“Get Well Soon” vs. “I Hope You Feel Better”

Throughout my entire chronic life friends and family have often said “Get well soon” or “I hope you feel better”. There was a time when hearing either sentiment made me cringe, but that was until I realized that only one of them is really offensive.

Never gonna happen

Those of us with psoriatic arthritis are never going to get well. It is a chronic illness, meaning never ending. There is no cure. Unless by some miracle a cure is found in my lifetime, those who are hoping and waiting for me to get well won’t get their wish.

Better chance

The reason I no longer get upset when someone expresses that they wish that I felt better is that it is possible. Unless I am feeling 100%, there is always a chance of feeling better. Better isn’t the same as being well, it can be experiencing a slight or major improvement. When every inch of my body is screaming out in pain, the slightest amount of relief is welcome and considered better.

What their words reveal

I feel like the person who wishes for me to feel better understands that I will never be well. They aren’t waiting for me to be who I was before becoming ill; they just want me to feel better than I am feeling at that moment. Even if they don’t understand my illness, they know enough to realize that there are different levels of pain that I can function better at than others. Instead of getting upset or angry with those who are wishing me to “get well”, I calmly explain to them that it won’t happen. I share that I can and often do feel better, but even at my best I will never be cured.

How do you respond when someone says “Get well soon”?

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Comments

View Comments (3)
  • imschmarte
    10 months ago

    Hi Cynthia! I too have heard both phrases many, many times. Feel better, as you stated, is possible. But get well will never happen, but I have grown so tired of trying to explain that to SO may people, I just say thank you and go on my way. Too many do not understand the nature of this beast, and they don’t mean to be mean, they just don’t understand, and I for one, am tired of educating them! My wish for you is a day with minimum pain, no fatigue, and lots of energy!! Good luck!

  • Eileen B moderator
    10 months ago

    I wish the same to you, @imschmarte! You’re right that many just don’t understand, and yes, it’s too exhausting to explain it over and over. Your positive attitude is a smart way to handle it — simply assume they mean well, and let it go. Having “It’s incurable!” tattooed on your forehead would be an overreaction. (Maybe?) -Eileen, Psoriatic-Arthritis.com Team

  • imschmarte
    10 months ago

    LOL Eileen! Funny you should wish the same for me. I went yesterday to try the epidural shots for the first time, always been petrified of someone sticking needles in my back. So thanks for the good wishes because I am having the best day since I don’t know when!! Gonna go out and have my hair done!! Still hurt, but it is like coming out of the fog and finding there IS a real world out there, and at least for today, I am joining it!!

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