25 Ways to Be a Good Friend to Someone With Lyme Disease

We asked our community for some ways to be a good friend to someone with Lyme disease. Here’s what they said:

1. “Call, text or message regularly just to say ‘checking in.’ And ask if it’s OK to come by with coffee/tea/etc. and just sit with me, even if it’s just to watch TV. It can be lonely.” — Jennifer Nunn Box

2.”Don’t ask all the time how are you feeling? Just offer to spend time and be OK doing anything or nothing. Don’t make them feel like they need to be full of energy and upbeat all the time. Try to learn about the disease so you can understand a little of what they are going through.” — Karen Nunes

3.”Don’t suggest a symptom is something other than what it is. Be a good listener. Don’t rewrite the script.” — Sarah Red

4. “Believe me. If I look OK on the outside, I’m not on the inside.” — Jeannette Hefer

5. “Talk to your friend. Text them, FaceTime them, keep them in your life. Invite them over, ask to come over, make plans to go out but don’t be upset if they can’t follow through that day. Do everything you can to make sure your friend isn’t forgotten just because they may not be doing what you’re doing and are trying to get healthy.” — Cassidy Schod

6. “Just ask how we are doing, and don’t expect us to lie and say we are improving. Understand that just because we look good, we are still in immense pain and discomfort every day. Understand that it may take months or years to heal.” — Stephanie Tartaglia

7. “Don’t act like I’m faking it.” — Anonymous

8. “Call, check in, stop by with a bottle of wine. Understand that I can’t get out evenings to meet up like I used to. Bring a movie and hang out with me. Understand that I am lonely most of the time because my friends are all out enjoying life.” — Deborah J Winters

9. “Be flexible, and pray! I have a friend who says, let’s pick a few different days we could get together and you can let me know that morning if you are feeling well enough to have company. It is so nice to have her know that I have a hard time making and keeping plans because I feel terrible that day. It helps me feel less guilty, less isolated, and understood.” — Lisa Paganelli King

10. “Offer to help chop some veggies and help prepare something us Lymies can eat. Take a short walk. Remind us of our gifts and talents. Remind us that although we Lymers are going through something that can suck up our lives, let us know we still matter and life is beautiful.” — Toni Tolomeo Snyder

11. “Don’t give up on us when we keep canceling plans. Understand that sometimes we can do things, and sometimes we can’t. Keep contacting us if you don’t hear from us, and be prepared to come over and make tea and just hang out. It might seem boring to you but could be the highlight of our week.” — Kathlene Baker

12. “Just be there! When I actually make plans because I feel good, don’t cancel on me. This happened to me more than once and it tears me up!” — Natalie Smith

13. “Accepting my truths are reality. I feel marginalized every day by society and by my own family. I can’t imagine if somebody simply decided to ask questions and understand me instead of denying my reality.” — Kimberley Hodgdon Landsman

14. “Don’t give up! Know that it effects moods and sometimes makes us snippy, but we don’t mean it. We just want to feel cared about and not forgotten.” — Lisa Hart-White

15. “Don’t forget about me! Even just a quick call to check in and maybe help me run an errand.” — Claudia Recchio

16. “Don’t tell me to just get over it, I can’t just wish this away.” — Sherri Predovich Cunningham

17. “Just be there and be real, isolation is very dangerous for us Lymies.” — Linda Polizzi

18. “If a friend is too ill to get up from their bed, lie down with them. This is, very simply, true friendship.” — Paula Johnston

19. “Come over to play with our kids, because we can’t and it breaks out hearts every single day.” — Jennilyn Lynn

20. “Not to judge you if you’re not feeling well since they don’t know what you go through on a daily basis.” — Christen Wayland

21. “A good friend would help me laugh at something as often as possible. A good friend would bring me a meal or entertain my kid for an hour. A good friend would google my disease and learn what it means.” — Amanda Woodlee

22. “Always check up on them. Don’t treat them like they are crazy. Always support them. They need you 24/7.” — Paula Silverwolf

23. “Just listen! Don’t try to fix it!” — Heidi Buono

24. “Stay connected!” — Pam Griffin-Tierney

25. “Help do a few chores around the house.” — Pam Pinkston Agnew

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