Author Topic: Friends and medical conditions. (Epic length) Addl Info p51 & 58  (Read 8381 times)

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Roe

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Re: Friends and medical conditions. (Epic length)
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2013, 09:53:59 PM »


Could we please avoid derailing the thread with the posting stuff on facebook discussion, which, unfortunately has been done to death. :D


Actually, FB discussion isn't derailing the thread, it's part of why you had the problem to begin with.  As PP's mentioned, be careful who you post to on FB and you will be less likely to encounter this type of situation.

Iris

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Re: Friends and medical conditions. (Epic length)
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2013, 10:51:45 PM »


Could we please avoid derailing the thread with the posting stuff on facebook discussion, which, unfortunately has been done to death. :D


Actually, FB discussion isn't derailing the thread, it's part of why you had the problem to begin with.  As PP's mentioned, be careful who you post to on FB and you will be less likely to encounter this type of situation.

I'm not sure. If Golden Phoenix has her facebook limited to people who she expected to be interested in her health then I think she's done all she can. Many people use facebook to connect with specific, close people rather than including loads of old school chums, random strangers from an etiquette website and former students (Who? Me? Why yes, you MAY PM me if you want to be FB friends   ;)). Putting something on facebook for people with tightly controlled friends list is pretty much the same as letting people know at (say) coffee with their friends or a family dinner. In this case I think it's the audience and not the medium of communication that is the issue. If I were at a party with a group of friends including an old friend that I had formerly been very close to I may very well share an update on an ongoing medical issue, expecting them to be interested. Or at least polite.

In this case I think that my advice is the same as it would be if this happened in person. Obviously that particular person isn't someone you want to be discussing this with, so don't. IRL that means either not inviting them or bean dipping, on FB it means either selecting which posts they see or blocking them altogether.
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delabela

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Re: Friends and medical conditions. (Epic length)
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2013, 12:49:25 AM »
I know that I may not be able to understand the nuances of the exchange and/or history from the post, but my first thought upon reading the OP is that the friend might have thought she was saying something encouraging, like "hey, maybe the doctors are wrong and really there's nothing wrong" - not that that's a fantastic thing to say, but maybe she's one of those people who wants to 'fix' things rather than listen. 

Interesting - it does kind of show the limits of this kind of communication.

As I read back through the posts, I guess I pretty much agree with bansidhe,

TurtleDove

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Re: Friends and medical conditions. (Epic length)
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2013, 07:18:08 AM »
I think the friend meant to be encouraging and the OP overreacted (and then so did the friend).  I would not use facebook as a place for sensitive information, even if my friends list were limited, simply because nuances cannot be heard as they could in person. 

I will also put my standard advice of late here again: If you want a happy, drama free life, do not look for offense in the behavior of others.  Assume people mean well, even if their delivery is not the best.  Life if so much easier when you let things roll off your back, especially because usually no offense was intended.  I don't think the friend meant any harm and meant to be helpful. I actually would fault the OP here because she DID mean to attack her friend in her reply.

cheyne

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Re: Friends and medical conditions. (Epic length)
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2013, 09:35:30 AM »
The "self inflicted" stuff has really confused me.  Is that like saying people with lung cancer shouldn't be treated because they may have smoked?

If a friend or relative tells me they have been diagnosed with condition X, I would never tell them that the diagnosis was wrong or that they were perfectly healthy.  I may think that but it is not my business or place to say it. 

As for what to do?  Let sleeping dogs lie for now.  You may both need a breather before you or she apologize or make an effort to reconnect.

Twik

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Re: Friends and medical conditions. (Epic length)
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2013, 09:38:16 AM »
I think the friend meant to be encouraging ....

I'm afraid I don't see anything encouraging in "you're not really sick, and your doctor is wrong. Put on your big girl pants and deal." The friend meant, in my opinion, to let the OP know how much more knowledgable she was about everything, more so than the medical profession and the person having the symptoms.

If someone posted "my doctor told me I have 1 week to live," replying "maybe they're wrong" is trying to be encouraging. To respond to "my doctor finally gave me a diagnosis, and the treatment is helping a lot," with "Nah, you're not sick in the first place, your doctor is wrong about it," is condescending. In fact, it's quite dangerous, because it could lead to a suggestible person abandoning appropriate treatment.
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Hmmmmm

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Re: Friends and medical conditions. (Epic length)
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2013, 09:42:02 AM »
I know that I may not be able to understand the nuances of the exchange and/or history from the post, but my first thought upon reading the OP is that the friend might have thought she was saying something encouraging, like "hey, maybe the doctors are wrong and really there's nothing wrong" - not that that's a fantastic thing to say, but maybe she's one of those people who wants to 'fix' things rather than listen. 

Interesting - it does kind of show the limits of this kind of communication.

As I read back through the posts, I guess I pretty much agree with bansidhe,

I agree with this.  I didn't see how her comment implied "your are stupid". She didnt say "you were misdiagnosed". But you interpreted her comment that way. Deleting her post was fine.

Taking facebook out of the equation, if this had been an in person conversation and she made her comment you would have replied "oh, there is no jumping the gun diagnosis" I don't think you would have gone on the rant you did.

TurtleDove

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Re: Friends and medical conditions. (Epic length)
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2013, 10:06:22 AM »

I agree with this.  I didn't see how her comment implied "your are stupid". She didnt say "you were misdiagnosed". But you interpreted her comment that way. Deleting her post was fine.

I agree completely.  We didn't get a direct quote of what the friend said, but from what we did get, I think it was open to interpretation and the OP chose to read a lot more into it than I believe was likely intended.  In the future, my best advice is to not do this.  To not say, "She said my pants are red, and everyone knows red pants imply I kick puppies so she just said I am an evil monster who kicks puppies!"  Well, no, she said your pants are red.

Bexx27

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Re: Friends and medical conditions. (Epic length)
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2013, 10:08:35 AM »
I think she was horribly insensitive and was making your post about her and her own issues with misdiagnosis instead of trying to be supportive to you. I don't think you owe her an apology for your reply.

OP's post was expressing good news -- she finally has an appropriate diagnosis and a treatment that is working. Then Debbie Downer chimes in with a mini-lecture about how doctors are always diagnosing people with conditions they don't have, using the example of children getting ADHD diagnoses when they are really just badly behaved. Implication: many people (probably including the OP, since this is in direct response to her post) use false diagnoses from irresponsible doctors as an excuse for their own bad behavior. I don't see how that can be read as non-offensive. Even if Debbie Downer was thinking solely of her own history of misdiagnosis and not intending to imply anything about OP's situation, that is the worst kind of self-centered threadjacking.

To give a real life example not involving facebook, a friend of mine was recently diagnosed with a serious mental illness. It explains many of the recurrent problems she's had in life and she is relieved to finally have a name for it and to be receiving appropriate treatment. Most of her friends and family have been supportive, but a few of her close family members said exactly what the OP's friend did: that doctors are diagnosing everybody with something nowadays, that there's nothing wrong with her and she's just trying to justify being lazy and irresponsible. She cut those people off and she was right to do so IMO.
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TurtleDove

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Re: Friends and medical conditions. (Epic length)
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2013, 10:10:24 AM »
I'm afraid I don't see anything encouraging in "you're not really sick, and your doctor is wrong. Put on your big girl pants and deal."

I didn't see that the friend said this.  That said, I do think that is encouraging.  To me, hearing I could do something about something that bothered me would be empowering.  Hearing, "This is awful and completely out of your control, nothing you do will make it better" would be hurtful to me.

But the bottom line is that the friend did not say what you quoted anyway.

Twik

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Re: Friends and medical conditions. (Epic length)
« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2013, 10:33:42 AM »
I'm afraid I don't see anything encouraging in "you're not really sick, and your doctor is wrong. Put on your big girl pants and deal."

I didn't see that the friend said this.  That said, I do think that is encouraging.  To me, hearing I could do something about something that bothered me would be empowering.  Hearing, "This is awful and completely out of your control, nothing you do will make it better" would be hurtful to me.

But the bottom line is that the friend did not say what you quoted anyway.

I would consider what I said above to be an accurate paraphrase of "Do bear in mind that these days people are diagnosed with stuff all the time that years ago would have just been "normal" and there's nothing wrong with them. Doctors tend to jump the gun with this kind of thing."

I do not find anything "empowering" in being told that following medical treatment that is working is likely wrong. There is a difference between "This is awful and completely out of your control, nothing you do will make it better" and "Glad to hear that you're feeling better!"
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bah12

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Re: Friends and medical conditions. (Epic length)
« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2013, 10:43:24 AM »
I think the friend meant to be encouraging and the OP overreacted (and then so did the friend).  I would not use facebook as a place for sensitive information, even if my friends list were limited, simply because nuances cannot be heard as they could in person. 

I will also put my standard advice of late here again: If you want a happy, drama free life, do not look for offense in the behavior of others.  Assume people mean well, even if their delivery is not the best.  Life if so much easier when you let things roll off your back, especially because usually no offense was intended.  I don't think the friend meant any harm and meant to be helpful. I actually would fault the OP here because she DID mean to attack her friend in her reply.

While I completely agree with the bolded, I don't necessarily think the onus is always on the person who is hurt by insensitive comments to "just assume they meant well and move on".  The OPs friend was completely insensitive to her feelings.  Even if she meant well.  And while the OP, herself, could have delivered the message of her hurt feelings in a better way, she's not wrong for saying "you're statement was hurtful to me."   It did not warrant the reaction of her friend.  And if she meant well, all she had to say is "I didn't realize nor did I mean for my words to be that hurtful to you.  I'm sorry."  Instead she basically said "How dare you tell me that I said something hurtful.  You should feel bad about that.  Bye!"

That being said, again, this comes down to understanding if certain blanket statements are actually going to comfort someone else.  And there are better "openers" than "the doctor is wrong.  There is nothing wrong with you."  I know so many people that suffer from symptoms for years that are so thrilled when they get a diagnosis because 1) it validates that their symptoms were real and 2) it opens up treatment options.  It sounds like the OP was in that camp, and her friend probably could have deduced that she was releived by the diagnosis just by reading her facebook updates prior to it. 

I will admit that I have opened up with "doctor's aren't always right" in the past.  But that was when a friend of mine was told something was wrong with her ovaries and she'd never be able to have a baby.  She was devestated by the news.  It was obvious that she didn't want to hear "Well, at least you know what's wrong with you and you can move on."  So, instead, I encouraged her to go get a second opinion stating that what one doctor says doesn't necessarily mean it's true (and she was pregnant a month later).   I just think these instances need to be known.  If you're not sure what the person is looking for, start with something a little more generic like "How are you doing with all of this?  Is there something I can do for you?"

citadelle

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Re: Friends and medical conditions. (Epic length)
« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2013, 10:45:45 AM »
I will also put my standard advice of late here again: If you want a happy, drama free life, do not look for offense in the behavior of others.  Assume people mean well, even if their delivery is not the best.  Life if so much easier when you let things roll off your back, especially because usually no offense was intended.  I don't think the friend meant any harm and meant to be helpful. I actually would fault the OP here because she DID mean to attack her friend in her reply.
This is very wise. Thank you for the reminder.

amylouky

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Re: Friends and medical conditions. (Epic length)
« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2013, 11:23:23 AM »
I think the friend meant to be encouraging ....

I'm afraid I don't see anything encouraging in "you're not really sick, and your doctor is wrong. Put on your big girl pants and deal." The friend meant, in my opinion, to let the OP know how much more knowledgable she was about everything, more so than the medical profession and the person having the symptoms.

If someone posted "my doctor told me I have 1 week to live," replying "maybe they're wrong" is trying to be encouraging. To respond to "my doctor finally gave me a diagnosis, and the treatment is helping a lot," with "Nah, you're not sick in the first place, your doctor is wrong about it," is condescending. In fact, it's quite dangerous, because it could lead to a suggestible person abandoning appropriate treatment.

I don't think that we know that was the tone of the OP's post, do we? To me, it makes a difference. If someone posted about being diagnosed with something and sounded upset, I can see where Friend's post could be taken to be encouraging. There really ARE a lot of "new" conditions out there that would have been considered in the range of normal 20 years ago.. putting a label on it can be scary to some. I'm thinking of a certain condition that a friend of mine has said I should be tested for.. one primary symptom is fatigue. This was suggested after a day of walking, when I was really tired. Well, no, I'm tired because I'm overworked, overweight, and don't sleep right or get enough exercise, and we've been walking around all day.

I'm going to go against the grain here and say I think while friend may have overstepped a bit, I would have given her the benefit of the doubt and assumed she was trying to be helpful. I think that OP's reply to the FB post was unnecessarily harsh, and really an over the top reaction. I can see why Friend responded the way that she did, I would have been pretty offended to have received the email OP sent. I think maybe a "Thanks for your concern, but my doctors have done the tests and I'm happy to finally have a diagnosis." would have gotten the message across much more politely.

I think if you want to mend the relationship, I'd apologize for being so harsh, and maybe blame it on the emotions of the diagnosis. I think it'd be okay to say that you may be a bit touchy about the diagnosis because you know that some view it as false or self-inflicted, so that colored your view of what she wrote. But only if you want to.

bah12

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Re: Friends and medical conditions. (Epic length)
« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2013, 11:44:08 AM »
I think the friend meant to be encouraging ....

I'm afraid I don't see anything encouraging in "you're not really sick, and your doctor is wrong. Put on your big girl pants and deal." The friend meant, in my opinion, to let the OP know how much more knowledgable she was about everything, more so than the medical profession and the person having the symptoms.

If someone posted "my doctor told me I have 1 week to live," replying "maybe they're wrong" is trying to be encouraging. To respond to "my doctor finally gave me a diagnosis, and the treatment is helping a lot," with "Nah, you're not sick in the first place, your doctor is wrong about it," is condescending. In fact, it's quite dangerous, because it could lead to a suggestible person abandoning appropriate treatment.

I don't think that we know that was the tone of the OP's post, do we? To me, it makes a difference. If someone posted about being diagnosed with something and sounded upset, I can see where Friend's post could be taken to be encouraging. There really ARE a lot of "new" conditions out there that would have been considered in the range of normal 20 years ago.. putting a label on it can be scary to some. I'm thinking of a certain condition that a friend of mine has said I should be tested for.. one primary symptom is fatigue. This was suggested after a day of walking, when I was really tired. Well, no, I'm tired because I'm overworked, overweight, and don't sleep right or get enough exercise, and we've been walking around all day.

I'm going to go against the grain here and say I think while friend may have overstepped a bit, I would have given her the benefit of the doubt and assumed she was trying to be helpful. I think that OP's reply to the FB post was unnecessarily harsh, and really an over the top reaction. I can see why Friend responded the way that she did, I would have been pretty offended to have received the email OP sent. I think maybe a "Thanks for your concern, but my doctors have done the tests and I'm happy to finally have a diagnosis." would have gotten the message across much more politely.

I think if you want to mend the relationship, I'd apologize for being so harsh, and maybe blame it on the emotions of the diagnosis. I think it'd be okay to say that you may be a bit touchy about the diagnosis because you know that some view it as false or self-inflicted, so that colored your view of what she wrote. But only if you want to.

I think the OP deserves to be given the benefit of the doubt also.  I would think that the tone of her facebook post was probably very similar to the tone of her post here.  Given all her background, her friend's comments were completely inappropriate.  I agree she could have confronted it better, and she admits that. But she's not wrong for being upset, nor was she wrong to confront her 'friend' about it.