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Another Stupid Friend/family Comment Thread.


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A friend called a little earlier today to complain about how depressed her 54 year old husband is because he didn't qualify for the Boston Marathon. He missed it by 15 seconds. This was after I told her I wasn't doing well and that my husband has been having major back problems.

I had to bite my tongue and not say to her "well at least he can run. But of course I said nothing. I guess it's all relative. I'd give anything to run a mile. I can barely walk a mile. But at least I can walk.

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I have conversations like that all the time... and sometimes I find myself explaining how people shouldn't take the basics for granted it gets exstausting I guess thats why i'm kind of isolated. Or when a family member calls and asks "how are you feeling?" and to myself I say this isn't going away don't you understand that! and I just end up saying Im fine.

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Guest tearose

I am so sorry for you. They don't know how fortunate it is to be able to walk or go upstairs or ride a bike...you like many of us are very challenged.

We understand.

I don't think people really hear what we say! I don't think that the other person feels the magnitude of what loss can be. They are trying to just talk about "hardships" and just do not understand what it is like for us. Since I am in my 50's now, I always get "oh, yes, getting old is hard on all of us". It is such an insult but I let it go now. Sometimes I will share more and they get all quiet then.

Recently someone was talking about how busy we all are and then I picked up on her lack of real grasp on how hard my day really is. She started to walk down a path I wanted no part of...I said it was a good day if I could make it to the market and back and then cook AND do the dishes after dinner. She made a comment like, what a luxury that type of schedule is. I had to explain that it takes hours to get my body warm, clean, compressed, hydrated and out the door. I am lucky if I have about 3-5 hours of some activity a day. That I don't always have the strength to dishes every day! I still think she doesn't get it. Thank goodness I pray and I often turn to meditation/prayer and give it all to the Divine.

Some people just live in a bubble. They view the world in a limited way and don't want accept anything other than their own perspective.

take care,

tearose

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Sky-

People just have no idea what this is like. I just try to remember that they have their things that they are frustrated about and it's important to them and I try not to let it bother me but trust me there are days when I want to just go off! I was very humbled yesterday watching the interview with the woman who was attacked by the chimpanzee several months ago. I just cried thinking that I really have NOTHING to compare to what this woman has gone through. It was a real "stop feeling sorry for yourself" moment for me! Have a great night!

KC

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It's sometimes a way of connecting to share hardships big or small. I know they're not equal hardships between you and your friend, but maybe your friend thinks it's okay to say that to you and thinks that the understanding is in place anyway? It would of course have made it SO much easier to take if she had precursed it with: "Of course this is nothing compared to what you go through every day, BUT..my husband is really depressed about not being able to run the Boston Marathon."

Janey

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My coworkers don't know that anything is wrong with me, because all I've ever said is that I have low blood pressure and can't handle the heat. So I was somewhat amused the other day when I said something about getting swine flu, and one said, "You'd be fine, you're young, you're healthy."

Yeah, right!

Amy

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I am not sure I would have understood being this ill back when I was healthy. I hope I did try my best to understand--but sometimes it is just impossible to really grasp it all when you don't walk in another person's shoes.

I think I would hope that my friends and family would at least accept that I have limitations and that I don't make this stuff up and that it is real and not put their interpretation and expectations on me.

How is it that some people have compassion and understanding by the bucket and some people will always be clueless?

There will always people who have it worse than me and those who have it better--all I want is to be accepted and loved.

Becky

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hi everyone..=)

i think we humans all need to complain and vent somethimes ( in aproriate portions). healthy ore not. And people are free to complain to me. But i dislike when people complain and complain and then brush of others doing the same. And i must say i am starting to resent perfectly healthy people that when i say somthing (not always as a complaint, ust as a fact, like i am very limited by my health that ust the way it is) they will tell me about some one they know of that are sick and in their oppinion eiteher sicker or dealing whit it better (thats to say sick people working etc)...

I feel that is so disrespecting... I use to not talk about my health at all, now i try to find a way to be open about my limitatins so people can gett a better understanding.. And to some i do complain, maby to much, what i complain about is doctors and frustration about the health care system. and family and friends... whats going on in my bodie i talk very litle about..

i try to gett balance in my life... i gess it will take me some more years (the rest of my life i gess...:P)

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A few weeks ago when I was finally diagnosed with POTS, I posted on Facebook to my friends that I now know what my problem is, and explained a little bit about it. Someone wrote back to the whole group something about "you just need to remember to stand up slowly when you get up, then you won't get dizzy."

YEAH, RIGHT! Now if we can all just remember to do that! Think of all the time and money spent trying to learn what is wrong with us... if we had only known that all along...

Sorry I'm being sarcastic. Must be the weather, or the fact that I had a Cortisol Stim test this morning. Yuck!

Caron

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I once asked my daughter (who has POTS and cannot attend school) if her friends knew anything about POTS or even knew what she had. She said most of them just think that she is lazy. That really made me feel bad. She said they don't want to hear about her health and I think she doesn't want to sound whiny or be thought of as disabled. So she does what she can with them when she is able, and keeps in touch over the internet and phone. I think a lot of teenagers, well, not only teenagers, everybody, are rather self absorbed and have a hard time realizing that other people might have health issues when they appear to look just fine.

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It can be such a struggle and people can say such stupid, stupid, stupid (and i could go on here) things. Some times it is just too much...so we vent.

I love the ones that say (as I am 46)..."Oh,yea we are just getitng older"..etc. I think..hm...yes I am getting older but I have POTS and previous nerve damamge!!! And I am raising kids on my own and my boyfriend left me to ski and have fun and woooooooooowww..

But at the end of the day...sometimes I just choose not to talk too much to those folks who say repeatedly stupid things. And sometimes I really try to be grateful that I am more functional than many even on this site. I have noticed my patience fore this kind of thing is closely related to how ill I am feeling.. :P

Erika

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I have noticed my patience fore this kind of thing is closely related to how ill I am feeling.. :P

Thanks so much for your input and replies everyone. :) I'm just sorry all of you are dealing with the same thing. Erika...I think you just nailed it... I've also noticed how I deal with those kind of comments is definitely related to how I'm feeling. On better days I'm much more patient.

The thing is..I know this particular friend of mine meant no harm. She's just happens to be blessed with good health and can't relate to anyone who's not.. Plus, she's an old friend from highschool and she lives in a another state so she's not around me that often. LOL... last year she asked me where my husband and I liked to ski. I had to gently remind her I wasn't able to ski and why.

I also know my buttons get pushed more with anything that has to do with physical activity. I think it's because I miss that part of my life more than anything.

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Its hard because your friends should be able to tell their problems to you. Just because your health problems are worse doesn't mean that they shouldn't get to vent. BUt it is hard to hear about how hard it is that someone can't run fast enough. I vent to my friend who is paralyzed from his belly button down. He listens and responds and then he vents back. Lots of people take health conditions for granted so i just try to make sure that I don't the physical abilities i do have for granted. There are always people with worse medical conditions who would think that we are lucky to be able to go to stores, resturants, etc even if it isn't often. I saw the story on oprah about the lady who was attacked by a chimpanzee and it made me very thankful that i can eat, see, talk, write, type etc. Sometimes we need perspective too just as much as our friends do.

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Skyblu-

You KNOW my heart breaks for YOU- The worst part is the every day lack of empathy when you live with a chronic disabling invisible illness.

That being said, he missed by FIFTEEN SECONDS? :) That's pretty heartbreaking too. He ran t-w-e-n-t-y s-i-x miles in 3 hours, 35 mins and fifteen seconds only to be told that it wasn't good enough!!! Geez. I think he has the right to be disappointed too :P

Hugs-

Julie

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Skyblu-

You KNOW my heart breaks for YOU- The worst part is the every day lack of empathy when you live with a chronic disabling invisible illness.

That being said, he missed by FIFTEEN SECONDS? :) That's pretty heartbreaking too. He ran t-w-e-n-t-y s-i-x miles in 3 hours, 35 mins and fifteen seconds only to be told that it wasn't good enough!!! Geez. I think he has the right to be disappointed too :P

Hugs-

Julie

Thanks Julie. :) Absolutely... he does have a right to be disappointed.. Of course...he can run more marathons and still qualify.

I think she might have meant to say "disappointed". Big difference between being disappointed and being depressed.

I'm just so focusd into thinking how lucky he is to be able run that it's hard to see past it. Like I said in my other post.. there's.something with hearing about physical activity that really does a number on me. I need to work on that. Funny....but if she had said her husband lost his job I would never think "well at least he's able to work".

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I think that he has the right to be disappointed AND depressed - he spent a lot of time and effort toward something and just missed his goal. However, I think your friend needs to be sensitive to YOU and your illness when she shares her problems.

Healthy people forget what we go through and we have to speak up for ourselves, tactfully of course. I always try to be suportive to friends as much as I can. When it hurts too much, sometimes, I push back indirectly, like if someone whines about being sick, I say "I know what you mean, I actually feel like that most of the time due to my chronic illness." Or I say "I wish I could be more supportive to you, but it's hard for me b/c my condition makes it hard for me to do simple things like walk. Maybe it'd be better to talk to someone else about this."

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