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For around 6 weeks recently, my daughter and I were almost constantly ill. There was hand, foot & mouth. Yes, adults too can get that. Nice. Then I had tonsillitis. My daughter had some allergy flare ups. Then I had a viral rash, which looked like measles initially. We then had around 10 days where my daughter was projectile vomiting 3-5 times a day.
I’m sure there have been other things along the way that I’m now choosing not to remember. Basically the last month or two has been draining. Really draining.
We’ve had some stress going on in our personal life, none of which I’ve shared online other than with a select few. Anyway, one thing that I’ve almost consistently noticed in that same period is people who make annoying comments. Ones like ‘you are always ill’.
I am almost certain that most people who say ‘you are always ill’ are not meaning to be offensive. Or even point out the obvious. Maybe they are trying to sympathise in their own way. Maybe they are just surprised at how frequently I have been moaning about illness lately.
However, when you ARE always ill you really don’t need someone else to tell you. If you was experiencing something over and over again would you need it pointed out that it was happening?! Probably not.
Hearing ‘you are always ill’ just makes me want to eye-roll so hard. Knowing me I could probably eye-roll so hard I end up ill. Again!
I’m sure being ill all the time can make me more touchy. I know it in fact. However, if somebody was to say ‘oh no, you are always ill, poor you’ then at least it would be clear that they are trying to sympathise. I mean recently I’ve had someone tell me maybe I need to clean my home more!
Another suggested perhaps I need to get some fresh air. Personally I think those types of comments are a bit offensive, and really unnecessary. Really they are just a thinly thinly veiled dig. They are intended to say things like ‘your house is a mess’ or ‘you sit on your backside all day’.
Even if such things were true I’d probably already know that, and wouldn’t need it pointed out by someone online.
Reasons why ‘you are always ill’ might be true (but still doesn’t need pointing out!)
I’ve got an auto-immune disease caused by problems with my thyroid and affecting my lymph nodes. I also have several other diagnosed illnesses which can cause fatigue and give my immune system a beating. Often chronic illness is the reason that people you know may be ill all of the time.
A low immune system
This can be caused by a number of factors. In my case my immune system gets lower because of persistent illness. Then I have a problem with chronic vitamin deficiencies. In the last 2 years alone I’ve had anaemia (low iron), pernicious anaemia (low B12) and Vitamin D deficiency, among other things.
This has led to chronic tiredness, joint aches, swelling of my body and even palpitations. All of which can feel like they are the beginning of a serious problem but can actually be fixed quite easily. Fortunately for me!
Mental health problems
While my physical health is my main problem I know of people who suffer with poor physical health because of mental health problems. Often mental health problems are overlooked and it is assumed that your mental health just affects your thoughts.
Being stressed, anxious or depressed can all contribute to poor physical health too. This is why it is just as important, if not more so, to support someone suffering from poor mental health.
I’m not completely against people saying ‘you are always ill’, however, why not be sympathetic when you say it. Add something nice to the sentence. Don’t let that be all you say. If you had no money would you want someone to say ‘you are always poor’? Probably not. Even if it IS true.
If you have a friend, or loved one, who is always ill you might not know how to help them. If they are moaning, again, about being ill then see what you can do to help out. Sometimes just listening is all that is required. For me I want to have a rant, usually for a few minutes, then I’ll pick myself up and carry on.
Not everyone who is regularly unwell is going to have that mental strength though, for whatever reason. You can be a supportive friend, or relative, by just listening. Be there. Lend an ear. Be sympathetic and don’t be judgemental.
If plans are cancelled, because of illness, try to be sympathetic. Most people don’t want to cancel events, just to sit home, and are probably already feeling bad enough.
Saying ‘you are always ill’ is probably just pointing out the obvious. Someone who IS ill frequently will already know this. If they don’t then ignorance is bliss..!