“Have you tried…..?”

We’ve all heard it. A well-meaning friend, a nosy stranger, a nervous relative, a new acquaintance hears about your health problem and asks, “Have you tried X?”

The first time you hear it, you probably think it’s nice they’re trying to help. Maybe they even suggest something you’ve never thought of. The 5th time you hear it, it’s a bit annoying, but at least they want to help, right? The 782nd time you hear it, you’re fed up and trying not to yell at them about their ignorance.

But how do you really respond?

A friend and I were sharing stories about this yesterday. She said how she always wants to say, “Do you really think you’ll suggest anything I haven’t already thought of?” and I said that I do actually say that. She was shocked that I say it. I was shocked that she doesn’t say it.

The thing is, why bother pretending? I’m not mean about it, but I do point out that I’ve had my health issues for more than 20 years. I read the news. I follow health blogs, Facebook groups, and twitter accounts. I read library books and newsletters. I talk to friends with similar health problems. And let’s not forget, I just happen to see many doctors. So do they really think they’re going to suggest anything that I haven’t already thought of or had suggested to me by a professional? I point all that out, nicely, and no one is offended but they do stop offering me advice. Win!

What about you? How do you handle it when someone asks, “Have you tried….?” Please share your approach in the comments. I’d love to know what everyone else does!

6 Responses to “Have you tried…..?”

  1. Lorna says:

    When Fritz (hubby) worked. He was an ambulance driver so had lots of Doctor friends. He has a couple that are retired too and a little eccentric. Try telling one of those that what they are suggesting wont work. We have reached an impasse!
    But for everyone else. I inquire sweetly will it make my immune system like me? I know most of them mean well but don’t they think I might have found that wonder drug/herd/vitamin already if it worked.
    Hugs xx

  2. I pretend I am interested and save up the cures for a blog post. Sometimes the people are good friends and I don’t want them to feel unappreciated.
    The last person with an idea suggested that I should go see – Wait for it – My own doctor!
    I did a blog post on cures – apples, potatoes, Chinese pills and all. Did you try burying yourself in hot sand yet? or there is a worm cure I hear?

  3. chronicmom says:

    I hate this question. I don’t like being rude, but some people are so pushy. I don’t mind too much when people ask if I tried something, but I really hate it when they try to sell something to me as a “cure”. I will not buy anything coming from a MLM company, so I tell people that is my policy and I will not break it for any reason. If they still persist I have to cut them off for my mental health because at that point they are just trying to make a profit and not trying to help me.

  4. It’s very frustrating, as someone who’s been in pain for 20+ years and had more procedures,doctors,meds etc than I can count. When I hear the suggestions, I politely say, I’ve done everything there is to do. The only option left is a new spine. Some will say, well hold out hope that happens one day. Some just stop. It’s that sane hope you get when a dr sets you up for a procedure and you think this is it, this is the one, I’ll finally get some relief. And once again, it doesn’t work. I’ve learned to accept my diagnosis, my broken and busted form. Others need to learn to do the same and I need to remember that althought it’s annoying and frustrating,it is usually coming from a loving place

    • chronicrants says:

      You seem to have a really great attitude about it all. It’s good you’ve come to accept everything. Hopefully you can help others to accept it, too. In the meantime, I hope your great attitude and patience are contagious 🙂

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