Faith Dean's similar journey
Another patient who has made a similar journey, Faith Dean, was diagnosed first with ITP, which adversely affects the platelet count, and later on, lupus. During her many hospital stays, she noticed that family members would not come to visit; though they lived close by. This caused her much emotional pain, but over time, she came to realize that she valued the company of those individuals who were most comfortable and “could handle” the situation more so than those who visited out a sense of “obligation.” Moreover, she learned that there are some individuals who, by nature, cannot handle a situation well or know what to say or how to act in the presence of a person with a chronic illness. Though she felt a certain amount of emotional pain over this, she recognized that avoiding awkward interactions would be best for everyone involved.
Ironically, this instance of taking control of one’s relationships and interactions can be empowering and even offer a sense of hope and optimism. Plus, it’s nothing personal against the patient; as Merrill mentions, some people honestly do not know what to do.