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Why Not to Go to a Sick Friend's House Without Warning

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A woman with chronic illness explains what a guest will see if they “stop by.”


What Might Happen If You Go to Your Chronically Ill Friend’s House Unannounced

My phone rings and it’s a family member saying, “Hey, I am right by your house, I am going to stop by and see you!”

“Great, see you soon,” I say.

My heart sinks into my stomach and panic has just set in.

I’ve told family and friends if they want to pay me a visit, they must give me at least an hour ahead of time.

The truth is, I need some time to put my life in order.

If you come unannounced, not only will you see me a mess, but there’s a large possibility the house is out of order, too.

If I’m in a flare, the sink might look like no one has touched it in a week.

There might be to-go cups I haven’t thrown away because I’m in too much pain to move.

You might question why I’m sitting in the dark.

I don’t even have the TV on and I’m just sitting here in silence.

You are going to worry and think I am depressed, which I might be.

No, it’s not always like this.

Some days are harder than others.

There are days when I don’t have the energy to shower or wash my hair.

I don’t want to see your judgment written all over your face.

Things will go back to “normal,” but not today.

If I feel good, the house is great.

If I am flaring it’s best you don’t come over.

You will always find my bedroom door closed because on a bad day, I didn’t have the energy to make my bed.

My nightstand looks like a crash cart at a hospital, and the image will cause you to worry.

And I know if I saw this at someone’s home, it would cause me to worry.

What you won’t understand is that it doesn’t look “normal” to you but this has become a large part of my new normal.

So please, respect this one-hour rule.

I’m not trying to make things difficult or complicated.

This is just an important rule I had to put in place.

It has everything to do with me and very little to do with you.

Written by Bianca Miranda.

Originally published: March 29, 2019
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