06-15-2011, 11:35 AM
I just really need to let off some steam.. I am not a well person being as I not only have Ankolising Spondilitis, am diabetic and have pain in my spine thro' spina bifida. So, now staying with my daughter, who on the whole is a very caring person and yet in the morning when I am at my worst, insists on opening windows and doors to "freshen the place up" as she puts it.
Now, I am well aware that the place becomes somewhat stuffy overnight but no matter what I say she feels it a necessary hygenic routine despite my struggling to get to grips with the pain and general ill feeling which is always worse first thing.
Today it drove me to tears but I have not said anything more as it just seems to go on deaf ears and usually ends up in a bit of a no talking attitude.
It's one of those things that if you haven't experieced it then you never fully understand what the other person has to put up with...
06-15-2011, 11:39 AM
I'm sorry! I hate to hear of anyone crying. It's good to rant, it helps us. My boyfriend always gets upset with me well he did when I worked cause all I'd do was whine, I told him- look okay that's what women do. We do things and then we b&^%$ about it!
Yours isn't along those lines just the ranting made me think of it. We all need to get it out. I'm sorry you're having a hard time and here's a smile only cause I don't know how to do the hugging thingies lol. :)
06-15-2011, 02:46 PM
Sorry to hear this. Is it that your daughter doesn't understand your condition? Maybe you could print some info for her to read to better understand what you are experiencing. Also, I suggest bringing it up at a neutral time. Not as she's opening the windows, maybe the night before try and explain to her how you feel 1st thing and see if that helps.
06-15-2011, 03:07 PM
There's nothing wrong with a little ranting when you have no control over a situation, but I'm wondering whether you might be able to have a little more luck talking to your daughter than you think.
You say your daughter is "on the whole is a very caring person" but also that you "have not said anything more as it just seems to go on deaf ears and usually ends up in a bit of a no talking attitude."
That doesn't sound like a very caring person, unless you're communication style is putting her on the defensive, or you're not communicating how much pain this is actually causing you (and therefore she thinks it's not the "big deal" you are making it).
If you say "how could you be so inconsiderate as to open windows all over the house when you know how much that's going to hurt me?" she's going to take that as an accusation, but if you are too quiet and polite about a complaint she's going to think it's "no big deal."
If she really is a very caring person, then you can talk to her about these things, you just may have to find a different way to do it. It has to be polite and caring enough that she doesn't feel attacked, and yet it has to be firm enough to get across that this isn't an insignificant problem for you.
Finding just the right tone is really difficult, I know. Really, I do, because I'm not giving advice I have no experience in. My husband and I each have a long list health problems that include severe joint and muscle pain and mobility issues. You would think having those issues would make us more sensitive to the other, but instead sometimes our issues make it hard to think of the other person's. I can feel MY pain, I can't feel his, and he can feel his but not mine. So sometimes we are careless and it has caused terrible arguments when one of will snap in frustration "how could you not realize this would affect me," or "I've told you this a thousand times," or one of us will explode out of the the frustration of keeping silent because "it won't do any good, (s)he'll just keep doing it."
Empathy is a very difficult skill to learn, and complete empathy is impossible, you can walk in a person's shoes, but you can't wear their body. Trying to communicate what it's like to live in your body, is difficult, but often really worth the effort, especially if you're going to be living with someone for a while (more than a couple days). Keeping silent can work for three days, but not for much longer.
I do really encourage you to talk to your daughter, but in a calm, kind way when you're no longer upset (maybe later today). Don't assume she's going to tune out or get angry. Be patient, but persistent.
It's not a morning ritual, but I did have to talk to my husband about almost this same topic. He usually wakes up an hour or two before I do, so he'll take his meds, eat breakfast, sit at the computer for a while, and ince his meds kick in, he'll be ready to start his day, just as I'm getting up. He also likes to close the sliding screen door, and open the apartment door and all the windows to get air and sunshine into the apartment. His pain meds have already kicked in and he forgets that I'm going to wake up to a cold, sometimes even breezy apartment after 10 hours without pain medications (which during the day I take every 4 to 6 hours).
Even though I kept reminding him, he kept forgetting, and when I reminded him in a snappy voice (and you know how hard it is to keep snap out of your voice when you're in pain) it would turn into a big argument and he'd accuse me of overreacting (which I of course would think was petty and unfair of him to say, because he gets pretty snappy when he's in pain, and of course if I say that, it will turn into an even bigger argument).
After several discussions (some calm and caring, some not-so-much) we decided on a compromise. Hubby does not open the bedroom window, and he closes the bedroom door. Along with my comforter, this has mostly addressed the problem except for when hubby decides we need fresh air in february. Otherwise, the thick cotton comforter is light enough to be comfortable even in fairly warm weather if I drape it loosely over myself, and yet thick enough to hold in my body heat if I pull the covers around me close.
The comforter was it's own compromise. We both tended to either hog the covers in cold weather, or toss the covers onto the other person. Because we need different mattresses our king bed is actually two twin mattresses pushed together. And instead of using king sized bedding, we use twin sized bedding so we each have our own sheets and comforter).
Most people who don't experience it themselves, cannot understand severe chronic pain. They think in terms of breaking a leg or some other severe, but acute pain they have. They think if the pain was "really that bad" you'd be in bed, weeping. They don't realize that when the pain becomes chronic you stop weeping (out loud) and start going about your day (because the alternative of staying in bed forever, is worse). They think that if you're functioning, the pain can't be all that bad, so you must be exagerating.
Being graphic helps. Describe your pain. For example, when I herniated a disk in my back, I didn't tell my doctor that pain shooting down my leg wast "a burning pain," I told him, it felt like someone had doused my leg inside and out with gasoline and lit it on fire.
The horrible thing is that while you're being graphic, you also have to say it calmly, because it there's any anger or whine in your voice, people assume you're being melodramatic. It's hard for people to have empathy when it comes to severe chronic physical pain, because they don't get it. It really takes a lot to get the message across. So while you may be able to get your daughter to do better, it's probably always going to be a problem. That's why "holding it in" isn't a very effective strategy for you, because it's only going to make your pain worse.
06-18-2011, 10:07 AM
Thanks everyone for your replies.
I have said to her many times about being very cold and in pain first thing but she also suffers from rhuematoid arthritis which she has had for many years and is one who prefers not to take meds if she can possibly help it and will work her way thro' pain, so I do feel like I am being a bit of a wimp if I complain too often. AND she is very headstrong so will do things her way if she can. It's very difficult being in someone elses home and whilst I enjoy visiting the family it does make it rather a trying event.
Never mind, I am sure I will live to see another day! ... :D
06-29-2011, 08:30 PM
Unfortunately things did not improve the whole time that I was at my daughters. I was supposed to go to see "Take That" in Dublin with several of the family and some friends but as the weather was not good and the evenings quite chilly I thought it expedient not to go, especially as my back had been very bad. Just before this event I had realised that I had miscalculated my tablets and therefore needed to go to the doctors to get more. This was taken with some annoyance and when we reached the docs the next day she pranced into the surgery and left me to find my way to the reception desk.After the concert I then had to inform her that I had forgotten yet another tablet and another visit would be necessary to which she went into a complete non communicating mood and the next day literally hurled her shopping bags and other things into the car when we set off. I decided to ask her if I had offended her to which she replied that she thought that it was the other way round but before I could say anything further then let loose a whole torrent of how she had this problem and that problem and lots of other problems to deal with and everything was too much!! So I thought I would not say any more and let things lie but the cool and often abrupt attitude continued the whole time I was there. I was soo disappointed that this had turned out to be such a nightmare of a visit and literally counted the days for my being able to come home...:?:
I think I will not be revisiting for at least a year if ever as the possibility of my being able to travel very far is becoming less.
06-29-2011, 11:58 PM
i'm so sorry that it turned into a bad visit (((hugs))) i hope things get better between you guys :)
07-01-2011, 11:05 PM
Well would you believe that when she phoned me I ended up getting very upset and apologising for having "been a nuisance" to which she replied as before and that she just "didn't have time for me" at that particular occasion! No apology or any sort of regret about treating me in such a fashion. I find it soo hard to understand how she could be so hard hearted aspecially as we seemed to be getting on so well in the last two or three years.
Perhaps I should have been more assertive and not allowed her to walk all over me like that but one thing is for sure - I have cancelled the trip to see the Tattoo in Edinburgh - so I have told her - but I will be going on my own which I shall enjoy much better that way...:)
I was going to treat her to a few days at a very good, expensive hotel but I will be saving the money instead.