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03/31/2008 10:05 AM

how to help my sister

Posts: 3

I have a wonderful sister who I normally get along with but the last few years she has been diagnosed with FM.

She often calls when she needs to talk and get her head together and I listen. I have opened up all my interests and she has joined me in some of my hobbies so she has some hobbies to focus on when she needs a focus as her old hobbies she couldn't do anymore.

But when she hurts she expects everyone to know when that is and what she is feeling and to leave her alone.

I have told her that most can't tell when that is and she should be proactive and say.. it is a bad day. but instead she keeps telling us she thinks we should be able to know and deal without her telling us.

I am not sure how to deal at this point?

any thoughts?


03/31/2008 10:36 AM
Posts: 681

I don't think anyone knows when a person with fibro is having a bad flareup. It is up to her to let you know because it is not visible for the most part. Just keep being supportive. I know my sisters are of me and we are 2000 miles apart. Thank God for sisters like you that do care and try to help.

03/31/2008 11:04 AM
Posts: 993
Senior Member
I'm an Advocate

Hi AnnZ,

Welcome to the forum!! I applaud you for striving to educate yourself on ways you can help your sisterCheerful !

Are there any signals that you can pick up on that lets you know your sis isn't having a good day?

Changes in speech pattern, changes in the length of time it takes her to respond to a question, losing train of thought & jumping from one topic to another, having to search for the right word (even though the word could be a very common one that she's used to saying all the time)??

These are some things that I look for when I'm talking with my Mom. However, there are times when (especially during phone conversations) I can't readily pick up on the fact that she's having a bad day. We have very open communication and she can usually tell me exactly how she's feeling.

There are times that she just doesn't want to talk about having yet another bad day, so we've come up with a code word. If I ask her how she's doing (and she's having a bad day, but doesn't really want to talk about it) she will respond F I N E.

FINE stands for Frustrated, Irritated, Non-functional & Everything hurts!!

Again, welcome to the forum!!

03/31/2008 11:45 AM
Posts: 3

She is a type A personality anyway but it is very hard to tell.

She will get very agressive in a conversation, asserting that she knows she is right about whatever the subject is, even if she isn't, also forgeting things she just spoke about in plans and get mad at us for reminding her.

Often there is no warning and it turns on a dime.

I know she hurts and we all give her lots of leaway but other than leaving her out, which isn't what any of us want to do, there seems no other way to keep her from frustration and anger.

03/31/2008 12:03 PM
Posts: 158

Has she done any reading about fibromyalgia and does she have a good doctor, hard to find but important. Are her family at home supporting? I just wonder if alot of this could be frustration on her part. I know that alot of changes happen when you get this diagnosis and realize that it is chronic with no cure in sight. Has she joined this forum if not i would get on it one day when she is with and in good spirits and show her what a life line this is for so many others. Unfortunatly we take all our frustration out on the ones who are closet and dearest to us. Welcome. Jean

03/31/2008 12:12 PM
Posts: 3

She is a medical professional herself and she does have a good FM doctor, that she found a year ago.

I know sometimes we are not as supporting as she wants but once again we can't read minds...

I personally feel that it is the frustration of not being able to do what she used to do and still has not forgiven herself for being sick. Like she is to blame for this. She did push herself for years in a very stressfull job but to my knowledge that is not the reason she has FM.

Is this a possibility?


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