Our Nurses > Ask a Nurse > Sometimes just being a friend is the greatest support
Sometimes just being a friend is the greatest support
April 28, 2015
My good friend was diagnosed with MS not that long ago—and she NEVER talks about it. I want to be a good friend, but I also want to respect her boundaries. I want her to know I'm here for her, but I'm worried she's dealing with this all by herself. What can I do?
– Trying to be a Good Friend
Nurse Claire replies:
This is a great question and I think you're a good friend to be concerned.
First of all, I would not assume that just because your friend is not talking to you, she's not talking to anyone. Sometimes I hear that people diagnosed with MS don't want to burden their friends or family. But they may talk to other MS patients or to their care team. I would suggest you make a point of saying you want to listen. And that talking is not a burden—it's what friends do.
My other big suggestion is make sure you stay in contact with her. Just do normal stuff. Go to brunch or whatever you two do. Hopefully this will reassure your friend that you are always going to be there for her, and that you don't see her as someone with MS but as a friend you really value.
By the way, I think it's OK to check in from time to time and ask her how she's feeling. And rather than ask if she needs anything, do something. Cook dinner or just take her to the movies. Bottom line: Be present, be available, but don't push too hard.
— Nurse Claire, MS One to One® Nurse
Helping since 2013