Take Care: When you’re unwell,
do you allow others to take care of you,
or do you prefer to soldier on alone?
What does it take for you to ask for help?
I have a unique relationship with my health. Can a relationship be marked by a complete lack of communication? Half the time I am unaware that I am sick so I just carry on. Finding out something is broken, requires xrays because a broken bone feels the same to me as a simple bruise. If I do notice I am unwell then I will just soldier on – there may be some moaning, groaning and whining but essentially I just keep going. Oddly, I know when I am really sick I have this irresistible urge to clean the house. All of it, immediately!
I get frustrated when people try to help me. It makes me feel incapable or dependent and being sick is already breaking my spirit. I hate feeling even more vulnerable than normal. I get very grumpy and hubby often just has to lay down the law. Like at the moment with my ankle being injured Hubby is being very clear that I use the crutches and slow down. Crutches and housework are incompatible, let me tell you!
I frequently end up in an ambulance on the way to hospital because I didn’t notice and it got so bad I don’t protest Hubby calling for help. I HATE the pain scale because with a high pain threshold and fibromyalgia I am always in pain. I can rarely differentiate the specific pains because I lump them all together and unconsciously suppress them. If I say I am in pain – why is that never enough? I also get sick of comments that I look well – what I look is PTSD affect and it doesn’t change. I refuse to fake what they believe to be the “appropriate” look for what is wrong with me.
When I am admitted to hospital I get out early. And yes hospital feels like prison to me. I explain that I have a nurse at home but not that this nurse is actually me. Hubby keeps quiet lol he is only so brave… I always prefer being at home to recover and away from prying eyes – which I consider the medical profession to be. I ma just used to dealing alone and HATE being helped to function.
I was charmed recently when my mother – in – law sent me a gorgeous get well card. It was such a surprise and for all my grumpiness I really loved this acknowledgement of my current disposition. I have it sitting beside me on the couch my current second home after the bed at the moment… sigh. It makes me smile each time I see it.
I am not sure I get to the point of asking for help. I can go to the doctor on his request for a follow up and be half dead and still not refer to my condition. I just hate acknowledging illness or pain or I just don’t realise. More often than not someone else points out I am sick and need a doctor or I collapse and that forces the issue.
I am working on this and it is or it feels really slow. When my ankle was diagnosed as having a hairline fracture it was the only part of me not hurting after I collapsed to the floor. I just laughed … which of course just confused the nurse. At that stage I had given up on explaining the pain I was in and how it would not match my affect … plus the meds I was on keep my mood and blood pressure fairly even, whatever the stress.
I often reply, I am f.i.n.e. to questions on how I am feeling. The funny thing is that people believe it even when I am standing in front of them on crutches and grimacing. I guess we believe and hear what we need to, even in that moment when we are with someone and could be listening to their words, rather than interpreting our meaning in them. F.i.n.e. was once explained to me as feeling, incapable of normal emotion and some days that is fairly accurate.