This is why I’m not going to try your suggested treatment

Something that happens when you have a chronic condition is that many people want to give you ideas on possible treatments: diets is a big favourite (paleo, vegan, raw, gluten-free etc), alternative/complimentary treatments is another (reiki, homeopathy etc) and then there are types of exercise (especially yoga) and general lifestyle things (from cocoa before bed to moving to another country). Sometimes it’s a tentative suggestion, sometimes full-on old-school Jehovah’s Witness zeal that’s hard to refuse. I know you mean well, but I’m still not going to try it, and here’s why:

I want to get better more than anything, but…

  1. There is no scientific proof that the thing works

This is usually the case, otherwise I’d have tried it already. Yes, there probably are people on the internet who think it’s a miracle, but it’s going to take more than that. People often think we should try everything that might possibly work, but that’s when these factors come into play:

  1. I don’t have time

This may seem strange but people without a chronic illness don’t realise how much time it takes up. There’s time spent in flare-up, when you can’t do anything much productive. There’s time buying equipment or pain relief and maintaining and replacing your special products. Time attending appointments and chasing them up. Time getting your prescription each month. Often pain or lack of energy just makes everything take longer. And we need days off too! There often just isn’t space for attending regular sessions of yoga/acupuncture/homeopathy/reiki, especially when there’s no convincing proof that it will help us.

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‘Have you tried massage with a sweeetcorn-style roller?’ No – actually could be nice but I’m pretty sure it’s not going to cure me and so is not worth me investing time and money on. 

 

  1. I don’t have the emotional energy to try it

Trying potential treatments can be really draining. You get your hopes up, sometimes you invest a fair bit of time and money, then it doesn’t work and you feel really disappointed. Imagine riding that emotional rollercoaster ten, twenty, thirty times. On top of which are the difficulties that chronic illness can bring to relationships, friendships and work. I don’t want anyone to think I don’t care about cures, to think I’m enjoying my situation, but please understand I can’t try every suggestion!

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Trying new treatments that don’t work is an emotionally exhausting rollercoaster. (Picture from Pixabay)
  1. It’s too impractical

This is often the case with diets where you’re already on a very restricted diet (or even tube feeding) and for suggestions such as moving abroad or going abroad for treatment, or a treatment suggestion that you know will be extremely painful or exhausting for you, again without proven effects.

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‘Have you tried the red corn, pumpkin and hemp diet?’ Ok, that’s not a thing, but most special diets are not suitable for me. (Photo from Unsplash) 
  1. I can’t afford it

I already spend a fair bit on medicinal products and equipment. When I went through a more hippy phase, I spent a fortune on herbs and tinctures as well as alternative treatments. The wallet can only take so much.

  1. I’ve tried it already

And it didn’t work. Awkward, since you’ve just told me how wonderful it is. Now I feel like a failure.

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‘You should do yoga!’ No thanks (made me worse), but I sure am feeling in a twist with all these inappropriate suggestions flying my way! 

So should I just keep my suggestions to myself?

Unless I’ve expressed an interest in trying new treatments, and unless you’re my doctor, yes please. From what I gather, most of us with a chronic condition have the internet and have googled our condition or symptoms many a time. If we want to try a new treatment or diet and we have the time, money and emotional energy, we will.

I know people are being nice and trying to be helpful, but sometimes it can really take over conversations, which are already often about our health.

If you found this post interesting, check out these:

It is possible to spend most of the day resting and yet have no free time

Are they exaggerating their disability and, if so, why?

Feeling like a disability fake even when you’re not: judgments and dilemmas

And other posts in the disability section of Blog posts in categories

 

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‘Have you tried the Good Vibes tinctures?’ Aaaaarghhhhh! (Photo – Unsplash) 

Some documentaries worth checking out!

Here’s my pick of food-for-thought iplayer documentaries (and nothing about Trump or Brexit I promise! You can find quite enough about those without my help!). They’re all quite easy watching in fact.

The music industry

This is interesting whether you’re a Kate Nash fan or not (I wasn’t at all familiar with her work). She tells it she finds life in the cut-throat music industry, which can be pretty different to how most people imagine.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p07ctstz/kate-nash-underestimate-the-girl

British woman who died fighting ISIS with a Kurdish militia

One of the most captivating documentaries I’ve ever seen.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0006h6x/anna-the-woman-who-went-to-fight-isis

Japan

Even if you already know a fair bit about Japan, this offers some in-depth coverage and some shocking revelations.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0008kg8/japan-with-sue-perkins-series-1-episode-1

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Photo by Walter Mario Stein on Unsplash Japanese woman in forest with umbrella

 

Man giving birth

Get up to speed on men who have transitioned from female who de-transition in order to give birth… a fascinating watch, though you may wish to skip the birth scenes if you’re not keen on such things! It’s not graphic but even so, the moaning isn’t for everyone…

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0008bxb/seahorse-the-dad-who-gave-birth

Documentary criticising middle class behaviours

Goes into the lengths some parents go to get their kids into the schools they want, property development in London and such (the title is a bit click-bait-ish). Something a bit different…

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m00071ly/how-the-middle-class-ruined-britain

Homophobia in football: getting rid of it

Homosexual rugby player Gareth Thomas goes on a mission to tackle homophobia in football… An interesting watch, whether you like football or not.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0007s58/gareth-thomas-v-homophobia-the-legacy

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A committed carnivore tries veganism

Always enjoyable to see someone trying something totally foreign to them, with an open mind, and engaging with very different people in the same way.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p07c6dwj/hayley-hayley-goes-6-vegan

America child brides

Unusual documentary on an issue that is rarely discussed… thought-provoking and at times shocking.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p072qyrb/americas-child-brides

Syrians in a remote part of Scotland

Really interesting look at how Syrian refugees are finding their new life on a Scottish island.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0007sws/ad/our-lives-series-3-from-syria-to-scotland

The cam-girl industry

Pretty astounding revelations by owners of cam sites on a round-table discussion which includes a subscriber (ADULT only content)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p076jsr3/common-people