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Thread: Issues with Friends when Newly Disabled

  1. #1
    LucillaP
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    Issues with Friends when Newly Disabled

    Hi

    I know this is not strictly a "health" issue, more of a welfare issue so for that I am sorry. I have become disabled relatively recently & now spend a lot of time on my own at home. I go out for school runs when I can plus I have a huge love of horses - I own two of my own which I keep at home & try to ride twice a week if I am able - I am a disabled rider so it is a bit of a problem but with velcro & padding in various places plus hefty painkillers, I can manage it & from a welfare point of view makes me feel much better for a while.

    Anyway, I would like some advice on how to deal with friends - I know odd. I used to be very outgoing & bubbly but I am in constant pain so that is difficult now & for anything other than pottering about, I am in a wheelchair, although I can't sit for longer than about an hour even in my reclining wheelchair (I have major spinal issues). Some of my friends don't seem to be able to handle the change in me. I don't sit around and moan, I make sure I don't & if I am having a really bad day, I avoid everyone except my husband & kids of course. I am rubbish at asking for help, too independent for my own good but I am starting to feel quite lonely. Some friends just don't phone any more, all bar one don't visit any more - I suspect they just don't know what to say to me - but I am still the same person underneath, I am just in pain & can't get out very well.

    The only time I am treated as "normal" is when I am sitting on my horse - I think its because no one realises I am disabled so they talk to me as a "normal" person.

    So, I suppose I am asking for advice on how to deal with friends & also advice on how to ask for help when I need it without feeling like I am taking advantage of people & that I am failing by asking for help.

    Thank you, in advance for any ideas.

  2. #2
    Senior Member acheron's Avatar
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    Hi Lucilla so sorry that you're having a hard time becoming ill or disabled can change everything about your life including friends but I've found that my real friends have still stuck by me 13 years on but others have gradually faded away but hey that's their lost because like you I'm the same person I always was

    Sometimes people find it hard to relate to us if they have no illness or disablities even if their sympathetic they don't walk in our shoes so I found some of my former friends stayed away from me

    Anyway back to you're problems I too didn't like asking for help and like you I had two young children to look after when I couldn't even look after myself but then I thought what would I do if a friend asked me for help, yes you guess it I'd help ,would I mind helping hell no of course I wouldn't so I'm guessing you're true friends would be glad to help so ask

    and for those who don't want to give you a helping hand not really worth you're time IMO .Don't be feeling isolated I know coming on this forum is not the same as sitting and having a chat with a long life friend but we do understand and we sometimes have a giggle and who's to say what's "normal " anyway wishing you all the best Acheron xx

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucillaP View Post
    Hi

    I know this is not strictly a "health" issue, more of a welfare issue so for that I am sorry. I have become disabled relatively recently & now spend a lot of time on my own at home. I go out for school runs when I can plus I have a huge love of horses - I own two of my own which I keep at home & try to ride twice a week if I am able - I am a disabled rider so it is a bit of a problem but with velcro & padding in various places plus hefty painkillers, I can manage it & from a welfare point of view makes me feel much better for a while.

    Anyway, I would like some advice on how to deal with friends - I know odd. I used to be very outgoing & bubbly but I am in constant pain so that is difficult now & for anything other than pottering about, I am in a wheelchair, although I can't sit for longer than about an hour even in my reclining wheelchair (I have major spinal issues). Some of my friends don't seem to be able to handle the change in me. I don't sit around and moan, I make sure I don't & if I am having a really bad day, I avoid everyone except my husband & kids of course. I am rubbish at asking for help, too independent for my own good but I am starting to feel quite lonely. Some friends just don't phone any more, all bar one don't visit any more - I suspect they just don't know what to say to me - but I am still the same person underneath, I am just in pain & can't get out very well.

    The only time I am treated as "normal" is when I am sitting on my horse - I think its because no one realises I am disabled so they talk to me as a "normal" person.

    So, I suppose I am asking for advice on how to deal with friends & also advice on how to ask for help when I need it without feeling like I am taking advantage of people & that I am failing by asking for help.

    Thank you, in advance for any ideas.
    Generally speaking most able bodied and well people can't cope with other peoples health issues, this can also include partners. The why's and wherefore's can be varied and complex but the bottom line is that it goes with the territory I'm afraid.
    As your illness is a fairly recent thing there are, as I'm sure you are finding, many things that will change, and other peoples attitudes are part of those changes.
    There are true friends who will still feel uncomfortable
    There are friends who you realise weren't really friends
    and there are friends who will be judging you for claiming you have health issues whilst owning,caring for and riding horses.

  4. #4
    LucillaP
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    Hi. Actually although I own horses, I don't care for them - I now have to pay someone to do it for me as I can't which after doing it myself for 35 years is frustrating to say the least. "Claiming" I have health issues is rather insulting. I ask for help, not to be judged, particularly by someone who knows absolutely nothing about me. People might not like what I do, but for me being "winched" onto a horse is basically losing all dignity I ever had.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LucillaP View Post
    Hi. Actually although I own horses, I don't care for them - I now have to pay someone to do it for me as I can't which after doing it myself for 35 years is frustrating to say the least. "Claiming" I have health issues is rather insulting. I ask for help, not to be judged, particularly by someone who knows absolutely nothing about me. People might not like what I do, but for me being "winched" onto a horse is basically losing all dignity I ever had.
    You need to read replies properly before giving it out.
    I said that there will be friends who will be making the judgement on your health "claims", because, understandably, they will see someone with "major spinal issues" horse riding and be confused.
    You asked about friends attitudes and I gave you several reasons, the above being one of them.
    So get off your high horse before having a go at me.

    I don't judge people but I have suggestions. Maybe don't book a ATOS home visit on a day you go out riding, it won't look good.
    Last edited by wobble1; 19-06-13 at 12:31.

  6. #6
    Senior Member acheron's Avatar
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    Hi Lucilla being disabled is hard adjusting to it getting use to the medication ect... and it's really hard when relations with friend's change

    what wobble say's is also true people judge because they don't understand they judge you if you try and get on with your life even if they don't realise how painful doing things are they only see what you're doing not that 3 days after you're still in agony

    They also judge you if you don't do anything either "she's not helping her self" sometimes it's a no win situation
    but you'll soon find out who you're real friends are

    As for the horse riding I say if you can manage with the pain killers keep at it you need to keep doing thing's while ever your capable
    people without illness or disablities judge because when the've got something like flu they stay in bed for 2 weeks then it's back to the old routine for us it's for life so we really can't stay in bed that long

  7. #7
    LucillaP
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    Actually. I have decided not to look again at this post. I am so very upset by what has been said. Thank you to those who have tried to help, it is appreciated but thanks to one person here, I am heartbroken now.

  8. #8
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    Lucilla you are being over sensitive but that is understandable. You are grieving after your independence. Like any other kind of grief there are stages of anger, denial and pain before you can accept such a life changing event.

    I know the commentators above and none of them would aim to hurt you and they are offering objective advice based on experience. x

    (PS ... I've stormed out of the forum with my teddy in hand before now Lucilla. )
    Last edited by Tatty_Tat; 19-06-13 at 13:43.

  9. #9
    Senior Member acheron's Avatar
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    were not judging you we all know how hard it is to adjust I think it's great that your determined to keep horse riding I still do thing's I love even though it doesn't do me any good (mainly eating pizza I've got very bad gut's and they really don't like pizza but I do)

    but able body people don't know you can explain to them all you want but until they walk in your shoe's their clueless so you need to have a thick skin what with the goverment and media turning the general public against us we all get judged

    But I say this no matter what sex ,age,race.religion ,or class the one thing that doesn't discrimate is illness and it could happen to anyone wishing you all the best Acheron xx

  10. #10
    Senior Member susieboots's Avatar
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    Oh bless you. Please don't get upset. Do have a look again at the reply in question and the explanation. No judgment or harm was meant I assure you. This particular member has loads of excellent and welcome advice.

    My advice - live your life to the full hon within your capabilities. Your life may be a little different, but with assistance you can still do some things that you enjoy but with limitations. So get out there and let the wind run through your hair on your horse.

    I have always had problems asking for help, and always apologise for asking! I am now learning to just request the help e.g can you help me get my leg out of the car please, accept the help then change subject. It's a fact of life we need the assistance of our friends and family.

    Could I suggest you ask some friends around for an afternoon or evening and perhaps an outing with them and the children. Don't discuss your disabilities but enjoy each other's company, and if you need assistance with anything, don't think about it, just say "can you help me with ....... please".

    I realise this sounds simplistic and a bit 'granny sucking eggs' but I think I am trying to say - don't see yourself as disabled, but rather someone who has limitations which friends can assist you with.

    Oh dear I have rambled, but I hope you feel a little better hon. Sending you a virtual bunch of flowers

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