When you are disabled or chronically ill you often will cross paths with someone who will either just straight tell you what is causing your disability or give you suggestions on how you can cure it. For many people, there is no cure for there disability like you are being led to believe, and unless you know what or talking about or were specifically reached out to for advice then don’t give your input on because if we don’t ask we probably don’t care for your input. Giving your opinion and blurting out it out anyways when your advice is not wanted will not matter because you will be ignored and no one will even hear what you had to say. Many abled people give these so-called cures to disabled people because they think their disability needs a cure and it will help without realizing there is none and even if there were not all disabled people will want one. Throughout my life and through this blog I have been given many suggestions on how I can cure myself so today I thought I would talk about some things people suggest they think are cure but actually are just good ways to cope and will not cure you at all.
Have you tried Yoga?-When someone suggests that I try yoga it really shows how much you know about my disability because if you knew anything you wouldn’t even be suggesting that. Yes, yoga can help some people with migraine and headache disorders but for some disabilities, yoga is not an option and quite difficult because you can’t do half the moves. Some yoga stretches have helped me improve my flexibility and prevent attacks many attacks that could be caused by tightness but I don’t do yoga because I would have so many limitations and it would be so difficult for me to find this type of routine that it wouldn’t make sense for me to do so. Pilates is similar to yoga but there are some differences and it makes more sense for me to do this and other low-intensity routines because many of them can be modified whereas with yoga you can either do them or you can’t! I haven’t tried yoga because I wouldn’t benefit from it but I do many other low-intensity routines to stay active and manage my pain but regardless of what you do in terms of exercise, there will still be bad days because working out only helps manage it not cure it!
Have you tried CBD oil?- CBD oil has been proven to help with anxiety and depression while also lessening the pain of headache or migraines so attacks are shorter and I have been well aware of that fact well before anyone started suggesting this to me. Technically no I have not tried CBD oil it and from what I have heard it works great for some people improving pain but for others it doesn’t do much of anything. I have bad pain just like anyone else but for the most part, I have no complaints about my pain management plan and unless something changed I don’t think I need to look into something that might work. There are many different brands of CBD oil and you want to get a good brand for better results but I don’t even know where I would begin looking because there are many options and I know nothing about CBD oil so unless I something changed I am not going to stress myself to look for a halfway decent brand. Peppermint oil works for me in preventing some attacks and the ones it doesn’t prevent hot baths have done wonders in lessening pain so it becomes bearable.
Be positive- People tell me all the time it’s all in the mind to practice mindfulness and to be more positive. I know tons of negative disabled and abled people that if a disability was caused by being too negative more people would have disabilities. I have been disabled since birth before I even had time to develop a personality so how can Spina Bifida be the result of being too negative? There are plenty of disabled people that are very negative people but I don’t know any disability where you become disabled because you were too negative. I try to be as positive as a can because it can help you through the challenges of a disability but even all the positivity in the world can’t change your diagnosis or help you get better. Positivity will only make you less depressed so you are happier and see a purpose in life but it will not cause miracles to happen if you are positive!
Have you tried XYZ diet– Changing my diet has helped me decrease my migraine attacks when they started to worsen and manage the frequent stomach pain that I have been getting because I am incontinent and easily can get constipated. I eat relativity most of the time to manage these symptoms which have helped and it’s not to say these diets can’t help me but even the best diet in the world will not fix my issues. Some muscles just don’t properly and some things are more difficult for me and there is no diet that will fix that. Eating healthy will make me stronger and build my immunity which I want right now but all changing your diet will do is lessen the pain so you have more low pain days. The pain will still be there and it will not get rid of it!
What about a second opinion?- When an abled person approaches a disabled person the first person they often blame for causing their disability is their medical team for not giving them the care they need and fixint them. Blaming someone’s medical team and suggesting they see someone else that will fix them is one of the worst things you can possibly say to someone who is struggling because for all you know they could be getting the best possible care. Some people are desperate for the cure and will believe you if you say there is someone else out there who has the cure and will fix them. I had a friend who moved to Boston for better medical care which was probably true but also she thought Boston doctors were better than Florida doctors and they would find the cure faster. There is no cure for Spina Bifida and it doesn’t matter where you move no one will be able to cure you and if by some miracle someone figures it out the cure for Spina Bifida everyone would know about it not just one area! If you know someone personally and think their diagnosis is incorrect then it’s okay to advise them to get a second opinion otherwise just accept things the way they are because noone wants to go to waste their time going to ten different doctors that will tell them the same thing.
Stop taking your meds- Sometimes when people hear you are taking medication to manage a condition their first though is “well that is why your in pain and if you stop taking your meds you will feel better My medication is not the problems but the solution and it’s because of my medication that I can get out of bed in the morning and if I stopped taking it my quality of life would significantly decrease. Unless you are someone’s doctor you should not be advising them to stop taking their medication because it could be saving their life but instead should be telling them there is no shame in taking medication if you need to get better.. There is nothing to be embarrassed about with taking your medication but unfornately most people don’t see it that way and there is so much shame around people taking meds to get better. When I see someone taking medication I don’t see it as a sign of weakness but a sign of strength because that tells me that person is willing to do what it takes to get better even if it’s a major inconvenience.
Have you tried cutting your hair?- For the record yes I do have short hair that has helped take away some pain but it’s nothing significant and for some short hair has no effect on their pain at all. How long do you think my hair is that it would be causing signficant pain? Whether I am sitting on my hair or my head is bald I will still have pain because my hair is no the problem!
When you give a disabled person unwanted health advice when they don’t ask for it and your not their doctor it’s frowned upon and we will likely just roll our eyes because so many people do this. Will this unwanted health advice really cure you? Probably not but depending on what type of advice you are giving it will make you healthier and help you cope. There is nothing wrong with being disabled or wanting a cure but when you are too desperate for the cure that sees none any time soon that is when your mental health takes a hit and you become depressed from wanting it too badly. Instead of trying to fix disabled people help them embrace their disabilities because so many people struggle with accepting their disabilities from an unaccepting society. Leave the health advice to the experts and if someone is struggling and can’t get into seeing their doctor and wants your advice then they will ask you otherwise don’t voluntarily give your input. It’s not always helpful to get advice from your friends on how to manage your conditions because usually they will tell you what they think would be helpful but something you probably have heard a million times or are currently doing. Don’t be that person who tries to diagnosis someone when you clearly aren’t qualified because we have medical doctors for that who will give us an accurate diagnosis. What types of unsolicited health advice have you gotten from people that were not helpful?