... that I am in pain most days is "we are women, mothers, and wives, our job is to push through the pain and take care of everyone else and get things done". After having fibro for 14 years, the pain has gotten progressively worse, am on Cymbalta and I can at least get off the couch and get some stuff accomplished everyday but the hubby and his mom don't understand why I can't get more done... HELP, very frustrated need advice
Fibromyalgia - How to get in-laws to understand my pain? My mother-in-laws response to me stating?
Added 14 Oct 2013:
My husband used to work construction and he is in pain daily with body aches from working all day. I understand he hurts too but he seems to have no understanding when I tell him he is overworking me on the weekends when he is home and that I am normally wiped out till Wednesday.
I'm right there with you only its my mother. She cannot seem to understand pushing thru the pain only makes the next few days worse, or that this disease causes profound exhaustion. When she starts I'll start telling her about my life, and she says are you going to argue, my answer is only if you're going to tell me how to live my life, and she shuts up. Hint, I'm 66 and mom is 88. I've had fibro since I was about 5 yrs old.
The best to explain it is to ask them if they have ever had the flu. They have and that is (in my opinion ) one of the best ways to describe it. Your body hurts, you are sleepy all the time, your skin feels very sensitive. You feel like you have the flu every day. I use this comparison a lot and the majority of people understand. I hope this helps you.
I've said many times that there are people who are just not meant to be caregivers or empathetic. Although I have fibro, my pain management doctor said I'll never officially be diagnosed with fibro because there are physiological reasons for my pain, although it travels. I learned a long time ago that the best I can do is to try to explain my condition to family and friends. Either they get it or they don't. I don't feel that I owe them more than that. I have taken them to the doctor with me so he can explain my chronic pain conditions and I have printed out info from the internet. Having family and friends to understand your pain and condition will not change it. Yes, it might make it easier to emotionally deal with it, but you will still have fibro and pain.
So, you need to stop trying to explain yourself to them and trying to act/react the way you think they want you to. You will just wear yourself out. Do what you feel you can do around the house, and then rest. You owe it to yourself to understand your physical limitations and recognize your "overdone" threshhold. Your family doesn't understand when you push yourself to do more than you should, so why torture yourself?
Only person who has never lived with severe chronic pain can make a statement like that. Some people will just never "get it" My husband is just like yours. He tries to push me hard on the weekends. I just do what I can do and that is it. Yes, it does sometimes cause arguments. Yes, he tends to think I am just "lazy" but he can think what he wants. There is some normal everyday pains that you can push through then there are those that you cant. Talk to your Dr. and perhaps there is something more you can do to help control your pain better. Perhaps something for breakthrough pain you can use on the weekends to get more done-if you are unable to do your normal everyday housework and activities then your pain is NOT under good control. It is hard when you have this kind of chronic pain especially when you have family members who dont believe you or dont understand.
I have just come to the conclusion that my husband will never understand no matter what and your husband may be the same having been raised by a person such as his mother is (and it is HIS job to get your mother in law OUT of your business) I would just nod and tell her "yes, thank you, I'll try that" (like you never thought of this before, jeez) and go one with doing what you can do and resting when you need to. Different people handle pain in different ways. My own mother is very much like your mother in law and my mother CAN take incredible amounts of pain-I've seen her do it-but everyone is different. I am just one kind of person who doesnt function well with pain. It is just the way I am wired. I do try to push myself a bit, and you should, but not to the point that you are too wiped out to do anything then for days afterwards. I just blow off anyone who doesnt understand. There are plenty of us on here who DO understand and if you ever need someone to talk to, you come to us!
I find taking someone with you to the doctor can help as I let the doctor explain it to them. I don't bother with the ones who think I am faking. I just tell them I hope they never have something so debilitating, but should they encounter it I will be happy to talk with them. People are taught empathy and compassion. It gets stripped from our lives at a very early age. Compete, be tough. Luckily there are those who have such qualities. They are precious.
srgryclown I also have severe Fibro and a couple other serious illnesses that prevent me from doing a lot of things. I do try, everyday, to do something. Sometimes adrenaline kicks in and I do more than I really should, and end up completeely bedridden for days on end. My family doesn't get it either. I have explained my condition to them, given them printed info on all my diagnosis's, shown them the "pharmacy" I have to take everyday just to live, and explained what each med was for. I did this several times with different family and friends, but, they still don't get it. I am at the point I no longer feel the need to explain myself, they still think I am lazy, don't WANT to work (been disabled for 10 yrs). I do what I can and just stop. And if it is a day where I just can't, and there are many, I simply say I am sick, and leave it at that.
My illnesses cause much friction in my family, the only time I get any compassion is when I am hospitalized. (2-3 times a year, average) Be true to yourself. It is important to be some what active, as pain allows, but, like someone else said, if you push too hard, you pay for it later. Do what you can, and just let it go. After 14 yrs, if they don't get it by now, doubt they will. Most of all, take care of YOU first, everything else is second.
Srgryclown it is sad that you have had to resort to asking this question but as you and I and everyone else can see we all experiences the same problem. What is even more shameful, it is our own family members who seem not to want to understand why we are the way that we are. I say 'don’t want to understand’ because that is what I have now come to believe. Like everyone else I too have tried explaining, print information, getting them to read stuff on the internet all to no avail. For me it is simple; they do not want to understand because our condition is an inconvenience, a burden, disruptive and unaccommodating to them. In addition our condition cannot be seen so it is even easier for them to disregard something that they cannot see! So my saying is a simple one ‘This is how I roll!’
As you can see, you are definitely NOT alone in your suffering. I would suggest that you join the fibromyalgia support group so that others can be a sounding board for you and offer their ideas on how to cope. Although I do not suffer from this debilitating illness (thank God), I have met others who do and most experience the same treatment as you. I have had co-workers in the medical field who acknowledge fibro and others who say that it is more mental than physical. My take is that if a person is suffering from pain, then it is REAL if only to no one else but them... it is that person's reality and it should be respected by others. I hope this helps you feel somewhat better and I hope that you and others will be able to find something that gives you relief. Hang in there and in the meantime, do your best to forgive those ignorant of your suffering.
This is such a frustrating aspect of our disease(docs may not call it that but with the torture we go through, neverending chronic pain should always be comcidered.)
I know that my dignosis means little to my husband and friends I no longer socialize with because of needing to stay home, even though you cant see it doesn't mean your lazy! I don't often discuss my pain with my husband but with my latest endo issues, I brought up that Im sorry if I upset his quality of life with my pain. He's not intentionally cruel but he said, It's does and it sucks, then walked out the door to work on a project without a word.
I try hard to fight through my days because dinner and chores are expected to be done every day(i often skip ones that are phyically painful. Sounds like you married into one of those nuclear families as I have. I comtribute with my ssdi but simce Im home he just gets frustrated if I don't have a spring in my step everyday.
I feel for you so very much on this subject!
What about showing them the tenderpoints with one of those body charts. It might help, see tender points in neck and shoulder make putting dishes away painful, points at hip buttocks and knee make bending painful. Just a thought.
Also, idk if anyone else has mentioned it or not but I had my spouse read ''The Spoon Theory"? Some folks are just judgemental and lack empathy so maybe it might enlighten them!
I congratulate all of you who are able to tolerate judgmental, criticizing of you not doing more, etc. You must get a lot of other benefits from them to tolerate it. I don't say that sarcastically. I mean it, because if I had a family member like that, I would divorce or reject them in a heartbeat. I'm going to point out that not all spouses are uncaring. I am truly fortunate to have a husband who is very understanding and often asks if I did too much that day. Another friend of mine with fibromyalgia also has an understanding husband who worries about her. And another friend in terrible pain who also has a very caring husband. Those are the only friends that I have with chronic pain. There are caring spouses of people on this website. You could do a lot better. I can't imagine the pain that you must feel in your very own home. And I am really sorry to hear about it. If the criticizing gets to be to be too much, you could consider other options.
I hope that I haven't offended anyone, but I thought it was important to point out that not all family members are cruel. And you are right to get support on this website.
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