Posted by: Shira Danin | March 18, 2010

Asking for Help

In my story about my life as a student I wrote that it’s important to ask for help. I know it’s true.

Still, I sometimes find it hard asking for help.

For example:

Tomer always tells me that I want to do the dishes, I should ask him. He prefers to do it. It takes him 10 minutes and has no affect on him. I, however, come back to the living room completely drained of energy with hands hurting. Every week he asks me why am I doing the dishes?  “I’ll do it…” he says. Even though I know he doesn’t mind doing it, and he’s happy to help, and he worries about me so much, it’s still hard for me to ask. I don’t want to bug him, and force my little crazy moments on him (for example: “before starting to cook the sink needs to be empty and clean”)

Last time I did the dishes Tomer didn’t say anything until I was done. I came back drained again and then he gave me hell. He was right. I was being stupid. Tomer loves, supports and helps me so much, but I need the let him help and let him support me.

I know many women find it hard telling their partners about all their aches and pains. And especially find it hard asking for help with the little things around the house. That really makes me sad. I think our partners want us to ask. They want to help, they want to make it easier, they want to support. We only need to ask.

My dad says he likes helping in the kitchen when my mom asks. Tomer agreed with him. I got the impression they were being truthful. I have to try and remind myself that I don’t have to be a hero and do everything. I have to let Tomer carry some of the burden. Fibro in a relationship is definitely interesting (and fun).

This week I published the story I mentioned at the beginning here on this blog.  I was very touched and excited to see so many women read my story, were touched and commented.

(I find it hard to write at the moment because my hands really hurt. But with a little massage, Chinese tiger balm oil and breaks I keep on writing because I want to publish this already)

It turned out to be a long piece so I published it in 4 parts. Sadly not everyone had the patience to click through all the parts so today I published my story on one page.

The story I wrote was in Hebrew, for a Hosting Site for the Fibro and CFS Challenged. It’s an honor to have parts of my blog in Hebrew published on the site. (I know it’s in Hebrew but I’m still proud and want to share)

I recently understood that another part of my life became hard for me. I find it hard to go outside and communicate with people I don’t know. I’m not talking about the physical aspect but the mental, emotional one. For example:

This week I sat in class and struggled with pain on my electric heating pillow. The teacher asked me in the middle of class if I was ok. I was sure I already explained about my Fibro. But I guess I didn’t explain enough. So when she started a discussion about “are you ok?” with everyone watching, I almost started crying. I started thinking about how hard everything is for me, and how it doesn’t make sense that every little thing adds to my pain. I accidently bumped my hand on someone’s laptop and it hurt for the entire lesson. At the break I turned my ipod on and watched outside the window. I didn’t want to hear all the happy conversations.

I don’t have the energy to be nice, and I don’t really like myself when I’m not nice. But I let myself when I’m writhing in pain and nausea. I’m cold and the air is stuffy at the same time. It’s just so much easier to be home and use the help from my friends and family when I need to deal with the outside world.

I know it’s not right to live like this, and that I need to try and be nice and get out of the house. I know.

It’s hard, challenging and tiring but, I’m trying. I use my friends’ help and company to be positive and funny. It’s easier for me to be happy and entertaining when I have people I love around me.

For example: today I went to get my car it’s yearly inspection. In Israel it’s called a “test”. I guess we’re not too original when it comes to naming things. It was the first time I went by myself to do the test, till today our garage in Jerusalem would do it for me.  Luckily my friend Omri, the one who helped me with the computer during the tests and lessons, came with me to do the test.

Omri and Crowly. Ladies, He's Single! feel free to look him up on facebook - Omri Gil

When we arrived there were no cars inline. After we went in 6 more cars came in. Omri had been there many times and his Ninja (his car) needed to go back in many times. He helped me with communicating with the testers which made it a lot easier on me. I just smiled, was cute and made the testers laugh. I don’t think they ever saw someone so excited from doing a test that she takes pictures.

Omri Helping me with the break test

The weird thing is I didn’t pass right away. Everything was alright except for a break light that didn’t work. We went to the garage next door, where they switched what I think was the wrong light bulb and played with the wires in the break light. They took 14 shekels and I left with a turn signal that doesn’t work. No worries, we stopped over and played with the wires till everything was working.

The main thing is I passed the inspection and had a fun time.

This final semester I am taking a mandatory course “intro to administration and public policy”, an elective course “creativity and innovation and marketing and problem solving”, a seminar “development and organizational change” and part B of my Final project.

It seems that this semester opened on a relatively positive note. The class in public policy seems somewhat interesting. The creativity class seems really fun. My group for the final project seems to have gotten a grip on the situation and I think this semester will pass by a bit easier. The seminar sounds a bit scary, mostly because it “requires interest in the subject”. I don’t have interest in the subject. When I read something I can get into it and get interested but to find things that will be interesting to read is harder. I don’t plan to do a masters degree or a doctorate. The point of the seminar is to submit a research proposition.  The professor encourages us to pick something that fascinates us so that if we chose to continue in the academic circle we could continue with the chosen research subject. I don’t want to continue in the university, I like website management and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). If I have any energy when I’m done with this degree and am able to work  (Amen Amen Amen) I know it will be in the SEO field.

So I hope I pass the seminar safely. I hope this student life will end successfully. Six years is enough!

134 days 3232 hours 193977 minutes left!

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Responses

  1. hey dude
    Great stuff! i got a lot of inspiration from this post
    i went through this page four times
    it is very interesting ….
    am learning for social work

    Thanks

    • My brother calls me Dudette.
      I’m glad i inspired you.
      Good luck with your work!

  2. Hi Shira..I enjoyed your post and will read later ones you’ve posted soon.

    Regarding Tomer..you are fortunate that your husband is willing to help. Mine is too but he tells me that I need to tell him because his family did not raise him to always “see” that I need help. His Mother did everything for him. She apologized that she spoiled him. It sounds like your husband does not always “see” your need. We are so used too doing our normal chores, such as washing dishes” that we don’t think to ask for help. So…we must learn to be assertive in our requests. I would like my husband to help me without me requesting. This goes along with your teacher asking if you are ok..if you have already explained your disability, you want the teacher to remember and it breaks our hearts when you need to repeat. You just want everyone to remember and understand. They will never understand, but to remember would be nice. If you are like me, when I try to explain my disability, I get emotional and cry.

    I understand how you feel about being around others. For me, I don’t think that I don’t want to be around others as much as that it is alot of work for my physical and mental being. I feel we must assert ourselves to some extend, even for a short time, otherwise we will be come a couch potato, inside all the time. I tell my friends it would be easy for me to become a recluse, as it makes me feel better. If we hybernate, you loose out on life…we really don’t want to miss out. I people those close to me that I should put red dots all over my face then everyone would remember that I’m sick.

    I to have a blog. I haven’t posted for a few weeks. I’m not liking blogspot.com. My son tells me to go to wordpress…do you like it?

  3. You never disappoint me. Are you sure you do’t want to go into journalism of some sort? I pray that you find some healing soon. For all the hard work you’ve done, and all the pain you have endured. It is a testimony for those of us you are just realizing what we are facing and that we can come out on the other side through trial and error! Great job!

  4. Shira,
    You are extremely lucky..to have a man that is so intuned to what is going on with you and your health. From your photo,I’m assuming you are a bit younger than I …so maybe it’s the way I was raised..I had a Father that ..you didn’t talk about what was wrong with you ..his thought was you just suck it up and Deal with it and carry on…never let anyone know what is going on with you …And never complain…
    My Hubby and I have been together 8 yrs. now and he has now concept of what my health problems really are …?
    I’ve tried to tell him , but he just doesn’t get it completely…The only thing he get is that I have Back trouble..! but when it comes to the Fibro…Not a clue…When The commericals come on TV…I try to point them out to him …but …?????
    we also have a friend who lives in our development his wife has Fibro , and he always says to me how he feels so sorry for her that she suffers so bad with her illness…And I just look at him and say …Hello…I have the same Problem!!!!…and there are night where I’m in so much pain I keep him up all night , and night that I can’t even walk enough to go to the bathroom, and he has to carry me…But he thinks it’s my back ???? I just gave up on trying to tell him anymore …I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t in pain on a daily basis…oh, maybe 15 yrs. ago? But i just stopped telling anyone …I wait till i’m alone …then I just curl up and Cry!
    Thanks for letting me babble…Deb

  5. Shira, Thank you for sharing.

    I have been sick with CFIDS for about 19 yrs. I do agree that it is important we learn to ask others for help sometimes. Still, I also fully understand the need for us to feel useful and to be active. I guess we need to find the right balance.

    It is not easy for anyone to find a really wonderful man, it seems. To have a wonderful partner who is sensitive to your to your needs, you are very fortunate.

    I was 23 when I became very ill. Though I did have Mononucleosis my first semester in college. That was very hard to get through. You should be commended for dealing with this illness and having the courage and strength to continue your education.

    It is both comforting and sad at the same time to think how many people all over the world deal with such illnesses. I am in Maine, USA.

    I wish you well.
    Sheila

    • Sheila,
      Thank you for sharing as well.
      I feel so humbled when i read everyone’s comments and also find the amount of people with FMS comforting and sad at the same time.
      I hope you keep reading,
      Shira

  6. Hey,

    I was in college and in lots of pain for the last three years of school I didn’t get diagnosed with FMS until two years after I graduated but I understand exactly how you feel. I had teachers stop in the middle of class and ask me if I was doing okay. But that actually made me feel a little better because I could see the concern on their faces. But I’ve also been in classes and struggling just to write notes and concentrate with a lot of difficulty and I would become so angry and sad and jealous that all the other students could do them with so much ease. I just wanted to be able to -focus- on the teacher instead of how much my hand hurts.

    The best thing to do is find a good support system, that’s what got me through. I found mine in my teachers, most of whom had physical ailments themselves and would do anything to help me. One teacher printed out two copies of his notes for me, others let me type out my test answers instead of writing them down, and still some just let me talk to them about what I was feeling. I found that other students didn’t know what to say to me, and usually avoided but older people who have seen and been through pain in their lives really do try to help.

  7. i’m glad i found u. i’ve had fibro for 23 years. I consider myself seriously disabled but i can’t stop looking for work because the government payments in the u.s. are not enough for a normal life.

  8. I have same problem but I did ask and didn’t get the support you did. I am now leaving my boyfriend of eleven years, because I finally gradually woke up and realized all he did was put me down. That I had no friends and was totally dependent on him for everything. I was doing stuff I just couldn’t and I had no friends. I wasn’t even comfortable were I was. So now I am moving and broke it off with him. He never understood about my fibro. He left me with no transport but things seem to be going my way. I am now looking into a program that might give me more help just what I need. I too get afraid of having friends and it isn’t all physical. I feel like I just don’t know how to talk to people. To communicate and when I say I have chronic pain and am disabled they tell me I look fine. I do things that shouldn’t and pay for it later. I need to forget what people think and ask for help also I try not to talk about my fibro right away but what is the first thing people want to know about you what do you do what is your Job. I wish people would ask nice things like what is your favorite color. We shouldn’t be so worried about what everyone does. I don’t want to have friend for how much money they have or what job they might have but for loving me and caring for me. I know that this is a new start to my life and I am finally going it alone and it is scarey not having some people to help. Unfortuantely my family is not there for me and I don’t have friends yet but I am determined to succeed by being happy and laughing for once. Mayber God will sent someone who understand my way if not then I will have to live with finding good friends. Here is to my new life. May the stress of my upcoming move go away and may my move be good. may I get the transport to grocery and help in kitchen that I need. Please pray that it does. I need help to pack, i would ask but I have no one. I will go slow. thank you for your story. Iknow about hands and fingers burning and hurting. Mine are now. Have to stop. God bless everyone.

  9. I struggle with asking for help. I feel bad that I do not do more around our house. My husband of 13+ years and my 11+ year old daughter take care of almost everything. Thankfully, they are very supportive and my husband has told me that he does not mind taking care of me. I wish I could take care of them sometimes though.


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