8 Ways to Avoid Alienating Your Friends During Your Illness

By Maureen DeGarmo

One of the more difficult side effects of a traumatic illness can be alienating your friends. When you are in pain, it’s easy to become isolated and inactive. When you do have a visitor, you may be tempted to unburden all of your accumulated pain and frustration upon your visitor. Here are some tips for sharing your pain without losing the support of your friends.

1) State the facts, clearly and simply. Your family likely already knows the basics, so be brief. Some examples:

  • “My pain back has extended down my leg, and now my leg is tingling.”
  • “The doctor has recommended physical therapy.”
  • “I had an MRI last week, which revealed some nerve damage.”

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How to Ask for Help During an Illness

By Maureen DeGarmo

When trauma strikes, our lives are flipped upside down. Priorities must change according to the effects of the trauma, whether it is caused by an injury or illness. But, how do Illness Warriors handle everything required of them? Child care, transportation, grocery shopping, meal preparation, doctor’s appointments and so on…the volume of high-priority to do items is very overwhelming. (Did you notice I did not even include laundry, house cleaning or self-care on that list?)

How does the victim of a trauma – or an ongoing traumatic illness – manage everything by themselves? The answer is, they don’t. They either get help, or are forced to let some things slide. What, then, is the best way to get help from friends and family? At Illness Warriors, we like the idea of Continue reading

How Illness Can Change You and What to Do About It

By Maureen DeGarmo and Lisa Mark, C.P.O.

Pain can change a person, as can other chronic conditions such as overwhelming fatigue, neurological disease, digestive diseases or other disorders.

If you have a chronic condition, then most likely you know what that means. Think back to before your health began to change. Were you more lighthearted? More patient and understanding with your loved ones? Perhaps you valued spontaneity and adventure in your life, which is now a distant memory.

If you are the care-giver for a loved one with a Traumatic Illness, then you may be on the receiving end of both alterations to your daily life as well as personality changes. You might be required to do more meal prep, more driving or more household management. Your loved one might have a shorter temper. She might yell more than she used to, have lost the ability to express herself or lost her sense of humor.

Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution, here are a few things that can help: Continue reading