7 Things You Should Say to Someone With Lupus
When you have a loved one with lupus, it may feel like you’re hard pressed to say anything right. To help you through it, I’ve come up with several things you can and should be saying to the person in your life who has lupus in order to strengthen your relationship and help them feel more supported.
1. “I am sorry you had to miss the party…”
“Let’s catch up another time. Maybe I can come over to your house or we can catch up over the phone if you don’t feel like hosting?”
People with lupus will often miss social gatherings, either with friends or family members. People can easily take this personally, making the person with lupus feel guilty on top of feeling physically ill.
Many times, the person with lupus was actually looking forward to seeing their friends and catching up, but just wasn’t feeling up to it. If you’re genuinely interested in continuing the friendship and your friend isn’t feeling well, instead, make arrangements to come to their house and see them.
If they’re not feeling like hosting, you can always offer to chat with them via Skype, FaceTime or over the phone. This helps your friend feel like you do care and are there for them, even if it is just for a phone call, while they are feeling sick.
2. “I totally understand that you’re fatigued. That absolutely sucks.”
Don’t try to compare apples and oranges by then telling them about how tired you are when they talk about their fatigue. You being tired as a result of working a full-time job and/or raising kids is completely different from being fatigued from lupus.
That doesn’t mean you can’t tell your friend about your daily struggles and feeling worn out due to day-to-day life, but be aware not to do it in the context of comparing your tiredness to their lupus fatigue.
3. “How are you feeling?”
People often ask each other this and don’t really mean it. A lot of the time, lupus patients feel glossed over, or like their friends don’t exactly care how they feel, or are getting bored of their talking about their illness.
Instead, listen with open ears. Remember, however, that lupus does not define your friend, so be careful not to place too much focus on their condition.
4. “Is that convenient for you?”
Lupus can be an extremely fickle disease, meaning your friend might be able to do one thing one week and completely unable to do it the next. That means sometimes they may be able to drive to a restaurant across town and meet you for lunch and sometimes it is just too difficult for them to get there.
You can ask if your plans work for your friend and simply listen to them without getting angry or offended if they need to change something to suit their health needs better. Remember, they can only do what they can do.
Next page: offering a helping hand and a shoulder to lean on