One of the unique problems that comes with chronic illness is that ... it lasts so long.
Some chronically ill people are fortunate to have a solid support network of family and friends. For others, things are very different. If there were people interested in helping, while they may have been dedicated and compassionate at first, the long haul proved to be too long. The sprint they could run was too short for the marathon of chronic illness.
Many of us have outlasted our helping companions and carry on down the bleak road alone.
Do you know someone who is alone this holiday season? Maybe you can't commit great blocks of time or resources to their care and comfort. But if you can spend a little time, and maybe even a little money, and you just need some suggestions, you're headed in the right direction.
You don't have to look for big things to make a difference for many who are chronically ill. Things that you may take for granted, that seem like no big deal in your own life can be things that have stumped the chronically ill with a wall of impossibility for a long time.
Ever made lunch? Fixing something for your friend will not only brighten their day with your caring actions, it will also take care of a practical problem. Some people who are chronically ill must spend most of their energy putting a meal together, needing to recuperate for the rest of the day afterward. Others just end up not eating.
Washing laundry, sticking it in the dryer and doing some folding are simple chores. Having a friend come over to go through these paces can bring a sense of order to a home that may be short on that quality. Clean clothes, especially when they've been hung up and placed in drawers, bespeak affection and closeness for someone who may not feel that very often. Not to mention, you will save them their little energy quota for the day for other things.
When you have to run to the store, perhaps you could call or stop by to see if your friend needs anything as well. One trip, two sets of errands accomplished. Less stress and pressure on your friend, and you go home feeling like you've made a difference.