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03/24/2009 05:54 AM

When FM is taking second place

Posts: 55

We have all been there. A situation comes up which put's our FM into second place of caring.

I am in this situation at the moment.

My partner's mother has just been diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer. Emotions are on an all time high. Usually I am very good with emotions. I have had training in counselling and life coaching and know how to deal with situations exactly like this one. And ... I am doing well concerning the people around me. However, I am not doing so well when it comes to me. From recent discussions on this forum about FM personalities I found that we tend to give ... quite often more than what we can afford to give. Well... I feel this is happening to me. Not being in a counselling setting where I would receive supervision for myself and yet giving all I have on support and help and time has left me kind of "burn out". I have started taking antidepressants, but I feel this situation is far too serious for me to slow down.

I would like to find out how you deal with situations where your FM takes second place. How did you or would you deal with it?

Unfortunately my partners family situation is a little complicated. Mum (my partners mum) has 3 children (boys ... ok, they are suppose to be men now... ) and two step children. All over 40! She is a widow and has a partner. Sadly her partners‘wife passed away 8 years ago, of ovarian cancer. Mum had a heart attack just before Christmas and unfortunately it was an argument with her oldest son which trigger it (... she would have had the heart attack in any case, he didn't cause it, he just trigger it) This upset the family balance a lot since naturally, the other siblings blamed this heart attack on this brother. Now the cancer... even so apart from the one brother, everyone says they will help... they all live far away (we are the closest). They all work (I am not working at the moment because of my FM), two out of the 4 remaining children have small families (twins under 5 years)... etc.

Basically, what I am trying to say in far too many words... They are all trying to help out and are all doing their best (and I honestly do believe that) ... it still leaves me taking care of mum, emotionally, mentally and maybe at a stage when chemotherapy starts, physically.

Where does my FM fit into this and how do I gain some kind of balance again?

Thank you for reading, and sorry if I am going on a bit. Take care.

W00t (perfect smiley... it has a look like I feel Wink )


03/24/2009 06:18 AM
Posts: 7675
VIP Member

Wow. I am really sorry all this is happenning. I really can't give you advice. Sometimes crises pop up and we have to do the best we can with it until we can look more objectively at the problems. Is community assistance available if the children can't work out some kind of schedual to take turns?

Fibro is hard enough to deal with on a daily basis. I sure would check in with your own Dr. regularly so you have that support while under this very stressful situation. Being that your not in a working situation despite your experience and training as counselor and life coach, maybe it's just best to do what you can as a regular family member and not try to do and be everything.

03/24/2009 06:20 AM
Posts: 5724
Group Leader a person like you that likes to give unconditionally and the family knows of you do what you can... take her to her with her basic needs like laundry dishes meals... but when she doesnt have appts.. tell her i am a phone call away if you need me but i need to rest so i dont flare... need to put it out there... cause if you get burnt out and a flare comes on what use will you be to her then...have the other familys make dinners ahead and portion them for her and her partner so it is one less thing they have to worry about...everyone has to make meals for there family so making extra is not that difficult...need to let everyone know that you love taking care of mom.. but you need rest yourself hence why you arent working.. and do what you can... and if you cant you cant

only you know your limitations... my mother has had heart attacks and just beat cervical cancer.. so i know the emotional toll it takes.... I have had other family member like my grandfater i had to take care of and take to his appts pregnant and not feeling well and pushing myself because i was the one staying home...thats when i got the whole family involved... made a day i would drive to a few of the families house and picked up foods they made for him and his parnter... and made that day laundry day for my grandfather... set up a schedule for people to go and check on him after work (no excuse) and if something needed to be done while they were there then do it.... i took him to all his appts which sometimes were 2-or three a week...and took weekends off and made his daughters take care of him...once this all came to play it worked well.. still was there 3-4 days a week but the load had lightened and i could rest.. and grandpa got to see everyone.... then my uncle came down with lun cancer 2 years alater and again i was pregnant and my aunt asked me to set up a schedule for help and i did.. he was like a father to me... got everyone involved again all glad to help once they know what they are needed for and my aunt could focus on making him comfortable while going thru this... and everyone had a part in his care...

so i have no idea if this even makes sense i hope it does... please do not wear yourself out it is not in your best interest and other need to respect that... it only gets tougher before it gets better.. get a handle on it know with everyone and it will be easier on you and there mother.. and everyone will feel needed and helpful..

good luck

and many fibro hugs to you and yours in this time.

03/24/2009 06:25 AM

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Very stressful right now I'm sure. I know we tend to put FM on the back burner just because we want our lives back but you do need to listen to your body and take things slow and easy. With all this stress around you right now, you will surly have flares. As far as family helping, they need to know that you are willing to do what you can but someone has to be able to take over when you can't do it. I think a family meeting should take place so everyone knows what to expect from each other and from the cancer and how each person is going to contribute. Just don't let them take advantage of you and the fact that you are home all the time. Remind them that you're home for a reason too and all of you have to pull together. Maybe when you come together, all of you can make a list of things that need to be done daily and weekly. As long as all of you work together, nobody should feel as though they are the only one pulling the weight. I wish you and the family well and many blessings.

03/24/2009 08:13 AM
Posts: 1891
Senior Member

I've been in similar situations with both my mother who died of cancer, and my mother in law who died of complications of uncontrolled diabetes. When they were sick the adrenaline kicked in and I just kept going like I was on autopilot. No matter how bad I felt, somehow I was able to ignore it and help them. After they passed away, I crashed big time. It took weeks to recover. I even became physically ill with infections and such. But I got through it. Try to take it easy everytime you get the chance. Delegate any duties around your house that you can, and don't do anything that isn't absolutely necessary. Don't forget to ask for help from friends and neighbors. I know it's hard to ask for help, but just imagine how honored you would be and how much joy it would bring you to help someone else in your situation. Just hang in there, she'll pull through, and so will you.

I truly believe that what gave me the strength to go on when I felt I had nothing left to give was my faith in God, and the power of prayer.

Post edited by: amommy02, at: 03/24/2009 08:15


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