Rain On Me

While on Facebook the other day I got a message from my sister-in-law. The message she sent was actually meant for someone else, but since the conversation was started, we continued it. She asked what I was doing and I told her I was in bed. I guess it was around 5:00 or 5:30 p.m. She said (note: this is a general interpretation since the conversation was in another language and some things just don’t translate. In other words, it might sound a little funny), “what, are you still sick?” My answer to her was “More or less. I’m actually better after recovering from a UTI.” Her response to that was “when is it not raining on your head?” I tried to laugh the snide comment off by jokingly saying “I know, right? It’s just one thing after another.” I thought that would be the end of it, but then she says “well, just take them [illnesses] out of your body, don’t let them stay” (basically meaning that I have some control over this…possibly that I’m making it up?) Of course, I’m not going to let that slide, so I responded “I would love that, but the surgeon tried that already. He says it’s too dangerous to remove them [adhesions]”

At the time, the conversation continued so I just let it go. Well, I guess I forgot about it. Until today. This is the same one who said to me before: “well, when you hurt, just tell yourself you’re not hurting and you’ll be ok.” Geez, don’t I wish it was that easy? Obviously she doesn’t understand what’s wrong with me, or maybe she just doesn’t care to. I don’t know and I don’t care. What I do know is that I have gotten to the point that I dread talking to her. I know she’s going to ask how I am and I know that my answer will not be “great!” I will no longer go into detail trying to explain my illness to her, but I won’t pretend that everything is exemplary. I will continue to say “fine” or “more or less”. It’s not that I’m pessimistic, it’s just how things are.

In contrast, I got a message from another sister-in-law a couple of weeks ago. She wanted me to know that she had read my blog and that up until then she hadn’t realized how serious things really are for me. She said that she can only imagine the pain that I deal with on a day to day basis. She commended me for making the 12 hour (which turned into 14 hrs. thanks to the dogs) trip to Michigan in August. She said that she doesn’t travel because of how tiring it is, so the thought that I made the trip in as much pain as I am in just really impressed her.

Her message actually made me cry tears of relief that SOMEBODY in this family. I thanked her for making my day. This difference in what these two family members said to me was astronomical – at least to me it was.

If you’re reading this blog because you too are in pain, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you’re reading because you have a loved one in pain and would like to understand them better, then I applaud you. If you’re reading this blog for the hell of it, then do me a favor and google “what not to say to someone with chronic pain” (caregivers you can do this too). You will find plenty of articles about what to and what not to say to someone in chronic pain. Read one and then store that information. When I did it just now, one of the first to pop up with both lists was mdjunction.com (For what NOT to say to someone in chronic pain and for what TO say to someone in chronic pain Check out these links). Like I said, just store that information and keep it with you because you might someday need it. I wish the first sister-in-law cared enough to do the same.  What she doesn’t know is how incredibly strong I am.

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12 thoughts on “Rain On Me

  1. I really liked this post, Joy. I liked that info. on what to say and what not to say. I’m going to check those out tomorrow and print them off and put them up on the wall in my house where everyone can see them. How are you doing today? Excuse me, this morning, as it is 2:50 a.m. and I am still awake due to this God damn pelvic/abdominal pain. The nurse called today and said the report from the ultrasound had just come in today, but my doctor was doing surgeries all day and it would be tomorrow and even possibly Wednesday before they called me back. She asked how I was feeling and I said miserable and the doctor said the ovarian remnant was there and that has to come out so I’m assuming she will be doing surgery and the nurse just said I’ll let her know how you’re feeling and hopefully she can get back with you tomorrow. Joy, I really don’t know what I’m going to do if she doesn’t do surgery. That thing is killing me and I can do nothing. It can’t just stay there. We’re about due for another skype session to get all caught up. Maybe tomororrow. I have no appointments, unless I get called into the doctors office regarding the results. So, if you feel up to it just let me know. You’re in the drivers seat tomorrow, girl. If you have appointments and are too tired, that’s ok. I only have like one appointment each day, the rest of the week. I’m getting no sleep, so at some time I should crash, eventually. I’ve gotten a few very short cat naps in here and there, but nothing that I would consider actual sleep time. Well, take care, girl and I hope to skype with you soon.
    Peace, love, and hugs,
    Wild Thang:)

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    • Tomorrow Tuesday or tomorrow Wednesday? I’ve never understood this 12:00 a.m. is tomorrow. It’s not tomorrow until the sun comes up, my dear (in my very humble opinion). Well, Tuesday I have nothing YAY! Wednesday I have an appt.with the psychologist at 10 and with OT at 5. However, I will come home between the appointments giving us plenty of time. Sorry I fell asleep on you the other day. I was exhausted and my meds work faster when I’m tired. So glad that the ultrasound is back! Hopefully they will call you tomorrow (Tuesday). I know you’re dying to find out what they are going to do. I have my fingers crossed, I’m praying, and I’m sending good vibes (all three should work, right?). Oh, and go back two more posts to My Day At Therapy. You haven’t read that one, right? You might like it!

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      • Don’t worry about the other night because if you hadn’t fell asleep on me I would have fallen asleep on you, as by the end of our skyping I noticed we were both comfortabley horizontal and having trouble keeping our eyes open. It was only for a second anyway. I gave you a few claps and you were right back with me. LOL Remember I understand this kind of stuff, girl. So, no worries. don’t mention it again. I didn’t think anything of it, really. I’m going over to read your post right now since I’m having anxiety about this phone call that I haven’t received, still. Off to read my day at therapy. I know I’ll like it. I always like all of your posts. I’ll be back, going now.:) What’d you do? Act like me and go off on someone or something. Ok here I go. I can barely type.:)

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  2. You’re a strong person, Joy, and you’re even more stronger by writing about these things. I understand how frustrating it is when you want a family member to understand your chronic illness and they just don’t get it. I don’t think my dad will ever understand. He thinks that the pills I’m taking will just make it all to away and then bam! I’ll be feeling better. I’m glad your other sister-in-law is understanding. It’s very reassuring when others can understand and admire you for everything that you’re going through. Hope you have a good day today!
    Jenn xx

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  3. I have a sister similar to your sister-in-law (the unsympathetic one), so I know just how you feel. It is horrible. She has a great dea of “power” in swaying our mother to her way of thinking. Terrible! I am thankful you have another sister-in-law that actually GAS! (Who would ever think that GAS would be a good thing. 😀 Gives A Sh–). Hey! Maybe I will write a post on GAS! “Do you have GAS?” LOL! Did you get my email? I was happy to get yours.

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  4. Thank you for your post. as we are getting closer to Christmas I am dreading the socializing. I have a mother who likes to “keep people up to date” with facts that are frankly noone’s business but my own.

    The result is a lot of family (and even some non family) who the instant they greet me for the holidays ask “So hows your back?” or “Your mom said you went and saw another surgeon!”, “Hows that back doing?”

    And all I want to do is SCREAM at them… “it would certainly be better if you didn’t bring it up in front of the 25 guests we are having for dinner, All of whom did not listen to my first answer and want to now ask me the same question”

    It has been 8 years! You think that after 8 Christmas’ of “oh just great”, “doing well yes”, “oh I’d love the number for your acupuncturist, even though I just told you I live in a completely different city than you… Which you have known… for 8 years…….”

    Ok ramble done. Point being that even family can be completely insensitive simply due to the fact that they view their version of “helping” as more important than ourversion of sanity.

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    • Yeh, I know what you mean about they just wanting to help and I especially know about how it messes with our sanity!!! I hope that maybe this Christmas will be the exception for you and no one mentions your back (like that would happen, huh?). Thank you so much for your comment.

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  5. Pingback: My Truths | Joynpain2

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