Chances are you and your friend are connected on social media or see each other at work or school/events occasionally. You have a casual conversation via post, text or in the hallways. That’s not enough time for your friend to share their medical update or discuss how things are really going in their lives. Carve out time to check in with your friend regularly to talk about whatever they want to talk about. You'd be surprise how few people really want to know how they are feeling.
Bring a meal.
Your friend works full time and looks great. That doesn’t mean that he/she isn’t living with chronic pain or symptoms from their illness. I can work a 10 hour day but the moment work ends every cell in my body is screaming in pain and I need rest. The last thing I want to do is cook a meal. Sometimes I’m even too tired to go out to eat. Bringing a meal to a friend with chronic illness will be so appreciated. It’s a great reason for a bbq or potluck party! Drop it off or stay for dinner!
While limitations of your friends chronic illness may limit physical activities, don’t stop doing things together. Your friendship will take on a new dimension. Figure out ways that you can continue to spend time together and experience life’s joys.
Patience for the patient.
Sometimes you can do everything you think a good friend can do and it still may feel like it's not enough, or he/she (the patient) is not receptive. Have patience for the patient. As humans, we aren’t wired to ask for and accept help.
We do not naturally know how to be a patient or live with chronic illness. It takes time and a lot of trial and error.
Don’t give up on us. It’s during this time we need you most!