Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Wausau, WI
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.