How to understand partners motivation when shes ill?

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paulfoel

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I guess I should be able to understand it better.....

Some days my wife looks so ill, sometimes shes in an awful mood because she so tired.
Today she had some time off today (got a busy week ahead) but instead of resting she decided to do the garden!!

I just don't get it. Why would you do that knowing that it may well make you ill for the rest of the week? Her answer is always - well I'm not going to give up and lie in bed all the time, and I really wanted to do the garden. Its like the garden in her eyes is more important than rest because it has to be done.

Yeh I went about it all wrong - it just makes no sense to me. Hoping someone can help me understand.
 

fimi

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Hi Paulfoel, firstly don't be too hard on yourself for not understanding fibro, it's a condition that baffles me at times and I have it!! I suffer all the complexities of the illness - for years everyday has been like a school day about my own body.
Regards the situation with your wife, in a way you're both right. You have to remember that resting doesn't always have to mean sitting down or lying in bed. If your wife feels as if she wants to do the garden, or stroll around the shops or whatever else she likes to do, then this can be just as therapeutic. I know from my own experience that resting too much makes me feel worse; I feel as if my body is seizing up, and a nice stroll around the garden really helps. Even being out in the sunshine listening to the birds with my family and animals around me helps considerably. I was out there yesterday planting Dahlia tubers!
I would just accept her decisions. I know it's hard to understand as you just want her to conserve energy so that you can have some life together. But if she finds things she enjoys doing and listens to her body - it's all about pacing yourslf with fibro - you may also find her mood changes as she is doing the things she finds herself capable of doing. Just do what your doing already and support her, she is truly blessed to have someone like you who wants to understand.
 

paulfoel

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Thanks fimi.
Yes wife gets that - if she rests too much then she feels worse.

I don't know if she does pace herself though, thats the problem. She gets an idea and won't stop even if it makes her ill. I see this and its so frustrating that she does this. Trouble is if she doesn't do it she'll be unhappy as well!
 

JayCS

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I getcha, and my wife'd side with you, altho I do pretty well know how to pace and usually act accordingly.
But the limits and sweet spots aren't static, they're invisibly moving targets.
So we sometimes need to go over them a little bit - not the whole time, but a few times a week, and occasionally really overdo it.
And if we do it properly this little bit of normality is a gem that can carry us thru a small flare, a little bit of heaven - my have we become modest....
Problem is if the rest of her week is important to her or she'll end up in a major flare and she regrets and you could see it coming.
As my wife can sometimes see my pain better than or before I can, I can always use her nagging at me and am thankful for it.
In this combination it's hardly ever the case that I regret doing too much. Let's see how the week goes for her and you! 👐
 

fimi

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Speaking from my own experience, I would let your wife find her own path with fibro. By this, I mean her finding out how the illness affects her and how she can manage the sympoms. It's an illness that can affect people in different ways so she needs to find her own way through. I know it can be frustrating seiing someone you care about become ill and try and carry on even though it makes them so tired, but as long as she knows you're there for her, in my opinion you're doing the right thing. Also, take care of yourself - people often forget about the families who care for people with fibro - take time out for yourself. The last thing you both need is you becoming ill with worry. My husband and I try and laugh everday - whether it be at something silly on the TV or over a fond memory we have spent together. I know it's not easy, life has a way of throwing a curve ball, but even a smile together each day makes that day worthwhile. I wish your wife and yourself all the very best.
 

Gianna

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People with this condition wants to live , do normal things that makes us happy, we get fed up with all the pain , tiredness the Tv, bed. Doing something that we like help us feel normal , even knowing we are going to suffer for it. We live in a minute at a time, waiting for the next flair, pain , depression, anxiety attacks. If I have little energy I will used it to do something I love , anyways this is not going away. It always present.
 

sweetkamie20

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Hi, Paulfoel, I'm still learning about fibro and how to manage it so I am really naive to the longterm perspective 😬 From my newbie perspective, there are some things I find worth trading for. I love to garden! We just bought 20 plants and planted them. I did expect to pay for it for the next few days but it brought me joy while I did it. Joy is something we sort of have to fight for sometimes because of fibro. Rates of depression are super high because of it.

Perhaps another way to think of it: say you go on a very restricted diet. You know you will have to do it the rest of your life. You do all of the hard work and one day say, screw the diet-I am going to eat a piece of pie. Fibro is similar. Every day we diet from things we wish we could do. Sometimes we say screw the diet lol sometimes I do things like that just so I don't feel like a victim...
 

Auriel

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It’s just a case of we need rest (it is a really painful and draining condition) but with it we do feel like life is passing us by and we don’t wanna keep missing out on things we like doing either
🍀⭐🍀
 

sunkacola

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And always remember that people are different in what they experience and what triggers pain. I agree with others that you have to let your wife find her own path and ways of managing fibro. Sometimes doing the garden, for instance, if more important that lying down or resting because it will lift her spirits. If you like doing things outside, just resting all the time becomes depressive, and depression is a cause of stress, and stress is one of the largest causes of stress. So it might actually be better for her physically as well as mentally to do work in the garden. I know it works that way for me, as long as I don't overdo it too much. We each learn how to listen to our bodies and what happens if we don't.....we each find our own ways of managing fibro. No one way is "wrong" if it works for that person. (except I suppose getting addicted to drugs or taking medication that is harmful) Your telling her to stop is out of concern and that is good. But if you support her in finding things out for herself that is even better. She is lucky to have a husband who understands and cares the way you do.
 
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