place for it. I am not the first to share personal stories inviting others into my life, and I’m sure others have received messages like this before, too. I have had individuals try to sell me vitamins, candles and whatnot — things that will “help” my issues. No, I’m not buying your product because your messages tell me two things:
1: Your “wish you well” message to me wasn’t genuine. How often do you send “heartfelt” messages, while also subtly mentioning your product? You were trying to sell me products or services, while playing off my diagnoses. You use my negative news to give your medical “insight” into what I’m doing wrong, while also trying to sell me your brand or get another like on your page.
2. Your message also tells me you didn’t take the time to read my posts or story before messaging me. Big mistake. When someone expresses their “expertise” on my infertility, based on a story titled “The Comments I Don’t Want to Hear as a Woman Dealing with Infertility,” they are telling on themselves. It says in the title that I don’t want to hear it, especially if you are only offering advice. If they had read it, they would have truly understood what I am going through.
I can’t see me going into my doctor’s office, trying to explain to them that my shampoo or mascara is secretly causing my Crohn’s disease or infertility. Try telling that to the hundreds of thousands of doctors who are still searching for cures and reasoning for chronic illnesses. After years of testing and procedures, I think licensed medical doctors know more about what is going on.
But to the genuine souls, the people going out of their way to help another, I thank you. I thank you for reading, sharing and offering up hope to people like me. I thank you for taking the time to wish me well, and I thank you for sharing my journey, and the journey of others, with people who share the same issues.
Since my journey to diagnosis began, I have received a plethora of messages and comments wishing me and my family well. People I don’t even know are worried about my diagnosis, the disease and how to help. And the people I do know are taking the time to read and share my story, too. All the kindness really does help those with a diagnosis. I’m sure we all have those people who are making our lives with a chronic illness a little better, and I thank you for that from the bottom of my heart! You are the reason it’s easy to share and create awareness.
And if you haven’t, tell someone you know that you love them today and be sincere!
The Mighty is asking the following: What’s the hardest thing you deal with as someone with a chronic illness, and how do you face this? What advice and words of support would you offer someone facing the same thing? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.