4 Things to Do When Your Loved One Has a Chronic Illness

by Maria del Mar Gomez
Mighty Well | Emily and Maria | Friends in the Fight

Emily Levy (Mighty Well CEO) and I have been best friends for the past six years. We started out as college friends, and we lived through the unfortunate healthcare debacle of misdiagnoses and perplexing symptoms.

When Emily was finally diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease, she started heavy medical treatments that changed her whole lifestyle. Even though this affected the dynamic of our relationship, it thankfully strengthened our friendship in a way that inspired us to build Mighty Well together and others that were going through a similar situation.

From this personal experience, my top recommendations for others who have loved ones or friends who are going through an illness or even a short-term condition are the following:

Learn as much as you can about their condition.

The more you know, the more empowered you feel to be able to help your loved one, and the more you can anticipate their symptoms and ways that you can help them. You can get the information directly from health care professionals, or you can use trusted medical sites to learn more.

Get their doctor’s information.

Have the name and contact information of your friend or loved one’s doctors and medications that they are taking on a daily basis. This way you can feel in control and if needed, pick up the phone and call a healthcare professional if you are unsure of what to do.

Listen and be patient.

Take the time to listen to your loved one and understand what makes them feel better and what they appreciate the most. Sometimes, it can be as simple as spending a night with them watching a movie while they do their treatments because they can’t leave the house.

You can also give them a simple gift to let them know how much you care. We highly recommend the Mighty MedCase, as it’s a convenient and stylish way to store their pills, vitamins, and other medical supplies.

Have quality time for yourself and your Friend in the Fight.

As much as possible, try to spend time talking and enjoying things that are NOT related to your friend’s illness. Quality time is very important for you and for your friend. This strengthens your relationship and reminds you that illness is not the only thing tying you together.

As for yourself, if you are spending a lot of time caring/tending for a Friend in the Fight, remember that you have to care of yourself as well! Of course, every situation is unique and has its own circumstances. But it is important that you make a habit of taking a break for yourself to do something YOU love! If you are ever feeling overwhelmed, ask for help from others in your network or friends.

We understand this feeling of uncertainty, and that’s why we created a Friends in the Fight group – here you can connect with other caregivers or patients if you ever need support or want to ask a question to others going through similar situations.

Remember, that you have to take care of yourself before being able to take care of others.

See you at Friends in the Fight Group! 

 

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