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Old 04-05-2011, 06:02 PM   #1
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Unhappy How do I make them understand?

Hi everyone...I have been having a really rough go of it lately with the pain, so much so that I don't even want to talk to anybody and I haven't been going out anywhere but work, and even then only because I have to.

I just called my Mom back after she had called me 4 times in the span of 90 minutes, and she was really upset and mad that I didn't answer her right away when she called. I tried to explain to her about the pain and how it's gotten worse lately, and it's just made me feel like not talking to anyone and not going out anywhere because the pain is just overwhelming. After that episode, I decided to call my Dad back after last week, and I get (almost) the same thing, and then a lecture about how I have people around who are trying to support me and care about me, and that I need to let them know what is going on and to not ignore them.

How can I make them understand that with pain as it has been, that even a simple phone call can be too much sometimes? It's not like I don't call them at all, because I make sure to. I would never try to purposely ignore them. It's just that I need to feel "well" enough to call, if that makes sense. Does anyone else go through these types of times? How could I make them understand what I'm going through and to make them realize it has nothing to do with ignoring them or anything like that?

Thanks everyone for any help.
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:45 PM   #2
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Re: How do I make them understand?

I know exactly how you feel...I find myself hibernating a lot and even finding it hard to type on the computer...PAIN seems to take over my life. Since I don't work most of my time is spent at home or going to Doctors Appts. that's all I do. I have friends but I don't actually "SEE" them that much... Pain isolates me...I don't want to have to "EXPLAIN" why.... that gets old...and most DO NOT UNDERSTAND..they say get over it...HA...

 
Old 04-06-2011, 08:28 PM   #3
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Re: How do I make them understand?

I'm dealing with almost the same kind of thing. The worse is that I look fine (until I try to turn my head, then it gets funky). People only understand pain when they are the ones feeling it...and then it is always worse . Like Rhonda said "get over it", or my personal favorite "take charge of your body".I find it creates anger, and tension, and therefore more pain. My family lives across the country and haven't seen me since my nightmare started, so they really don't get it.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that you're not alone in being caused emotional pain because of a physical pain. All you can do is tell them that to support you in these hard times they need to accept that you can't always do things, or feel up to talking on the phone. It doesn't help to be made to feel bad about feeling bad. I did that and am now getting a very toned down version of the "you've got to get out and do something" conversation. You could always try calling and talking for just 5 minutes and tell them "I'm sorry I've really got to go, I'm not up to this". At least you called right? might be enough to satisfy them to get them to back off a little. Or send emails whenever you can. On top of it you need to accept (at least a little) that they'll just never get it unless they end up in exactly the same pain as you (would you wish that on people you care for?). Just suggestions of things that have helped me out.

I don't feel your pain, but I do feel mine, and I understand the problem you are having with the "lectures". Good luck, and take care!

 
Old 04-06-2011, 10:53 PM   #4
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Re: How do I make them understand?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RockSteady5803 View Post
Hi everyone...I have been having a really rough go of it lately with the pain, so much so that I don't even want to talk to anybody and I haven't been going out anywhere but work, and even then only because I have to.

I just called my Mom back after she had called me 4 times in the span of 90 minutes, and she was really upset and mad that I didn't answer her right away when she called. I tried to explain to her about the pain and how it's gotten worse lately, and it's just made me feel like not talking to anyone and not going out anywhere because the pain is just overwhelming. After that episode, I decided to call my Dad back after last week, and I get (almost) the same thing, and then a lecture about how I have people around who are trying to support me and care about me, and that I need to let them know what is going on and to not ignore them.

How can I make them understand that with pain as it has been, that even a simple phone call can be too much sometimes? It's not like I don't call them at all, because I make sure to. I would never try to purposely ignore them. It's just that I need to feel "well" enough to call, if that makes sense. Does anyone else go through these types of times? How could I make them understand what I'm going through and to make them realize it has nothing to do with ignoring them or anything like that?

Thanks everyone for any help.
Hi RockSteady,

I am sorry that you are in so much pain and feeling so poorly right now. I do understand how you feel and have been in similar shoes very recently. I, at times, very much find myself isolating myself from others because it is very difficult for others to understand chronic pain if they have not truly experienced it. My best suggestions would be to do your very best to try to talk to them about this. What I found worked best for me was to keep the conversations short and to the point. Explain to your parent(s) that it's not that you don't want to talk to them but that you are just feeling poorly enough that having a phone conversation is just stressful (or whatever adjective is truly how you are feeling.) Make this about you and not about them. Let them know that you are 'happy/grateful' that they are concerned about your well being, but that they need to not take it personally if you are not up to a phone call. I found that answering 'family's calls' on the first call but telling them briefly that I am resting or not feeling well (i.e. leg is really hurting and I need to relax to allow meds to try and work) works better at getting them not to call as often. They also have been informed that if I don't answer it is probably because I am sleeping. I don't sleep well at all, so I sleep when I can whether it's at night or during the day or whatever. My body needs all the rest it can get to recover from my surgeries. I guess what I am trying to say is that communication and openness is the 'key' to getting any point across to family and close friends. It may take more than one time for them to get the point, but hopefully they will.
I was in the same shoes as you... it took a little bit of time and a LOT of communication, but family finally got it. Pain is counterproductive to trying to talk. And as far as friends, I have no life other than trying to get thru each day and heal from my surgery, so it was a point of not really having much to talk about as my 'world' was/is still very limited. I had one dear friend that almost every conversation ended in an arguement. I finally had to be brutually honest with her and tell her that I just didn't have it in me to argue. I needed my strength for more important matters like healing. So I put certain 'topics' (mostly those regarding my health, meds, tests, treatments, etc...) off limits since those were the things that tended to 'start' the arguements.

I really don't know if I was able to offer much help. But I guess my point would be if you can muster some energy to communicate with them now, it may help calm their concerns for your well being. Hopefully if you can calm their concerns, they will begin to back off and give you some of that needed space and everyone will be 'happy'. Does any of that make sense?? I wish you the best and hope that you are able to communicate your 'needs' with your family. I have been in your shoes or ones very similar and I will say that even though it is annoying and stressful to you right now...later it will be nice to know that you have such loving concerned family. Just trying to help you keep it in perspective in the long run....
take care and I wish you the best!

 
Old 04-07-2011, 07:27 AM   #5
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Re: How do I make them understand?

Oh I am so glad to hear that I am not alone in this feeling! Yet I'm not so glad because that means all of you are going through the suffering and misunderstanding from others that I am. I managed to talk to my Mom yesterday, and I told her about how bad the pain has become, and that it is a 24/7 thing now. I think she knows what I am going through, but doesn't really understand completely. She is going through a lot herself, and deals with a lot of depression and anxiety, so I try to be there as much as I can for her. But sometimes I just can't, most of the time because of the pain. I definitely appreciate that they are as concerned, loving, and caring like they are, but sometimes I just can't answer that call of call them back at the time because the pain takes a lot out of me.

I'm supposed to go see my ortho on Monday, so I want to try and talk to him about how bad the pain has gotten. It is really affecting my life now, to the point where I really have to motivate myself to even take a shower because I know a shower means a LOT of pain. I really want to live a somewhat "normal" life, as much as I can considering the pain. What I have now is not really a life, as I am sure many of you can relate to.
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