Single Moms with FM?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by elastigirl, Oct 7, 2005.

  1. elastigirl

    elastigirl New Member

    I'm just wondering how many here on the board are single moms with FM? How do you cope? How do your friends and family handle your diagnoses? How long have you had it? How many children do you have?

    Here are my answers:

    Dx is recent, though condition has existed for a long time, struggling with coping. This board definitely helps, although I would really love to make some one-on-one friends with single moms going through the same thing -- trying to raise a child/children while coping with FM.

    My friends & family -- some are supportive, some are not. Even though my best friend (SIL) also has FM, because I was dx'd recently and she was dx'd years ago, we find ourselves getting tiffed at each other. Why? Because our symptoms are so different. Sometimes our expectations of each other are too high. But, as best friends do, we fight and make up :). Much of my family is just ~not~ prepared to have someone else with FM in the family. Just like a sibling with bad grades a couple years ahead of you, you run into people with pre-conceived notions about you based on the other person.

    I've had FM for nearly five years. I knew something was wrong when I caught a terrible flu near the end of my pregnancy. I developed toxemia, had a c-section, and never really recovered from that flu. However, I wasn't diagnosed with FM until Sept '05.

    I have one child, a four-year-old super-spectacular boy.

    Hoping to here from some more single moms :)!

  2. sfrazier

    sfrazier New Member

    Hi EG. I have been dx'ed around a year ago. Still dealing with it but lucky that I have a doctor that believed in this from the get go. I had never even heard of till I went and saw her. Now I'm batteling with SSD. At the point of waiting for my ALJ hearing. The way I cope is reading some posts here and just taking it day by day or sometimes minute by minute. The worst for me is the fibrofog. I hate feeling like an idiot and not knowing what I'm trying to say. I use to work full time as an Admin. Asst. and know there are days I can't remember the names of my kids. lol.

    I have one close friend who knows exactly what I'm going through since she has/had Cronic Fatigue. She knows I might not call her for a week cause it hurts just to much to move or to even lay. My only family is my mom and she really doesn't understand at all. She just thinks that I'm putting things off and at 42 should still be able to work and take care of my house and my kids. I wish sometimes that she could feel what I feel for just one week.

    I have three kids. Two girls 15 and 16 and my son who at 20 is still living with mom. Some times they are very understanding and other times they are typical teenagers. My son is trying to get his GED and then he wants to join the Army. One more thing to stress about. lol.

    Okay I've typed enough. lol. Time to read a little more before I get off....Sue
  3. emiltim

    emiltim New Member

    Single mom here, too! I have a 3 y/o boy, and a 5 y/o girl. They are very "busy"!! Caught the 3 y/o peeing on the wall yesterday....he has a new toy I guess. lol! Have you been through that stuff?

    As far as coping; I just do what I have to do. I can't go on disability, because I couldn't afford to live if i did. I am very stubborn, and most of the time I just think "This is NOT going to beat me!!!!" I do have the days where I just can't get out of bed though. I'm lucky to have my mom close by to watch the kids in an emergency. I have several friends at church that listen to me go on & on when I need an ear.

    It's hard. I wish more than anything that I could go on disability and stay home with my babies! It was always my dream to be home with them.

    I noticed that you don't have a profile yet....where do you live?
    Take care.....-Julie
  4. lmmillion

    lmmillion New Member

    I'm a single mom with a wonderful 8yr.old daughter. I was diagnosed almost three years ago and had to go on SS Disability. I used to make a really good salary but have now had to learn to get by with much less. No child support these days(lazy ex)makes it even tougher financially. This summer I sold my nice newer home and downsized to a smaller, older, and more affordable house. I am so glad that I did that! I am now under so much less stress. Money is still tight, but manageable.

    Most of my family/friends have been supportive. I do have a sister who is a workaholic,though, and she constantly gets her digs in about my "lack of employment."I really get the impression that she just thinks I am lazy, not sick. It's so irritating!

    Yes, I think it is hard being a single parent with this illness. I just take things as they come, and somehow, we manage to get by.
  5. emiltim

    emiltim New Member

  6. Tigger57

    Tigger57 New Member

    Hi everyone. I'm single, but not a mother. I know how hard it is for just me to take care of me with my 2 dogs and 2 cats.

    I've been out of work all year and am looking for full time work. I have been told to apply for SSDI, but can't live on it. I realize I can give up everything except my pets... that means I have to keep a roof over our heads.

    Anyway, the reason I posted is because you all deserve medals. I just thought someone should tell you.
  7. CatsKimber

    CatsKimber New Member

    I'm a single mom. 11 year old son. FM onset was 12 years ago, right before I became pregnant. Only one way to cope... cling to God.

  8. elastigirl

    elastigirl New Member

    sfrazier - Good luck with your hearing :)! For some reason, taking gelatin helped me with my brainfog. My mom used to tell my brothers (3 of them) their names were Tom-Brian-Chris not Tom or Brian or Chris. Made her life easier :). (Names changed to protect the innocent.)

    So sorry to hear about your mom. I think since our mom's grew up in a time were housekeeping was the measure of a women, they have a terrible time coming to grips with what's happened to their daughters. Over time, she might learn to understand what you are going through.

    emiltim -- Dealing with two in that age range! Whoa, here's your medal :)! I feel lucky to just have one, but as hard as it is, children are a great blessing too. My son grabs his "magic blanket" when I'm very sick and lying in bed. He offers to get me water, too. He has a heart as big as Texas.

    lmmillion -- I'm so happy to hear you have a good support network. That's what we really need to keep going, people with a little faith in us, right?

    I was telling someone just the other day, it's a big blow to your self-esteem when you had a salary with regular money coming in, and then it just disappears. My son and I can barely make it on child support. Without my father's help, we'd be much worse off. To not have child support at all? I don't know how we'd survive.

    I have found new joys in being free of material things. For instance, I decided not to decorate for Halloween. In fact, I'm packing away or selling a lot of my decorations. Because at the heart of any holiday, it's the time I spend with my son that really matters. I know he'll bring home plenty of crafty Halloween creations from school. That will be all the decorating we need :).

    tigger57 -- I keep editing that middle post because I don't want to offend any singletons. I'm only referring to my *well* single and married friends without children, and only those that are unsupportive, you know what I mean ;)?

    One of my cousins, a very sweet woman, is single without children. She has been clinically depressed for years and has trouble even leaving her apartment on her own. One day she told me that she was too depressed to get up and feed her cat. I told her about the auto-pet feeders I found at Walmart.

    And my heart just broke in two when she said, "Feeding my cat is the only thing that keeps me connected to life." Nope, single moms aren't the only ones going through tough times.

    catskimber -- I think you're on to something ;).
    [This Message was Edited on 10/10/2005]
  9. maggiemae55

    maggiemae55 New Member

    i have been a single mom for 12 years. my children (young adults now) son-24, son-22, daughter 17. my oldest is getting married next month, but for now is living at home to save $$. My middle is a sr in college, and my daughter is a freshman in college...she is playing soccer there, so i have been able to go see her. i keep telling myself she is at camp college :)

    i wasn't dx'd util 2 yrs ago, but had sx since i had a terrible mycoplasm bhronchitis when my daughter was a few months old. i thought the terrible fatigue was from running them all over the place!

    i kept going because i had too. no choice. their dad lives in the same city, but was/is very little help, especially after he remarried 1 yr after the divorce.

    my family is no help, my mom died 5 yrs ago, she was very supportive, my dad remarried and now all he does is travel and think about himself, he lives about 3 miles from me, but has come over 2x since Christmas. my older brother lives 20 min's away, but we are not close, and he is very competitive, so i stay away from that. they wear me out!

    my biggest concern is financial, and i worry about losing the house. i have 3 part time jobs, and think i will have to find another. i just turned 50, and this is NOT how i planned my life!!

    single moms are very srtong women!! we have to be, and i get a lot of support fromt his site.

  10. cbrogan6

    cbrogan6 New Member

    Hi, I'm a single mom too, I'm 28 and I have a gorgeous awesome 6 year old son. His father was never in the picture and acutally passed away a couple years ago. I foolishly never asked for child support, determined to "do it myself". Now I regret it, I could have at least been putting it in an account for my boy. I was just diagnosed over the summer with endometriosis & fibromyalgia. It has been rough going, more so b/c I do have a child and I feel like I am missing out on a lot. I work full time, and during the week I am exhausted by the time I get home. I do as much with him as I can, even if it's just watching a movie together. I just hope he doesn't look back some day and his main memory of me is me being sick. On the positive side, these illnesses have made me slow down and realize what's important. I save my energy for my boy, and if my house is messy or the grass gets a little too long, that's just the way it is. Fortunately I have an incredible family, especially my mom, and they are definitely there to lean on. I also go to church, God is the only thing that has pulled me through all this. I asked Him to help me have a positive attitude, and He is working on me every day. I have noticed huge changes in my outlook, and I am able to be content even though I may feel awful sometimes. I am so happy to have found this site, we can all use a place where we can encourage each other :)
  11. elastigirl

    elastigirl New Member

    carebear13 - I'm so sorry to hear that you lost your friends. Sadly, I think sometimes friends give up on us when they think they are taking too much away from us. I'm praying for you to be surrounded by new friends, in addition to your loving and supportive family. My son agrees -- dinosaurs rule! Today, my son and I are a bit over-tired, but in good spirits nevertheless :).

    maggiemae55 -- Congratulations to your son! How wonderful!

    I am sorry to hear that your support network leaves something to be desired. And juggling 3 jobs? I really feel for you. I'm praying for things to turn around for you. In the meantime, it seems to me that you can be super-proud of the job you did with your children :).

    cbrogan6 - I am really amazed and impressed with mothers who are not only going it alone -- but are also working full-time! I agree 100% with everything you have said. I don't want my son to remember me as a "sick" mommy either. That's one reason, even though I'm normally opposed to prescription medications, I'm willing to try anything to get well and lead as "normal" as a life as possible. However, we cannot feel guilty for not being a Super Mom.

    You know, my SIL (who has FM) and I both know a Super Mom. She is kind and loving and has three school-age children. She gets up as early as 5am to get to work by 7am, then she comes home after work to cook dinner and work on craft projects with her children. What does she do after that? When she doesn't have other obligations, she'll go back to work for a couple more hours. And, yes, her children are in dance, etc., at school. Their mother also does all of that -- can you imagine?

    And yet, is she happy? I don't think so. My SIL and I both agree, if she doesn't slow down -- she may be struck with this very illness -- an illness that forces you to slow down and reassess your whole life. Of course, we don't wish it upon her and haven't said a word to her about slowing down, but getting this illness really causes you to look your life in a more objective manner.

    What's really important? Love. Family. Time together. Providing the basics, like a home-cooked meal. What's not nearly as important? A spotless home. Tons of extracurricular activities. Multi-tasking. Working to keep up with the Jones's.

    Thank you for your inspirational comments about God. My son and I have not been attending on a regular basis, perhaps because since we moved to this city, I haven't found a church that is right for us yet. But I hope to soon.

    P.S. Even though you didn't say very much about your son's father, I am sad that hear that he passed away.

    I'm hoping that this thread will continue growing. I know that a lot of single moms who are working might only be able to check in once and a while.

    Do you have any tips to share? Maybe we could support each other through troublesome times.

    I made a separate joke thread about my Doppelganger.

    Sometimes I cannot remember things. For intance, recently I made lunch for my son and had it laid out on the table. I got him out of his bath, got him partially dressed (saving the shirt for later, note Ketchup joke above), when I thought I would have to make him a sandwich because I had forgotten to make him lunch. As I sat him in his chair, presto! There was lunch! I had forgotten that I HAD made his lunch, LOL!

    That's my doppelganger, always doing nice things like that for me. (Can we say brainfog?)

    But that's not really a tip, is it? I just came up with this one the other day: I always wash socks, underwear and undershirts together, so I thought, what if I roll 1 pair of underwear and 1 pair of socks into 1 of my son's undershirts? That way it'll be so much easier to dress him in the morning, not having to track down three different things. I tried it, and it works :).

    Only each and every morning, I forget that I did this -- and therefore have to say "thank you" to my Doppelganger :).

    Sometimes I wish I had a "memory album" video ala "50 First Dates." You should see my state of panic, when 5 seconds after waking, I a) remember I have a son, b) remember my son usually crawls into bed with me at some point in the night, c) notice my son is missing, d) run through the house searching frantically for said son, then e) fall down on the bed feeling utterly ridiculous because I forgot that he was at his Dad's for the weekend, LOL.

    Well, I hope you are all having a good day. So many women, so many stories, it's really profoundly amazing.
  12. elastigirl

    elastigirl New Member

    I noticed that several single moms have recently joined the board. I just wanted to say hello, glad to see you here :).
  13. tigger5

    tigger5 New Member

    Thanks elastigirl for starting this thread. I have a 14 yr old and 16 yr old. Been single for 14 years and hail from Eastern Oregon but recently moved to Eastern Washington.

    I haven't been officially diagnosed with CFS or FM yet but firmly believe I will be. I had the FM for at least 10 yrs and CFS for probably about 3 yrs. I've just been too stubborn to go to the doctor. Two years ago my fatigue became so bad that I decided to leave my full-time+ job as an Accountant and do some independent work (to avoid the 60 hrs a week during tax season). Soon 20 hrs/wk was too much. This summer I reluctantly had to admit that maintaining a home, yard, and flowerbeds was too much even with the kids help...and sold the place. We live in an apartment now. The kids have been wonderfully supportive. My 16 yr old does most of the grocery shopping and driving errands and my 14 yr old helps with a lot of the housework without too much complaining.

    A message to other single parents...don't let yourself get in the pickle I'm in. I waited too long to get medical help...since I lost my insurance when I quit my full-time job, I can't afford to see a doctor and pay for the whole gammit of tests that will probably occur. I've been going the "independent" route and trying to fix myself with supplements. I feel that it's helped to some degree but I've had to admit just this week that I really need professional help.

    I recently moved closer to my family in hopes that they might be supportive but none of them except my mother really understand. She's suffering the same basic thing except hers has been diagnosed as Epstein Barr.

    One theory I've learned in my research is that adrenal dysfunction is the basis of chronic fatigue. Hormones that the adrenal emits control over 40 different functions in the kind of makes sense. Anyway, this theory also claims that some people have genetically weaker adrenals than others so it may run in families. This seems to be true with my family.

    I've written a book. Thanks for "listening".

  14. karinaxx

    karinaxx New Member

    i am single mom with a 9 old son. i have been diagnosed with cfids this year, but live with it for over ten years.
    My son is in the process of getting diagnosed, he is showing cfids in kids symptoms.
    i was running my own clothingshop and had to close it two years ago.
    not much support from the famely with my son, because we live in diffrent countrys, but financially i was luck to get some support when things are getting all to rough.
    Luckely his stepfather takes him a lot, without that help i would not make it.

    there is days where my son is making all the lights out and putting himself to bed, because i cannot get up anymore.
    we exchange foot and leg rubs, depending on who is in more pain in the night.
    it is very difficult in every aspect. I am very happy to have such a wonderfull son, sad of what be both have to go through. karinaxx
  15. Zzzsharn

    Zzzsharn New Member

    Single Mom here too! I have 2 girls, ages 9 and 5-

    My 9 year old remembers a Mom who could play and run and sled ride and roller skate.. I'm sad that my 5 year old has never known a healthy Mom.

    Money troubles are endless.. I try hard not to worry about what I'm not giving them and focus on what I can give them. But every once in a while I have a little pity party.

    I'm still working full time(not an option at this point). I keep plugging along-tired, exhausted, in pain and praying.

    Be well,

  16. risinforce

    risinforce New Member

    Single because of this illness. Hubby wanted a "healthy" wife. @sshole! Actually we get along now better than before for our sons sake. I have a very active 6 yr old little boy.

    How do I cope, lot's of meds and god. My mom and dad help me financially when I need. Thank the lord for that. I have had to lean on them this year through the divorce. My mom helps me get Cody to and from school so i can work. I too can't offord SSI. No way I could live off that.

    I have times where I just breakdown. I too wish I had someone close by to lean on because I don't have that. This board is the only place I can go when it comes to problems w/this illness. I've had some pretty low momments.

    My one saving grace is 3 days a wk my baby goes to his dad's and I get a break. But my life is stress all the time w/work, bills etc. I feel as though the days turn to wks that turn to months alot. It's very hard.

    I have a psyciatrist but I don't feel he helps much. i wish I could really have a great girlfiend who lived by me.

    Hugs to all the single mom's out there. We all need an extra one.

  17. kimfibro

    kimfibro New Member

    i'm a divorced, single mom of an 8 year old son (well, 8 on december 14th!!)and i SO feel the guilt of not having enough energy at times to go outside and throw the ball around.....the high heat and humidity of summer makes this just about IMPOSSIBLE for me!!!!

    i also am working full time, with no choice but to. in fact i am not even receiving child support right now!!

    doesn't it feel like you go on a roll: pushing, doing, getting through days in a row....then....poof. all done, shutting down, tired, down, or symptoms kick in. then i get angry with myself for staying home, guilty for staying home, guilty for resting, it's a terrible dilemma. but it's a cycle i'm in and have been for years.
    it's tough, to be sure but i have always had a great sense of humor and an extremely supportive, loving brother and friends so it works for the most part. i just get very down on myself when i 'shut down', need space, don't feel well, can't push myself to work 8 hours today, want to be a couch potato with a heating pad!!

    does any of it sound familiar to you?? and you've got 2 kids...:) :)

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