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Thread: No Sympathy

  1. #1

    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. #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

  3. #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.

  4. #4
    Senior Member brucec's Avatar
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    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

  5. #5
    Senior Member marycsm77's Avatar
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    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.

  6. #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".

  7. #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.

  8. #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; 06-09-2011 at 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

  9. #9
    Quote 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.

  10. #10
    Quote 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.

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