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7 hr. flight... to go or not to go
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An_249675 posted:
My mother lives in England and she is going to be 85 in October. In retrospect, I see the way she behaved in her life as I was growing up and I now believe has fibromyalgia. Pain of course, fatigue, depression, lying in bed a lot, very irritable and angry a lot. Mind you my father left her with 5 young children to deal with on her own so that would make it more difficult. She was diagnosed with arthritis and IBS and put on antidepressant and pain meds.
Now I am wondering if I should go. My concerns are these: I suffer so badly from anxiety (now) that I am afraid to fly (never used to be). I don't think I can sit there for 7 hrs. because of my pain and because I can't take it anything for it. Because I need spending money I'm not working and have no extra money for that) and have to buy some new clothes (my sister offered to pay for my fare) I am concerned because of my food restrictions and need for rest and how everyone will react to this. Even now, when I refuse dessert, they say, "Oh come on, one piece won't hurt". But that's literally the case.I will hurt. My mother had very bad tolerance when my niece visited. She has RA and she was annoyed by the fact that the niece wouldn't eat much of what she cooked. I told my mother I am in constant pain and doesn't really seem to believe it.I have had the same reaction from other family members.The last time I went my mother was critical of me most of the time. My makeup, my clothes, my skin, my hair, nothing was left out. This is likely the last time I will see her. I just don't know if I am up to it and can deal with everyone, my brothers and sisters will be there. It's a difficult decision.Helpful advice anyone?
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Anon_2912 responded:
IMHO ..
I would not go just for the fact that last time she was critical of you.

If you know she is going to treat badly, WHY would you go? I know she is your mother, but like I said, IMHO ...I wouldn't...just for the fact that she treats and makes you feel like crap....
 
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bette_kaffitz responded:
An,

You list all the reasons why you shouldn't go. They lead me to believe that you really do not want to go. Your reasons are real, your concerns are valid.

On the other hand, this is your mother. It may be your last time to be together. It is a chance to heal old wounds. If you do not go, you will be wracked with guilt for the rest of your life. (And nobody can inspire guilt like a mother!)

If you decide to go, there are some things you can do to make the whole experience more bearable. First of all, start "banking" up extra rest time. If you cannot sleep at night, but find yourself conking out every afternoon, do your sleeping then. Do whatever it takes to get your rest. Second of all, visit your doctor--the one who has seen you work through your dietary maze. Bring a list of what you can and cannot eat. Have the receptionist print a copy on the doc's letterhead, and ask the doc to sign it. Send a copy to the airline to insure you will arrive (both ways) in good shape. Send another copy ahead to England and explain that you will be more than willing to supply your own "legal" food. People tend not to argue when it's "doctor's orders."

Visit a used clothing store. You will be amazed at the things available in resale shops today. Our local thrift store has 1/2 price Tuesdays for some unbelievable bargains. While we're at it, your family wants to see you--not some fancy clothes.

Learn or relearn some relaxation techniques to use before any potentially stressful situations. Explore any meds you might be able to use. If your flight is overnight, a little Ambien could do wonders. One minute you'll be awake and anxious. The next minute (really 7 hours later) you'll be at your destination.

And if you decide not to make this trip, a note from that same doctor might tame any anger from family members.

Decide what is right for you. Then make an informed, considered decision. And accept that only you know what is best for you.

Bette
 
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An_249441 responded:
Hi,

I have a background similar to yours. My mother was unpleasant while I was growing up, and she's much worse now. My sibs and their families are also with their side comments, like her personal Greek chorus. As our parents age and approach their end of life there might not be an option of making things better, they can still be mean people.

As far as making your decision. Protecting yourself is a very good and valid reason for not going. Can you be comfortable with that?

On the other hand, if you decide to go, can you prepare yourself to disregard the unimportant things that others might say or do? Just because they say something doesn't mean that you need to respond. Lots of times I pretend that I didn't hear them and act like I'm thinking of something else at the time, kind of looking off at the wall.

I think the real thing here is to make a decision, whichever one. Then get yourself ready mentally, physically, and emotionally to deal with whatever comes from it. You'll probably do fine once you make up your mind and get the decision made.

Good luck!
 
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dollbug responded:
Hello....MiMi in NC. I am sad that you are in such a tough situation. This is like being between a *rock and a hard spot*....and I am not sure that whatever you do will be a good resolution for you. You are the one though who will have to made the decision regardless. I will say this that I have been in similar situations and I know exactly what you are dealing with. I also made up my mind to do whatever I thought was best and then stuck with it. I do think you should do what will be *best* for you and your health.

Stress on us FMers is a very hard *issue* to deal with.
We can *increase our pain* by having to deal with a lot of stress. (I have also been there done that as well). I also know that there are some kinds of stress that we are forced to deal with, whether we want to or not.

Good luck with whatever decision you do make.

Thoughts and prayers are with you.



MiMi
IN GOD WE TRUST....MAY GOD BLESS AND GUIDE AMERICA....

 
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An_249675 replied to dollbug's response:
Thanks to everyone who replied. I think my decision on whether or not to go should be based upon how I feel physically and mentally rather than what I think others will say or do. My anticipatory anxiety is really making it much more difficult for me to clearly think about this. A few years ago, I wouldn't have given it a second thought. The anxiety is newly acquired since I have had fibro and the idea of sitting on a plane for 7 hours and not being able to get off, frightens me. I had an anxiety attack recently while at the cinema (2 hr movie) and that was a place I could escape from.
However, someone said, I may regret not seeing my mother for what is likely the last time and that is an incentive and also the fact that it will be somewhat of a reunion with a couple of my siblings that I haven't seen in some time. My sister who is much more resilient than I, said that our mother would likely be difficult, (this is not new) but that we should all try collectively to make it a pleasurable time and not an event in the foreseeable future where we feel that we have to go.
 
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missist replied to An_249675's response:
I understand this so much. I have not been back to my home town much. Very difficult for me anxiety wise but also had a lot of things with my mom. She passed away a few years ago unexpectedly, and since then I have felt bad that I didn't see her one more time. I had not been there in about a year I think before she died. That said.. the last time I was there--it wasn't much fun.

Its really going to be up to you to decide what is worse the going or the not going. You probably won't regret going, you will suffer some as you well know--but looking back on it in a few years--you won't think, wish I'd gone..

That doesn't me you should go--but it is something think about.
Perhaps you and your siblings are all mature enough that you can band together and not dwell on negative things?

Funny, last time I was in my hometown--it is a while since--and my first time back after mom's funeral--I had a nice time. It was nothing like my usual visits at all. Someday you will maybe get to see siblings without all that anxiety too.

God Bless and help you make a wise choice.
Mary


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