Everyday tasks like picking up milk at the grocery store can be monumental tasks for an ill friend. She appreciates it when you say, “I am running an errand. What do you need?”
Running an errand can often wear one out for hours, when living with illness. So, when someone offers to run an errand for us, it can make the difference in whether we are able to function the rest of the day.
That said, however, we also do not wish to be dependent on others or have them go out of their way for us. We don’t ever want to be an inconvenience to the people around us. And we enjoy our independence, even if it is fleeting at times.
“I am running an errand and am going to the grocery store this afternoon (or pharmacy, etc.). Is there anything you need that I could get for you and drop off?”
When you offer to run an errand for us, besides assisting us in not using up our limits energy, there are many illnesses such as multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis that make it it impossible to lift heavy items like a gallon of milk or a jug of laundry detergent.
Oftentimes we have to figure out who to asks us with these tasks, such as going out of our way to find a clerk at the store to get it into and out of our cart. Sometimes we spend a fortune getting a Taxi cab driver to bring our things into the apartment for us since we cannot carry them. Your help means a great deal to us.
The words, “I am running an errand. What can I get for you? It is no problem at all,” may be the sweetest offer you ever offer someone who lives with chronic illnesses.
TWEET THIS: Things TO SAY to an ill person #2 I’m going to the grocery, what can I get you? (especially heavy things 2 carry) #iiwk12 http://ow.ly/ce1RB
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When someone runs an errand for you, remember to be gracious. They may have gotten the wrong kind of milk, or a bread that is the wrong shape, but learn to be flexible. You don’t want to end up sounding like Mr. Pitt from Seinfeld where Elaine is sent running an errand and then he is never pleased with the results.
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