Frustrated friend

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Finn, Dec 14, 2002.

  1. Finn

    Finn New Member

    Hi!

    I have a very close friend who is suffering with very bad case of FMS since many years! In addition she is starting all kind of "side" deceases because she is not taking care of herself!

    She is, ofcourse, seeing a doctor regulary but she is not willing to change her life as radically (if it needs to be radical) as I think she should.

    Her husband is not even close to realise and recognice that he should help around the house etc... she is doing all the domestic work in addition of a VERY stressful work she has.

    She is not willing to change her life and start to do less things but instead likes to do things that eventually makes her feel really, really bad and exhausted that she ends up in to a hospital (happend few times past 6 months)!

    In a way she is trying to hide her sickness from the other people who doesn't know her well enough. This is partly because she is very ambitious specially about her work and doesn't want the sickness to effect peoples oppinions etc. She is not letting people to help her in any way and will certainly not ask for help, oh no! I'm one of the only (if not the only one) who she ever asked to help in anything and that's only because I've been really pushing about it.

    She thinks that there is no way out of her pain so she doesn't even try to do anything about it! She says that at least she still able to do things now so why not do them - "I want to live my life full on while I still can". This is the part that really scares me... If she keeps going like this soon she will be unable to ablsolutely anything! She just doesn't see it that way. She was just diagnosed a several herniated disks and that she possibly has twisted her spinal cord!!! Even that doesn't have any effect to her, although she said that she really scared about possible back surgery she may have to go through!

    Can any one help me and give me hint's how I get her understand that there is no other way than totally de-stress her life as it has come too far!

    I love her and I don't want to loose her!!!

    I would help her a lot more but it is "bit" impossible as I'm living on a different continent (I'm in Europe and she is in States).

    Thank you so much for your comments!!!
  2. Finn

    Finn New Member

    Hi!

    I have a very close friend who is suffering with very bad case of FMS since many years! In addition she is starting all kind of "side" deceases because she is not taking care of herself!

    She is, ofcourse, seeing a doctor regulary but she is not willing to change her life as radically (if it needs to be radical) as I think she should.

    Her husband is not even close to realise and recognice that he should help around the house etc... she is doing all the domestic work in addition of a VERY stressful work she has.

    She is not willing to change her life and start to do less things but instead likes to do things that eventually makes her feel really, really bad and exhausted that she ends up in to a hospital (happend few times past 6 months)!

    In a way she is trying to hide her sickness from the other people who doesn't know her well enough. This is partly because she is very ambitious specially about her work and doesn't want the sickness to effect peoples oppinions etc. She is not letting people to help her in any way and will certainly not ask for help, oh no! I'm one of the only (if not the only one) who she ever asked to help in anything and that's only because I've been really pushing about it.

    She thinks that there is no way out of her pain so she doesn't even try to do anything about it! She says that at least she still able to do things now so why not do them - "I want to live my life full on while I still can". This is the part that really scares me... If she keeps going like this soon she will be unable to ablsolutely anything! She just doesn't see it that way. She was just diagnosed a several herniated disks and that she possibly has twisted her spinal cord!!! Even that doesn't have any effect to her, although she said that she really scared about possible back surgery she may have to go through!

    Can any one help me and give me hint's how I get her understand that there is no other way than totally de-stress her life as it has come too far!

    I love her and I don't want to loose her!!!

    I would help her a lot more but it is "bit" impossible as I'm living on a different continent (I'm in Europe and she is in States).

    Thank you so much for your comments!!!
  3. catgal

    catgal New Member

    Your friend is very fortunate to have someone like you who cares enough to seek help for her when she won't do it herself.

    However, trying to get your friend to take care of herself is like trying to help an alcoholic in denial. Until your friend stops being in denial of her illnesses, there is little that you can do except to be there for her, perhaps buy her some FM and other health educational books, and hope she reads them.

    I am 53 and have had FM/CFS for 35 years along with degenerative disc disease--herniated discs, etc. Eventually, it has its own way of getting your attention. For years I thought if I ignored the FM/CFS that I wouldn't have to deal with it. I thought it was "mind over matter". But the bottom line was that I was in denial of having a debilitating illness and was determined that I wasn't going to give into it. Eventually I "caved-in", and that left me bedridden for a good while and finally got my attention.

    I started researching, reading, and educating myself about FM/CFS and began trying all kinds of things to help myself. It is alot of trial & error, and what works for one may not work for another. There is a host of side affects & symptoms of FM, and each has to be treated separately as a whole.

    Refer your friend to this Board. Maybe she will give it a look--maybe not. FM is not life threatening, but it can certainly make your life miserable unless you take care of yourself.

    All of us can appreciate your concern, and it is a gift to have a friend like you--but ultimately, it is up to your friend to break through her own denial and help herself.

    It is a little slow here on weekends, but others will be along to help you and maybe give you some suggestions. Take care of yourself, and I wish you Happy Holidays! Carol....
  4. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    Everyone with this disease (or without) should have a friend like you! I think those of us who have had this a while, have been where your friend is---still denying that life has changed so radically, still clinging to the body & health we once had....we've all felt that way! Eventually we all come to accept what we can still do, and what we may have to modify in order to live the most healthy & safe way we can, given our limitations. It doesn't mean we have to give up everything, and it doesn't mean we don't still misjudge things & overdo---but we try to take care of ourselves so that we can live with this in the most comfortable way possible. Your friend, it sounds like, hasn't yet come to accept that her life isn't over, but it HAS changed---sounds like her husband isn't there yet, either! You got a very good suggestion above---let her know about this board & encourage her to come here. I guarantee we will welcome her with open arms, and she will receive support, tons of information & she gradually may learn to accept & take care of herself. And just continue to love her, as you obviously do---she's already ahead of the game to have such a caring, supportive friend. Good luck & try to get her to visit us here!

    Hugs,
    Pam
  5. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    Hi Finn, Catgal (Carol) said about all there is to say concerning your friend.

    I was a whole lot like her from the beginning, I have had Fibro for 20 plus years now. I was so in denial that when I look back on my life, I seriously wonder how I didn't kill myself, not from Fibro but from the things I did and refused not to stop doing especially with little or no sleep.

    I would firmly suggest to anyone young, that if they would slow down now, it might not progress as mine did.

    But, from what you are saying, she has a personality that is not going to take advice from anyone. I was the same way.

    Carol's suggestions are the best that you are going to get as far as making her see where she is going at the speed she is traveling now.

    Good luck, and I hope your friend listens to reason, you are a good friend.

    Shalom, Shirl
  6. Finn

    Finn New Member

    Hi,

    Thanks for your replies :)

    It's not that she is in completely denial with all this. She is just just so stubborn and will not take any advise from anyone. She has studied a lot about FMS itself but for some reason it has not sunk in to her.

    I quess the main reason is that she don't want to be "served"... she want's to do things by herself - she wants to make thanksgiving dinner for 10 people without any help knowing that she will be in horrible pain the next days! She likes to do those kinds of things (I can't blame her for that) but still she should ask some help. Atleast her husband should help with something but beeing a spoiled brat who always got everything under his nose... I don't think he can ever change. Unfortunately I don't know him well enough to judge that but I sure hope that I'm wrong.

    I don't think that she would be a person who could post a message in here but I will definitely give her a hint to do so.

    It would help me a lot if I could get some references, stories or whatever, of people who has FMS but are still doing fine and doing things they enjoy doing by changing their life style... I think that some actual cases would ease her to start think differently.

    I don't know if I (not having the sickness) can ever really understand her but it just feels so horrible that someone is knowingly hurting themselves.

    I just keep being there for her... I quess that's the best I can do!

    Thank you again!
  7. karen2002

    karen2002 New Member

    Each person does have the right to live their life, as they see fit. We each have the right to use methods of treatment that we see fit--or to choose the opposite, none.

    I have seen terminal cancer patients who when given the option of treatment that would prolong their lives a year, deny it, as they wanted their remaining time left to be as vibrant, full of life, and energy as possible, as compared to the treatment induced side effects.

    Perhaps in her mind it is not about quantity, but quality. It's about doing all those things in life that she is not ready to give up.

    I am afraid that there might not be anything to convince her to see your point of view, as she is exercising her choice.

    There may or may not come a time when her illess makes the decision for her. As of right, now though, she is the one with the reins.

    You are a wonderful friend for caring. When we hold out a gift to someone, though, it requires an open hand of acceptance.

    Karen