Do you HIDE your pain well?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tandy, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. tandy

    tandy New Member


    Hey all~
    I was thinking of something , I've been wondering about and just wanted to see if others are alot like me.(or not)?

    Do you manage to hide your pain well from others?
    I don't even think I mean to hide it,..I guess I'm just so afraid of being a whiner! or a constant complainer.

    I hide it so well that I feel its backfiring on me.
    Meaning: I think it makes everyone think I'm really ok,..and that I'm not that bad off.
    Drs. too. maybe thats why I can't get my pain treated fairly?
    I was coming home yesterday from a full day of running around with my best friend and,...
    After being out and about for over 4 hrs I was totally & extremely exhausted!!(you can imagine)
    well,...my friend asked if I wanted to hit ONE more place and call it a day. I said I really wanted to go home now cause I'm about to fall apart.
    She looked at me shocked and said "OMG,..! really?? you look fine!",... whats wrong??
    so apparently my full blown exhaustion did'nt show.
    ??? I guess it has its good points, but I'm seeing more bad about 'never looking the part'
    anyone else?

    When I think about spending the rest of my life feeling like this,... My heart aches like I lost a loved one~
    Its a feeling I would'nt wish on anyone.

    Thanks for listening~
    :) Hope remains,
    Tandy
  2. Suzan

    Suzan New Member

    I think a lot of the time...no one really sees how bad I feel. But, I am TRYING not to hide things anymore, because it is really to much work..and most things aren't worth feeling lousy for! What I am finding..is that if I am honest with those who really care for me..they work WITH me so I can participate...Or if I am not up to doing, they spend time with me just talking..or renting a movie. They take care of some of the work of being social. Maybe you should try not pushing thru your pain and fatigue..and see how it goes.
  3. Kat_in_Texas

    Kat_in_Texas New Member

    ... to the point where I find myself actually questioning whether the pain is REAL or just "in my head" as everyone around seems to believe.

    That probably sounds crazy. I guess what I mean is, that I spend 9 hours a day with my co-workers, and I can guarantee that they would not say I had any physical problems or illnesses of any sort! On a few rare occasions one of them may ask if I'm feeling okay because I'm too quiet or look tired. But 99% of the time I look fine and ACT fine. Then I get in the car to drive home, let my guard down, and BAM ... I feel like I'm being hit by a ton of bricks and realize that I hurt from head to toe. In fact, I usually cry on the drive home because I hurt so much.

    I can SOOOOO relate to your comment about hiding your pain from your doctor. I just feel so damn whiney when I go in that I usually don't disclose everything I'm feeling, and I'm always so self-conscious (or just wacko) that I end up laughing and joking with the doc, when I actually feel like curling up in a ball in the corner of the exam room!!! I get so angry at myself when I leave his office, and yet I do it time and time again. WHY??!?!?!?

    My husband has seen me do this so many times (church or family functions, vacations, etc.) that he is convinced that this really is all in my head.

    Makes me wonder too sometimes ....

    sigh :(


    Kat


    [This Message was Edited on 10/14/2005]
  4. badangel3

    badangel3 New Member

    because of my career, I must often hide my pain and it has become a daily practice. On the really bad days during winter I use my FMLA, but other times I sometimes hide in the restroom and just have a good cry.

    I maintain my appearance; hair & nails always done. I tend to laugh a lot and joke and try to take my meds when no one can see. Because of this I have found that many do not believe that my pain can be so severe.

    I'm always told I look as if nothing's wrong with me. Now I discuss my health less often, unless it's a situation that I must to protect myself and my job. My family too has a hard time, not because they don't care, but because I've always ben the one they turn to for support so I hide my own pain.

    I was caregiver for my sister during her chemo treatments and was several times, in worst shape than she was as far as pain...but I hid it best I could.

    If I didn't keep a pain journal, I don't think my doctor would believe me. Because I've been with him a long time and he has treated me for bad back problems, I'm able to get my meds. But at times it takes some ceative talking and sterness to get him to really listen...all because I've learned to hide my pain.

    It can be a catch 22 situation. Jackie
  5. rbecca47

    rbecca47 New Member

    i haven't been on in a while.when i logged in and seen your post, i to try very hard to hide my pain, i go to a support group, on tues(not related to fm)but i don't tell them that the two flights of stairs kill me.i just grin and bear it. i don't want to look weak. i have always been a strong woman. and now i can only do have of what i did before. so i hide my pain or just stay at home. people don't understand the pain that goes with fm. and i am tired of trying to let them know. it is easier to just hide it.
    becca
  6. Jgavi

    Jgavi New Member

    You have what I have..."BEST ACTING GOES TO..."

    Your story is just like mine, and your so right how it comes back and bites you on the butt.

    I had a Dr say "you cant be the patient you dont look sick", he went as far to document my medical record how I was dressed! I couldn't believe it! Dumped him and I just found out his office got shut down for "un professional behavior". What a shock!

    Many Dr's who have a brain and want to help our health challenges want us to take care of our mental health aslo. That would be looking nice and acting like an adult, not a baby and whine around everyone.

    I see to many people in the waiting rooms that do not take care of their hygiene, dress dirty and sit there and whine how sick they are. It turns me off. We are all sick!

    So i think its great you dont whine, my moments of "horrific moments" are done in private...my best acting awards are for the public!

    What I tell people now is I cant go or if I do go out I will take my own car, that way I can leave when my body falls apart-

    It shows a lot about your character that you go on with life and not bytch about your pain and fatigue. You gentle said to your friend, time to call it quits, your friend is lucky you last so many hours to begin with....hope she understood...

    So keep up the acting, it does help your mental state in the long run. Jackson Gavi

  7. brit_17759

    brit_17759 New Member

    as I hate to appear that I am always whining and moaning, so a lot of friends and some of my family don't believe there is anything wrong with me!....their way of looking at it is if you don't look sick, then your not!

    But my DH and kids know how much pain I am in. They said they can tell from the way I hold my self when sitting, move or walk.

    Sometimes I tend to think we shouldn't try and hide how much pain and discomfort we are in as then people tend not to believe that have anything wrong with you.

    hugs
    brit
  8. Flaxen

    Flaxen New Member

    I swear..I have made a veritable science..with hair and makeup done, except for red, inflamed hands, no one would know..pushed myself for years pleasing others...made it MUCH worse..now I simply state I have an illness and I cannot do certain things.Most people look at me skeptically..I don't care....I'm over pleasing others while I'm hurting...and let's not forget the constant apologizing!!! When I'm that bad I go to my bedroom and lay onthe bed with my cat..don't wanna bring anyone down..none of us asked for this!!! I know it could be worse, and by reading some of the posts here..I am a lot more functional than some..for that I am grateful..I used to lead such an active life...what happened??Could have been MS, or a reoccurence of my colon cancer..so I try to be thankful.This board has helped me feel less isolated and alone.Thanks all...Love Flaxen
  9. Tigger57

    Tigger57 New Member

    I've always said that too... I should be nominated for an Academy Award.

    I hide it to a degree, once it's worn me down, I don't do so well with hiding it.

    Tigger
  10. granny1353

    granny1353 New Member

    not sure it is the best thing for us to do.

    Mysticbrit, that was a lovely way you put it about having to say goodbye to a loved one. That is how I feel but I was never able to put it into words.

    Granny
  11. ellie5320

    ellie5320 New Member

    I also hide my pain except my hubby can tell when I am having a bad time,I put on a great front I have been a hairdresser 40 yrs so I guess I am used to being a different person at work (not working now )I was always the happy go lucky one as clients do not want to hear what I have to say
  12. Mareeok

    Mareeok New Member

    a husband who didn't want to know I was a 'cripple'. He wanted to believe I was making it up and would get verbally abusive. So I never showed how much I was suffering when he was around so I became a very good actress. I got so good at it no one knew what was happening. After my divorce I had to make an effort to show more on the outside how I was really feeling so people would believe me.
  13. MamaR

    MamaR New Member

    Tandy,

    When I read your post it was so much like myself. I was around complainers as a child and adult and always hated it. I now reflect back on those people, and feel bad. I try to hide my pain because I hate to be labeled a complainer, or worse a hypochondriac. But, I am now getting so much worse that I have to make changes. I just tell people that I am not up to doing it....if I can't, and try to not feel bad about it. I do still try when it comes to going to church, but everyone there really try to understand.

    It is just this is such a misunderstood illness. So many people look at us as though we are not really in pain...it really is frustrating!!! We just have to try to communicate with those that can understand. This board is so helpful. It is just a relief to be feeling a certain way...pain, etc., and go here and it seems we will always find someone going through what we are at the very same time!
    Hang in there and keep in touch!

    Mari
  14. auntcon

    auntcon New Member

    I grew up during that time... I WANT to be totally honest so my family knows I'm in pain (Usually) I'm so tired that I'm always saying... I'm so tired!
    One sister looks at me like I'm using foul language when I complain... BUT IF WE AREN'T HONEST people will not understand what is going on with us...

    I want to particapate in church activities and at school... there was a time that I PUSHED myself... Volunteered at school everyday, BUT you pay for it later!
    It's so hard to learn to say NO

    I don't work, I don't drive, I have trimmed my life to WHAT'S IMPORTANT. Activites with my teens. I WANT to do more, and sometimes I can, THEN I feel like I have to EXPLAIN why I CAN'T do more YUK,

    This is a good post --my dh knows when I'm lying
    but we all want to look our best
    but no make-up usually gives it away LOL
    Connie
  15. elsa

    elsa New Member

    Hi Tandy,

    I don't try to hide it, but I don't go out of the house looking like road kill either! I think as I get going on whatever it is I'm up to, then I don't really think about being sick. It's when I stop that it can catch up with me.

    I have learned to refer to the symptoms, like ... "Man, I'm sleepy", or "That bleach is giving me a headache, I'll meet you out side" , instead of the illness. It's easier all around that way.

    I also have learned to be definate ... but not rude. If I'm toast and can't stay out and play any more, I'll say "I'm heading home guys ... talk to you later" and get on with whatever it is I need to do for myself.

    We've all had people say "Really! You don't look sick!". We really can't blame most of these people. They have tons of stuff going on in their lives ... they can't always remember the ins and outs of CFS/FM. The symptoms change daily. Even we have a hard time keeping up. No way others can be up on it all the time too.

    Now, if it was my husband that said something that stupid ... well, we have to have a chat! LOL

    I think it's ironic how upset we get because we look GOOD. I know, I've been there too. Gotten my knickers in a twist because someone remarked how well I look when it's a day with horrible flare symptoms. ... Certainly not FEELING good.

    After experiencing all the same reactions to looking good while feeling like heck, I've decided to change my thought process.

    I am thankful every single day that I do not look on the outside anywhere near as bad as I can feel on the inside.

    It's truly a blessing guys. I don't think we would be too happy to be walking down the street and have people look away out of pity or walk away because they have a hard time being around someone who so obviously sick.

    Just my new take on it. Also a positive thinking trick .. Looking positive and healthy might lead to more positive and healthy days.

    Take care,

    Elsa
  16. jennypee

    jennypee New Member

    I'm afraid of being a whiner too... I find myself talking about it, even when I don't have anything to say. It's on my mind a lot.

    People who know me or people who pay attention can tell when I'm in pain-- a friend of mine pointed out that I get really quiet and really crabby, when usually I talk too much and I'm annoyingly happy.

    This thing has changed my personality a lot.
  17. cjsmommy

    cjsmommy New Member

    I was just like this for the longest time. It finally just became to mentally exhausting to try to hide it anymore. I've had to learn how to deal with things constructively and not bottle them up since having my son and being forced to do so. I find that if I just be however I am on any given day (if that makes sense) that I'm less exhausted throughout the week. I don't push myself if there isn't a reason to. The other thing is with this is that we LOOK fine outwardly the vast majority of the time...if people only knew. I always felt like a whiny baby until I was diagnosed.
  18. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    I could have written your post! I know just what you mean.

    I don't think that I deliberately hide my pain, I just have never wanted to "whine" about it like you. Also, what good would it do - at least that's how I look at it. But then, just a couple of days ago when I felt so bad that I could have "rolled over and died", I felt the same way; i.e., "am I doing myself a diservice?" Because, if I tell anyone that I feel as badly as I do, they always look at me like, "really?" I've even had people tell me the same thing, "you don't look it!" in disbelief. Sometimes I wish I did look as bad as I felt.

    Sometimes I feel as though there just is no reason to say anything to anyone and I try not to. However, there are times when I need to really be able to let down and tell someone how I feel. I can tell my husband, and I do many times. But, sometimes I think it is just better to not even tell him. That's why I'm so grateful for this Board. I was able to do that the other night, and it did help me.

    Take care Tandy and be happy!

    Love, Jeannette
  19. virgo_karen

    virgo_karen New Member

    That's the problem with me. I'm now starting a new job and my sister-in-law works where I will be working soon. She knows all about it, so I'm really going to do my best and not whine about my pain.
    At my job interview I did explain that I have FM and neuropathy in my feet. I pretty much have my FM under control, but it is a challenge for my feet. I also told them at my interview that I need to pace myself and take breaks whenever possible.
    So the supervisor know about it, I really need to let it go and not complain and do my job the best I can. I need to work, I'm by myself and I don't have anyone else to help me with me finance. This was a good topic for me. Thanks,
    Karen
  20. nataliedawn

    nataliedawn New Member

    i am thae same when i go shopping with my friend, now i am finding i cant walk around for more than about an hour before i feel so ill, in pain. its worse if you are carrying shopping around too. i end up sitting down when and where ever i can, i find myself sitting on the seats in shops that old people sit on to have a rest! i have a good chat with them though!! it is really depressing though, i think of things like, i cant go to big shopping centres now or to london and spend the day walking round the shops. i'm gonna get my christmas shopping early so i dont have to walk round the shops for ages in the all the crowds! and yes, other people dont realise, cos you're in pain all the time, you dont wanna constantly say how you feel. whenever anyone says, 'hello, how are you' you instictively just say 'yes, find' when you know you're not! i feel like i want people to know, unless i say otherwise, just take it that i am in pain! i am constantly looking at other people where ever i am, just thinking, 'i wonder what it's like to walk around and not be thinking of how much pain you're in etc. even when i see girls in high heeled shoes, i'm now fasinated how they can walk in them in the first place, but how they can just wear them and not have pain in their legs, ankles, knees, and the list goes on!!!, so no you're not the only one who feels like that!!!!!!!!