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How do you deal with negative remarks from family?

TTLCTTTLC Posts: 876
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Chronic Pain
Do you ever find yourself wanting to scream, over some comments your family and friends make? I truly believe it's due to them not fully understanding the chronic pain we live with and how LONG it takes to recover. You provide them as much information as possible about your condition and what the doctors tell you... but with some, it just doesn't sink in!

So today, my mother calls and I shared that I finally got out and had a pedicure done. (I cannot bend yet, so I can't do my toenails right now. I decided I needed help, as I really don't want to be entered in the Guiness Book of World Records for the longest toenails... LOL!)

Her reply was, "Well, I guess you must be feeling really good these days to afford that luxury. I haven't had a pedicure in years."

My mouth just dropped open and I could not respond. My mother and I have had our differences over the years, but that comment just through me for a loop. It was not luxurious... it hurt like heck, to be honest. When they rubbed my feet and lower legs... ouch, ouch, ouch. I had to ask her to stop. The visit cost me $15.00, which is very reasonable. We are on a budget due to the economy and I don't feel the $15.00 was a frivilous expense.

I'd like to take a time-out from talking to her, but not sure how to go about it. She just really seems unreasonable these days. I hardly see her or speak to her on the phone. Dad stops over all the time, which is great.

Thanks for listening... hope each of you had a better day.



  • I understand you feelings totally. I'll bet you thought up lots of snappy comebacks......after you hung up. It's hard to understand why family and friends say such hurtful things at times. Maybe your mom is jealous of the time your Dad spends with you? Does she have any health issues? Just some things to think about. Of course some people are just bit**y :D If they are not the center of attention, they aren't happy. Only you know your family dynamics. If possible next time ask her if she could come over and cut your toenails for you..bet she won't make anymore snide comments! Hang in there, this too shall pass.

  • You know... you are right. She does like to be the center of attention and her behavior has been more "snappy" since my Dad has been over here to help out us out. She is in excellent health, with the exception of having to take high blood pressure medication and watch her cholesterol.

    My Dad is retired and he pretty much just takes orders from my Mom... whether it's picking something up for her at her work or doing stuff around the house. My Mom does not have to work, she chooses to, which is fine. If working makes her happy, that's great.

    When Dad comes over to our house, she seems to call constantly and it's generally about really petty issues? Dad has taken me to doctors appointments as well, when my hubby was unable to. Dad loves spending time with us and is glad to be able to help. Mom, well... everything has always been about her and we all just go with it. We include her in everything and treat her very nice.

    These days, however, I get really irritated with her behavior... lol. My chronic pain and her comments don't make a good combination. I don't know how she would react to me asking her to cut my toenails... lol. She would probably freak out! Some of her other comments are along the lines of, "Will you EVER be able to bend again?"... "Gee, you certainly are on a lot of narcotics. Is that really necessary?"... "Why do you have to take sleeping pills, too?"... etc.

    Thanks for listening and your reply. It made me smile and yes, this too will pass. I'm hoping next time to not be in shock and able to come back at her with a comment. Nothing mean, just something to make her think of what she is saying.

    Thanks again... :)

  • hi there :H , i just want to say some people /most just dont "think" X( the fact you cant get down there to do it yourself,id ring her back, :-C nicely as you can say " mom,can you reach your toes? yes ? well i cant ! and what you said hurt me big time,then put the phone down and leave her to stew! =)) ........... >:D<
  • I, sometimes tell my wife that I wish she could live in my body for an hour to see what it is like just be get an idea of what I go through on a daily basis. I still work full time and sometimes I wonder how I do it. I know people say he can't be in pain that bad because he still works, that is so far from the truth they are not with me on my way home when tears are running down my face from pain, or when I come home from work shower eat supper and am in bed within two hours after work. Have no life at all, I can't play with my grandson. Someone once told me that my back looked like a city map from all the surgeries that I have had.
  • Part of that is being assertive and I understand that notion of having to explain every thing part of this is not to take this personally as they do not live our experience and ignore most of these comment it may have been better to say something at the time rather than wait a while although you can get to the point where you are correct everyone’s misconception and it does become tiresome.

    My mother is still at the it’s marvellous what they can do stage and bless her cuts out uninformed blurb for my delectation, you have to laugh. Every illness has these associated ignorance and I have decided it is not my role to educate all and sundry.

    My sister died from cancer and well meaning friends bought her special food that seemingly Avastin was devoid, how we laughed and cried, she passed away this year. My own mode is to seek out those people who are supportive and encouraging and look for positive encouragement, some people however well meaning will never get it and just leave them to it.

    Take care, we and others know it hurts.

  • most people dont understand chronic pain .that includes family members and so called friends ..comments like are you not back at work yet ...and things like you need to get a job you lazy basxxxd etc.the last comment was screamed at to my my cow of a next door neighbors..the best way to deal with them is to grit your teeth and keep your mouth shut .even agree with them .because you wont win with some one that has not been through chronic pain....sod em!!
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Hi Tammy

    I am sorry to hear you have to put up with these remarks from your Mother, I can understand exactly how you feel. My mother is the same, if I ever rung to tell her about a hospital or doctors visit, she would cut in with how either her or someone else in the family was going through that much more. It used to bother me when I was younger but now I have learn best to avoid these conversations as she will never change.

    Telephone calls are now a no no, as I can never think of anything that would interest her.

    When I visit and she wants to talk ailments I tell her the date I suffered with the same or similar..starting off with 'yeah I know pain is bad isn't it....

    MaggieP is right, they have to be the centre of attention, or it is in my case


    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Sometimes when people have negative things to say I can come up with a quick response, but most times I am speechless. Twenty minutes later I think of all the things I could've said and didn't. When I told my Mother I had applied for disability she said "How can you do that when it would take money from people who need it more?" How could she think I would take money from someone more needy than myself? How insulting! I had to explain to her that since I was 16 I have paid $ out of every paycheck into a social security fund,this fund exists to help me if I ever become disabled. My Mother hasn't worked in 47 years and has no clue about these things. I don't think people try to be hurtful,what they say is usually self involved and comes from ignorance.
    Faith M
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    Tammy, as you can see by reading the posts many people have experienced this or know of others that have.
    Chronic pain is so to understand from someone who have never experienced. It can also be difficult to understand from the person suffering in chronic pain.
    Chronic pain does not really show itself on the outside. We could be looking normal, so immediately people look at you and say Oh you are looking good, you must be feeling ok
    People understand Acute pain. You cut yourself, you step on a nail... Everyone understands that because everyone has been in acute pain before.
    There have been multiple posts regarding this subject and I remember one member stating that We should wear a sticker on a forehand saying we are in pain
    Most people suffering from chronic pain get tired of explaining things over and over and telling people how they feel. After a while, we tend to not even talk about our situation.
    But what really hurts is when this comes from a family member. The statement you made regarding your mothers comment when you went for a pedicure had to really hurt a lot. For you, it was like an outstanding event, you were able to get outside and do something for yourself! So, you were happy with that, but a knife was jabbed into your heart by your mother's comments.
    For all the years I have been dealing with chronic pain, my mother hasnt figured it out. The extent of her conversation with me about my medical situation is "Are you eating?" When I was in the middle of my thoracic problems two years ago, my mother never once offered to help like bring us some food or something. I brought it up to her one time and her only comment was I didnt want to bother you and you have this problem only for a couple of weeks!
    Couple of weeks, try almost 18 months.
    There really isnt that much that we can do to change that. We almost just have to accept it, but it still hurts.
    Thats why many times its easier discussing problems with friends vs family.
    And that brings me to Spine-Health. In addition to research that can be done here, better understanding procedures watching videos, etc.... There is a common bond among members here. Many, no, I would say most members here have never and will probably never meet the person they have posted with, chatted with many times. Yet, you know the caring that we have for each other. This is one of the best support group functions that I know of.
    Good luck Tammy, I hope for your sake your mother comes around and sees things and begins to understand your situation.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Ewe, at least mine anyway. I made her come visit us after Easter. I simply sent her an email since she will not call and told her I did not feel up to traveling on Easter and if she wanted she could come down or wait till I felt up to it! It actually worked as she came down on Sunday. She gives her grandsons money, it makes her feel good. I only maintain the relationship for the kids and her sake anyway.

    She is the "ills" person of the family, always talks about all of everyones problems, except for mine. I expect she tells them all about me... She does not and will not call.
    I tried for years to maintain the relationship for my sons.
    Now they are 18 and 16 and they are smart enough to know how she is, so I don't much bother.

    My mother in law is the sweetest lady, she called me three times the week of my trial! How come my wife is missing some of that I do not know. But I am getting her better at it! I have started dragging my wife to my appts so she can hear it from someone else, that yes, this guy really is in pain. Yes, we are going to cut him again...etc,

    It seems to me the best way to get "them" to understand is to tell them directly, the next step is to try and drag them into the office visit with your doctors. Just like little kids, they need someone else to tell them we really do hurt! Little kids always act nicer to strangers, the nonbelievers do to!
  • my hubby is coming to my mri scan next week and i will make sure he comes to the docs for the results,not that he dont beleave me ,just to help him be more informed about it ;)
  • Boy have you opened up a can of worms (and I'm very glad you did). This is one issue that we can ALL relate to. What you've posted might just be one of the biggest issues us spineys face. It is so unbelievable how others react.

    I had told my brother the other day that one of the reasons I wasn't going to fly to California for his son's wedding was that I was still having some problems with my neck. So I was talking with my sister-in-law last night and she asked about it and then started telling me how bad her spine was. Really? Is that so? I just wanted to slap her - thank goodness she told me on the phone not face to face.

    I'm sorry your mom made that comment to you. It just so sucks that people can't understand. I'm with PapaRon - that's why we are here. The people here at SH are the family that can understand and that's why we're here. I'll bet that each and every one of us has a story to tell that very similar to yours.

    Geez, I could go on and on, but I won't. Just know that we're here for you and understand how important and special it was for you to get your pedicure.

    Take care, sweetie, you have a very understand family right here.
  • it's not the family that is insensitive, it is co workers who don't understand. if there are negatives with family, it is usually over meds. why are you still taking these suckers, do you really need them? aren't they addictive, etc. i just smile and stick one in my mouth. but after almost 10 years of pain meds and surgeries thank god family is pretty understanding. my sister whom i haven't seen for 5 years came out due her husband dying and was a little perplexed when i shoved a sucker in my mouth i explained to her about them and after a while she became pretty accepting about them at work i hide my meds use. i thank god that after a while family seems to understand. of course behind my back it could be a different story.
    take care pain people
    your friend in pain
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • I thank each of you, so very much, for your comments.

    I have laughed and cried while reading through these posts. I find tears very healing, particularly the "laugh till you cry" ones. Those really strengthen my abdominal muscles... lol.

    Words can't express how thankful I am to have stumbled across Spine Health. I was doing a search on weaning myself off my TSLO brace and Spine Health popped up! I do feel the bond within this fine group of people and I am priviledged to be a part of this group.

    One of these days, I will be able to interact more and I look forward to that day. Sitting for long periods of time still brings on the back pain, but it gets better each day. :)

    I have learned a lot about each of you during the past couple of weeks and can't wait to address each of you in a more personal manner. (Individual postings). Although I don't post as often as I would like to, I am on here every day keeping up with everyone's progress and the newbies.

    Such a wonderful group of people you are and the perseverence I see on here, keeps me going strong!

    Thanks again... I send each of you a heartfelt hug. >:D<

  • insensitive are the ones that have not been through much pain and have been mostly healthy. My mom has always been the pessimistic, talk about everybody like a dog, and loves drama, but with my back problems, she's been supportive. She's had two knee replacements, has HBP, arthritis, and sees a chiropractor for her shoulders sometimes. So, maybe when you find like-minded people with the same problems, it's easier, like Ron said....all of us here understand cause we know.

    My sister-in-law gained a ton of weight and is like 5 foot if that tall and her back started spasming. You would have thought the world came to an end. She doesn't work and is young. We all heard about every twitch, every doctor visit and every muscle relaxer that she tried, took, anything. She never did any PT, shots, or had an MRI, so I figured either the doctors didn't think it was anything or she wasn't pushing for help, not sure on that one. She knew that I had bulging discs and pain but still wouldn't ask me anything or talk about what else she should do, she just went on and on about her inability to do things and how much she had to stay on the couch or in the bed.

    So I guess sometimes, we don't do ourselves much service by not just spelling out how much we hurt and what it's like and how bad it feels to have to return to work and continue to have pain. Most of us don't want to gush on and on about our pain and expect others to give sympathy, cause that's not what we're about. For me, at least, it's very private. I try to hide it, and others don't know.

    Maybe next time you talk with your mom and she pops off like that, just say, hey, I really needed to get out and feel like a human and do a small thing for myself, but I paid for and it hurt. It made me feel better. She surely can't begrudge you that? Don't hide your pain from her. She probably is jealous of your Dad's attention being on you lately too.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    My well meaning mother is 83 and in very good shape and spirits. But she is still after all 83 and some of the things that come out of her mouth could be very hurtful if I chose to let them be. But me and most of my siblings have agreed that she is after all up there in age and not fully responsible for everything that comes out of her mouth. Sometimes they just don't think or realise how hurtful some of their comments are. Some day I know we will miss those things that they do. And just wish they were still here to do them. They wont be here for ever. So try not to let them hurt.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • I'm sorry you got treated that way and I can't imagine how painful that must feel. It's another reason why chronic pain is so hard to deal with because it causes interpersonal conflicts with those who don't care enough to try to understand.

    Thank goodness my family is always behind me and are sympathetic to what I go through, even when they don't know what it's really like. One can't truly grasp it until it happens to them, but at least they can show compassion and learn from who suffers chronic pain. I have heard an occasional stupidity from other people, for instance "you look better today, so you must be improving now." DUH! "Oh, you're out of bed, do you want to come over?" Yeah, right.

    Well, we're here for you and you don't have to feel all alone anymore because you now have a huge cyberfamily. Take care
  • My pain is 1000% better than 5 weeks ago (thank you Jesus!!!). But 5 weeks ago it was hell on earth. I told the guys it was like I stepped on a landmine with my left leg and it froze in time. Or imagine falling off a 10 story building on your hip and having to walk on all the shattered bones that never heal.

    10 weeks ago, I probably wouldn't have believed you either. You look fine, right? :)

    Backpain54, I have to disagree with you. Anyone could take the pain for an hour and might actually be more cynical. What made the pain unbearable was the flood of emotions tied to it. Was I ever going to get better? Do I let them operate? Who can I trust? Why was I sooo stupid? 1 hour of pain makes you curse. 5 weeks of pain makes you cry in dispair. Years? My eyes are tearing up just thinking about it. Dang, I can't even type anymore...
  • It's very hard to live with spinal problems, and for family, friends, co workers to understand. I feel happy to have spine health to vent, and read about people with the same problems as me. I don't usually tell many people outside of family about my feelings, Drs appointments, etc unless asked. Then I give simple and vague answers. I used to try to explain in so much detail, trying to make others sympathize and comprehend what I'm going through, but I realized that goes in one ear, and out the other. My family knows when I'm having a bad day, and when to help, or just stay away and let me sleep. I know even they don't really understand what I feel completely. My husband calls me from school to check on me on bad days, and my mom will come over to help with housework, but sometimes they expect me to help move the couch, or mow the lawn. Our lives are out from the ordinary, and we all have to learn to cope with that.

  • Everyone's input has been so helpful. I really appreciate it.

    There is not a doubt in my mind... that unless a person suffers from daily chronic pain, they can't possibly fathom what we experience.

    I am 42 years old and my folks are in their early 60's. Dad has been very active since he retired 3 years ago and my Mom still enjoys working.

    As far as the negative comments I receive from my Mom, I have several strategies in mind... thanks to you guys! When she makes a negative comment, I will bring it to her attention right away. Even if it's a comment that makes me speechless... I will say just that to her... "Mom, what you just said makes me speechless"!

    I sure hope she is not jealous of the time my Dad has spent with us during my recovery? It's hard for me to digest that. Dad is always home when she comes home from work and has her dinner ready on the table. He does all of the housework, yardwork, etc. If the "chores" weren't done and he spent the evenings here... I could see where maybe she might be miffed? But when you think about it... geeze, he's my Dad... lol. If any of my children needed my help, I would offer to move in for a while to help them out. (That is me though... my mother is different and I love her.)

    I am thankful for those I have in my life and grateful for my spiney friends. >:D<

    We all will have our bad days, angry days, sad days and many other days. It's very comforting to know we have others who can truly relate to whatever day we are having... and that's here on Spine Health.

    Tammy :)
  • You made me giggle a little bit there..

    Having worked with elderly people in a psychological/behavioral realm, I can tell you most are a lot more responsible for what they say and do than you might think. Many people just know their family members are more likely to put up with it because they're "old" :))(

    Several years ago, I was working in a facility setting and a woman came blowing into my office, slammed the door behind her, flopped in a chair, and burst into tears. It took about 15 minutes of wailing before I could get any idea of what was wrong.

    Once she calmed down, she told me her mother had made an off-hand remark that was hurtful and was "just being impossible" about nearly everything.

    After she left my office, I went to talk to her mother, just to see what was going on. When I asked her why she was being so contrary with her daughter, she looked me right in the eye and said "I do it because it makes her as crazy as she makes me when she acts like my mind suddenly stopped working on my 90th birthday!"

    She was a little tiny lady that always reminded me of the lady in "Driving Miss Daisy," which made her answer even funnier! She wasn't the only one to have shared similar sentiments with me through the years, though.
  • Tammy, I am one of the lucky ones who has had tremendous support from my family and friends. There have been many comments in the past that I don't believe were meant to be hurtful, but they have hit a nerve nonetheless.

    I posted this many months ago, but I keep referring people to it. Maybe you need to send a copy to your Mom:-


    Take care and keep your chin up. As many others have said....if people have not suffered with ongoing and persistent chronic pain, they can't begin to understand what we're going through.


  • Hi Tammy,
    My mom says the same kind of ridiculous things to me.When I let her get me it will ruin my entire day...(I have finally figured out)I actually screen my calls....when I know I'm going to have a bad pain day...I just don't pick up.Sounds terrible I know, but I figure if it's an emergency she will leave a message.People in general are well meaning,I like to think,especially our families,but like everybody else says,they just don't get it.They think if you feel good enough to go to the grocery store, you must feel good enough to shovel that 10 yards of gravel sitting in the driveway! Thank heavens for the people here that do get it!
    I was wondering how you are doing after your surgeries? What's the prognosis for any type of recovery for you?
    Hope you have a good day.....Stay sane! Sagehen
  • :))( I can SO relate to you! In fact, let me explain a little better... :D

    My mother has always been a "special" lady. She's hurt me in more ways than I can express. She is very unhealthy. I've tried everything in my power to have a good relationship with her and my half-sisters here, but I know now that there is nothing left I can try. I moved out when I was 16 due to their unhealthiness. My back problems started when I was 15 but became severe when I was 19. I had to move back when I was 20 due to my severe back problem and I'm no longer able to work full-time. I'm 22.

    1.) I had my first epidural a few years ago. The doctor performing the procedure was quite a piece of work, possibly the most arrogant man I've ever met, and I only saw him for my epidural. After a week of trying to get another ride, my mother finally conceeded and took me. This is the only appointment she's ever been to in 3 years. After the epidural my mother said, "Now that she's had this do you think it would be beneficial for her to start a RIGOROUS WALKING PROGRAM?" From the look on her face, I could tell that she still didn't believe me. Well, this doctor gave her the most disgusting look I've ever seen (which made me do a little happy dance inside) and said, "This is in no way fixing her. It is only meant to try to help her manage her pain and make her a little bit more comfortable!" =D> Oh, it was like the heavens opened up and sang wonderful sweet songs to me! This is the one and only time I've ever been validated to my mother. She denies ever saying this, ha.

    2.) In 7 years of back problems, the past 3 being severe, I've only been to the hospital for back pain ONCE! This was about 2 months ago. The only other time I've been to the hospital for back-related issues is when I lost control of my bowels while standing in my kitchen. Both of these times my mother told me to find someone else to take me because she was "too busy." I spent 12 hours on my back in the fetal position. Everytime I tried to move I threw up from pain. I have a bad knee which I've had surgery on already, so I can't keep it bent for too long, so I threw up a lot! (As a side note, the only time she came to the knee doctor when I was 15 was to sign surgery papers, and she wasn't there when I woke up, she was shopping, the only one there was my dad, who had driven 4 hours to be there. My dad's sister was the only one to take me to PT, my mother never did a thing.) So, my friend drove me to the hospital. I brought my most recent MRI. They were very nice to me and tried to control my pain for 7 hours. I was still completely alert and in agony from spasms and nerve pain, so they admitted me. I stayed in the hospital for 3 days. They would have kept me longer, but at that point, I just wanted my bed. When I was admitted, my friend called my mother and father (my dad now lives in Arizona). He told them the same thing but talked to my dad longer because he asked details like my room number and how to reach me. My mother only said, "Ok." The only family that came to visit me was my brother. He helped me out a lot. BUT, my mother was playing games and wouldn't allow him into the house to get me some fresh underwear and clothes. I STAYED IN THE SAME UNDERWEAR FOR 3 DAYS WHILE SWEATING FROM SEVERE PAIN THANKS TO MY MOTHER. SHE DID NOT COME TO VISIT ME ONCE, THE HOSPITAL IS ONLY 10 MINUTES FROM MY HOUSE. A few days after I got home, I literally woke up crying. The first thought I had is that my mother and sisters didn't come to the hospital. I struggled upstairs and cornered her while she was on the toilet. I asked her why she didn't come to the hospital. She said, "I'm the one that needs to be in a hospital. Your friend told me that you were going to his house because you'd be more comfortable there." UM, HELLO??? SOMEHOW MY DAD, WHO IS 1,200 MILES AWAY GOT THE MESSAGE AND YOU DIDN'T??? YOU WANT TO BLAME MY WONDERFUL FRIEND WHO DID EVERYTHING FOR ME??? I told her that there was no way my friend told my parents conflicting things. I told her that even if she didn't know I stayed the first night, I had left her messages upon which she called me back for the next 2 days! She knew, she just didn't care. I found out she told my sisters that they didn't find anything wrong at the hospital. UM, HELLO AGAIN??? I WENT KNOWING WHAT WAS WRONG, AND THEY DID FIND SOMETHING, MY DISC HERNIATED MORE AND THERE IS NOW MASS-IMPACT ON A NERVE ROOT WHICH WASN'T AS SEVERE BEFORE! Yeah, wonderful.

    3.) My sister came down with some symptoms. She convinced my mother she was dying so she could leave school. I told her it's a pinched nerve in her neck. She went as far as taking her to the city to children's specialists at the children's hospital. Finally, after weeks of my sister playing this up for anything she wanted, it was determined that she has the same pinched nerve in her neck that I live with everyday due to the way I have to sit from my lower back. Sure, my neck nerve hurts, but my lower back problem is 100x worse. I get no help and get looked down upon. My sister was treated like a queen, while my situation is minimized. I know why this is, my mother indirectly blames me for my 2 years of childhood abuse from her second husband. Since there was physical proof, and she actually caught him in the act, he was sent to jail. She was helped by her parents with anything she needed, never wanted for anything, but I wasn't allowed to be affected when I was the one abused!!! In her head, she thinks she faced hardships. She may have dealt with guilt, but I WAS THE ONE WHO WAS FREAKING ABUSED. She blames me since she is unhealthy and can't blame her ex-husband. These nasty comments don't only come from chronic pain. One day, when I was 11, she said, "You have a big mouth, why didn't you use it, oh wait, you did!" Meaning why didn't I tell, and referring to a specific part of my abuse. Ha, she denies this too. But somehow I'm not surprised! I'm beyond anger now, it makes me laugh. I had to make a conscious choice on how this all would affect me, so I chose the laughter instead of the tears. :)

    I'm grateful for my experiences and they've all made me much stronger and healthier. I'm resilient and compassionate. I'm going to school to eventually get my PhD in Psychology specializing in supporting Chronic Pain Patients and Sexual Abuse Survivors. I wouldn't change a thing about my past or present, because I'm eternally grateful for the person I am today. I'm moving with my Dad in Arizona in June to continue school and get the healthy support I need and deserve. I've come to terms with the fact that I can't help these people. I'm ok with it now. I know in my heart that I've tried everything I can to get the relationship I need, but it's not me, it's them. Just like it's not any of you, it's the other person.

    One finally story. I was hobbling into a store, used my handicapped parking pass, which is a permanent one that I only use when I absolutely need to, and someone said, "You don't look disabled." Well, this is one of those moments that I'm so proud of because I wasn't speechless, I came back with, "You don't look stupid!" Hahahaha, one of my finest moments!

    I agree with a poster above who says we need to learn to laugh at these situations. I smile when I think of my mother's unhealthiness now, because deep inside, I'm grateful I'm not like her! O:) :) :))(

    You will overcome! And if you made it to the end of this, that's one huge accomplishment under your belt already!!! :D

    Much love and understanding,
  • Chronic pain sufferers not getting the support or compassion we'd expect (and want) is an all too common occurrence, regardless of whether it's family members, friends, co-workers, etc.

    Having worked in the medical field for over 10 years (E.R. and Hemo-Dialysis) gave me an insiders view of both acute and chronic pain suffering on a daily basis...in the end teaching me to be a more compassionate and caring soul. Now that I'm on the other side of the table, I expect the same from others BUT...I'm not so delusional as to believe that even the people closest to me have an understanding of how it all works.

    Often times, people feel helpless and don't know how to react to someone who is suffering...so out of frustration, they end-up saying or doing the wrong thing. We need to be patient with them, and we need to educate them as to what we'd like and/or expect from them. Honesty with others is crucial, yet we shouldn't always expect it to be well received.

    Chronic pain sufferers are "Islanders" and you all know what I mean, so inviting people to that Island should be carefully considered regardless of whom it is. Sharing too much info is often a BIG mistake, so measure your words and whom you say them to very carefully...or it may be regretted in the end.

    Best wishes to all of you that are suffering from not only chronic pain, but also the chronic frustrations that always seem to accompany our physical issues.

  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    Very well put! Obviously, your not a new comer to this. Welcome to S.H.
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Somtimes I just wish I could touch my sisters hand and she could feel my pain just for that brief moment. My family doesn't understand at all...its very frusterating.
  • Perhaps instead you should verbalize to your sister that she'll never understand what you're going through and that you're completely OK with that...not to mention that the only way she'd understand would be to have your issues.

    We need to remember in dealing with anyone (that can be adversarial) an old adage that my grandma used to share with me at times..."honey catches more flies than vinegar, so be sweet and you'll more often than not draw your adversaries to your side."

    For the most part, those words have worked famously for me and the others that have subscribed to them.

  • Hi everyone... :H

    TracyLynne - Thank you for copying that link. The letter expresses a lot of thoughts which cross my mind. 25 years of chronic pain... ouch! That is a long, long time and
    I'm sorry you have had to suffer for so long. I have no doubt you have discovered many coping mechanisms throughout the years. We are fortunate to have you on here. :)

    Sagehen - Great advise on screening the calls. I have done that a couple of times and I will continue to do so. If I am at a high pain level, it's best that I let the call go to voice mail. You are right... if there is an emergency, she will leave a message or call my hubby on his cell phone. When I'm having a bad pain day, I need to eliminate as much stress as possible and I never know what mood she might be in? I smiled when I read how many animals you have, in additionto your baby girl! Our cat just had kittens 6 weeks ago, so we are up to 5 cats over here too! How are your injections going? I am now 5 months post op and I can honestly say, I am improving each day.
    The stretching and walking really help. I had to start taking an anti-depressant about 2 weeks ago and I am so glad I did. I no longer have the crying spells and I can think more clearly. The daily pain and constant bed rest, really started to get to me mentally. I need to be strong for my hubby and children and the medicine is helping me with that. My prognosis from my doctors have been very encouraging. With the exception of having to live with a certain degree of pain for the rest of my life, they anticipate a full recovery. This is a slow process and I am doing everything possible to keep an optimistic attitude. My surgeon is top-notch and very well known. I know I am seeing the best and keep that in mind. Laughter and humor keep me sane... I refuse to give up either one of them! How are you feeling? :)

    Lisa - I have read every word you wrote... several times. I appreciate you taking the time to share. I am so sorry you have had to go through so much. I admire your positive attitude about not changing a thing from your past. I feel the exact same. Picturing you laying on the floor in excrutiating pain and no one to help, is heartbreaking. You definitely understand what I deal with, with my Mom. You and I should share our stories together. Sometimes, just getting the bad memories out of your system... helps! I know I can never change her and I accept that. Before my fall, I could deal with her just fine. Since my fall, it's been a challenge and I'm not in the mood for her "mental gymnastics". Christmas was kind of difficult last year, since I was only 4 weeks post op. We did have it at our house and had a wonderful time. My daughter told me that my Mom said that Santa wasn't real. Yes, my daughter has asked us the same thing ... and we have chosen to have "Santa" come down the chimney and fill the Christmas stockings with different things for everyone. My children know the true meaning of Christmas. I was livid, when
    I found out my Mom told my daughter that. I didn't let it ruin anything. I told my daughter that if Grandma didn't believe in Santa, that's fine. But, chances are... Grandma won't get her stocking filled by Santa. Thanks again for sharing some of what you have gone through. You have a kind soul and much love to give to others. O:)

    Jeff - Thank you for your words of wisdom. Keep them coming! =D>

    BackPain54 - What you shared, really touched me. I am so sorry to hear of your daily pain and having to deal with it for so long. You have a lot of endurance. Although you can't play with your grandson, he can always snuggle next to you and read a book or watch TV together. Those will be memories he will cherish of time spent with you. Hope you are having a better week. Take good care.

    Bye for now. I hope tomorrow brings less pain for all of us.


  • This one has hit a nerve! So we have all experienced it.
    It may not always be possible or appropriate to make a comment at the time, and so some comments or behaviours will just have to be put up with.
    However, I think the best approach is to confront the problem immediately. It's no good later on as that indicates that it is not bothering you that much.
    So you must do it straight away.
    Ask the person to repeat the offending remark. This in itself may prompt a rethink and an apology.
    Ask them why they said it. I think you really have to apply a bit of pressure to make them think about what they have said.
    You then need to quietly and calmly explain why the remark is hurtful.
    Then ask them if they understand, and if they will refrain from making similar comments in future.
    You have to call their bluff, stand up for yourself, and be very assertive.
    This will give your situation the level of respect it warrants.
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