How do your friends and family treat you?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 7/27/2009 9:28 AM (GMT -6)   
So my question is this: How do your friends and family treat you?

I guess I just need to vent and get some things out.... Recently I just had two cervical epidurals.... I have tried literally every treatment out there and so far... no luck...

This is my last try before I have a surgical consult with a surgeon.

Getting to my story.... my three really, really close girlfriends all knew I was going for the epidurals.... the first time receiving the injections didn't go well for me.... it was very stressful and caused me some anxiety and more pain and soreness than I expected..... I told my three best friends my whole ordeal...

Moving on to my second epidural... my three close friends and my family all knew the date I was getting the injection..... I was really, really hurt when not one person called to check on me and see how I was doing... cry

I was not looking for attention but thought my friends would care enough to check in on me.... a call... a text or email......

I am the one who constantly does things for my friends.... I don't have children of my own(tried... can't)... so I guess I am always available to lend a helping hand to all of them.... watch their dogs/cats while they are away.... make them birthday cakes... my one friend had a small outpatient surgery.... I went to her house... brought her lunch, picked up her scripts and bought her a small present (a mascara) I didn't have to do that but to me... that's what friends are for....

Is it too much to expect that any of my friends or family call me?

So this leads me to my question..... how do your friends and family treat you.... do they just ignore the situation.... do they ask how you are feeling on a regular basis?

I guess maybe it is too much to ask since no one really know what all of us in pain go through.... you are all a comfort to me... thanks!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3570
   Posted 7/27/2009 10:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Chronic illness is like the litmus test for friends.  I had very good friends run after my diagnosis and I had friends show up and reveal their real devotion as well.  It seems like the beginning was the hardest for me.  There was a lot of juggling and and sifting going on.  I am now a few years into this.  I know who my real buddies are.  They do tend to have had their own issues as well.  One reallys stands out.  I have a coworker that I was always friendly to at work but we didn't really connect socially.  After my diagnosis she managed to somehow always say the right thing.  It was amazing.  She does not suffer from any chronic illness but she is very compassionate and has become a wonderful friend.
Try to keep in mind that friendships are an ever changing thing.  It is such a sad and hurtful thing when some friendships end or drift apart.  You may always keep those friends but with a new boundry defining them.  You will then find new friends that accept and understand your pain.
I find that I if I think I am going to connect wtih someone, I tell them pretty quick that I have a chronic illness.  I then leave it at that.  If they want more info, they will ask.  I use that as a way of seeing if this is going to be a supportive friend of just another aquaintance.  That is how I do it.  I am sure others have different ways.
Good luck, Draka.  Having supportive and loving people in your life is so very important.  I can see you are a good friend.  Hang in there, you will have that returned somehow. 
Gretchen  ~  diagnosed with MS July 2006
I have no lesions on my soul and so I will live with no limits.

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 7/27/2009 2:22 PM (GMT -6)   
     Dear Draka,
     Good afternoon. *hugg* it is good to see you again. I hope you are able to find a little releif today. I am so dependant on my injection series it scares me. I really hope it works for you. Please keep us updated with how you are feeling :-)
     I read your post.... This is a subject that is very tender to my heart.  I have a hard time understanding why I lost so many people that I held so dear. I do not have "family" (Mom, dad, siblings etc) . Though I have built my own family (my children & Husband). I have a friend that I met a few years ago, over the internet that I will be meeting next spring. Though how one travels in with medical conditions, i do not know....!!off track!!  That is not to say that I didnt, just a few years ago, have many friends over many years. I did. I showed them at every oppertunity that I would always be there, I will always be strength when needed, I would never let them down. That I loved them all very much. I saw them through cancer, aids, trauma, death, life. I gladly took on all that was needed to help those I love to "survive & live".
     Then I got sick... I didnt (and still don't!!!!!!) know what was wrong with me.  My husbands family, my "Friends" both online and here,  all openly rediculed me (a few things said ~~>"Oh is it snowing OUTSIDE??" "can you tell differance SWEETIE?!" "Can't you just do whatever needs to be done and be indifferant about it?" "Is it really that bad?" "Your stupid if you are really having that kind of trouble and not MAKING the doctors fix it." "I have Idopatic scoliosis you don't have scoliosis you don't know what your talking about." "You arnt in THAT much pain, whats wrong with you" "You cant be in that muc pain if you are going to a pain psychologist.. I mean, its all in your head right? Your not in in PHYSICAL pain are you?" "Well, whats that lamaze thing you do sweetie, yea just do that." ) about !! ~~~~> my loss of vision, my loss of hearing, my "back" problems, my extreme fatigue, then my curves, my walk, my weight loss, my memory problems, and EVEN MY TOOTH LOSS!!! No kidding. Over things I had absolutly No control over what so ever. And through it all, I still!! Have not let anyone down and do not ask for help except from A. doctors  B. Insurance company & Hospital. That is it. All while still to this day being openly riducled. openLY. Over things I have no control over. 
       Can you imagine what kind of karma awaits them? *shivers* I no pure soul mind you.. So I would just LOVE to be there at the oppertune time in all their lives, just to say," OooOO Sorry bout your luck!" And a nice cheery *WAVE* as I walk away.  smilewinkgrin
     How do your friends and family treat you?
     My husband and my daughters love me very much. So does a very dear friend in california, who I cant wait to meet her!! My husbands long time friend watches the girls during my procedures. Help from 2 very unexpected sources... I would never have guessed in a million years that it would turn out this way. 
     I hope I stayed on topic. Im riding the pain ladder (normal, no worries, almost injection time) I hope I kinda answered your question thou.
     Hang in there. I know it is hard *warm huggs* It is time to be yourown best friend. Love youself, care for yourself. Go out of your way to be friends with yourself, if that makes any sense. The rest will..... fall into place.  :-)
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,  
And sorry I could not travel both  
And be one traveler, long I stood

White Beard
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3699
   Posted 7/27/2009 3:36 PM (GMT -6)   
That is one reason I consider the people at this forum my family and my friends! There are few others in my life that understand what it is like to live with Chronic Pain! That is an extremely sad statement to make but true none the less! I often wonder,  no I actually believe that my Chronic Pain played a part in the break-up of my marriage! It is painful and just down right hurts, when you try to be there, and bend over backwards for others that you think are your friends, and especially your family, just to be abandoned by them, when you are most  in need! It kind of shakes your beliefs in the good of your fellow man! or at least is does me!
 Don't you sometime just wish for a brief moment that you could share your pain with some people so they could experience it,  if even just for a brief moment, so they could know first hand, what you feel and what you have to live with everyday,  all day long! I don't wish them to have the pain permanently, but just long enough, to get them to understand what it is like to live like that! Unfortunately that can't be done and there is no other way,  that I know of,...... to get others to be able to empathize with you! Except of course,  for the people right here at this forum! I know that people here, are not the same as the people in person in your life, but if those people,  are not there for you?????? Well..........there is always us here! Always!
White Beard

Moderator Chronic Pain
I'm Retired USAF, went back to school and became an RN, and now am on full disalbility!--Degenerative Disc (affecting mostly the thorasic disc but all levels involved), C6/7 laminectomy/diskectomy& fusion, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications: Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV

Post Edited (White Beard) : 7/27/2009 2:41:36 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 7/27/2009 5:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so much for the replies everyone.... the support here is wonderful.... I'm so glad to have found this site!

I know all of you understand which is very comforting.

White Beard.... you don't know how many times I have said that exact thing you typed.... if only you can experience what I feel all day every day.... if only......

My husband is truly my support system... he is always, always there for me... we have been together for 19 years... married 14 years and dated 5 years....

My other two supports are my two Bulldogs... they love me and understand... the comfort they provide me is like no one else.... they put a smile on my face and fill my heart every single time I look at them or hear them snoring like now....

Wednesday will be one week since my epidural.... only one of my three best friends has called me.... my heart is broken as I realize they are not what I thought they were....

Thank you again everyone... I wish I could offer more support to others here but I am so new to this all and don't really know much.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 7/27/2009 6:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I think this topic has a "sting" to it for most all of us. Chronic illness seems so hard for people to "get". My one cousin seems to understand, but it has taken a lot of my pouring my heart out to her, and a lot of listening on her part, to even have her understand a portion of it. I think because she's recently been through some painful things (a divorce after 30 years of marriage) that she does kind of see the world a little differently now.

One thing I have noticed is that people have always seen me as the strong one. Sometimes when I try to really tell them no, it's different this time, I just hear oh, you'll be ok. I think many of us have been there for others (as the posts above indicate) and so an expectation gets set up of us being a bit invincible. Heck, maybe we even think of ourselves that way. Until the crash happens - whatever that "crash" may be for each of us. I keep trying to tell a couple of other family members - but I'm NOT ok this time, and they don't mean to be uncaring but I think their lives are full and they're busy and they don't want to take on anything more.

Anyway, you're not alone. As White Beard said that's why many of us come here!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1037
   Posted 7/28/2009 11:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Boy this is something that we all can relate too.  I'm sure that some of us have better experiences then others when it comes to our friends and family...and PALady you hit it right on the head...Everybody thinks your strong so they don't try and comfort you... They think you don't need it.  And that couldn't be farther from the truth.
I know that I have distanced myself over the years to maybe a handful of friends...and they're dwindling too.  I might have 2 friends that do understand what I am going through, as much as they can.  And then there are the ones who try but fail miserably when it comes to compassion.  Why?  I think they get scared...scared that it might happen to them one day.  I would never in a million years wish my pain on anyone, but sometimes I do wish that if some people could get just a taste of what it's like...well, anyway.
My family is so supportive when it comes to me having Diabetes and High Blood Pressure and other mainstream illnesses and diseases, but when it comes to CP....they think it's all in my head.  That I take pain pills for the "high" or that I just don't want to work... That is not the case. 
Do you think that they would choose to be in pain?  Choose to not be able to play with their kids, clean the house (maybe that one), but I know that I would change this in a heartbeat if I could.  CP has caused my son problems and my mom doesn't understand what I'm going she downplays it.  Take an Advil she says when I can't get up or can't stand at the sink without leaning on the counter... She doesn't want to use the Handicapped Placquard when we go shopping because she thinks that walking will do me some good....
So, that's my contribution to the thread....I hope it helps someone.

I have been a spectator for so long..Now it's time to participate.......
Post Lamenectomy Syndrome, Spinal Stenosis, DDD....
1999 Hemi Lamenectomy/2005 Spinal Fusion(L4-S1)
Methadone 120 mg. a day/  30 mg. Oxycodone as needed(up to 4 x a day)
High Blood Pressure: Lisinopril HCTZ 10 mg. daily
Type 2 Diabetes: (March 16, 2009)
Metformin HCL ER 1000 mg. at night..Glipizide 10mg. 2X in the morning
Lantus 35 units at bedtime with Solostar Pen                                                                   


Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 7/28/2009 3:22 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't know if you'll even read this, but I wanted to add a short post that we would really hope you give us another chance! As you can see, a moderator (Chutz - she's great, and we have several others, too) deleted the threads that were causing all the problems. I know that doesn't negate the hurt you feel, and I feel especially bad considering the topic you posted to us here!

You may not have seen all the posts that were added after you left, but many members were urging you to stay with us. I'm not going to go into any details, but what happened was not the norm here. You can easily e-mail Chutz by clicking on her name, and in her profile you'll find her e-mail address, if you have more questions.

We'd love to have you back, and hope you can forgive what happened.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1158
   Posted 7/28/2009 8:54 PM (GMT -6)   
This is a good thread Draka....

I have very few friends. Its bad for me to say but I have a hard enough time dealing with day to day issues then having to nuture a friendship. I wish friendships would just flow but I seem to find people who can drain the life out of you.

Plus I feel odd with people knowing about my illness's other than family.

My husband and children are wonderful they always try and make things easier for me. But then my sister kinda stays to herself but will help if I ask. My father doesn't care about anyone other than himself.

Since CP has entered my life my views of everything have changed. Its REALLY hard on the people we love to watch us suffer. It tears my husband apart when I'm in pain.

Kidney Diseases and Disorders
39 yr young female with,
Chronic Kidney Stones, PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease), Chronic Kidney Failure, Severe Hypertension, Urological RSD

Also CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) and Sleep Apnea

Hopefully NO MORE........ I think I have it all

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 7/28/2009 9:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Draka, It really is like that old saying you can really tell who your friends are when you're down! I find in this busy world of ours that some friends don't mean to be slack they're just caught up in their own lives or their children's lives.
I caught pneumonia last year and got really sick with costochondritis plus my RA flared terribly. I was a mess and we didn't ask for help from anyone. My friends were very cross when they discovered how sick I was that we hadn't called them, so sometimes you can be surprised.
But mostly I don't expect people to remember then its lovely if they do call or mention it or ask you. My biggest support came from unexpected sources, the Technical Officer at work when I returned, bent over backwards and went way over his duty to help me out.
But it can be hurtful especially if you have invested help or energy into a special friend for them not to return it.
I hope you haven't left us, we need you Draka, golitho yeah
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