Ever get tired of being the strong one?

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Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 6/3/2010 6:37 AM (GMT -7)   
We Crohnies are really strong people, with this illness I think we have all learned to just push thru so much.  Yesterday I was thinking about how tired I am having to be the strong one.  I get up everyday no matter how I feel, and push thru it, and get on with my day. 
But you know what, I am SOOOOO tired of being strong.  I just wish that I could for once just let things go, and just give in and say "enough is enough".  Do you ever feel that way?
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease 
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 6/3/2010 6:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Wow do i ever n did for so many yrs put my own health on bk burner for family members
finally as you know i litterally blew a few gaskets n had seizure
yes i am putting self first now but i hv to for my health
i use to feel quilty or was made to feel quilty
no more
im tired of it too
good post

         ..Co Moderator for Crohns........Alzheimers.....Anxiety/Panic
             Crohns.. PG ..Seizures..Neuropathy..A/P...Fibro..Deaf 
        medications..lyrica..diazepam bid..ativan..prn...trazadone at hs..folic acid    
                                    mtx..potassium..dilantin..pentasa..lomotil..val acid
                                      DONATE TO www.HealingWell.com
                                       I AM STRONGER NOW THAN EVER

Post Edited (Howlyncat) : 6/3/2010 7:03:20 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 6/3/2010 7:04 AM (GMT -7)   
wow I so know that feeling.  I am lucky I can still manage to work, but it would be so good to be 'normal' and go to work then go out shopping, cook a meal and go out for an evening.  To have the energy and not ache would be good, but to be confident that I could do these things without urgent loo stops and the embaressment it brings is just a dream.  It is so annoying to look well (pred face and general weight gain) and try to carry on a normal life when actually I feel lousy and hurt all over.  Like most others with Crohns
I get on with life, and cos I know there are people with a lot worse to contend with I try not to moan but yeh I am seriously fed up.
Moan over, hugs to all

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 884
   Posted 6/3/2010 7:30 AM (GMT -7)   
I have had an issue with this all week.  I really feel like crap this week and have contemplated asking if I could leave work early probably every day this week, but I feel guilty doing it because I know that there are days that I have felt worse and made it through, so I know that I really can push myself and make it through these days as well.  But, I shouldn't feel like I HAVE to always push myself to be more "normal" and to be able to get through the day like everyone else here.  I guess I don't like to let the disease control me and my life, but it should be okay to give in sometimes. 

Crohn's Disease, Acid Reflux/Gastritis, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Endometriosis, Arthritis, Depression/Anxiety.  Too many meds to list them all.  =) 

Mormor Vicky
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 684
   Posted 6/3/2010 7:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh boy, Oh boy!!! I know that feeling. When I was the sickest, before I was diagnosed, I was watching 2 grandchildren, home schooling a middle school child, dealing with out of control older daughter, working full time, attending my sons baseball games. Then bam, developed a fistula to the bladder and knew that it was Crohn's and not IBS all these years.

Within 2 months I had major abdominal surgery and lost half my colon, developed diabetes (thanks Prednisone), got bone marrow suppression from 6-mp, in the hospital twice for over 3 weeks, and still raising a family and working full time.

Life does get better though. Was able to retire last year, starting on remicade in a week, daughter got married to a terrific guy and has settled down, have the youngest graduating from High School on Saturday. Life has it's moments and we just keep on keeping on.

DX'd with Steriod induced Diabetes November 2006

<FONT color=#800080>

Currently on 4000mg of Pentasa only for Crohn's</B>[/color>


<FONT color=#0000ff>Cymbalta, Metformin, Lipitor, Lisinopril

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 145
   Posted 6/3/2010 8:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh Nanners.....YES!!!  Since my Crohn's symptoms are almost non-existent right now, it can be easy for those around me to think that everything is going just fine.  I get frustrated though they just don't see and recognize how this has changed my entire life.  This is a post I wrote about a month ago, when I was frustrated with it all.  I often won't let people see what's going on inside, because I have ALWAYS been the strong one, and that's what they expect from me.

What do you see?

When you look at me, what do you see?

Do you see strength?  Purpose?  Energy?

Or…nothing at all?

What do you see?

Do you see the guts to press on, when my body screams to stop?

When we talk, do you notice when a gas cramp courses through me?

Do you feel the lightening-strike shooters that may course down my right side?

What do you see?

Do you catch it when my eyes are exhausted, and I have nothing left to give.

Yet I give you everything I can.

Do you see me struggle for breath sometimes, simply because even breathing takes more energy than I have?

What do you see?

Are you there with me in the bathroom, when my bowels cramp up and I breathe as I did when I gave birth to two kids?

Do you see the relief on my face when it passes away after a few seconds?

Can you see the confusion in my face when I look around the kitchen and have no idea what I can eat?

What do you see?

I bet you don’t see these things.

I bet you don’t see the pain.

The tired.

The confusion.

I bet you don’t see what’s going on, inside.

You can probably see the determination, if you look closely.

I’ve lived determined my whole life.

It’s what keeps me going.

It’s what keeps me upright.

It’s what puts one foot in front of the other.

It’s what puts a meal on the table for the family, even if I cannot eat any of it.

It’s what puts a smile on my face for my kids when they ask to play “just one more game.”

It’s what gets me out of bed in the morning.


That’s likely what you see.

Because I won’t let you see the rest of it.

http://www.newfoundsun.wordpress.com/  (my blog about this journey I have just started)
Crohn's diagnosed 11/12/09
Cytomel and Levoxyl for thyroid.  Supplements for all else as per my ND.

New Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 6/3/2010 10:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Nanners -

When my two year old gets a booboo, I give him a hug, and it makes it all better. I wish I could do the same, send you a hug, and make it all better for you.

Maybe one day, when you're feeling like you do now, you could try not to be so strong. And see what happens. Just for a try. Give yourself the chance to not be strong that day. I think you deserve that chance. To see how it feels and how it feels for the ones around you and the ones that love you. Just for one day, a break.

Lots of hugs,


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 3141
   Posted 6/3/2010 10:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh Gail I definitely know that feeling.  We are strong...but we all need to be helped once in a while.  I have found I can only stop being strong in two instances...when I am alone or when I am on this board.  I even feel I have to be strong in the support group meetings because I am the medically educated one with the least symptoms.
Take a me day!  Let yourself be the one taken care of even if it means just curling up and couching it for a day.  If you can go for a spa day....let them take care of you.  I usually get the best feeling letting myself be alone and cry it out or dance it out for a day....I boot the hubby out for some errands and take my own time becoming a gelatinous mass of no cares.
Dx'd '90 (emergency rupture), symptoms ignored long before that, '03 fistulas and bad flagyl reactions, B12 weekly, Pentasa, cholestyramine, iron and vitamin supplements. 
Prepare for the future, but live in the present

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 384
   Posted 6/3/2010 10:32 AM (GMT -7)   
(((((Big Group Hug))))) to everyone here! Yes, it is SO hard to have to be strong for everyone else when you just want to curl up in a little ball and feel sorry for yourself. Having to get up and go to work everyday because I'm the only one with a job. Hubby laid off and 2 oldest boys, 16 and 18 are looking, but none of them can find anything! So I get up, get ready, and come in every day, even when my fistula is hurting so bad I can barely walk. I cook dinners that I cant eat or don't want to eat, do dishes, clean the house. They help out some, but will do a half assed job, which makes hubby yell, and I don't want to deal with the drama. I am SO tired all the time.

My hubby tells everyone that I am the one holding this family together. I appreciate the sentiment, but I don't want to be that person. I just want to sit back and let someone else be in charge for a while.

Newfoundsun, I loved your post!! It puts into words what each one of us feels but can't always say. Thank you!
Dx'd w/ Crohn's in 1979 at age 13. Bad flare 2008 but no health insurance so I dealt with it. Colonoscopy in July 2009 caused a perforated colon, emergency bowel resection. 2 fistula's, perianal and perivaginal.

Humira, probiotic, a multivitamin, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and fish oil. I also take Tramadol 50 mg and Klonopin (for anxiety) as needed.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance!

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 10013
   Posted 6/3/2010 12:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Not really an issue with me. Whatever my family see me as, I think "strong", "stoical", "resolute" etc. etc. would be fairly low down on their list of adjectives.

To be honest, depression and lack of concentration have ruined my life more than the Crohn's has ever done, although it (the Crohn's) is trying to catch up after lagging behind for many years. Don't think I could cope with what most of you do eg full time work, raising kids, etc.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 6/3/2010 1:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Yep. I know a lot of healthy people that have to deal with far less, yet complain much more.
Cimzia, Asacol

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 925
   Posted 6/3/2010 2:30 PM (GMT -7)   
All I can say is...........I know what you mean!  I get tired of/from trying to keep my chin up.
Diagnosed (FINALLY) UC Sept 09/Diagnosis amended 5-3-10 to Crohn's
Taking Pentasa 500mg/8x/day
Entocort 3X/day
Bentyl as needed
1000 mg Vitamin C
Prilosec 1X/day

Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 6/3/2010 2:50 PM (GMT -7)   

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 6/3/2010 4:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Amen. My wife has RA, and she tends to shut down before I do, so I rarely get a chance to crash. usually only time I do is when I'm in the hospital. As soon as I'm home, it's back to being the strong one.

One thing I've wondered about other Chronies, do you ever feel like the lightning rod for your family's health issues? Seems like I'm the only one in my immediate family (brother, sister, mom, dad) that ever has anything more than just a cold. Only big thing to happen in my family was my sister having a baby last month, and my dad having prostate surgery a few years back. Other than that, it's all been me, Crohns, a busted hip (ATV accident), and most recently, Guillian-Barre' syndrome. Not that I'm complaining, really. I feel that if by some strange twist of the odds that me taking all this stuff makes life easier for the rest of my family, then it's worth it.
Matthew McKenna,
Joey's dad.
Crohn's Disease and Guillian-Barre' Syndrome.
Remicade, 6MP and a few of their friends.

"I'm just along for the ride."

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 947
   Posted 6/3/2010 4:33 PM (GMT -7)   
It does get old after a while but like everyone else I just keep pushing forward.
Diagnosed with Crohns in 2001
First and hopefully last Ileocecectomy 2/18/2009

Medications:Humira,  Asacol, FolicAcid,  Multivitamin, 1000mg Calcium, Vitamin D, Probiotics, Pepcid Complete, Questran,  Monthly B-12 injections.

Living a Great life with my Wife and my two Chocolate Labs
Hunter & Hailey.
I love them dearly.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1284
   Posted 6/3/2010 4:51 PM (GMT -7)   
A lot of people are in agreement about that feeling, Nanners... and I just wanna echo that...

It does get tiring being the strong one... It does rather suck that we have to struggle through the days when we're sick.... and that we're really just expected to do that... It's like... We're not allowed to complain because we should be used to being sick...

*Hugs* How is everything going with you, by the way? *I'm sorry I haven't been checking up as often as I should* I know last time I was hear you were talking about total knee replacement surgery...
I think I am being picked on by life, sometimes. But's that okay. Life and I are good buddies... I know life doesn't mean no harm. It just is the way it is. I can accept that.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 6/3/2010 6:09 PM (GMT -7)   
This is a great thread nanners
         ..Co Moderator for Crohns........Alzheimers.....Anxiety/Panic
             Crohns.. PG ..Seizures..Neuropathy..A/P...Fibro..Deaf 
        medications..lyrica..diazepam bid..ativan..prn...trazadone at hs..folic acid    
                                    mtx..potassium..dilantin..pentasa..lomotil..val acid
                                      DONATE TO www.HealingWell.com
                                       I AM STRONGER NOW THAN EVER

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 681
   Posted 6/3/2010 10:59 PM (GMT -7)   
I live alone so if I'm not the strong one who will? Newfoundsun ty for the words I think but cannot put to paper.
Male, 55 years old with Crohn's since 15 years old, diagnosed at age 46. Terminal ileum resected 2002. 5 months of remission. Crohn's has now been active since early 2003. Had a gall bladder removed Nov. of 2009. Currently on Remicade every 8 weeks, Nexium, Iron, B-12 injection every 4 weeks,5-asa Asacol, Entocort, Morphine Sulfate as needed for pain. Cymbalta for long term pain control. 5-asa Salofalk,  Imuran and Prednisone in the past.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 6/4/2010 3:46 AM (GMT -7)   

I don't believe it, I was thinking about this issue in the morning.  Of how tired I am being the strong one in the family, being the one who does everything around the house and taking care of everyone and everything.  I'm ready to give up.  i'm in a middle of a flare, having nausea and d everyday, feeling lousy, and no one understands.  Today I just wanted to stay in bed forever, but instead I woke up at 6 in the morning, made breakfast, woke up the kids, drove them to school, fed the dog, made the beds, showered, and went to work.  I'm the one that has to worry about the kids, dog, financial matters, paying the bills, cooking, cleaning, ironing, the list is endless.  My husband goes to work every morning, then comes home, eats, sleeps, wakes up, makes his coffee, reads his book and finally watches TV.  What an exhausting day!!  Nobody asked if I wanted a cup of tea for my lousy stomach.......

Sorry for all this, just feel misearable the last couple of days. So to reply to you Nanners, I KNOW how you feel.


Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 6/4/2010 6:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much for everyones posts, they really help me to not feel so alone in this. I have an amazing husband who takes care of everything in the house for me, but I am the main the bread winner in our family, and the only source for health insurance, so I have to work. But I have been battling another bacterial overgrowth and trying to keep working and it just gets you down. I saw my therapist yesterday, and she told me that I have to make more down time for myself, or its just going to get worse. But it is so hard!!

Celey, yes I am still scheduled to get a total knee replacement sometime in the next two months, which is really scary for me. But the pain is too overwhelming to put it off anymore.

And MMckenna I too am like you, the "sick" one in the family. Most of my siblings are all morbidly obese, but they are healthy. My girls all suffer with IBS, but do they understand what Mom is going thru? No way! All I ever hear from them when they ask how I am feeling and I tell them not so good today, all I ever hear is I am sorry you are feeling bad, but anyways let me tell you about this new boy I met. Ughhhh!!!

Thanks again everyone for your thoughts, as I said before it does really help me to not feel so alone.

Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease 
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 6518
   Posted 6/4/2010 6:22 AM (GMT -7)   
I think my wife gets tired of me being the strong one . Its evident by the air freshener she uses in the bathroom after I visit or the rolled down window in the car on trips. Also the amount of laundry detergent she buys and the fabric softener with the new fresh sent . I get so tired of dogs smelling my butt and then rubbing their noses in the grass. Cats always look for the litterbox after being around me too and they make that funny face . You know the one like something is very wrong. Butt I just trudge on and stink up every place I visit just like a pole cat.
Sorry Nanners, I know you were being serious, I just have to fight the feeling of wanting to give up with the only weapon I have. There is nothing wrong with taking time off for yourself when you need to. I may stay in bed a bit longer or veg out in the livingroom watching old movies from time to time. My wife knows I do all I can and does not mind if a take time for myself. She loves me warts and all guess you could say. So dont be so hard on yourself and rest when you need to. Let someone else pick up the slack for a while and if things dont get done, they dont get done. The world wont end because you sat down for a rest..Hope you feel better soon, (((((((((((((Nanners)))))))))))))))) sending a big hug .
If we would read the secret history of our enemies,we would find in each mans life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 430
   Posted 6/4/2010 8:28 AM (GMT -7)   
I've had those days during flares believe me. The only thing that held me together was the thought that if I "let go" I might not ever get myself under control again! There's also the danger that we might let some symptoms go longer than we should because we ARE so much in control. And for a lot of us, our pain threholds are way too high for our own good.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 251
   Posted 6/4/2010 4:26 PM (GMT -7)   
I know I'm not the strong one in our family. I'm the sick one! Hate to say this but its kinda funny when my husband gets stomach bug and he cries and whines and moans rolling around on the ground saying he can't take it anymore. I definitely have a higher pain tolerance than him. I just laugh a little on the inside and say you poor thing! He doesn't have a clue what its like, but I hope he never has to!
Current meds:  Remicade
Tried:  Prednisone, sulfasalzine, lialda, antibiotics, imuran
28 yr old female w/ crohn's colitis

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 6/4/2010 5:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Boy do I know how you feel!!!  Last weekend a flare came out of no where and turned my life upside down.  I tried to give it a couple days but realized there was just no way I was going to get past it.  So, I started taking Prednisone and called the doc for more.  Of course he wants me to take maintenance medication and to this point I have refused.  I've found various ways to maintain at different points.  But guess what, I'm exhausted now.  I feel so bad even after 3 days on the steroid.  The nausea is killing me too.  And all the while I keep going, never saying anything to anyone and never complaining.  I just keep going and being the strong one.  I smile and do everything I need to do and keep the attitude of gratefulness for the wonderful people and opportunities in my life because God knows things could be so much worse.  But you know what, I'm tired now.  I've had this all my life and I'm 42 now.  I keep hoping for a cure, where is the cure?  Is there really no cure?  Or is it something that can't be patented so it's not being shared? 
I actually decided while not being able to sleep the other night, thanks to the steroid, that maybe if I dealt with the emotional aspect of this disease it would help me.  The very thought of going through that.... ugh!  I don't have the energy (not to mention I don't have the time!).
I'm so glad I ran across this board again tonight.  It's been a long time since I've been on here but I forgot how comforting it is to read from other people who have been going through the same things (although I am so sorry you all are dealing with this too). 
This has got to go away.  Why won't this go away?  I'm losing my footing as the strong one and it's a very uncomfortable place for me to be.  VIEW IMAGE

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3200
   Posted 6/4/2010 6:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Gail, I really do feel for you. You're even strong for me. What would we be without you. (((HUGS)))

Too many years with CD
Two bowel resections, several obstructions.
Fibromyalgia and recently diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis and lupus.
B12 Shots bi-weekly

Laughter is the brush that sweeps the cobwebs from our hearts...

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