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5 Ways to Say ‘Thanks But No Thanks’ to Bad Advice

By Gay Falkowski


Be thankful. It’s what we’re reminded to do on Thanksgiving when we get together with friends and family for the traditional holiday meal. But when friends and family serve up a heaping helping of bad advice about managing your MS, consider replying with a “thanks but no thanks.” You might even share some MS knowledge while you’re at it. After all, you are the expert on your MS! Here are five ways to say ‘thanks but no thanks’ to some typical bad advice:
 
  1. My doctor can help you get well
 
They say: “I have a really great family doctor. You should go see him. He can probably figure out why you got MS in the first place. I don’t know what happened with you, but hey, we all make mistakes. I bet it’s something simple.”
You say: “I really wish it was that easy, but it’s not. No one knows why anyone gets MS. And there’s no cure yet. When people think I did something to cause my MS, I get frustrated because I know it isn’t my fault. I have a really great doctor, and she’s an MS specialist.  So thanks but no thanks, I appreciate the offer, but I’ll pass on seeing your doctor.”
 
  1. Try this new diet
 
They say: “I’ve got this diet for you to try. It cures all kinds of stuff. It’s probably good for MS, too. I saw it on TV and have some friends who tried it and it really works. If you don’t like it you can get your money back. You’re probably just not eating right.”
You say: “There’s been a lot of research on diet and MS but so far there’s no scientific proof that foods can cure MS. My doctors and nurses at the MS center let me know what foods to eat and what foods I shouldn’t eat so I can stay as healthy as I can. So, thanks but no thanks I don’t want to try a new diet. Let me know how it works out for you, though!”
 
  1. Just get out more
 
They say: “Look, I know you’ve got MS, but if you’d just get out more and do things you’d feel better. You’re not even trying. I’ll come get you Saturday and we’ll go out for the day. It’ll be fun.”
You say: “I try every day. Sometimes, my trying gets me out of bed and into the kitchen to find something to eat. Other days it gets me in front of the TV and that’s it. I can’t wait for the day I’ll have enough energy to do all the things I want to do. Right now I take it day by day. Call me Saturday morning and if I feel up to it, I’ll go for a little while. Otherwise, thanks but no thanks.”
 
  1. Think away your MS
 
They say: “My best friend has MS, and you’d hardly even know it. She goes to work and has three kids, and hasn’t slowed down at all. You just need to stop thinking of yourself as being sick. I don’t know if you realize it, but you look great!”
You say: “MS is different for everyone. You might not know it but there are different types of MS and more than 100 symptoms that can come and go. It’s really unpredictable. That’s why you can’t compare my MS to your friend’s MS. I’m glad you think I look great, but just because I look great doesn’t mean I feel great. Thanks but no thanks, ignoring my MS isn’t going to make me feel better.
 
  1. If Only You’d Exercise
 
They say: “You just need to exercise. I’m tired all the time, too, but when I exercise I have so much more energy.”
You say: “ I exercise as much as I can. My physical therapist set me up with a program that’s right for me and I do my best with it. The kind of tired I feel is different than the tired feeling healthy people get. It’s hard to explain how overwhelming it is. I don’t think exercising more would be the right thing for me to do right now, so thanks but no thanks.