What is it about illness that opens a person up as a free-for-all repository of the worst, most condescending advice imaginable?
Unsolicited Medical Advice – Nothing about Everything
One word – no. I’ll stop you before you even start.
I’ve stopped talking to people about my health (apart from a trusted 1-2 closest friends) precisely because of this reason. Because everyone seems to want to have a say.
“I think you should change your doctor, I don’t think your current doctor is doing a good job.”
“Why don’t you opt for something more natural? Like Traditional Chinese Medicine.”
“You should seek a third opinion. Your current medications are too expensive.”
“You should take more vitamin A/B/C/D/E (or whatsoever).”
No. I did not ask you for your advice. And no, I don’t think you’re in the position to judge that “my doctor is not doing a good job” or “my medications are not right for me”. Neither should you be dishing out advice when you do not have the full picture. (Which you definitely don’t – I’ve kept 90% of the ‘picture’ hidden. The remaining 10% are the occasional symptoms you see.)
I speak for myself and most chronically ill people out there. I understand your intentions are good/you want to help. But really, no thank you.
Instead, this is what I ask for.
Trust that my doctor and I are allies, that we are working together towards the best possible way to fight this monster that is my illness(es). My doctor is doing his best. So am I.
Just because I am not in what you think is the “optimum state of health” does not mean that my doctor is not doing a good job. We are doing the best we can. It’s challenging to restore a car that has been in a bad accident to it’s original state of glory. Likewise for humans.
I accept my current state of health now (although you might disagree) because it’s already several times better than how it was before – when I was going in and out of hospital every week or even every night.
The road to recovery is not always smooth. There will be hiccups.
Trust in the fact that I am perfectly capable to manage my own health and make sound decisions.
Realize the reason why I am rejecting all forms of unsolicited medical advice is because I’ve been with this long enough to understand myself and my own body, and that I know my own medical history best, and what my current health can and cannot tolerate. (Not because I am stubborn or close-minded, as some people put it. On top of the fact that you’re sticking your nose up somewhere it doesn’t belong.)
There are many other ways to help without walking down the unsolicited medical advice route (which trust me, pisses the person off more than “helping”). Supportive messages when things aren’t going too great is good enough. And even if you’re silent when we’re seated face to face, I’ll still know you’re with me.
It makes me feel like you think this is somehow still my fault. Like, if I really wanted to get better, I would just do the random thing you were telling me about, because obviously that’s what you would do in my situation and then you would get better and then you wouldn’t have this issue. But that’s not reality.
All your unsolicited medical advice totally cured me! (J/k) – The Only Certainty Is Bad Grammar
My painful invisible disease is more real than your imaginary medical expertise.
Unsolicited Medical Advice – Unsolicited Medical Advice Warriors
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