sick but don't look it

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Gladiatorgirl2, Jun 7, 2006.

  1. Gladiatorgirl2

    Gladiatorgirl2 New Member

    The think I hate the most about Fibro is the fact that you feel like you are dying, but you don't look sick. People think you are lying about your illness because you look fine. How do you explain to people you really are sick? I'm having this problem at my current job. I call in sick and come back and they say oh you look fine. I get so frustrated. why do people have to SEE your illness to think you are really sick?
  2. mom4three

    mom4three New Member

    wish I could have a simple answer for you.

    Personally people know I am sick and ask how I am. For a long time it was well you look fine. So finally I told them I am very sick. You know when you have the flu and you feel weak and painful? Well I feel like that on a good day. Most of the time I just feel as if a semi ran over me.
    I just had to educate people. The only way we are going to have people understand is by educating. I am not quiet about my sickness. I could care less who knows what I have or how I feel. But personally the more the better.
    I hope you find some answers. I know that was the hardest part of my illness. That and then coming to terms with the fact that I am not going to get better until they find a cure.
    Bless you
    Tracy
  3. Gladiatorgirl2

    Gladiatorgirl2 New Member

    I guess I keep to myself too much and need to start explaining to people exactly what my illness is so they stop acting like I'm not sick. I feel the same way you expressed, like I have the flu or I got hit by a truck. Its so hard to explain this to people when they see you and you don't look sick. Thanks for your help.
  4. Michelle_NZ

    Michelle_NZ New Member

    This drove me insane earlier this year while I was still trying to work. I've been off work since March, but in Feb and Jan I was trying to work full time, but only managing about 15 - 20 hours per week.

    Everytime I did come in there were many funny looks and people telling me how well I looked.

    It bugged me so much, and I always said I was going to say something like the following the next time the situation arouse:

    "Really, I dont look sick to you? Tell me, What does sick look like? Should I be in a wheelchair? Would you prefer if I was bleeding or oozzing pus? Would that make me look sick?"

    Anyway, I never had the guts to actually say it, but man I know how you feel!

    Take care
    Michelle
  5. sally2142

    sally2142 New Member

    I FULLY AGREE WITH ALL THE REPLIES REGARDING "DON'T LOOK SICK". I'VE BEEN OFF WORK FOR OVER 3 YEARS AND MOST PEOPLE THINK IT'S BY CHOICE. I'M ALWAYS GETTING "GEE, YOU LOOK GOOD AND ACT BETTER, WHEN YOU GOING BACK TO WORK?". WORSE THAN THAT, IT'S REALLY DEPRESSING WHEN YOUR DOC'S LOOK AT YOU LIKE NOTHING IS WRONG. I'M SEEING A RHEUMY (2ND ONE I'VE SEEN) THAT ONLY BELIEVES IN MUSCLE RELAXERS THAT DON'T WORK TO TREAT FIBRO. I SAW HIM 3 MONTHS AGO FOR MY FIRST VISIT AND YESTERDAY FOR A FOLLOW UP. HE'S NEVER EVEN TAKEN ONE DROP OF BLOOD. THAT'S SO WRONG. I HOPE BETTER DAYS ARE AHEAD FOR ALL OF US.
  6. Bunchy

    Bunchy New Member

    is that most people with cancer or AIDS don't "look" sick either (unless they are in the final stages of the illness) nor do people with MS, Arthritis and so on.


    Most people with chronic illnesses and even really dangerous illnesses don't actually "look" sick!

    Love Bunchy xx

    PS Hope I haven't offended anyone with this but it is true and we shouldn't feel bad that we don't look sick.
  7. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member

    gladiatorgirl2:

    When I used to have to fend off such questions, I'll admit it: I was pretty rude. And I am not like that generally so the so-called friends and co-worker/friends disappeared.

    I have come to believe I was much better without them.

    nyrofan
  8. cinnveet

    cinnveet New Member

    But you don't look sick?


    "Oh honey, you can't be sick. You look too good."
    "I get pain too. You just have to fight through it."
    "Stop being so dramatic. It can't hurt that bad."
    "If you just lost weight, you'd feel fine."
    "Maybe you're just getting your period."

    These are some of the 'well meaning' and 'well intentioned' comments I've gotten from people when I've told them that I have Fibromyalgia. I know that I am not alone in this. However, it just burns me. People with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and a host of other illnesses including hairing impairments, other autoimmune conditions and much more, have to deal with this seemingly helpful and kind sort of backhanded compliment.

    I can be in pain and not look like it. I may look too good to be sick, but what's that really supposed to mean? Should I stop caring about brushing my hair and everything because I'm sick? There are some days that I can't do that, but no one says to me then..."my, you must have fibromyalgia!" They just think I was too lazy to care. I also don't wear make-up anymore because most of it just really aggravates my skin and perfume - fuggedaboutit. It's impossible for me to handle with all of my chemical sensitivities.

    Unfortunately, if I tell people that, then I get the strange looks and the cocked-eyebrows. You know the ones. They make you feel like you're crazy. It just couldn't possibly be like that. "You're too sensitive!" Hell yes, I am. Fibromyalgia is a disease of sensitivity in many respects. However, it's my truth and I would like people to give me a chance to explain myself.

    Boy, do I sound cranky? Maybe, I am getting my period (lol!).

    Eleanor Roosevelt said it best, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." The longer I've had this disease, the more I realize how true that statement is. However, I don't think it's too much to ask to have people tell me I'm not sick and that my disability isn't real just because it doesn't look like it to them.

    I had a woman crying on my couch just yesterday. She talked to me of her pain and her shame with her invisible disabilities. Her husband doesn't believe how sick she is; she had to struggle to get social security and now, she may lose her meager benefits. My neighbor has Lupus. Because she 'doesn't look sick', other neighbors get mad at her when she parks in the handicapped spots; even though she has a sticker!

    Those things outrage me. Of course, if I told you my biggest pet peeve, which was --- we have about oh 5-10 pills for erectile dysfunction and impotence, but none that work for many invisible and visible diseases-- you'd laugh, of course. However, that's a story for another article!!!
  9. victoria123

    victoria123 New Member

    Have only had a FM diagnosis 2 weeks ago (after 25 years of back pain & 3-4 years of a multitude of other symptoms).

    You are so right - if a person can't "see" an illness/condition, they never believe you & you never get genuine sympathy (or even a Doctor to listen to you).

    And flattering make-up can make you look "really well" or "great" or whatever. (Although I can no longer mask the dark circles from lack of sleep & drawn face from constant pain).

    The only person who has an understanding of chronic pain etc is SOMEONE ELSE WHO HAS A CHRONIC PAIN/ILLNESS PROBLEM!

    When people ask how I am - I tell them (which makes me out to be a hypachondriac or a wimp (or soft in the head).

    And when you say you're exhausted, they come back with the reply "I'm feeling tired too - went to bed late last night".

    Nobody truly knows what the word "exhausted" means until they are faced with a chronic illness of this nature (or terminal illness like cancer of course!)

    I've been pushing myself at work to type & juggle 12 tasks at once, like I have done for the last 13 years, but the reality is that I just want to stay in bed & do nothing, or watch movies all day.

    And I am totally fed up with disbelief, insensitive comments, or hard-hearted fools who don't know the meaning of compassion/sympathy.

    And I might add that up until a couple of years ago, my family & friends were the worst culprits!
  10. CockatooMom

    CockatooMom New Member

    Yes, I've heard it too from former co-workers and supervisors. That or they just give you "that look" when you come back to work.

    I quit complaining about how much pain I was in for a REAL LONG time...but ya know what? I ain't keepin quiet ANYMORE!!!

    I gonna whine as much as my dad & my husband does when they are sick! LOL

    LAZY? WE ARE NOT LAZY!!!