Asked to caregive when I need care myself---advice? | ProHealth Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS and Lyme Disease Forums

Asked to caregive when I need care myself---advice?

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Hello All,

Thank you so much for your help. I hope everyone is having the best day possible.

My mom is having hip surgery this December. She lives in a neighboring state. She really wants me to come up there and cheer her up, and so does my dad. They know I have fibromyalgia and many other health ailments. They vacillate greatly between offering me support and then wanting to provide support to them that is completely unrealistic.

Not being able to help is not the same as being unwilling. It angers me that they are asking me to help when I simply can't because I want to help and would if I could. I tears me apart emotionally and I feel guilty even though I did nothing wrong. I have been chronically ill for at least ten years. How can they not understand this? In fact, me going up there would put my mom's care in further jeopardy because I would need assistance.

My husband won a trip to Hawaii from work and I am going with him, but he will be going to many lengths to help me, and I will be spending much of the time resting on a beach or in a hotel room. My parents can't discern this. When I sound good on the telephone (I don't call when I'm exhausted because I don't want to depress them), they say, "oh, you're fine, come up here". I set as many boundaries as I can and explain endlessly my situation to them. It's brushed aside or listened to at that moment and the next phone call, it's back to the same thing "come up here". My dad is very hyper, anxious and screams a lot. This aggravates my health. Obviously, I know I won't visit. However, I'm very angry/upset that they don't listen, try to continually tug at my heart because they know I love them, try to continually put excessive guilt on me, and urge me to visit. They've also said they would come visit me at different times and have backed out. Of course this is fine for them. Other times they can be so sweet and supportive. The contrast between the two behaviors is unbelievable!

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can handle the situation any better, let go of anger, feel okay with me so that I can make peace with them and myself and move on? My mom had hip replacement surgery on the other hip last year and I called, offered support, sent cards and flowers. I offered and always do the best, loving support I can while dealing with so much chronic illness that I never asked to have. Being maligned as someone who isn't quite good enough or offering enough and for them to not allow me to not take care of me is not right either. This is not a fun situation to be in and I know I'm a loving caring daughter who has done nothing wrong. Thank you all so much again for your advice.




New Member
please, do NOT make the mistake i did, dont let them guilt you into giving up your life because they want a maid they dont have to pay. ( not saying they are jerks like that, but you may find out they are)
i didnt get sick until i got here and make no mistake, once the caregiver gets sick, we are no longer usefull and can be replaced. if they dont want to hire someone to help them, they sure aint gonna hire someone to help them AND you, so dont let them guilt you, visit them, help them as much as you feel you can, but you need to care for YOU.. check into programs in their area, AARP is a great site to find info.. good luck, sorry your sick but you sure wont get better if you triple your workload, not to mention the mental stress. you need all the strength you have to fight your own illness... dont let guilt get you....


New Member
My mother has Fibromyalgia and I suspect I do as well but have no insurance to see dr but I remember all too well what my mother experianced when I was younger. Speaking from my point of view after seeing many say that she was on too much medicine. That she was fine, she just needed to tough it out....and other such comments let me say this.

Start showing them the REAL face of your illness. Some folks need this and it looks like you parents are among them. Call when you know you sound horrible. Let then know that is is your normal. Don't hide it no more. Share with them you pain level, tell them about the days that just going to the grocery store is a challenge. TELL THEM in ways that really drive it home. No, they won't get it if all they ever see are you good days. It's easy to ignore what doesn't smack you up side the head.

Start asking for help when you need it. Don't worry about being a burden to someone else. They need to see the real issues that you face. Maybe go visit after your mother's hip is healed up and show them how things really are. Maybe even ease up on pain meds so they see that there is a reason why you take them.

But most of all, know that in the end, you are not responsible if they refuse to accept the truth. Do what is best for you. No one else will.