Wanting to give support

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by mectec, Jan 17, 2003.

  1. mectec

    mectec New Member

    High all,

    I am looking for some advice. I have a dear friend in my life who has FM. I have been spending more time with her reciently and until now I have not realized how much pain she goes through an a daily basis. In the past she has hidden the fact that she was hurting. She is very strong willed and swears up and down that she does not need any help with anything. But seeing her in so much pain is unbareable. I need to find away to to try to help. Something to say to make her feel better. Something I can do. If anyone out here has any sugestions they will be greatly appreciated.
  2. catgal

    catgal New Member

    Hello Mectec~~I wish the World was filled as compassionate, considerate, and caring as you. May you be blessed a thousand times over for your kindnesses.

    As a person who suffers from FM/CFS, advanced degenerative disc disease, IBS, osteo/psoriatic/rheumatoid arthritis, severe asthma/allergies, and found out today I also have nerve damage from top of neck to feet--I can share with you what would help me the most.

    Since I work three days a week, I am exhausted and in pain before my last day of work, but I still have all of life's chores, responsibilities, and errands to take care of.

    If someone would help me occasionally with the housework--especially the hard, physical stuff like mopping, scrubbing the tolits and bathtubs; running the sweeper; taking the grocery list and doing the shopping; helping with the laundry; clean out the car; repair odds & ends about the house, and basically lighten my load--give me a break from it from time to time.

    Back when I was younger (am 53 now) and could get around and manage better--I had a close friend who suffered terribly from FM/CFS. She worked full time at a very stressful, demanding job with a slave-driver for a boss. All her money went for bills, essentials, and medical expenses. She only had Saturday & Sunday off--and she had to tend to all the household chores and life's responsibilities on those 2 days, and couldn't afford to pamper herself.

    I didn't have much money either, but I wanted to do something special for her--she was so good to other people. So, one weekend I had my home all clean and shiny, and I prepared her a poor-woman's retreat at my home. I had her come over right after work on Friday night; I had a hot bath filled with epsom salts, bubble bath, and wonderfully scented essential oils; she soaked by scented candlelight and mystic music; I had a warm towel fresh out of the dryer waiting for her when she got out of the tub along with a tray of wonderful smelling lotions, oils, and powders to pamper her body; I had laid out a fresh, soft cotton gown for her along with a long, plush robe to wrap around her; I cooked her favorite meal; and then I had fixed up the small guest bedroom for her filled with books, music, candles, incense, inspirational tapes, movies for all moods for the VCR, and a comfy bed with beautiful, soft, baby blue sheets sprinkled with baby powder, a warm burber blanket, a patchwork quit on top, and mounds of fluffy, sinkable, billowy pillows lightly scented with lavender. And, I left her alone for solitude, to lay, and rest, do whatever she wanted, and I was in the house if she wanted to come out and talk, visit, or play. All weekend, I fixed her breakfast in bed; I kept snack trays of fruit, cheese, crackers, and other delicious goodies in her bedroom; prepared her lunches, fixed her dinners, and gave her a Retreat in my home from Friday evening to Sunday evening. And, while she rested at my home, I went over to her house and cleaned it all up for her, did her laundry, and bought her some groceries for the following work week. She said it was the nicest thing anyone had ever done for her.

    And it gave me a sense of such great pleasure to do it for her. She deserved a break, and neither of us had much money. Certainly no money for a REAL Resort Retreat. So, I made the best of what I had to offer and tried to give her a homemade retreat.

    Everything everybody mentioned above is also what we need, but for me--just someone to HELP me with all the things that need to be done is what would help me the most.

    Just knowing there are people like you in the world makes me feel spiritually refreshed. Blessings to you! Carol...
  3. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    Hi Mectec, welcome to the board. I see you have already received some good advice concerning your friend.

    Just be there for her, she will let you know when she wants help. Being her friend is winning half the battle.

    Shalom, Shirl
  4. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    ..everybody, whether they are sick or well, should have a friend as caring as you obviously are! I think you've been given lots of great advice, but I think Shirrell brought out the main point: you BELIEVE her. Trust me, one of the most frustrating and fatiguing things those of us with this disease battle, is the fear that those around us won't believe FM is real, won't even acknowledge our pain exists---no wonder people like your friend hide the fact that they hurt, and just live with pain and exhaustion. So the fact that you BELIEVE her, is a great gift and shows her she can trust you to be a true friend---she may not say it in words, but that fact probably means a great deal to her! She is lucky to have you------and any help we can give you here, or her (I hope you share this site with her; we've all learned a lot here!!) we are more than happy to do. Good luck to both you & your friend, visit any time...

    Hugs,
    Pam