Questions asked to those with Crohn’s disease can inadvertently cause distress.
To begin this series, I had originally planned on discussing “Basic Questions.” Instead, I think I’ll focus on questions and comments that can hurt.
Questions that can hurt: Some of these may be asked by people who truly care, but they hurt all the same. Assuming, commenting, or asking questions without doing research can lead to hurt feelings and a sense of guilt and self-blame.
What’s wrong with you? Are you better today? Are you pregnant? Are you just lazy and don’t want to work? Why can’t you work? Is it just a pooping disease, or, you need to go to the bathroom again? How do you stay so thin, or, why aren’t you skinny? Is it really that bad? How and why are you so tired if you sleep all of the time and you haven’t done anything? Are you sure you’re sick? Aren’t you too young to be this sick? Are you really trying to get better and cure yourself? Do you have to talk about it? Is it for attention? Why don’t you calm down? So, you poop yourself a lot? Do you really want a “poop bag?” How can you live with this? My stomach hurts a lot, do I have it, too? What did you do to get Crohn’s? Isn’t it just a gluten thing?
Everyone with a chronic illness has heard some type of comment or concern about their illness, when the reality is that it’s their illness and no one else’s. These comments can hurt people who already are hurting.
For IBD patients, many have found treatments to help manage their Crohn’s. Without a cure, we have to be in tune with our bodies and know what works for each of us, because no two patients will suffer the same way.
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