Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What Not to Say

I thought it'd be a good idea to kick off with a list of what not to say, gleaned from our Chronic Bitches group on Ravelry. This is obviously not a complete list, and if I have forgotten anything or mislabeled, please let me know and I will fix it. Where possible I included appropriate responses.
There is even a handy code, indicating to what illnesses these usually pertain and those who are to blame.
Fa=Often perpetrated by family
M=Mobility issues
R=Random strangers
  1. But you don’t look sick. A, Fi, Fr, R
  2. Well, if you’d just get some exercise… D, Fa, Fr, M, P, R If you can show me an exercise I can do without further injuring myself, I'll do it.
  3. You just need to take vitamins. Fr, R
  4. I’ve found this great supplement that even cures cancer…you should take it. Fr, R
  5. That kind of diagnosis is just a cop-out. ___________ doesn’t really exist. Fa, Fi, Fr, P, R
  6. You just want attention; there’s nothing wrong with you. D, Fi, Fr
  7. Well, just ignore it when it hurts. Fr, P
  8. Why don’t you take a pill for it, then? Fr
  9. You’re faking this for the insurance money/to be annoying/for attention. Fi, Fr, R
  10. Oh, that doesn’t really bother you. Fr
  11. You need to see a different doctor. Fr
  12. You're too young to have this many things wrong with you! A, D, Fi, Fr, P, R
  13. If you would just be more positive about things, you’d feel better. D, Fa, Fr
  14. Admitting you're sick is admitting defeat.
  15. You really shouldn’t joke about that. R
  16. Have you tried praying? A, D, Fa, Fi, M, R I think I will stick with my doctor's recommendations and science.
  17. It’s all in your head. D, Fi, Fr, P Damn right! It's migraines/mental health problems/fibromyalgia, where else would it be?
  18. I had a _____ (second cousin, friend of a friend’s friend’s friend, fellow gym member, etc. never anyone close) who had what you’ve got. They stopped eating __________ (evil food of the month club: gluten, dairy, chocolate, red meat ad infinitum) and were completely cured! You should try it! R
  19. You just need to lose some weight. Fa, R If you can show me an exercise I can do without further injuring myself, I'll do it. Yes, because my allergies/mental health/chronic pain are a direct result of my weight. Logic fail.
  20. I don’t believe in _________ D, Fi, Fr
  21. You learned that from your mother. D, Fa, Fr Funny, I didn't realize that diseases could be learned behaviour.
  22. You just need to gain some weight. Fa, R
  23. Hormones can affect your emotions and perspective.
  24. You’re too young to apply for disability benefits. Fr, M, P My medical condition is a better indicator of my disability than my age.
  25. You really aren’t that sick. I have patients much sicker than you are. P
  26. Have you tried holistic options? Fr Many, but that's between my doctor and me.
  27. Could it be your stress? Fa, Fr According to my doctor, it's my illness.
  28. Have you tried (insert random medication advertised in magazines/TV)? Fr, R My doctor and I explored that option when it first came out, thank you for your inexpert opinion.
  29. Have you thought about being in a trial study? That's between my doctor and me.
  30. Wow, if I were you, I don't know what I'd do. I'd probably kill myself. M Gee thanks.
  31. Have they found what's causing the problem? No, my doctor is an idiot.
  32. Have you tried hypnosis? I'm still sick, but when the phone rings I bark like a dog.
  33. Have you researched your illness? No, I have absolutely no idea what's going on and am completely clueless.
  34. Have you tried anti-depressants? Fa, Fr, R
  35. I wish I had a disability badge. Fa, Fr, R If I broke both your legs, you could.
  36. What do you do all day? Fa, Fr, R
  37. If you stopped taking that medication, then maybe you wouldn't be so ill. Fa, Fr Sorry, I'm just a little attached to living.
  38. There are people worse off than you are. A, D, Fa, Fi, Fr, M, P, R
  39. Cheer up! D, Fa, Fr If I could, I would.
  40. I’ll see you in six months. If you’re still short of breath then, I’ll see what I can do. P
  41. Boy, I’d like to be able to take early retirement. Fa, Fr, R
  42. With your education level and experience, you should be able to do something. Fa, Fi, Fr If I could, I would.
  43. Why don’t you take care of it since you don’t have anything to do–after all you’re not working. Fa, Fr
  44. If you’d think about something else, you wouldn’t notice the pain. Fa, Fi, Fr, R
  45. The pain always stops on its own eventually. Fa, Fi, Fr, R
  46. You could do things if you really wanted to. Fa, Fr, R I don't see you running any marathons, either.
  47. Sexual side effects are a small price to pay for feeling better, right? Fa, Fr, P The one thing that still works is the ability to love and be loved in return, and you want to take that away? How is that "better"?
  48. You should moisturize your skin. I know because my son had eczema as a baby.
  49. Panic attacks are just one more way to draw attention to yourself. Fa, Fr Wait... What?
  50. Well, but it’s not that bad - at least it doesn’t kill you! Fa, Fr No, but I might kill you if you ever say that again.
  51. Oh man, tell me how I can get a vest so I can sneak my dog into places too! Fa, Fr, R I'll break both your legs for you so you can.
  52. I know just how you feel! (Insert long unrelated story here). Fa, Fr, R
  53. But you can walk - you don’t need a wheelchair. Fa, Fr, M, R
  54. I would hurt too if I laid around all day and whined! Fa, Fr
  55. When are you going to be normal again? Fa, Fr Normal is just a setting on the washing machine. It has no application to human beings.
  56. You should be grateful I work and can pay your disability benefits. It’s people like me who make it so you don’t have to have a real job. Fa, Fr, R You think that I would prefer to be housebound by (debilitating condition) rather than have a job outside of the home?
  57. You should count your lucky stars that you are healthy and able-bodied instead of a healther-than-thou asshat.
  58. Just drink some water, you are probably dehydrated.
  59. You don’t look blind. R
  60. Why do you hurt? What did you do to yourself? Fa, Fr
  61. What do you mean you can’t do x?
And if you find yourself at a loss for words because of some idiot, just kick them in the taint.
Here are a couple of other lists posted by Chronic Bitches:


  1. wow! I love that list. Especially the whole exercise/weight/supplement/food theory. Can't believe no-one has posted anything yet.

    Here's a new one to add to it:
    You used to be so happy, how can you be depressed? I think someone (who envies you) must have put a curse on you. Fa

    From my darling, master's degree in engineering mother. And no she isn't in any sect. That would be easier to deal with.

  2. I had a doctor pull that "I have other patients who are much sicker than you are," one time. Well, if we continue to spin our wheels and not treat the problem, I guarantee I'll be that sick soon, too! I nearly beat her with my three inch thick chart.

  3. I really, really, really hate...

    41. Boy, I’d like to be able to take early retirement.
    42. With your education level and experience, you should be able to do something.
    43. Why don’t you take care of it since you don’t have anything to do–after all you’re not working.
    53. I know just how you feel! (Insert long unrelated story here).

    It doesn't have to be a long story. I have chronic fatigue syndrome and if I had $5,000 (hey, I'm housebound most of the time and don't see that many people so a nickel is out) for every person who is working and having a social life says, "I understand, I'm fatigued a lot too," I wouldn't need social security to live. I'm not fatigued okay?!!! I'm desperately ill.

    Today, I cleaned out the toaster oven and decided that I can't use the grill function any more because it is not worth the spoons needed to clean it. Just doing that and I'll probably be bedridden for days, maybe a week. Thanks... gee, I know you get "fatigued" too.