Need some support for tomorrow

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1495
   Posted 4/21/2009 9:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Ok, this is probably silly.  Tomorrow I am leaving for a psychology conference.  We are flying, so that entails walking through the airport and all the stuff that goes with flying.  My feet started acting up on Sunday.  I am an older grad student and one teases me about being menopausal whenever I get hot. And you know how some attribute our pain to "growing older."  I am flying out with a bunch of young people. Only one knows about the fibro.  I will probably be using the cane tomorrow and I am worried that people will make comments, etc. 
I am just getting used to the limited mobility that occurs sometimes with this dd.  I guess I need a pep talk. y'know, like who cares what they think and stuff like that. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 4/21/2009 9:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Sue!

One thing I did find when I started using a cane going to and from work is that I garnered more respect! No teasing, no jokes but lots of polite people holding doors open for me and offering to carry my things. It was a bonus in some respects. Since we don't have a visible sign of our disease the cane acts as our 'badge' to let others know that what they see on the surface isn't always what is going on inside.

I think you will be very surprised how well you do on this trip. You will be the 'mom' of the bunch and with that comes instant respect. I went back to college when I was 40 and it was the best time I'd ever had in school. Most of the younger ones were in awe that I was there and treated me great. Oh, there are always a few idiots but as a grad student you probably won't get any goofballs. You will likely get some questions as to what's wrong so be prepared. What I did was just explain as simply as I could. I said I had a muscle disorder that caused me constant pain and made it hard to get around most days. That seemed to satisfy most everybody.

You Go Girl! I'm very proud of you, ya know?
Hugs and hugs,
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Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin dependent diabetic, PTSD, dermatitis herpetiformus, osteoarthritis and a few other side dishes.
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1495
   Posted 4/21/2009 10:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Chutz, Your message is a big help.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9657
   Posted 4/21/2009 11:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Don't worry about the comments about the cane, if you need it use it..
Lots of soft hugz and you'll get through this, you got all of us
rooting for you............................................
lots of hugz to spare!!!!
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc, Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's and Ocular Migraines


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 1156
   Posted 4/22/2009 12:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh boy. I have been in a class filled with younger folks. It is tough.

Just try to focus on what the conference is about. Maybe you will meet another "ancient" student at the conference. I am proud of you for working on a degree period.

Remember to rest as much as possible. Conferences are a lot of hard work.

Take care,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 1014
   Posted 4/22/2009 3:51 AM (GMT -7)   

You'll do just fine Sue!!  Conferences can truly suck.. but sometimes they can be fun too.  Since this is a psych conference hopeful the people you'll be with will be more accepting and understanding.  If not... you can bonk 'em over the head with your cane devil The run them over with a wheelchair!!!  That's what I'd do!!!! heheheheh

Good luck and lots of supportive hugs!!!

Fibormyalgia, 4x Lyme Disease Survivor, Depression, Anxiety Disorder, Dyslexia, 2 Lumbar Disk Herniations, Allergies, Bi-lateral Carpal Tunnel, Psoriasis. 
Meds = Elavil, Tramadol, Xanax, Lipitor
"Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" - author unknown

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 4/22/2009 4:43 AM (GMT -7)   

I have also been in classes with younger, perfectly healthy people. It can be difficult because they just don't get it (even if you tell them!) but maybe if someone asks about your cane, you can use that opportunity to educate them on fibro. If that doesn't work, you can take Patti's advice and whack them with it!

I will be thinking of you and hoping you are able to get through the airport without too much pain and hoping your conference goes well. You can do it!!!

love and hugs

fibromyalgia, ibs, gerd, anxiety

We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same.~Carlos Castaneda

I wish you all the joy that you can wish.~William Shakespeare

Housework, if you do it right, will kill you.~Erma Bombeck

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 1771
   Posted 4/22/2009 5:50 AM (GMT -7)   
I think I may be a day late, but I wanted to give you a show of support too.  :-)    Hang in there, hold your head high, and try not to be affected by the ignorance of the masses. 
If there is anything I've learned from fibro, it's to never judge a book by it's cover.  While I hope everyone learns this lesson eventually, I wouldn't wish that anyone would have to learn it the way we have. 
I agree with others about the cane.  Use it to help you walk if you need it AND use it as a head-bonker where appropriate.  smilewinkgrin
Hugs - Austen
"There is no charm equal to tenderness of  heart." - Jane Austen
Fibromyalgia, 2 back surgeries, Meniere's Disease, 30+ kidney stones, GERD, IBS, Asthma, Allergies, Endometriosis, Heart Arrythmia, Myofascial Pain, TMJ.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1495
   Posted 4/22/2009 8:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks. Ok. Cane to walk and bonk. That is a good idea. It is nice to hear from other "ancient" students, too. Thanks for the pep talks everyone. The conference is going to be fun. I am actually really excited to go. The cane will also be a good cue to people when I get to sit during the presentations and others don't. Gotta run to the store and then to sac for a little while before leaving for the airport.
Soft hugs everyone,

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 4/22/2009 11:04 AM (GMT -7)   

Yes, I have used a cane off and on over the years... the "walk and bonk" concept is ok by me :-)

And don't get discouraged if you are not "Keeping up with" the others while they are walking. If they pull ahead it's fine.

I admire you for comitting to this conference. Conferences and traveling (especially flying because of the pressure changes) are two of the things I dread. Pace yourself when you get there.

And don't be afraid to tell them why you have the cane... wear it with honor.... If they have any true character themselves they will admire yours for doing what your doing!


New Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 4/22/2009 4:09 PM (GMT -7)   
cry  don't worry- i'm sure they won't judge you- there are days where i cant walk at all.......just tell them about your FMS i'm sure they will be supportive and helpful to you.. i hope you start feeling better .

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 103
   Posted 4/22/2009 5:52 PM (GMT -7)   
im a freshman in college, and people tease me too all the time about how i must be going through menopause now!! since, i get hot and cold all the time.

don't worry about it. you're not alone. maybe try to make a joke out of it, or something. that might help.
if you're getting frustrated, maybe you can try to think of something funny that happened recently. that usually helps me to forgot about whatever was going on.

"never regret something that made you smile"

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 900
   Posted 4/23/2009 12:57 AM (GMT -7)   

Don't worry about using a cane. I get some weird looks but everyone is more polite to me when they see I have a cane. I am probably going to have to use mine later today because I did alot of running around yesterday. I am so sore I actually found my Oxycodon and took a half a pill. I am just now starting to feel a little better.



Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1495
   Posted 4/24/2009 8:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone, Had a free minute between meetings etc to sneak over to starbucks and go online.

You were right! It is all good. When the first person asked me, I didn't know how to answer because I couldn't remember what you all said, so I just looked at her! But then I figured it out and just tell people I have a muscle disorder that makes it difficult to walk and stand for long periods of time and that I keep it pretty well hidden at work because I can rest there, but I cannot do conference without the cane. They all say ok and don't say anything else except ask a couple of times if I am ok if I am going really slow or something. later I told the woman that I just looked at that I didnt mean to be rude and this was new to me and the was the first person to ask and I didn't know how to answer! She was totally ok with it.

I did torment my poor bedmate last night with my sleep antics. I nearly hit her in the face. I felt awful about it this morning! She was alsleep when I left, so I left her a note! But, I did warn everyone. I told them about the time about a month ago about when I thought the sprinklers (which we don't have) were falling from the ceiling and I jumped out of bed and hid by the bed post trying to get away from them!!!

Thanks for the support. It would have been a lot scarier getting out the cane in front of them if it hadn't been for you. Nobody called me old! ha ha, even though I am 44 (not old) and 20 years older than most of my peers!

One funny thing: I overheard a young man talking at my college office - he is a senior in college. He said he saw a hecka old guy naked at the gym. The guy was hecka old! At least 30!!!!! ha ha.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 4/24/2009 11:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Sue, I'm happy to hear things are going well. Make sure you rest a bit when you get back home.
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