Receiving unsolicited medical advice and recommendations for “miracle cures”unfortunately seems to come with the territory of chronic illness. Why do people do this? Perhaps they don’t know what else to say. Maybe they know someone who was helped by whatever treatment they’re pitching (and don’t realize your illnesses are not the same). Maybe they genuinely believe they’re being helpful. Whatever the reason, these people don’t seem to understand that medical professionals are the people you want to hear advice from — since, hey, they are the ones who know the science of your diagnosis and what treatments are appropriate!
So when someone tells you, “Have you ever tried [insert ridiculous treatment that would never work]?” what do you say? You should never feel like you owe anyone an explanation of your illness, and it’s perfectly OK to not respond at all. But sometimes, you might wish you had a great response ready to go that subtly (or not-so-subtly) educates this person and maybe makes them think next time they want to give you unsolicited medical advice. Below, our Mighty community shares the “comebacks” they use when confronted with “miracle cures.” They’re yours to use as well, and let us know in the comments if you have any more to add.
Here’s what our Mighty community told us:
- “My comeback is usually ‘Well… if that did work, I’m sure almost all of us would be cured by now because none of us want this.’” — Jozee M.
- “I try to ask for as much info as possible. I don’t hide that I’m totally skeptical, I just give them a chance. ‘Do you have any research? How did you hear about it? Who do you know for whom it worked?’” — Sarah A.
- “I keep it simple. ‘Thanks but I leave the prescriptions to the people with a medical degree.’” — Jill D.
- “‘I’m open to trying things that will help symptoms but this is a genetic disorder and there’s literally nothing that will change the way my genes work; thank you for thinking of me.’” — Alexandra E.
- “I hear from multi-level marketers quite often… I kindly ask, ‘Can you help me understand how this will help with my specific issues?’ If they haven’t taken time to understand what I live with, how can they know that it will help?” — Tab M.
- “Why don’t you go over to The Mighty and then talk magic…” — Pooja P.
- “I like saying ‘Tried it, didn’t work’ then come up with some crazy long story about how bad it was.” — Katherine S.
- “‘Nice, good to know… It sounds like something I would be too lazy to try… You know how much I love my chronic illness.’ While looking weird at them.. [or] ‘Congratulations, you found something no doctors have ever found out… Since you know that, then please explain how it works with science, statistics and let me meet someone who is cured! That should not be a problem for you?’” — Aili S.
- “I don’t say anything. But I do the biggest eye roll ever! (EDS is genetic! Unless they can cure my genes I’m not listening.)” — Heidi J.
- “I’m glad that works for you, but I trust my care team.” — Cynthia P.
- “My replies depend on the people… my elderly family members who spend time researching to try and help me get some relief normally get a sweet ‘I appreciate you thinking of me’… snarky jerks who don’t believe anything is wrong with me in the first place normally get a different reply and maybe a gesture…” — Staci H.
- “I usually look at the color of their eyes, and tell them, ‘Just like your (green eyes) or my blue eyes it’s written in my DNA and nothing will change that.’” — Jamie F.
- “That sounds great! Now join one of the main Facebook groups and pitch it to the thousands of people suffering… see what they think.” — Kirst C.
- “I just stare at them. Too tired to make a comeback.” — Maggie N.
- “If it were that simple, I’d already be cured…” — Terri D.