Friday 10 February 2012

How to help a friend with M.E.

The hardest thing about having ME/CFS is that, for a lot of people, it is chronic. And, because you are sick all the time, you get nothing, whereas your friend who has been in bed with flu for a week, is suffocated with flowers and ‘get well soon’ cards! I get nothing. Am I any less, sick, sad, frustrated, lonely or bored? NO. I need your love, and support now more than ever. When everyone else forgets that I am in this situation, that I struggle with my illness… please remember. It didn’t go away, I didn’t forget, I need you to be my friend.
I dont want sympathy, just empathy.

Things to buy and ways the cheer your friend with, M.E, up:
1.) Buy them some nice pajamas, bedsocks or slippers! These will be well used as a lot of M.E suffers are bed-bound or cannot get dressed somedays. They are also really comfy!
2.) Rent or buy them a DVD or two, and maybe a portable DVD player if they cant get up to sit on the sofa to watch the TV, and dont have one in their bedroom.

3.) Buy them a novelty or funny pillow or cushion! This will make them smile and cheer them up, and everytime they look at it, they will remember that they are not alone! It is also useful and can be used to prop them up or for them to lean against.
4.) Buy them some cute socks with non-stick bottoms! These are cheap, and practical! Think about the person you are buying for. Do they have a particular interest  or hobby? Is their a specific cartoon character or colour that they like?
5.) Offer to put some new music or an audiobook on their ipod for them!
6.) Buy them a crossword puzzle/suduko/game book or magazine, great for kids, and adults too!
7.) Buy or lend them them a deck of cards. Although, i expect they will have some lying around the house from christmas crackers! If so, dig 'em out and have a game of snap!
8.) Buy or lend them a rubix cube
9.) Buy them a held electronic game, i.e. a Nintendo DS. You can get a variety or games for all ages!
10.) Magazines that are personalized to the patients hobbies, tastes etc. E.g. crafting books, politics, fashion etc.
11.) Buy them a tube of unscented hand lotion and some unscented antibacterial hand gel, two things that you can never have enough of. Lots of medications dry out the skin.
12.) Also, baby wipes come in helpful too, if you cant get to the bathroom for a quick freshen up! check out your local supermarkets ‘baby’ toiletry range too, as they are kind to the skin and wont irritate!
13.) A pretty diary or notebook. Spend time, deciding on the cover etc to suit the patient – really good for writing down whats going on, doctors instructions, goals, when to take tablets or medication and things to do! This is also great for writing down goals and aims, things that they want to achieve in the future.
14.) A ready-to-use craft kit, such as a cross stitch set or scrapbook. It is good to feel productive or creative even if you cant leave bed.
15.) If the patient is not restricted with their diet, bring them a  treat! Their favourite snack, chocolates or cakes are great or order them their favorite takeaway!
16.) Buy them flowers! Simple, but effective!!
17.) Bring them some note-cards with pre-stamped envelopes, this way, they can write to whoever they want!
18.) Offer to do their nails or hair! Make them feel special, and pampered!
19.) Offer to do something for them, around the house! Clean, cook, go to the supermarket and stock up on bread and milk for them?
20.) Cook dinners for them, that are easy to freeze and defrost
21.) If the patient has kids, offer to take them out or baby-sit for the day!
22.) Ask what you can do to help, or if they need anything! Sounds silly but is really helpful!
23.) Bring them a selection of board games over
24.) Offer to take care of pets, walk the dog!
25.) Send them a card, get well soon or thinking of you!! It will really cheer them up and put them in a good mood for the rest of the day!
26.) Ring them up, everyday at roughly the same time, to ask how they are
27.) Send them a care package. Get a box and fill it up with goodies. You don’t have to fill it with anything expensive; you can go to the pound shop if you like! Just fun little things, to make the patient smile! Add a note, with a funny message or something to add a personal touch!!
28.) Send them a text or an email to show that you have been thinking of them!
29.) Offer to go with your friend to their hospital or doctors’ appointments!
30.) Help them with everyday tasks. When I am sick, sometimes I am overwhelmed with everyday jobs and errands that I no longer have the energy to do.
31.) Just sit and chat to them for a bit!
These are just a few things that i have thought of.....
Thanks for reading!
Chloe xxx


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