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why can't family understand our chronic pain ? i don't understand why they can't understand the pain

chronic sufferchronic suffer Posts: 115
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Chronic Pain
why can't family understand our chronic pain ? i just don't understand why our family don't understand our chronic pain is real some my family think that i am faking or making up the chronic pain when i am not making it up or faking it i am so sick of how i get treated by my mother in law and her family and my sister in law i have told there that someone can not fake chronic pain like this my mother in law tells all her family whats going on with me and they all treat me bad when you go to family things its getting to where i don't even want to go to any family things because when i do i have to act like i am fine and have to act like i am not in any pain because when i do they all start in my mother in law starts in on me and starts in on her son she has told him she thinks i am a drug addict and she has been trying to brake us up which is never going to happen she don't know when to shut up and stay out of it she called me so many times and yelling at me had me to crying so hard i could not breath and she was telling me to knock it off or suck it up which hurts me when she says all they to me and telling me her son is going to get sick of hearing me complan about me being sick or in chronic pain all the time i am always coming down with something and always when i am around her or her family i can't take my pain meds with me because she will tell me i don't need them to throw them in the trash so when we go to family things i have to go and suffer in chronic pain but when i can't go with out my pain meds my husband will let me take them with us but i can't take them in i have to leave them out in our truck and he tells me if i need any to go out there and take them with something so they won't know i took anything i know around christmas time i was in so much chronic pain that i was siting there about ready to cry because i was cramping and hurting so bad and i had to leave my pain meds at home and the whole way home i cryed because the chronic pain was getting worse we even had to go home early because i could not take siting there much longer without crying in front of everyone my husband kept telling me he sorry that i had suffer like that i was also sick to my stomch


  • Sorry that you are suffering.

    I don't have much family around, we live very isolated. My dad is elderly and he & his wife came to visit this summer. She is a retired RN. She is not my mother. She believed any one who takes pain meds on a regular basis is a drug addict. She basically called me that to my face while she was here visiting. I tried to ask her the question- do you think people with verified back problems are in pain? She answered I beleive they are addicted to drugs...It angered me. Just because she is a RN doesn't mean she knows what she is talking about. She is an IDIOT! OKAY! It sounds like your family is brain washed the same way.

    My advice is not to tell them anything about pain meds or pain. If they ask about you- tell them you are okay. Take meds with you (just take them as prescribed) and don't advertise the fact that you are taking them. Just go to the rest room and take your water with you. Keep your meds locked up in a safe place where they will not find them at home also (this is your responibilty anyway).

    I suggest that you have a heart to heart with your husband and ask him to keep your "pain" talks private. Otherwise you are open for more of the same from the family.

    I wanted to ask if you are working with Pain Managment? If you are crying in pain alot then your pain isn't being managed very well. I usually only cry alone in the night time (I am a pain hider)- but my new meds are helping decrease my levels a little bit.

    Try to feel better >:D<

  • very true my mother in law is a RN and she says the same thing that everyone on pain meds are them on a regular basis is a drug addict. She basically called me that to my face it made me so mad and i told her i am not a addict i take them for the pain my mother in law thinks she knows it all and she thinks she is a doctor when she is only a RN she trys to tell me what i am and what i am not she thinks i am making up the pain to get the pain meds and its not true and she trys to tell me what i can take and what i can't take grrrrrrrrr she makes me so anger and mad
  • yes i am going to a PM doctror that helps me with my pain and he listens to me and my husband does not tell anyone on his side about my pain and my meds anymore just like i do i don't tell them about my pain or my meds anymore because i was sick and tired of how they treat me
  • CS,
    Chronic pain is defined as something that goes beyond a time when acute pain may have stopped, pain management is a specialist subject and although we expect everyone to understand our plight on occasions that is not the case. I surround myself with those who can help and support me, they do not have to understand the concept and continuation of Cp in all its facets to help, it would seem a basic provision from some who are incapable or unwilling to help us when needed.

    This is probably lesson number three, that in having pain everyone is a doctor and has a varied opinion of how they would cure us, you soon learn who to tell and who will give you no support, not telling is a gift to yourself, it is easy with hindsight to decide who may be helpful and for the most part I stay away from those with no understanding or competence, it is a hard lesson.

    It is your pain and up to you to manage it effectively, have some control of the things you can change, carers too soon learn what to say and how to reply, find people and networks that can help and as hard as it is, ignore those who have no compassion or empathy, that even small children have developed.

    Take care, John.

  • It is too bad you going through this. It seems as though you would like some kindness and understanding but that is not happening. I am in total agreement with John. People tend to think they are doctors. I have been around some who are opinionated but for the most part I distance myself from anyone who does not respect my medical situation. To be quite honest, I found that although I am somewhat shy and many have called me a doormat (I generally let people walk all over me). Well my injuries and disabilities have changed me as I believe they change everyone to a point. I have had to stick up for myself and in some cases be blunt. I have told family members I do not sleep at night, therefore please do not come over before calling. I tell no one of my meds. My husband and myself are the only ones who know what and where they are. We put them out of sight if anyone comes over. I am in PM and that is my responsibility. Besides that is no ones business and I feel it is very private. No one knows how much pain we are in unless they walk in our shoes. The less people know the less they can judge. There is such a stigma regarding pain meds and many misuse them which is unfortunate for those of us with real diagnosed medical conditions. I have never had any issues with my husbands family, we now live to far to visit with them but when we were close enough for visits they knew I was in pain yet I said nothing. Quite honestly I believe my husband would have sat them all down and had a talk with them if I were being treated unfairly. My family has the tendency to want to fix me. I have an aunt who I am close to however she is quite outspoken and she is the main reason I had to toughen up. She was constantly insisting if I went to her chiropractor I would be healed. What she and many other people do not understand is if there is a way to ease our pain most of us have tried every conservative method available. I am now in a wheelchair and just getting to my neurologist's appts is difficult. I have seen so many specialists and have had every therapy I know of and unfortunately my situation is not improving. But I have not been to a chiro nor will I go. But that is my decision and it may work for some. These of course just my opinions as I am in no way in the medical field.
    My heart goes out to you but I think it is time to be strong. Do not go where you know you will be talked to unfairly. Do not share with anyone that you are on medications or what they are. Yes you may miss some family outings but I believe your husband will understand you cannot handle being judged all the time. Perhaps by not attending this will give them a wake up call that you will not stand for being treated unfairly.
    Good luck to you.
    John, I must say you write so eloquently. I do not know if you are unable to work due to your disability but if you are at home I think putting your thoughts to paper or ideas as to what chronic pain patients go through would make for some very interesting reading. Have you ever considered perhaps interviewing some willing participants and writing a book? You have a beautiful talent for writing. I just wanted to share my feelings with you.
  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    I'm glad you found us because we are a bunch of people that don't judge and understand CP and all of the stigma and problems that come along with it.

    I would also suggest you talk to your very supportive husband and ask him to talk with his family and tell them to keep their stinkin' nose out of your business. It's none of their business and to have to pretend not to hurt in front of them is very unfair to you. I believe he needs to be your advocate and get your in-laws off your back (pardon the pun).

    I really feel for you. Maybe they might get the message if you spend less time with them and your hubby explains why.

    There's never an easy answer to this situation, but please try not to let it get to you so much. It's their problem that they don't understand and getting so upset actually makes your pain worse. I wish I could say something to make it better, but I just want you to know I understand and feel for you.

    Take care,
  • >:D< for you my sister fibro gal
    we have chatted in chat and i'm so glad you have found spine-health.
    i so agree with john, i also have cut people,family outta my life...
    and a day doesn't go by that i dont hear of a magic cure...from mostly mom she's 87 and every doc she goes to she brings up lucky me...
    but i let her tell her stories cause it helps her..
    my hubby got extremely upset with his brother just last wk.. he and his dance partner said how "wow mary walks like she's 80 and omg why is she now using a cane...its that a little much..well as i love him and was greatful he didn't punch his brother...i wished he just had kept that to himself..
    and of course my hubby had to tell his mom..and well his brother will get an ear full...my mil is very compassionate lady and she suffers dearly.herself.
    My family gives me hugs and if i'm in the hospital or anything they are first ther with flowers ....but mostly i do not share my meds or pain with anyone....i find its just none of their darn buisness.
    I find more compassion from my furry babies my cats..
    and from all of these kind ppl in sh
    i'm always here for ya we shall chat in chat soon i hope...
    and jan i so agree with you John you have a gift with words and does cath..
    tc and cronic it will be much easier on you if you just dont go around them,don't tell them not coming due to pain just plain say you dont want to
    and hang in ther
    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • ty mary for your comment i agree to with john and Cath and Jan to with there comments

  • because my wife is a very kind sympathetic nurse and even tho she can't feel my pain she can see it in my movements and my face etc .and she looks after me like a king .so yes i am very lucky .BUT my mother and others in the family haven't a clue how bad pain like ours is .just not being able to sleep for more than 2 hours at a time is bad enough built when every move you make reduces you to tears and people don't believe you that hurts too .family members don't understand because they can't feel it or see it there are many post on here about this issue and taking drugs to kill pain .all i can say is i would not wish our kind of pain on anyone as its torture .i myself am going through a very bad patch regarding pain at the moment {had a discography recently and it flared things up}.i am just waiting for my ALIF op .and i hope it helps the pain as i believe this is my last shot .if it fails i don't want to live any more .
  • Hi again, CP.

    Just a story here...yesterday, we went to my brother's house to watch football and have dinner. I should preface with the fact that I was having a bad pain day (partly from the fact that I fell asleep in my recliner for two hours with my head down - NOT good for a 3-lvl, plated spiney) and it must have been obvious in the way I was walking.

    My brother doesn't have a lot of seating in his living room and hubby and I were the first ones there. When we got there, my brother asked me which chair would be best for me to sit in. I saw a nice leather chair with a pillow behind it and said that this would be good. So I sat there for a while.

    After a bit, everybody else shows up (my nephew, his wife, my neice and her boyfriend). I'm outside a while and when I come in, my neice's boyfriend (who we just met) is sitting in that leather chair. For me, no problem, I don't HAVE to sit and I could sit on the bench further back in the room if I do need to sit.

    But when I came in and stood next to my brother, he looked at my neice's boyfriend and asked him if he would get up so I could sit there. That I'd had a couple of spine surgeries and he wanted to be sure I was comfortable. I argued a bit, but didn't want to embarass my brother and of course, the boyfriend got up and I felt the need to sit there. I thanked him for keeping it warm for me. Luckily, my neice's boyfriend is a fantastic guy and didn't make the situation more uncomfortable than it already was.

    That's some of the embarassing part of the other side of how family deals with what we go through.

    CP, I know this post does absolutely nothing to help you, but I just find it interesting the different ways our families and friends are. Those that know what I've been through fawn over me and act as if I'll break if they hug me too hard. My hubby is like yours and just makes sure I'm as comfortable as I can be, whether asking me if I need meds to making sure I can just sit in my recliner when needed.

    I'm grateful and CP, I'm sure you're very greatful for your husband. I think he can be a big help to you in your situation. Hang in there and keep on a-postin'. We're here for ya and really do understand.

  • Next time your BIL spouts off like that, take your cane and whack him square between the shoulders, then tell him, "ouch, huh? Now imagine that pain doesn't go away." :D

    I have read several people state that at some point they have merely told people it is none of their business what medicine they take!

    Don't let you MIL beat you up on the phone either. Tell her if she can not talk to you like a normal person without calling you an addict that you no longer wish to speak to her, or, just hangup. If she calls back tell her you thought it was a wrong number as no drug addicts live at your house!

    Yes, at some point people seem to no longer realize this is not going away and they think we are just dragging it out for sympathy. It has only been the last few weeks that my wife has begun to realize that the SCS is not some magic bullet of healing. She could not, or would not understand why I did not travel with them to the lake cabin. I tried to explain, but she did not get it. Crappy bed, NO CABLE, NO INTERNET, nothing much I can tinker with. I tried to explain I would not chance boat rides and waverunner rides due to the constant pounding as the lake is simply busy for me to endure.
    Last weekend she asked what was wrong and realized at that point that I was not making this up as I go. It is real, yesterday she told me my activities on our roof saved us money, but cost me a lot of pain.

    Anyway, that is different situation than being called an addict. That I would either put a stop to or simply not allow myself to engage that conversation. Carry your pills in a locked container and when you need them take them.

    We here understand your pain and particularly what it is like to not be able to take your meds in a timely manner. I had my SCS implanted on May 4th of 2009. I no longer take narcotics, but still find myself depressed when I start my routine of pills for the day, particularly at night. I'm Bipolar type II, take two different meds for that, Valium and flexeril for muscle spasms, Ambien and Benedryl for sleep and allergies. Plus Ibuprofen for the "bad" days.

    Take care of yourself first, then you will be better equipped to deal with the others.
  • I've been a member of this site for 1 1/2 years now and it amazes me how so many of us have family/friends giving us such heat for trying to feel some pain relief in order to get through each day and be able to do what we need to do (notice I didn't say "want", gee, that would be great).

    While in my MIL's presence I learned awhile ago to put a pain pill in my pants pocket and if I need it I can take it out of her sight. She has had back problems for decades but she is the kind of person that has to "one-up" you. No one suffers like she does, yeah right.

    Just recently my c spine took a huge turn for the worse. While my husband told her on the phone she basically ignored it and started about her knee pain.
    Thats the way it has always been with her.

    I hope you and your husband can work something out with this nonsense. You should not be suffering in pain because you are with these morons. Maybe skip some visits, thats what I started doing and my hubby would tell my MIL that I wasn't coming because I had too much pain/bad week, etc.

    Another defense alot of us use is to reply to the "hows your back/neck?" is to gloss it over and say the bare minimum, "just fine".

    Hang in there, we spineys know what you are going through.
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