Myself (left) and my best friend (right) at the 2010 SSF Walkabout!
How do you know someone "gets it"? What things do people say or do that let you know they truly understand YOU as a person with chronic challenges and all the individualized quirks that brings? Some things may be funny (such as inside jokes between you and your friends), subtle (when someone sees you coming and perhaps moves things to be arranged in a way convenient for your needs without saying anything), or overt (a note from a friend or coworker telling you that they understand something you go through and what it takes for you to work through it).
Here are some of the ways I know:
- My favorite right now - today my best friend left me a comment on Facebook saying she was nauseus, hungry, and freezing cold yesterday; she felt like me:) She obviously knows what I go through on a daily basis, and wasn't challenging or belittling me, simply relating. She GETS IT!
- This same best friend ALWAYS asks me what hurts today before giving me a bear hug. She knows on a typical day some part of my body is in pain or close to it and can't withstand her enthusiastic embrace. She GETS IT!
- When I go to my mom's house, she always offers me foods that are easy to chew. She knows that's one of those problems that seems so minor but is so pervasive, and makes sure I have an option that won't put me in pain or lockjaw the rest of the day. She GETS IT!
- My husband reminds me every night to take my medicine, makes sure I have something to drink to take them with, and asks what temperature I want my side of the heated mattress pad (AWESOME gift I got, by the way) set at. He knows I sometimes get into bed and start to crash having forgotten my medicine and that taking them regularly is key to some kind of stability, that I'll forget to get myself a drink to take them with, and that if the bed is warmed before I get to it my hips will relax faster and I'll be in less pain. He GETS IT!
P.S. - Look for my next post in the days to come, it will be a special GUEST post! Also, please let me know if you're interested in being a guest blogger for UII. Since this is my busy season at work, it's a great time to work across blogger boundaries and get some of your thoughts out there for my communities to hear:)