February 11, 2011

Who Gets It?!

Ok a quick one for you today - a poll, in fact (yes, you have to engage your brain, it'll be ok).  I encourage you to even pose the question in your own blogs or communities and see what answers you get - link back here for us to all compile and share them!

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!
There are a million more, and I haven't even touched on people I work with, my extended family, or the cool people I connect with online!  So, share with me - how do YOU know when someone 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:)


  1. Here's a question to answer, what to do when your doctor DOESN'T get it. I don't have a diagnosis becuase his answer was to lose weight and I'd feel better. or it was just part of being a girl. :(

    I enjoyed reading about your husband getting it, mine does too, and doesn't it make life MUCH easier?

  2. Well, I have few people in my life who GET it. I havegotten used to this fact. It took many years to get my Sjogren's diagnosed, and it also took many years to be diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder. Both of these are disorders few people understand, and in the case of mental illesses, many people do not want to even try to understand, because of all the stigma that exists in our society. However, I do have a wonderful therapist, and she gets it for sure. I have doctors who somewhat get it, but not all the way. I have an online friend who definitely gets it when it comes to the physical illnesses, and she was part of a group I co-founded back in 2002 called Sick Chicks and Twisted Sisters where we had email lists for women with chronic illnesses and other disabilities. I have people who read my blog about Schizoaffective Disorder, and they definitely get it. My family gets some parts of it, but not all, or even most. All in all, though, I do have some support which I am grateful for. Thanks for asking this question. It's not something people talk about too often. I was very sick by the time I was 20 years old. I never had the chance to get married or have children. I had to spend much of my twenties in bed. So I have had a lack of people in my life who could be helpful, but now, as I am able to function physically much better, and I am getting to meet more people. The ability to be part of a daily connection to the world makes a huge difference for someone with a chronic illness.

  3. Great subject.
    I know when people ask me "how are you today" and when it's mean really how I am ? How I feel, does some part of my body hurt or not. I know they get it !

  4. One of my friends always gives up her seat when there aren't any more to be had. She knows how bad it hurts to sit on the floor.

    My husband does little things every day for me because he knows it makes my life easier. Like buying me a water bottle that I can open by myself.

    My Mom gets it because she has even more auto immune disease then myself. So she knows the "right" questions to ask about my day.

    And I even think that some days my four year old gets it. There are days when she just looks at me and then silently moves her toys up to the coffee table so I can play with her instead of leaving them on the floor.


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