Unsolicited Medical Advice: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Chronic Illness
This article appeared in a nationally syndicated column the other day. There were squeals of laughter in my house when it was discovered by one of my kids. It’s so absurd it’s funny.
Let me get this straight. A woman wrote to a national columnist complaining that her friend does not follow her medical advice. Did she expect the columnist to shake her finger at the sick friend? “Shame on her. Why does she insist on seeing that doctor when you took ten whole minutes looking up that “alternative cure” for her online?” No such luck.
Is giving unsolicited medical advice the loving thing to do?
The columnist gets to the heart of the matter with her last sentence. The caring thing to do is to listen and understand a friend’s illness. Wouldn’t that demonstrate more concern than sharing what you “like to find” for a friend? Wouldn’t that help more?
Rheumatoid Arthritis patients often tell similar stories. Sometimes they ask me, “Do they think I’m stupid?” “Hopefully not,” I tell them. They just don’t understand what Rheumatoid Arthritis is. Do diabetes or cancer patients go through this too? I hope not.
Postblog: Once saw a t-shirt which read: My painful invisible disease is more real than your imaginary medical expertise. I only talked about that to one person because she did not find it funny. I guess it doesn’t take much to amuse us when we so much want to laugh.
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