This past week, I was blindsided by a cold passed on by my husband. We work together, and I had bullied him into staying home two days last week so he could rest and get better. This week, he actually sent me home from work two days. I'm very grateful that he did -- I slept almost all of both days and am feeling much better now. He asked me why I was so stubborn about going to work when I had told *him* to stay home. I really had to think about it. One reason, I think, is that I'm used to feeling bad, tired, or fatigued. That seems to be my 'normal'. I don't really have any frame of reference any more for knowing what 'great' feels like. Another reason is that, growing up, there wasn't much sympathy for sickness. My mom worked in a clinic, so she saw 'really sick' people all the time. Also, *she* worked full time, and there wasn't much choice back then for her to stay home to take care of someone. Add on to that the WASP-y suck-it-up-and-deal-with-it heritage from my mom's New England background, and there just was NO SICKNESS. At least, illness had a very narrow definition...cancer, loss of a limb, surgery, etc. That left me, as an adult, with not very much practice in being able to tell when I'd hit my limits and when was the appropriate point to throw in the towel. Also, my 'sicknesses' were never quite serious enough to deserve proper attention and energy. So, here I am as an adult (with adult-onset CFS) having conflicting feelings about asking for help. I've gotten help, and fought for it all the way, but whenever I get another short-of-patience physician or deal with a relative (my mother is deceased -- I can't even fathom what she would have thought) or acquaintance with little sympathy, I get flashbacks. Did anyone else get this message as a kid?