Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness, Relationships

Disappointing Looks

Having a chronic or life-threatening illness is difficult enough without feeling like you’re responsible for the world.  It’s amazing how many people will get annoyed because health gets in the way of “having fun”.  It doesn’t seem fair and yet I hear about it all the time.

I was talking to a friend of mine that I’ve known since college.  Over the past few years she’s been having some health issues and the doctors are still looking for a definitive diagnosis, but they have some preliminary findings.  What they don’t have to diagnosis is the experience of the illness my friend is having on a regular basis.

She shared with me that she’s hesitant to make plans with people because her health, at this time, is a bit tenuous.  It’s the next thing she said that caught me off guard.  She said that she’d rather not make plans than worry about people rolling their eyes at her because she has to cancel plans.  Is that ridiculous?  Can people be that self-absorbed that the intrusion of illness on your friend’s quality of life is looked at as an inconvenience?

If people have been friends for a while then it shouldn’t be a surprise that limitations may arise and compassion should be the only response.  We’re intelligent beings, couldn’t you alter the plans to something that isn’t so energy draining?

I hope the world would be a bit more forgiving, but maybe I’m deceiving myself.  Could it be that we live in such an ego-centric world that another person’s suffering shouldn’t interfere with our fun?  Is that practical?  Is it even possible?  Do you have any stories like this in your life?  If so please share so that people won’t feel so isolated in this issue.


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

One thought on “Disappointing Looks

  1. Last week my doctor told me that they have exhausted all resources and it was time to face the fact that my health will continually decline. They could treat the infections that come along but that is all and he was going to have to change stratigies to helping me cope with my health problems.

    When I told a person who I thought was a dear friend, his answer to me was that we all have hard things to face. For me it was my health and for him it was choosing the date of his retirement and subsequent move to his new retirement home. I told him they were not quite the same thing and hung up.

    I called a couple of days later and he was at his new home getting things ready for his move. When I tried to explain how his words hurt me he told me that just because I was dieing does not mean that he should give up anything and he saw no reason for me to not be very happy for him since he worked for what he got.

    Yes people are very insensitive, ego-centric and self serving.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s