Just be glad you don’t have…
Just be glad you don’t have (insert your worst comparison malady here). I have heard this literally dozens of times as well meaning individuals try to comfort those that are suffering by pointing them to some malady that they perceive is much worse. I call them comparison statements.
To those that offer those remarks to others the must remember that levels of suffering are very subjective. Therefore one person’s perception of suffering can greatly differ from another’s. So by basically telling me to be thankful that I don’t have cancer, or diabetes, or COPD or another malady doesn’t not usually make me feel better. I do not have cancer. I am glad I do not have cancer. Does the fact that I do not have cancer does that diminish the suffering I have endured or am enduring with my FQ damage? The answer is a resounding NO.
Conversely, I know people that have cancer that are cured and I know people with FQ damage that are in a wheelchair with terrible disabilities. Good psychological practices dictate that we do not compare one person’s level of suffering to another’s, or the damage caused by one disease to another disease, or one chronic condition to another chronic condition. By doing so, we can further isolate a suffering person who is not on the road to emotional well being and are still in an acute stage. In the acute stage, the very sick must put all their energy into healing and may not have the luxury of energy left over for emotional growth or to appreciate that things could be worse.
I have noticed that most of these comments are usually not made by the acute or chronic sufferer but by those that have made it through something traumatic or are not suffering greatly themselves. But isn’t there better ways to comfort and give hope to the suffering than to tell them that they should be glad that they haven’t had their arms and legs dismembered in an industrial accident or that they don’t have a brain tumor. Most people, even the suffering, are intelligent enough to be glad that they don’t have something worse.
Some reading this may think that I am being a Scrooge. That could be farthest from the truth. I live for hope every day. I hope that everyone, who is suffering from the awful plight of having been given a medication, and through no fault of their own, have been damaged, recovers speedily. What I am saying is look for more positive ways of encouraging those suffering from FQ damage or any other malady. One thing this has done to me is to open my eyes to those that suffer from a chronic condition, regardless of the onset.