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If you are disabled or chronically ill you probably have probably been approached by more people than you care to admit saying “have you tried? There is nothing wrong with giving someone health advice that asks for it but unfortunately in most cases people that give advice unwanted health advice are not doing it to help someone have less pain but are giving advice because they think disabled people need to be fixed. I think it’s totally fine to give someone health advice that asks for it but it can be harmful when your advice claims to be a cure. In my experience, I think a vast majority of people that claims cures do not have a disability or know someone who does because family and friends don’t typically give ridiculous and sometimes hilarious health advice that doesn’t even make sense. When you have a physical disability sometimes you will get more unwanted health advice than someone who has a disability you cannot see because our disabilities are more visible which makes people extra fired up to give you advice on how to cure yourself. In this post, I am going to talk about some health advice people have given me that is not helpful.
Cut your hair for migraine relief- Some of the advice people give migraineurs to cure themselves of migraine pain is just so silly that I can’t even keep a straight face when people suggest these things. Whenever people suggest that I cut my hair to cure migraine I bust out laughing almost every single time because this cannot be a serious suggestion. Migraine is a neurological disease and the length of your hair does not matter and if long hair truly did cause migraine please explain to me why men who have no hair get migraine. Are you going to tell those people to grow some hair? If you have very long hair and are getting headaches because your sweating too much it might help to cut your hair but for a vast majority of people, it’s not going to make much of a difference in your pain levels. If getting migraine relief was as simple as having short hair then why are there so many medications to prevent migraine because it seems like it would be unnecessary if the solution for having less migraine pain was as simple as going to your hairdresser.
Drink some water and take laxatives to cure constipation– I live with chronic constipation because my bowels don’t work properly and I have heard every suggestion their possibility could be to cure my constipation but none of these methods actually do. Have you tried drinking water, taking some laxatives or maybe your not eating enough fiber? I do all of these things and the problem with my constipation isn’t that I am not drinking enough water or eating enough fiber but it’s that my bowels do not work properly and there is no remedy that will fix that because if it existed I would have figured it out. When you suggest these things it’s kind of duh advice and somewhat insulting that you would think that I have had not considered drinking water.
Do yoga for chronic pain- I have nothing against Yoga because it does help some people have less pain and I do a couple of Yoga stretches regularly to improve my flexibility but doing Yoga doesn’t not cure chronic pain. If you have pain and can cure it after exercising a few times you never had chronic pain and likely just had weak muscles because people who truly have chronic pain have to take tons of medications and do not cure it by exercising. Some people with chronic pain shouldn’t exercise because some pain conditions can be worsened by physical activity and suggesting that someone exercises more can be very bad advice. There is nothing wrong with suggesting someone tries Yoga to improve their pain levels but it is not a cure and you should never claim that Yoga will cure chronic pain because it’s simply not true. It’s one thing to suggest exercise to help someone improve their physical health but it’s something totally different when it’s suggested as a cure because that can be harmful.
Eat more spinach to cure disability- When you have a physical disability and can’t do a lot of exercise often people will not suggest to exercise more but they will tell you to eat more spinach which is just as bad as telling someone to hit the gym. I am curious how does this work for people with Spina Bifida because Spina Bifida can happen within the first few weeks of pregnancy before a woman even knows she’s pregnant. I am all for eating your veggies to have better health but to tell someone that they can cure their disability by eating more kale is completely ridiculous because a lot of disabilities are present at birth before you even had the chance to make healthy or unhealthy choices. Spinach will make you healthier and I think it’s necessary to have it in your diet but it’s not going to somehow cure your disability because I love my veggies and if it was the secret cure I would have cured myself a while ago.
Change your doctor– People love to attack someone’s medical team when they hear of your disability or chronic illness. My disability along with many others has no cure and it doesn’t matter if you were to travel halfway around the world to see the best doctors you can’t cure a disability that is incurable. It is not helpful to tell someone to change their doctors because a lot of disabled and chronically people have great doctors and there is no need to change them. If you think that someone has been misdiagnosed it’s okay to suggest a second opinion but that is the only time you should suggest a new doctor because you don’t know the degrees my doctors have or what they have done for me. My doctors are part of the solution not the problem and even though I am disabled with a lot of physical challenges that doesn’t mean I need a new doctor because most people are very happy with their medical team and don’t need to see someone else.
Rub essentials oils on yourself to cure stoma issues– Before my last stoma surgery, I had someone message me on Instagram and tell me that I didn’t need to go through with surgery and all I had to do was rub essential oils on myself and I could somehow make everything work and cure my stoma problems. I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard at such a ridiculous claim and it’s kind of scary that people give out such horrible advice and suggest that we ignore the advice from our doctors. I obviously didn’t do that because essential oils do not cure stoma issues and if I would have considered that I would still have the same stoma issues I had a few ago. Essential oils can sometimes help improve your anxiety and help you sleep better but there is nothing to suggest that any kind of oil will even remotely improve stoma issues so please don’t waste your time trying it because it will not work!
People will give the disabled and chronically ill community all kinds of health advice they did not ask for but a vast majority of the time the things you suggest we already have tried or suggests a cure and is completely ridiculous. The problem with giving unwanted isn’t that it’s never helpful but it’s that people claim that we can cure ourselves if we do certain things which can be harmful because it gives disabled people false hope that might want a cure. Disabled people don’t always need or want advice but in most cases, it’s better not to give it because it can be a little insulting when you suggest the most obvious things. I am always open to suggestions that will give me less pain but your advice is only helpful if you suggest something I have not tried otherwise you are just reminding me of things I already know. As a disabled person I don’t always need your advice because constant daily struggles is part of my life and I probably coping with it better than you think I am. What unwanted health advice have people given you that is ridiculous and not helpful?
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