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....But I LOOK "normal" !!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:35 AM in Depression and Coping
People who haven't had surgery don't GET it.

I LOOK "normal" - except for a little scar on my neck and the ice pack/heating pad I often wear, so they (co-workers, friends, family) don't understand when I "lock up" or have to bail on an event (or a day of work) because I am in
P-A-I-N. :(

How are you educating people that you are not 100% and may not be for a while?

Thanks in advance.

I can deal with the physical pain, but I am having emotional issues with the people in my life who see me happy and healthy one day and stuck in bed the next.



  • Maybe this can help... I don't remember who posted it,but in the search box type
    letter to the norm and of should come up.
    Hope it will give you some help dealing with those people we all have had to deal with!
  • I know it is hard for people to understand. I just tell my friends that I have to take it day by day. That some days I am up to more than others, depends on how well my meds are working. I tell them that I hope to get back to normal, but that time will tell and I hope they will understand. I tell them to keep asking me, as sometimes I need to get out and sometimes I just cant. Most of them understand that after 3 years, thats the way it is.
  • This is a difficult issue we spineys have to deal with. Some people are different than others. Some ask if you need help or are OK no matter what, others are clueless because there is no neon sign on you declaring that you have some limitations and may need help lifting something, or needing some rest, whatever.
    I think it just takes time. Whining about it (which I am NOT saying you are doing) is something that I think turns people off so they are less likely to be able to listen to your needs. Of course, being totally stoic doesn't help either. There's a middle ground we all need to reach and how easy it is to get there depends on you and the people you have to deal with. Some can make it quite difficult, and that only makes it harder to deal with the physical and emotional aspects of our pain.
    It take time to find your place with the rest of the world (sorry if I am pholosophizing!) but hopefully you will get there without too much grief.
    I hope something I said helped you.
  • Remember depressed mind working here...

    Seems to me that you can only get certain minded people to understand "our" world of , Good, bad, horrible, ok, somewhat tolerable days. The longer it goes on the less they seem to actually care. Can't say that I blame them, can't say that I like it.

    At some point our saying, no thanks, I can't do that today has to suffice. For both us and them. For what I see the people who "get it" will accept that answer.

    Probably has good deal to do with my problems right now, trying to figure out how to both do as much as possible without having people around me assuming all is golden. That can make it even harder, they see us do XXXX one day and the next day we aren't moving.

  • I don't think it's so much that they don't want to hear, but more they don't know what to say or understand. So its easier for them to say nothing.Again look for that letter in search engine." letter to the norm" and there's another I can't recall. Don't take it personal though it's sometimes hard to, especially when we LOOK normal. They can't see the pain. But maybe that letter will help you voice your pain better and you can edit it to fit your situation. I used it and it does help put I light on things for others.
    Good luck!

  • There was a post a while back called "A letter to normals"; really nice job of summarizing that even though when we "look" OK on the outside, it doesn't mean we are on the inside, and sometimes we just have to stop & lie down, or explain how what we did one day we can't do the next day?..
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