Hi I just joined the group this morning. I am a 34 year old mom of 5. I was diagnosed with ra at 27 but the doctor said I had had it for awhile,my fingers were already twisting. I have been in denial for years and refused to admit anything was wrong with me. I made excuses for everything ( my shoulders hurt today because i slept wrong, my knees hurt because i ran into something Etc...) I did everything for my husband and kids. But now that I can no longer remember having a day without pain. I am facing the fact that I can not do it all and something is wrong with me. But I cannot get any of my family to understand. My husband gets mad because the house isn't as clean as it used to be and I do not fix myself up like I used to. my kids get mad because i have started giving them chores to do and make them clean there own rooms. How do you make the family understand what you are going through?
Hi Momof5, just want to welcome you to the group. It's very hard to have this diagnosis and to take care of everything the way we used to. 5 kids, a hubby & a house are a lot to tend to. It is often hard to get the family to understand because they can't see or feel what our body feels like. If you haven't had your husband go with you to the rheumatologist, I suggest maybe that's a place to start. I'm thinking if maybe he sees and hears what the Dr is saying, then he might understand more. Maybe clue your Dr in and he might be able to give some advice too.
Also,if I may point you to a good link. There is a website called 'invisible disabilities' that has articles about this very thing. One article is called 'But you LOOK good' for families and friends on how to help, what to say or not say. It might be a good jumping point for a family meeting. (I suggest a family 'meeting' as opposed to talking to each one on their own, as they all get the same information at the same time) Then they have articles that help family understand the ins and outs of living with chronic illness and pain. This place helped me organize my thoughts when talking to my family, and I thought you might find some info (ammo) here to help you with yours.
One thing that I always told my family, when they were young, was that a family works together for the good of the family. Everyone has chores, and everyone pulls together for the good of us all. For the kids, you can maybe tell them that helping out is part of growing up. I know you have a rough row to hoe with the family being like this for you, hopefully they will begin to relalize that you need help, and that you are in pain...and just because they can't see your problems & pain doesn't mean you don't have them. Sending you a BIG hug, and hoping for better days for you. Joy
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