Lyme Question: How can your partner, friend or family member best support you?

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How to Best Support Someone with Lyme Disease

Recently a girlfriend of someone who had just been diagnosed with Lyme disease, asked me how best she could support her boyfriend. I posted it on my Facebook page and the response was overwhelming. So, if you are a caregiver and would like to know how to best support your spouse, partner, friend or family member who has Lyme disease, please click here and read this post. 

According to some of the posts these were some of the most important ways:

  • Believe. Believe in the disease, believe your partner is sick, just believe in them.
  • Be patient. Lyme can make us act a little out of our character sometimes. It also doesn’t go away over night, or sometimes ever. Be patient with the person in these areas.
  • Accept their limitations. Don’t make someone feel guilty for not being able to go somewhere. Even if they could the day before, symptoms change, there will be good days and bad days. People want to be able to be reliable and be functioning but sometimes we just can’t.
  • Educate yourself. Dig in deep. Join Lyme groups on social media and talk to other patients, go to Lyme support groups and learn what it is they are dealing with.
  • Support their decisions and protocols. If they are on a special diet don’t try pushing chocolate and pizza on them. It’s hard enough.  Don’t question protocols or treatments, they probably have thoroughly done this, unless they ask you to or are too weak to.
  • Don’t Compare. One of the most annoying thing is hearing, “so and so got better in a month with this medicine or so and so is still working and they have Lyme. It’s not a competition, Lyme affects people differently, even the same person day to day differently. And the worst is being compared to someone with a different disease, so and so has (enter disease name here) and they are still able to go shopping and work. Big no no.
  • Just do, don’t ask. What we mean by this is don’t say, “Honey, do you want me to do the dishes?” Just do them. If you see something that needs to be done, it’s very helpful if you just do it. If you ask, it makes us feel guilty to say yes. We already feel like burdens, so quietly do the chores without making us ask or having to say, yes, please do that because I can’t which makes us feel very guilty.
  • Take Breaks. (For Caregivers) When you need a break yourself, take one. We might get resentful since we are not allowed breaks from our own pain, but inside our hearts we know this is difficult for you too, so take a break to refresh.

Also, if you are a Lyme patient and would like to add some advice please post in the comment section below. Thank you!

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