My husband shared a water bottle with our grandson who had just recovered from a stomach bug, and of course, my husband was ill two days later. I tried to keep my distance, but I’m feeling a little off myself. I started to think about the way different people deal with illness, and it made me wonder what causes the differences. Let me tell you about how several people I know and how they handle illness, and I hope you can relate.

My husband sees illness as a weakness. He is also a horrible nurse. It is so bad that my daughters have sworn to me that if I am ever seriously ill, they will check on me regularly. When he says he doesn’t feel well, we all start to worry because we know it is serious.

I fight illness and do not want to give in to it because there are so many things I want to do. I told my youngest this morning that I didn’t feel well, and she said, “Mom, go back to bed! Why are you trying to fight it? Of course, she is the voice of reason. We should take care of ourselves, and when our bodies aren’t performing at full capacity, we should rest.   

My daughters both realize that when illness strikes, you should let your body heal, and it’s o.k. to ask for help. They ask for all the cures I have used on them through the years, and I love helping them feel better.

I have a friend who is going through breast cancer, and the doctors say they have never seen anyone have such a bad reaction to treatment. On top of cancer, she has to have stomach surgery. When I was speaking with her, I was humbled by her courage and her attitude. She said, “Well, I have to tell myself that this is another hurdle to get over, and when I do, I’ll be on the road to recovery.”

So, why do people have different attitudes about illness? I don’t think there is one answer. I think it depends on your personality, your environment, and how you were raised. How do you deal with illness?

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