Crohn’s Disease Questions, Part 4: How to Help a Friend

Crohn’s Disease Questions, Part 4: How to Help a Friend
Editor’s note: In the fourth part of this series, “Crohn’s Disease Questions,” Mary Horsley discusses how to help a friend with Crohn's disease and IBD. Read the first part, second part, and third part. My previous posts have been about what to expect, what not to say or suggest, Crohn's complications, and such, so I thought a helpful column would be nice. Some people just have no clue what those of us with IBD go through, and often they don't know what to say or do to be helpful. 1. Be supportive Too often people with IBD become lonely and isolated, with no one to talk to about their journey. We stay home because we feel ill or left out. I know there are several Facebook support groups, local Take Steps communities for patients, organizations like Cure for IBD with the kindest founder (who goes out of his way to check up on you), and even bloggers, vloggers, and social media users who can become friends. To be there for your friends when they don't feel well makes a difference. Support versus suggestions? Support wins every time. 2. Ask questions There are several ways to offer genuine care for a friend, and just asking how we are doing can be so helpful and supportive. Ask us about appointments, new medications, how we're feeling, and even ask about a typical day if you want an idea of our daily struggles. This goes a long way to help our emotional well-being and can actually be beneficial. What to say to a Crohn's patient? Just be a normal friend. 3. Invite us This kind of adds on to being supportive and asking questions. Sure, we may have to cancel at the last minute, have unexpected appointments or ER visits, and, yeah, we may just feel off for the day. But that doesn't mean we don't want to be there, and it cannot guarantee that we won't
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