Help needed. Sister with Fibro.
lkotasmom posted:
Hi all. I don't know where to turn. My sister has suffered a long-time with fibro, IB, breathing issues (is on oxygen), arthritis of the spine, and major depression.

I can't imagine living with the chronic pain that she has, but i don't know how to help her any longer. I try to be there to let her talk, i'm understanding when she isn't able to do something that we've/she's planned.

some background - we have a family history of depression. Her fibro journey began when she started having pain after our dad passed away - approx 20 yrs ago. my understanding, is that sometimes there is a stress trigger -and she was very close with our dad.

i'm making a mess of explaining this - please excuse my jumping around.

i drive my sister anytime i can to help her out, she comes to my house 1x a week for dinner (when she's feeling up to it). my issue -is that she has NEVER attempted to do anything the doctors and therapists recommend. she goes to visit her psychiatrist every once in a while -but refuses (and has refused for years) to get counseling of any type. she only goes for to the visit to keep her disability payments. she doesnt listen to her primary/specialist's. doesnt do the exercises that her PT therapist recommends. NEVER tried to do anything to help herself. even 20 yrs ago she did nothing to help. it was almost as if she found the diagnosis of fibro -- and then gave up totally.

I'm so worried about her. She has panic attacks. takes xanax (but waits until her panic attack is at its peak before taking it) - she takes pain pills, sleeping pills, water pills (legs are very swollen). she sees her primary, a physical therapist, pulmonary specialist, kidney specialist.

i am so afraid that she is going to overdose - accidentally or otherwise -and i don't know where to turn. she will not take any of my advice. I've tried to convince her to see a counselor of some type - just to be able to air her fears, etc ..... she refuses. she won't even go to a fibro support group.

i'm so worried about her -but i don't know what to do.
any advice or insight you can provide would be appreciated.
thank you in advance.
xperky responded:
It is so kind of you to look for help for your sister! Sometimes the best help is exactly what you are already doing. You know, those dinners at your home, helping with her errands, and just offering an ear are probably helping her very much.

Sometimes acceptance is all a Fibro patient asks for.
With Compassion,
booch007 responded:
What a great Sister you are!

I have to say I read in this a complete shut down on her part. She has folded in and you can't really force anyone to change. Dr Phil said in his time on TV that we do behavours and maintain ourselves because it "gives" us something. I couldn't see it when he said this (looking at myself). But some things do offer care and attention and so it will continue.
(fear that if she is better no one will pay attention to her)

This is such an overwhelming issues to deal with. I have grown such strong stamina to get a day put together. I do get it done. But with the opening of my it stinks...

All you can do is be there for her, as long as you can keep doing that.

This is bigger then FM. She is in a very OUT OF TUNE state it sounds. Sitting still so much has the legs swollen (thats without knowing the medical issues she carries). Sitting and doing nothing only makes this pain worse.....

It must be so hard for you to be the one looking in*, the bond of sisters is so strong. Breaking your heart....I can hear it.

The loss of Dad can absolutely have helped her to shut down...but getting her to turn the light on......does she have an animal? Caring for an unconditional love return baby is just good medicine. I am a cat girl, easier then dogs..but a dog is MAJOR LOVE. But she would have more tending to and work to maintain this. Which is movement and distraction from self.

Maybe giving her something to nurture will put a crack in this and start the door to open?

I have seen many patients in my careeer and there are those who are champions and do the right things and don't complain and move forward and then there is the shut downs who do poorly and feed into the dis-ease of the body.......and all the ones in between. I wish you luck, no magic move here from me to help, other then the animal.

We have Dr. Slosberg here. She migtht have a plan that might work. Post another line to her. Her behavioral field might be just what you need. We all walk this road of pain and do it so differently. It is a personal thing, but if she is not going to do the work, it is so hard.

I saw a therapist a long time ago...POOR FIT. Useless time. I did the figuring out myself. Just to say maybe the people she has been asked to see are not the right ones...

I send you a hug and applaud the love you have to reach out here to help her. Ask her to come and join us, maybe we can get a spark going when she reads that we all were in that boat she is floating in.

Best of luck, Nancy B
lkotasmom replied to xperky's response:
Thank you for your kind words, Margaret.

lkotasmom replied to booch007's response:
Thank you, Nancy.

Unfortunately, I can't tell you the number of times i have tried to get her to go to a support group (i offered to go with her), encouraged her to join on online page, etc. ..
She refuses.

My sister has 2 dogs, 2 cats, and numerous birds (love birds, parrots, etc). I'm sure that some days, they are the only thing that gets her out of bed.

I guess that i will have to find peace with the fact that i do and offer, as much as i can to help her. I will never abandon her. But she has to be the one to make the choice to try and help herself.

Thank you for letting me share.

booch007 replied to lkotasmom's response:
Come back to us anytime...we are open 24/7....

An illness like this effects the whole family, as would anything that alters the person. It is your sisters battle to make, but it seems you are so involved in here with this too....

I wish you so much hope and luck for the future that she can turn this around a bit, that the doctor can make it better for her. But so much of our issues are not fixed in a pill, it is the movement, warming the muscles, hydration, attitude and fight in us that moves us forwrad.

All my best, Nancy B
fitzgift responded:
I aGree with all that has been said I have had this dis-ease for over 30 years . You have to not realize there are a lot ofeople that are in the same boat. When I first was diagnosed I went to a support group. I learned that fibro causes a lot of medical problems ,from the Burny shooting pains to internal organs like IBS it's something we just have to live with. I also learned how important stretching is and walking the hard exercise hurts so just stretching all the body parts is important. meds for fibro help like Cymbalta. Lyrica and any anti inflammatory med like Advil . you are very caring I can tell by your letter just be there for her and let her talk. She needs to want to help herself though. You sound like a wonderful sister, I have NLT a son and he does the best he can but we don't live in the same area good luck