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    No Sympathy

    I find it so hard to find sympathy anymore. I feel like I'm being a bad friend, sister, or just person in general. But I find it hard when someone is telling me about not feeling good, not to think that's nothing, try pain everyday for 5 years. Try throbbing, burning, sharp pain, and pretty much every other feeling in the book EVERY DAY!

    Sorry guys, just had to vent. I feel like I'm becomming such a cold person and that just isn't me. But c'mon pain let me have a break!!

    #2
    What gets me is that after i explain my back issues alot of people grab their backs and say things like, i know how it is, had a couple back surgerys myself. One of the times i did try to explain the cool electric jolts, i had a voc/rehab nurse tell my she got the same thing from all the driving she does. So i don't try to explain anymore, people think your nutjob or a whiner. I just smile and try to be understanding, because if your not dealing with it, most people have no clue. Thanks....done now

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      #3
      There have been a couple threads with similar themes. Its pretty common for us to lose compassion for other people when it takes so much effort just to get through the day. The one piece of advice I would have is that if you want to have friends, you have to suck it up and not complain. People will always be sympathetic to you, but at some point they just start avoiding you I think. It sucks though, yesterday I was having a really bad day and my wife asked me a question about something trivial. I responded "Look, I am having a really bad day, can we just deal with this tomorrow?". Her response? Mutters under her breath "every day seems like a bad day for you" and walks away. Not "oh, having a bad day, what is wrong" or "sure not problem". People get don't realize that SCI isn't a stubbed toe that goes away, its a 24/7 condition that grinds you down.

      Sorry, I guess I vented too. My advice? Just never show you don't really give a shit about their trivial little problems, smile and act if you care they got a kink in their neck because they slept wrong and that must be how your back feels all the time (one of the better idiotic things a person has said to me) and as for yourself don't complain and act if nothing is wrong. At least that way people don't start to avoid you.

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        #4
        the biggy is of course when someone says they know how it is because they spent a week in a wheelchair once.
        but serious, it's human nature to be concerned with what affects the person, so if they are hurting, it's the biggest thing on their plate, and for you not to aknowledge their pain because of yours, you're not being a good friend.
        We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
        Ronald Reagan

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          #5
          I can walk (although it used to be very hard and ugly but has gotten much better and Im grateful) and sometimes pretty damn good and sometimes not. It can range from limping, to sometimes look pretty robotic. It is quite fatiguing to walk on legs that dont work right. I was walking down the street the other day, exercising..., and yet another person stopped me on the street, as they were driving past me and said "hey i saw you yesterday and I know exactly how you feel, from when i sprained my ankle, best thing you can do is exercise". I just said yep, yeah that's how it is.

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            #6
            I know this feeling. After awhile you just dont say anything because no one gets it. You cant equate neuropain to a back ache. However, I have learned that is just people trying to relate. Sometimes I want to say "If Tylenol worked then I would not be taking prescriptions drugs that knock the normal person on their ass".

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              #7
              As bad as our pain is, we do not own a corner on the pain and suffering market. For any of us telling another person what it's like, that other person cannot imagine it. I could not have known until it happened to me. It's possibly true for you, too.

              When anyone else makes a comparison to what we share about neuro pain, it is most likely not a put down or minimization. Instead, the other person may be attempting to find common ground to make us feel better.

              I guess I'm wondering about the why of telling another person how bad it is. If another person is told, why would it be necessary to repeat how bad it is day after day? Doing that can make any relationship one sided because interactions are based upon pain.

              Also, talking about pain, thinking about it, makes mine worse. I'm writing this in the pain forum and then, I'm out. Staying too long here is a recipe for me to have more pain today.

              Only those closest to me know I have bad pain. I don't repeatedly discuss it with them as it does nothing to improve my pain. Instead I refocus, find other worthwhile distractions and passions for myself.

              I'm glad others do not know what this pain is like. I never want them to know it, even as a point of understanding between us.

              Comment


                #8
                No one knows the pain of another unless they feel it themselves.
                I suffered badly during my emergency admission (sig) but when they asked me my pain score (for medication purposes) I was not able to say that it was more than 2 or 3 because I had no comparison to judge by.
                The fact I had about 2 litres in my bladder, backlogged/pressured kidneys and a totally locked urinary system with a superstrong bladder trying to force through a brick wall, was creating a maddening tension in me, but if someone had got pliers and started twisting my arm skin or something I would have rated that as more noticeable.

                So, yes, it is hard to have sympathy for people that are saying how pained they are, if they don't suffer it constantly. Still, that does not mean that they did not feel high levels of pain at the time. Some people might feel something more painfully than others', for instance.

                I don't think I have suffered greatly, so I really don't know how some people manage it when they do. :/
                Last edited by andy12345; 9 Jun 2011, 10:35 AM.
                April 2012 sp cath removed, doing 1x weekly ISdilatation.

                Apr 11 SP Cath. fitted to resolve 1st urinary retention, after many years of ignoring the harshest of urination impingement (12 years) (equivalent symptoms and struggles of BPH IPSS 40

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by LaMemChose View Post
                  As bad as our pain is, we do not own a corner on the pain and suffering market. For any of us telling another person what it's like, that other person cannot imagine it. I could not have known until it happened to me. It's possibly true for you, too.

                  When anyone else makes a comparison to what we share about neuro pain, it is most likely not a put down or minimization. Instead, the other person may be attempting to find common ground to make us feel better.

                  I guess I'm wondering about the why of telling another person how bad it is. If another person is told, why would it be necessary to repeat how bad it is day after day? Doing that can make any relationship one sided because interactions are based upon pain.

                  Also, talking about pain, thinking about it, makes mine worse. I'm writing this in the pain forum and then, I'm out. Staying too long here is a recipe for me to have more pain today.

                  Only those closest to me know I have bad pain. I don't repeatedly discuss it with them as it does nothing to improve my pain. Instead I refocus, find other worthwhile distractions and passions for myself.

                  I'm glad others do not know what this pain is like. I never want them to know it, even as a point of understanding between us.
                  I don't know. If i could plug in to a P.T. or doctor and they could feel my pain for 30 seconds that would save alot of time on guess work. I have a hard time explaining pain as well. The evening before for I went to the E.R., my wife had a doctor stop by and check me out. He asked me what pain level i was in. I had for a postion on the floor were if i didn't move, the pain was about a 2. I didn't tell him i could'nt move a inch without intense pain. He said he'd check on me in the morning. At about 3:15am i felt the numbness move from my left leg, across my groin, and into my right leg.
                  I was told to worry if my groin went numb but i was exhausted, it was such a releif, i kinda passed out for a hr. At 7:30am the doctor came back and i was off to the E.R. I guess my point is that pain scale sucks, well and i'm a dumbass.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by t8burst View Post
                    There have been a couple threads with similar themes. Its pretty common for us to lose compassion for other people when it takes so much effort just to get through the day. The one piece of advice I would have is that if you want to have friends, you have to suck it up and not complain. People will always be sympathetic to you, but at some point they just start avoiding you I think. It sucks though, yesterday I was having a really bad day and my wife asked me a question about something trivial. I responded "Look, I am having a really bad day, can we just deal with this tomorrow?". Her response? Mutters under her breath "every day seems like a bad day for you" and walks away. Not "oh, having a bad day, what is wrong" or "sure not problem". People get don't realize that SCI isn't a stubbed toe that goes away, its a 24/7 condition that grinds you down.

                    Sorry, I guess I vented too. My advice? Just never show you don't really give a shit about their trivial little problems, smile and act if you care they got a kink in their neck because they slept wrong and that must be how your back feels all the time (one of the better idiotic things a person has said to me) and as for yourself don't complain and act if nothing is wrong. At least that way people don't start to avoid you.
                    Good advice. It's hard not to talk about your situation since it takes up so much of your life. Even when i try i seem to end up talking about it. I'm starting to notice how some friends seem to feel ackward around me.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I have sheltered those around me for 23 years and done a really good job.

                      I recently re-connected with a significant other of seven years and he asked me why I gave up my job. I told him the truth and described what I deal with on a daily basis. It is the worst that it has ever been though. He asked if I had that kind of pain when we were together and truthfully I said yes but not on the scale I have it today. He honestly was dumbfounded and still is that I could keep that from him. We still talk. My pain does not control me.

                      I vent here and I talk here. On a day like today...storms here in the south...nothing is going to help so I am in tears and hurting. My daughter already asked and I told her I hurt myself yesterday. We left it at that. I work really hard not to be irritable or hateful as things get on my nerves alot quicker on days like today. She has lived with it her whole life so even today...she has hugged me several times and we just smile and laugh a little more about nothing. It is kind of our secret code that tomorrow will be better hopefully and she doesn't understand but she loves me just the same.

                      I am still empathetic and sypathetic to others. I don't want anyone to experience this or anything like this. I just want to crawl off by myself on days like today.

                      I guess when people are talking about pain, they only know their pain and their tolerance for pain. I try to remember that when someone grabs their back and says they understand. They just don't feel my exhaustion though...I guess I will never understand that.

                      I get it AKspacey.
                      T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

                      My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

                      Comment


                        #12
                        When the pain gets too much for me, I realize I'm focusing on myself more than usual. So I just accept all the problems I have and begin to focus on helping other people. It helps a lot.

                        I remember when I was alone for years and years with no family nearby, and no contact with them, that I was tougher, mentally. I'm nearing that place again, although I'm supposed to move back closer to family this summer.

                        I'm weighing the tradeoffs between feeling the love of my family, and returning that love (as well as their help when the car breaks down, or when I get stranded on the handcycle, etc.), which makes me softer - and the mental toughness that comes with living alone and distancing myself emotionally from my family.

                        The two states of mind seem to be mutually exclusive, so it's a conundrum for me right now. And truly? When I realize I'm internally complaining about my problems, to myself, I think of all the people out there who have it a hell of a lot worse, and I see them struggling and surviving and being as happy as is possible. And that makes me feel small. I don't like feeling small, so I try to live my life following along these simple lines by D.H. Lawrence:

                        I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.


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                          #13
                          I guess what I have learned over the years is that everyone is self-referential, so when you mention back pain they feel they can share that they, too, have experienced back pain. It doesn't bother me particularly because I also believe that everyone has their own "worst pain" and that for them it truly is the worst thing they have experienced to date. We may understand that it could be a lot worse, but that is like telling a guy who still owns a tent that at least he has a roof over his head. As long as I believe the person is sincere and not a total hypochondriac I can feel empathy for them, but don't even get me started about the one's who moan about inconsequential things!

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                            #14
                            I dont think distancing yourself is mental toughness. It is a safer way though. For you..
                            Last edited by lonecoaster; 9 Jun 2011, 7:45 PM.

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                              #15
                              Not the act, but the result. You have to be tough(er) to not have anyone to lend a hand. One becomes more resourceful and creative, and thus more mentally strong.
                              Originally Posted by lonecoaster
                              I dont think distancing yourself is mental toughness. It is a safer way though. For you..
                              Last edited by t8burst; 9 Jun 2011, 8:57 PM.
                              Please donate a dollar a day at http://justadollarplease.org.
                              Copy and paste this message to the bottom of your signature.

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