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People say the darndest things...


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It never ceases to amaze me the things that people say to someone who is hurt or ill. No harm is intended but sometimes we just don't really think about the words we say. Here are some of my favorites. The following at one time or another has been said to me or I over heard said to others. Below each is the unspoken answer I wished I had had the courage to say in return:



"I'm sorry to hear you have been ill for the past several weeks. I was going to send you a card (or call you) but I was so busy I just couldn't find the time."


(Did you find 15 minutes in the last several weeks to watch a TV program? If you couldn't find 15 minutes to call or send a note, just don't tell me about it.)




"I'm sorry to hear you've been in an accident - there but for the grace of God go I."


(Thanks for telling me that you are more in a state of grace than I am.)




Upon seeing a friend in a wheelchair: "Give me the 15 second version of what happened to you."


(I can do better than that - here's the 5 second version: SILENCE.)




Upon visiting someone in the hospital: "I'm sorry to see you in the hospital. I've been very healthy all my life. That's because I always do things right. I eat right. I walk a lot"......etc....ad nauseum.


(I know you are more wonderful than I am in every way.)




"I'm so sorry you were in an accident. If there is anything I can do, please call me. Anything - anything at all -......except on Tues. when I have my bridge game. On Wed. I go to lunch with friends. Thurs - I could help you ....on my way to the mall to with my neighbor. On Thurs and Fri. ....I go to a lecture on flower arrangement.....but - anything I can do - just call."


(I'll call out your name from my rocking chair.)




"I've never had the illness/injury you have, but I know exactly how you feel."


(Actually, you have no idea.)




"I know a wonderful doctor who can cure anything - he cured all my problems. He's not far away - well, just over the border - in Tijuana ....and he sells this special juice in gallon cans......."


(The last thing I need is a doc with special juice in Tijuana.)

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On explaining my injury (an inflamed periosteum) to a friend:


"Oh that's disgusting, don't tell me any more, I don't want to hear it, I feel sick just thinking about it!"


Good job it's not your leg then!


The response of the physiotherapist was even better:


There is nothing I can do, you will just have to stop dancing. And if you try and start again the pain will just come back.


This is coming from someone that advertises as an experienced dance physio with a thorough understanding of the needs of dancers. I stomped off home to a local sports therapist who has managed to keep me dancing more or less pain free for two years now.

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People who hear "spinal injury" and think it's just backache so say:


"Oh, my back's bad at the moment too"


and/or "When my back is bad, I walk it off/go to the gym".


It's like comparing a bruise on your shin to a leg broken in several places. Grrrrr!

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That is dreadful, 2dancersmum. However to redress the balance, I would like to tell you of my experience. Before DD, I lost a baby at 12 weeks and had to go into hospital for a D & C. When I was able to start teaching again all the pupils' mums were so supportive, many said "It happened to me too," or else to their sister or their neighbour. It was so helpful to feel I was part of a community.

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I actually overheard this conversation:




Did the doctor tell you what is wrong?


Yes, I have XXX disease, but it can have a very slow progression.


Well, everyone I've ever heard of who had it was dead in a few months.




And then there's this.....two ladies sitting and chatting before a meeting starts. One says to the other.....


Oh, look there's Jane Doe, I think I'd rather sit with her (and gets up and leaves the lady with whom she has been chatting).




And - this was said to me:


A woman looked at my shoes and said: Those shoes are not very lady-like.


My answer: " If the feet inside the shoes are those of a lady - then the shoes are lady-like."

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