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Family doesn't understand. . .
5 Replies
AussieChick - July 27

My mother doesn't understand my condition. I've tried to educate her without any real breakthrough. She tells me she has pain too, and if she can work through the pain at her age, so can I. I'm staying with her and my dad right now, which makes the situation worse. She expects me to be able to rise with the sun and work until bedtime. She also says I shouldn't be taking pain medicine because I don't need it. I rarely take pain meds because they make me very drowsy, and I avoid them completely when my kids are home from their father's house. Does anyone have any advice? Or should I just resign myself to knowing mom will never get it and will always criticize me? Thanks for your time and responses in advance.


January - July 27

Hi AussieChick - can you cut up your pain meds and take a smaller dose so you aren't drowsy?

Would your mom be willing to read the posts on here, especially the forum that offers support for family members?

So sorry you aren't getting support - a lot of us have that problem. You need to keep standing up for yourself. Chronic pain and fibromyalgia are so different from "normal" aches and pains. People always think your body feels the same as their body does and that is SIMPLY NOT TRUE. We have different anatomies and different biochemistries. Ask your folks to read some of the blue boxes at the left and learn about fibromyalgia. For one example, there is some research out that shows fibro people have more of a chemical called Substance P - and that makes us MORE sensitive to pain. If they won't make an effort to learn about your disease, why discuss it with them?

As for their criticism, you have a choice to make there. As you are living with them, you have to get along with them -- but you can always excuse yourself and go somewhere else if they start judging you. Don't listen to it. Don't allow it to stress you. Hopefully, you have a couple of friends who can offer you support and understanding. Wishing you the best.


kvc33 - July 27

Fibromylagia is much more than pain so perhaps if you explain that to your Mom (and all the symptoms that go with it) it will make a difference, but with her attitude I kind of doubt it. It sounds like she has a high opinion of herself. What kind of work are you guys doing anyway? I don't know your age or your mother's age. If you are young perhaps she thinks that you are just a slacker and it is her job to get you off your butt. I guess I'm lucky that my Mom accepts my illness to some degree but she's tried to kick me in the butt a couple of times. I knew it was a lame attempt to fix something she doesn't understand. If you can, find your own place to live. She will always think she is the boss as long as you live under her roof.


lucky13 - July 28

Sadly this is common with FMS, for those who don't suffer from it, don't understand it, they just think we are complainers or that we are lazy, which is not the case at all.
It's also sad if your mom doesn't even try to understand. I like the book Fibromyalgia for Dummies, I also like the spoons therory, you'll have to google it, since we can't post links on here but it is how a lady with Lupus explained her problem to her best friend, works well for FMS to.
Hang in there, I don't exactly have my husband's full supprt, but there's nothing else I can do to convince him other wise. But usually his lack of support only shows up during arrguments.
One thing I do is I don't talk about how I feel daily, I only mention how bad I feel if it is a really bad day, that way I am not "complaining"

Are you seeking treatment from a Dr who knows, studies and understands FMS? If not you really need to, you need to treat the fibro so there's less pain, instead of treating just the pain. Anti-depressents are usually perscribed for treatment, I take Celexa 40mg and I can tell a big difference. Also you need to make sure your getting good sleep. Sometimes sleep apnea can be an issue (I'm 31 and I was diagnosised with it), now that I am recieving treatment for that, my sleep is better and I wake up less fatigued and less stiff/sore.
Also you need exercise, I'd suggest Yoga, start slow, but yoga is pretty easy on you, if your new to exercising or yoga, I'd start with an easier yoga, like yoga for arthiritis or plus size yoga. Plus yoga offer relaxation tecniques which can also help you before bed.
I also use heat therapy for my pain, compression gloves for my hand pain, a TENS unit for my back pain and creams and orments to help with pain as well.
The key is to find a balance of techniques that work for you.

Good luck and try to get along with your parents and not let them stress you, because stress is a big contributer to our pain and our flare ups.


MaRiaT - July 28

My mother is just about the same way.
I had been kicked to the curb by my parents.
When i was diagnoised with the fibromyalgia, i called them to talk to them about it. After talking to my mother for about 5 minutes, she started to say that her illness is worse than mine. Of course, i changed the subject and talked about me again. And again, the conversation was turned around again.
If you can get her to read these forums and conversations, then that would be awesome. But, dont give up. You take care of yourself. It is hard. Im sure its harder because you live with them. Have you thought maybe she can go with you to your next appointment? Maybe the dr can explain to her. That helped with my husband. I have a hard time getting my husband to get on this. He'd rather be on his racing forums.
Have you explained it to your kids???
If so, how did you do it? did you explain it?
I have that lil problem with my kids....


lucky13 - July 29

That's a really good idea about taking your mom to your Dr's appt. It also helped with my husband, hereing the DR explain FMS and my husband could see how I fit into so many of the symptoms. He then felt like the diganosis was realy and FMS is a big deal.

MaRiaT- as far as explaining it to your kids, My oldest is 12 so he is old enough to understand so I explained that there is something wrong with me that causes me to be really tired and it causes me pain. My next child is 4, she has grown up knowing that sometimes mommy can't do things because she hurts. So now on days I can't put her hair into a pony-tail she'll ask if it's because my hands hurt, then tells me she hopes I feel better.
My youngest love to read, which is great because on my bad days I'll find quiet things for us to do together like lay around watch movies, read books, lay in the floor and play cars or color.



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