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Thread: I think I'll give up having a social life

  1. #1
    Senior Member catlover's Avatar
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    Thumbs down I think I'll give up having a social life

    Now I'm remembering why I don't normally bother. The last time I went out in an evening was in February I think. After a day at work I just can't do it. All I want is my TENS machine and an evening lying down. But today I was supposed to be meeting 3 friends for a meal. It was early evening so I knew I'd be back before late so despite my blocked ear canal making it hard to hear etc. I decided to make the effort.

    It was a disaster from start to finish. I couldn't follow any conversation and the chair was so uncomfortable I spent the whole time in pain and trying not to let it show. There was virtually nothing on the menu that was gluten free so I ended up with a very average halloumi salad which was a particularly bad choice given that I had cheese salad for lunch! After mains I just had to excuse myself, leaving a £10 on the table for my £5 salad. I limped in agony to my car and drove home only to find my parking space taken (not actually "mine" but it's right outside my flat and most people leave it for me because they know I struggle to walk further) and the only available space quite a way away. Took me ages to get home dragging my feet along the ground and with every step hurting. I nearly took a tumble on several occasions, especially as there are lots of conkers and leaves on the ground. Finally I'm home to co-codamol, my TENS machine and somewhere to lie down. It feels as though someone is ripping pieces of skin off my legs and back hurts so much I feel nauseous.

    I give up - not going out again unless I can have a good lie down during the day.

    How do other people cope with uncomfortable chairs in restaurants etc? If I have to sit in something that's just not right and where my feet cannot be properly supported I'm soon in pain.

  2. #2
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    Catlover, You're not the only one. Similar reasons but exhausted atm and long day ahead tomorrow. Will expand over the weekend hopefully. Cannot recall having a 'night out' this year. Not even for my Partners b/day (which I consider much more important than mine bearing in mind all she odes). Suppose it is all down to planning, even as far as the day before and after. This is one of the worst aspects of being in our position and circumstance which really does mean we are socially excluded.

    Don't feel too bad, again may have to plan a little better next time, but then this knackers our spontaneous spirit!

  3. #3
    Senior Member AmyS's Avatar
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    Hi Catlover, it isn't just restaurants.

    A few months back went out with my sister - bingo.

    I was so incredibly uncomfortable, had to take my boots off (hasten to add - orthopaedic with special insoles), and with just my socks, had to sit sideways to play bingo. Going home was worse, by this time - I was ready to scream (and not HOUSE).

    Told my sister never again. I'll probably change my mind and go again but at the time I was almost in tears. The only thing that kept me there was we'd paid for the tickets and organised the taxi home and it was supposed to be my very rare treat out.

    It'll probably be another two/three months before I attempt a social day or night again.

    Remember you aren't alone.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    I'm sorry to hear about your evening out - shit does happen.

    Like you, I see friends and like to dine out occassionally but sometimes it is a bit like organising a military operation.

    My strategy is if it can go wrong it will - so try to anticipate the possible issues - it's a start.

    Half the battle is ensuring your friends are well aware of your health problems. Get a friend to pick ypou up from home and take your Blue Badge with you. That way you can be dropped off outside the venue and front door at home.

    When escorted into a eatery you will be escorted to a table. Refuse the table and look for a comfy chair then take that table. I'm not sure if an eatery will have a standard box to rest your feet on but I'm sure they will improvise.

    Food - maybe discuss your dietry needs with your friends and pre-select an eatery that meets your dietary needs before booking. Alternatively prior to the event phone the eatery and ask if the chef can suggest a gluten free meal or supply a one off. It's no trouble to them - just ask - you're the customer.

    I guess now you know working and eating out is too much you can decide whether to take half a day off on the day. Perhaps join them for lunch at the weekend.

    I'm finding my friends are very accommodating and are better trained about my needs so they don't need as much disability awareness training. It can still go slightly wrong eg eatery too loud but some of my friends are hard of hearing and have learnt lip-reading!

    I feel like I should ask you and Fliss over to my place one Sunday lunchtime and I'll create a gluten free meal and afters to put a smile back on your face. And there's parking right outside my front door
    Last edited by Lighttouch; 10-10-14 at 02:01.

  5. #5
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    Research and communication and making a fuss.
    You don't like the chair: I frequently find this, have painful knees. ASK for another, pad it with coats, cushions whatever.
    Menu: communicate to your friends that you have dietary needs. "We're off to ....." "do they have gluten free?" "I dunno" PHONE EM UP.
    Suggest somewhere that does do gluten free.
    We went to italian place with jewish friend.....they had GREAT difficulty understanding the concept of non-dairy cheese....in the end they did not bring her anything. We told em the service was shit and refused to pay service charge.

    so basically wot LT said: go places you CAN cope with and with friends you need a bit of TLC to cope.

  6. #6
    Senior Member beau's Avatar
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    Catlover and Fliss, that is an offer you can't refuse. It is good to meet people in person that you have "met" on the net once you have sussed them out of course.

  7. #7
    Senior Member flowerangelx's Avatar
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    I too have given up going out with friends aswell.

    They always insist on meeting somewhere that is not accessible by car, which means I can't get to it. Then they insist on going to another place which is a good 10 minutes walk! Or better still, if I'm having a good day and make it to the inaccessible place, 30 minutes after I get there, they want me to walk 10 minutes to another place, then whinge when I ask if we could possibly get a taxi as I can't walk that far.

    Usually ends with me very upset, feeling left out and feel pressured into forcing myself to walk to the next place, where I can't enjoy anything because I'm in too much pain, panicking and so on.
    Then they insist I go home because I'm obviously not well!!

    I've tried so many times to try and get them to understand, but it really is like banging my head against a brick wall.

    Now if I want to see them, I tell them I'll be at a certain place at a certain time, if they want to see me, great, if not, I'm not going to put myself in excruciating pain so I can see them.

  8. #8
    Senior Member catlover's Avatar
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    I'm feeling a bit better about it all now but it's been a horrible 24 hours. This morning I had to drag myself to where I had parked last night and then park and walk to work. About an hour after being at work I had to go to a meeting which meant walking from my desk to the lift then to the meeting room. I had to go to Sainsburys on the way home and even though I got the disabled bay nearest the entrance and only wanted 2 items which were near the entrance it was still a struggle. Finally I'm home and "my" parking space is free but my back and legs are screaming with pain. I've done way too much walking. I stayed at my desk at lunchtime as I couldn't face walking anywhere. I really need to start using a wheelchair as I just can't cope with the minimum amount of walking required in an average day.

    I think I'd have done better last night if I didn't have ear trouble. It's not painful or anything but some sounds are magnified and I have problems with my neck including it making crunching and grinding noises when I turn my head. They vary in volume but in themselves not a big deal (unlike the pain). However now they are louder so every time I turn my head I'm hearing loud crunching sounds which is a bit disconcerting! Combine that with other pain and I was irritable and fed up from the start. On another day I may have managed better to find a gluten free meal. I didn't have a lot of confidence that they fully understood the importance of trying to avoid cross contamination with gluten so I was wary of eating anything there tbh.

    The friends I was meeting are pretty clued up re my problems but it's nights like that that make me realise that only me fully understands my limitations. I'm short and if I can't place my feet firmly on the ground or on a footstool it hurts my back pretty quickly. One of my friends did ask me where I'd like to go for gluten free food but I don't really know as I don't eat out a lot because it's so hard to find gluten free food that I'm confident really is gluten free.

    I am definitely not going out anywhere else until Christmas (sorry to use the c word in October!). Absolutely not!

  9. #9
    Senior Member beau's Avatar
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    To be honest, if these people can't understand that you need somewhere that is accessible and that you are unable to walk to another location they are being very selfish and I wouldn't call them friends at all.
    True friends would respect your problems and bend over backwards to make sure that you are comfortable and not expect to walk anywhere.

  10. #10
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    It's interesting, I think Reddevine and LT have lived with their disabilities for a while and know what they need and what will work. I think this makes it easier to manage your disability (which is essentially what we all have to do) as you can ask other people to do certain things. I think people generally are happy to help but don't know how to. There's no reason why what we need should be obvious to anyone else, so we need to explain to them what it is we need. I think Catlover is in the difficult process of adapting to her disability as walking has got more difficult relatively recently. When we're going through this phase I think days like yesterday tend to happen as we haven't fully realised what we can't do in advance. Days like that push us into making changes I think. I'm sure her friends just didn't know what they could have done differently.

    Ive got a big night out tomorrow! Civilised (and accessible) start with afternoon tea at The Midland (posh hotel in Manchester) followed by cocktails in the Northern Quarter (trendy bit of town where the cool kids hang out, and I rarely go) then a karaoke booth. It always surprise/amuses people but I love karaoke, brings out my inner show off! My friend has checked access in all these places (even checked out the loos) and it seems to be do-able. Will use manual wheelchair as some taxis likely. I dislike being pushed but will need a hand at some points. Reading this made me realise my friends know exactly what I need, but as I've always been disabled this is probably more obvious. I think they will want to go to a club after karaoke but I will be heading home then. We're all too old for any of this!

    So need to get properly glammed up for my night out which starts at 3.30 pm! And btw my song of choice is "sweet child of mine" - how show offy is that?!
    Last edited by Fliss; 10-10-14 at 21:35.

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