My family's answer was avoiding me completely when I was in pain, sick or suffering. They thought I was just faking it. Later in my illness, during an overnight stay, I went into horrible body pain and was screaming and crying and really really bad and I think it finally hit home with MY parents at their age, that I was really sick. They were very concerned that the ER could not and wouldn't dx anything and just treated the pain. The ER knew the problem wasn't simple. My parents have come to realize that. My kids are kids, they just don't think, my youngest is more compassionate because he has epilepsy and other health problems, but when I got my two neck surgeries, they couldn't understand why I was crying in pain in bed and sleeping alot and why I couldn't do what they wanted me to do. They just don't think sometimes. On long term illness, my kids do not want to see that I have a long term illness, at least they don't want to talk about it or anything, it really bothers them, so they know they feel it, forgetting or taking it lightly is just their way of dealing with it and I've learned to actually cherish that, because it helps me to forget, and though I am still sick and they still see me in pain and can't do what all they want me too and have no energy, I've learned to make jokes with them and let them keep it light. In their hearts they know and I'm glad they at least still try to involve me in activities, even if it is housework or homework or whatever it is. I've had them ignore me for a while and that was not good, giving me the "you should be in bed relaxing" crap and shutting the door and shutting me out of their lives. That can be bad too. 18 year old boys are like no brain! Mine is 19. My son said to me when I couldn't do what he wanted "but you're ALWAYS sick!" and I said back "yes I am, and that is something you just have to accept, I do what I can" and maybe that is what your son needs to hear. That it is work just getting out of bed and that he wouldn't want to feel like you do. Try encouraging him with all the possiblities of what he could be and do if he went to school or worked. Try watching a movie or two with him that might inspire him to be "all that he can be". Also remind him that you can't support him forever and that you once worked too. Doesn't he want to be a man instead of a kid and have his own money? The first thing I did is cut back allowance to a bare pittance. That made my son realize that if he wants something he's got to work or go to school. I know it hurt you, but he doesn't want to face the fact that you are sick, it hurts and scares him, so you need to gently remind him that you do have some health issues, whether he wants to face it or not, and that they prevent you from working or you would be. Remind him that he has his whole life ahead and it can be a great adventure, find out what his dreams are, real dreams deep down and help him to see that he can work toward these things and live a better life than you are, with more money and toys and travel, and maybe take care of his old mom someday! I am in the same place with mine only its a little different. But you have to remind them over and over again that life is full of great possiblities for his future because somewhere these young men are really getting the message that there is no future for them and they can't accomplish anything or be anything and seem to focus on the obstacles instead of the prize. Look at travel magazines with him, all kinds of things like that, and help him to see that there are many ways for him to do something cool and fun. Peace corp is interesting. I may talk to my son about that, if they will take him. I want him to see the world, I think it will help him to grow up. Well, I got to go. Take care and let me know what happens. Just remember, at least he IS talking to you and letting you know where he is at honestly and though its not what you want to hear, don't take it against you, he's just protecting his own feelings and fears of losing you by denying or downplaying your illness, its how he copes, and I can't say its necessarily bad. It would do him no good to worry constantly or pity you. Take care and let me know what happens.
--Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less in human beings of whom they know nothing.--Voltaire (1694-1778)
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus-like AI Disease, Hashis, Vitiligo, spinal stenosis/fusion with plate, salivary/lymphectomies, Diabetes, NAFLD, COPD, RLS, neuropathy, trigonitis, hystero, diffuse brain atrophy
Meds--Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, Synthroid, HCTZ, Estradiol patch, Prosed, Klonopin, Soma, Ultram, Vicodin, Restasis, Albuterol,steroid injections, Protopic & Triamcinolone Acetonide ointments