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Topic : 05/30 Ask the Authors

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Created on : Friday, May 25, 2007, 01:13:05 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

Dr. Phil, along with authors Nancy Davis, Mitch Albom and Dr. Dan Siegel, share their secrets for living without regret and finding true happiness even when faced with a challenge. When you get married, it's '’til death do us part, in sickness and in health,’ but what if all of a sudden your spouse is diagnosed with an illness? When Nicole found out she had Multiple Sclerosis, she accepted her fate and learned to adapt. Her husband, Sal, has had a difficult time coming to terms with his younger wife's diagnosis. He says he wants to be supportive and help out, but is he really contributing to Nicole's declining health? Nancy Davis, who also has Multiple Sclerosis, shares her advice for helping this couple heal their marriage. Next, do you find yourself screaming, yelling and cussing with your teenager? Dana says her daughter, Whitney, changed overnight. Her grades went down, she started missing curfew, and she's been caught drinking and smoking. Dr. Dan Siegel shares the secrets for communicating with children and putting an end to the constant fighting. And, chances are you've read one of his nine best-selling books, seen one of his two critically-acclaimed films or tuned into his weekly radio program. Author Mitch Albom discusses his latest novel, For One More Day. Hear the story of a Dr. Phil viewer whose life changed after she read the book. Plus, Dr. Phil gives a previous guest a surprise that makes her already sunny smile shine even brighter! Talk about the show here.


Find out what happened on the show.

 

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May 31, 2007, 12:28 pm CDT

Questions

Quote From: startekoa

HI, this show really spoke to my heart a lot, I have had fibromyalgia for about 15 years and my family has never understood what it means to be in constand pain. The only one that has ever even understood is my mom. I found these letters on the net and would like to share them, I hope maybe the girl that was on the show maybe she can get them somehow and show her husband, my heart just broke for her I know what she is going through.  Although I do not have MS I do know what it is like to be in constant pain and fatiuge. I have handed these letters out to my friends and family and it has helped them understand me a bit better, hope to help someone here as well.

Thank you

Rhonda

 

A Letter to Normals from a Person With Chronic Pain   Having chronic pain means many things change, and a lot of them are invisible. Unlike having cancer or being hurt in an accident, most people do not understand even a little about chronic pain and its effects, and of those that think they know, many are actually misinformed.   In the spirit of informing those who wish to understand:
These are the things that I would like you to understand about me before you judge me.   Please understand that being sick doesn't mean I'm not still a human being. I have to spend most of my day in considerable pain and exhaustion, and if you visit, sometimes I probably don't seem like much fun to be with, but I'm still me, stuck inside this body. I still worry about school, my family, my friends, and most of the time, I'd still like to hear you talk about yours, too.   Please understand the difference between "happy" and "healthy". When you've got the flu, you probably feel miserable with it, but I've been sick for years. I can't be miserable all the time. In fact, I work hard at not being miserable. So, if you're talking to me and I sound happy, it means I'm happy. that's all. It doesn't mean that I'm not in a lot of pain, or extremely tired, or that I'm getting better, or any of those things. Please don't say, "Oh, you're sounding better!" or "But you look so healthy!" I am merely coping. I am sounding happy and trying to look normal. If you want to comment on that, you're welcome.   Please understand that being able to stand up for ten minutes doesn't necessarily mean that I can stand up for twenty minutes, or an hour. Just because I managed to stand up for thirty minutes yesterday doesn't mean that I can do the same today. With a lot of diseases you're either paralyzed, or you can move. With this one, it gets more confusing everyday. It can be like a yo-yo. I never know from day to day, how I am going to feel when I wake up. In most cases, I never know from minute to minute. That is one of the hardest and most frustrating components of chronic pain.   Please repeat the above paragraph substituting, "sitting", "walking", "thinking", "concentrating", "being sociable" and so on, it applies to everything. That's what chronic pain does to you.   Please understand that chronic pain is variable. It's quite possible (for many, it's common) that one day I am able to walk to the park and back, while the next day I'll have trouble getting to the next room. Please don't attack me when I'm ill by saying, "But you did it before!" or "Oh, come on, I know you can do this!" If you want me to do something, then ask if I can. In a similar vein, I may need to cancel a previous commitment at the last minute. If this happens, please do not take it personally. If you are able, please try to always remember how very lucky you are, to be physically able to do all of the things that you can do.   Please understand that "getting out and doing things" does not make me feel better, and can often make me seriously worse. You don't know what I go through or how I suffer in my own private time. Telling me that I need to exercise, or do some things to "get my mind off of it", may frustrate me to tears, and is not correct. If I was capable of doing some things any or all of the time, don't you know that I would? I am working with my doctors and I am doing what I am supposed to do. Another statement that hurts is, "You just need to push yourself more, try harder". Obviously, chronic pain can deal with the whole body, or be localized to specific areas. Sometimes participating in a single activity for a short or a long period of time can cause more damage and physical pain than you could ever imagine. Not to mention the recovery time, which can be intense. You can't always read it on my face or in my body language. Also, chronic pain may cause secondary depression (wouldn't you get depressed and down if you were hurting constantly for months or years?), but it is not created by depression.   Please understand that if I say I have to sit down,lie down, stay in bed, or take these pills now, that probably means that I do have to do it right now, it can't be put off or forgotten just because I'm somewhere, or I'm right in the middle of doing something. Chronic pain does not forgive, nor does it wait for anyone.   If you want to suggest a cure to me, please don't. It's not because I don't appreciate the thought, and it's not because I don't want to get well. Lord knows that isn't true. In all likelihood, if you've heard of it or tried it, so have I. In some cases, I have been made sicker, not better. This can involve side effects or allergic reactions, as is the case with herbal remedies. It also includes failure, which in and of itself can make me feel even lower. If there were something that cured, or even helped people with my form of chronic pain, then we'd know about it.   There is worldwide networking (both on and off the Internet) between people with chronic pain. If something worked, we would KNOW. It's definitely not for lack of trying. If, after reading this, you still feel the need to suggest a cure, then so be it. I may take what you said and discuss it with my doctor.   If I seem touchy, it's probably because I am. It's not how I try to be. As a matter of fact, I try very hard to be normal. I hope you will try to understand. I have been, and am still, going through a lot. Chronic pain is hard for you to understand unless you have had it. It wreaks havoc on the body and the mind. It is exhausting and exasperating.   Almost all the time, I know that I am doing my best to cope with this, and live my life to the best of my ability. I ask you to bear with me, and accept me as I am. I know that you cannot literally understand my situation unless you have been in my shoes, but as much as is possible, I am asking you to try to be understanding in general.   In many ways I depend on you, people who are not sick. I need you to visit me when I am too sick to go out. Sometimes I need you help me with the shopping, the cooking or the cleaning. I may need you to take me to the doctor, or to the store. You are my link to the "normalcy" of life. You can help me to keep in touch with the parts of life that I miss and fully intend to undertake again, just as soon as I am able.   I know that I asked a lot from you, and I do thank you for listening. It really does mean a lot.   \               ______________________________________________________________________________________       TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY:   I look normal. Don't let my outward appearance fool you; I am in pain. I am not the same person I was a year ago, or two years ago, or 4, depending on when it was you last saw me. I look healthy; I am not.   My condition changes from day to day, sometimes even hour to hour. Today I might be able to walk with you a few miles; tomorrow I may not even be able to get up off the couch. A week ago I felt almost human; next week I may feel like something less than what the cat drags in. I may want to do all the same things I used to: to work out, take long walks, socialize, keep some semblance of household order, but I may not be capable of it.   If I say, "maybe later", please understand and accept this for what it is, which is not an excuse. It is a reason. I don't enjoy my new limitations; I hate it. I might even be physically able to do today what you wish for me to do, but if I know without a shadow of a doubt that pleasing you will mean for me later an incredible amount of pain, I must say no. I'm not lazy. I just hurt.   I absolutely do not want pity. This is no reason to feel sorry for me--life is not perfect, and life happens to us all. This is the hand I have been dealt, and I intend to play it out. I don't blame the world for what I suffer, I don't rally against God. This is no one's fault. Not even my own.   I do not crave attention. I didn't decide one day that I was tired of living like a normal person, and that the means to a life of never again having to work, having my whims catered to, having friends and family treat me specially involved creating symptoms no one could see under a microscope. I loved my life the way it was; I was never depressed and I had plans. This isn't a cry for your attention. It just IS.   I don't feel sorry for myself. Why should I? Things don't always work out the way you'd like them to--this is one of those times. I can live with who I am now. I may not enjoy each day as much as I used to, but I still live for each day, and embrace whatever I can get out of life. Pain is my companion... But pain is not me.   The truly hard part--if you cannot accept me for who I am now, I am sorry for you. I won't waste precious energy chasing after you to cling to a friendship that probably wasn't as strong as I had once believed it to be. I cannot force myself to readopt who I was before and reassume the same roles. In this--preserving myself and my state of mind--I have to be selfish. If you cannot accept that I might not be able to contact you every day as I did before, or engage in the activites we once did, whether it was training together and working out together, or just bowling, then do me a favor and let's quietly part ways with no ill feelings. My life is going in new directions, and for me that might not be a bad thing. If the changes I have gone through disturb you, hold your criticism. I don't need it. I don't want it.   Life deals us all a bad hand occasionally. This is my turn. It happens, I accept it. I hope that you can, too.               ___________________________________________________________________________________________           Hi....My Name is Fibromyalgia, and I'm an Invisible Chronic Illness.
I am now velcroed to you for life.
Others around you can't see me or hear me, but YOUR body feels me.
I can attack you anywhere and anyhow I please. I can cause severe pain or, if I'm in a good mood, I can just cause you to ache all over.
Remember when you and Energy ran around together and had fun?
I took Energy from you, and gave you Exhaustion. Try to have fun now!
I also took Good Sleep from you and, in its place, gave you Brain Fog.
I can make you tremble internally or make you feel cold or hot when everyone else feels normal.
Oh, yeah, I can make you feel anxious or depressed, too.
If you have something planned, or are looking forward to a great day, I can take that away, too. You didn't ask for me.
I chose you for various reasons: That virus you had that you never recovered from, or that car accident, or maybe it was the years of abuse and trauma. Well, anyway, I'm here to stay! I hear you're going to see a doctor who can get rid of me. I'm rolling on the floor, laughing. Just try.   You will have to go to many, many doctors until you find one who can help you effectively. You will be put on pain pills, sleeping pills, energy pills, told you are suffering from anxiety or depression, given a TENs unit, get massaged, told if you just sleep and exercise properly I will go away, told to think positively, poked, prodded, and MOST OF ALL, not taken as seriously as you feel when you cry to the doctor how debilitating life is every day.
Your family, friends and coworkers will all listen to you until they just get tired of hearing about how I make you feel, and that I'm a debilitating disease. Some of they will say things like "Oh, you are just having a bad day" or"Well, remember, you can't do the things you use to do 20 YEARS ago", not hearing that you said 20 DAYS ago. Some will just start talking behind your back, while you slowly feel that you are losing your dignity trying to make them understand, especially when you are in the middle of a conversation with a"Normal" person, and can't remember what you were going to say next!
In closing, (I was hoping that I kept this part a secret), but I guess you already found out...the ONLY place you will get any support and understanding in dealing with me is with Other People With Fibromyalgia.       _________________________________________________________________
My doctor suspects I also have fibromyalgia.  I have to thank you for our message because it spoke so much of how I feel and how hard it is to get people to understand.  This is added to bursitis in the hips, arthritis in the lower back and the neck, a bulging disc in my back, two bad discs in my neck (impinging on the nerve), sleep apnea, anxiety and depression.  So, you see, your message found an audience.  Thank you. 
 
May 31, 2007, 1:46 pm CDT

Thank you

Quote From: flrat69

It is good to hear you are so able to cope with your condition and maintain a very positive attitude.  I only ask that you not let that detract from your understanding of others who do not or cannot manage it as well.  I am no authority on MS and claim no distinction there.  I am sure you could teach me a great deal about it that I do not know.

 

What I do know is that most conditions will vary from one person to another.  For example, my sister has Lupus.  So did my mother.  It is far more debilitating for my sister than it was for my mother.

 

You sound like a person of great inner strength.  Unfortunately, that is a gift not given to everyone.  I hope you will use your strength to encourage those who are not as able to cope. 

 

Best wishes.

Thank you SO much for your response to what I would call an unrealistic message/comment.  It is NOT that easy for ALL people who have a dibilitating disease.  I was dx'd with MS a year ago (but my Neuro thinks I've had it for approx 7 years) - I do my best to keep a "positive" attitude.  However, when I cannot get out of bed, I cannot take care of my children, cannot follow thru with plans I have made because I am SO tired & weak...  I realize that I DO have MS, it's NOT going away, and NOT every day is going to be easy.  As a matter of fact, most of us have far more BAD days than good.  Putting on the "Happy MS Face"  does not give me energy or make me feel better physically OR emotionally.  Trust me - Given a choice, I would certainly choose to be the happy energetic woman I was several years ago!!  

 

So for me to read how "remaining positive" and "just accepting the disease" is going to get us thru each day - really pissed me off!  I agree with you in regard to how wonderful it is for those who can cope with their disease so very well and Kudos to them, really!!  Maybe I'm simply jealous because my Happy MS Face never takes away the pain, fatigue, tingling & numbness, most importantly the constant wondering when the day will come where I will need a wheelchair in order to get around?!  Yes, that may sound negative to others, but to me it is a reality and something that someday I WILL have to deal with.  So, for today - I will keep my Happy MS Face on, just so others won't have to deal with how miserable I feel inside and/or out, but that certainly doesn't make it "easier".

 

Anyway, you're probably wondering why I replied to YOUR message rather than to hers...  The truth is that I was too mad at the time to reply directly to hers and didn't want to insult what she may consider to be her intelligence?!  lol  Thanks for listening!!  ;)

 
May 31, 2007, 2:25 pm CDT

wed show

Quote From: mmalcorn

i understand nicole's feelings. i have been on disability for four years for back years. i have had tow failed bacj surgery's and gallballer problems. i am in content pain and and in live in bed and am on pain  pills. m y husband doesnt get it.  he says it affects the family and it is ruins the family. i cant  stop the pain,i try to do things arouds the familu and it causesn more more pain. i dont want to live like to live like this anymore .muy pain medicane  is gettinning shorter amd shorter. due to the fact  6t he fact that the dr is out of the town,. i so much want to het of of tje medocato, brg
sorry i was on my pain medicine and was feeling very very low, i dont know what possesed me to get on line. i guess it was the fact that i am always left alone while every one in the house is always gone and noone is here to help me. my husband thinks that merry maids once a month is enough help. i truly apploligize for the mumbo jumbo and had no business being on the board. my mediction was starting to kick . thanks
 
May 31, 2007, 4:15 pm CDT

05/30 Ask the Authors

This show was hard for me to watch, I was diagnosed with cancer the first week of this year, I had three weeks to comprehend what was happening to me, before surgery. My husband and I ran a car lot together. He was and is in denial. So i went to all the Dr's appts. by my self or with a friend. on the day of my operation (complete hysterectomy) he was not there for me emotionally. When I came home he completely rejected me, 2 weeks later he told me that he could not be married to someone with a terminal disease. that he needed someone to support him financially and take care of his needs.Then he moved out, through this time life was very hard, my liver became infected and started to spread.( I call this time my dark days.) A few days before I was to go back to work, I received a letter that I was terminated, great what next, he couldn't be married to me or work at the same company. I don't feel sympathy for him or the husband on the show. I am going to get through this hopefully only one more surgery in the near future. I am a survivor and hope that this never happens to anyone else.
 
May 31, 2007, 4:47 pm CDT

THANK YOU!!

Quote From: 2tfruitie

Thank you SO much for your response to what I would call an unrealistic message/comment.  It is NOT that easy for ALL people who have a dibilitating disease.  I was dx'd with MS a year ago (but my Neuro thinks I've had it for approx 7 years) - I do my best to keep a "positive" attitude.  However, when I cannot get out of bed, I cannot take care of my children, cannot follow thru with plans I have made because I am SO tired & weak...  I realize that I DO have MS, it's NOT going away, and NOT every day is going to be easy.  As a matter of fact, most of us have far more BAD days than good.  Putting on the "Happy MS Face"  does not give me energy or make me feel better physically OR emotionally.  Trust me - Given a choice, I would certainly choose to be the happy energetic woman I was several years ago!!  

 

So for me to read how "remaining positive" and "just accepting the disease" is going to get us thru each day - really pissed me off!  I agree with you in regard to how wonderful it is for those who can cope with their disease so very well and Kudos to them, really!!  Maybe I'm simply jealous because my Happy MS Face never takes away the pain, fatigue, tingling & numbness, most importantly the constant wondering when the day will come where I will need a wheelchair in order to get around?!  Yes, that may sound negative to others, but to me it is a reality and something that someday I WILL have to deal with.  So, for today - I will keep my Happy MS Face on, just so others won't have to deal with how miserable I feel inside and/or out, but that certainly doesn't make it "easier".

 

Anyway, you're probably wondering why I replied to YOUR message rather than to hers...  The truth is that I was too mad at the time to reply directly to hers and didn't want to insult what she may consider to be her intelligence?!  lol  Thanks for listening!!  ;)

I totally agree with you! Just wanted to quote you and give you some support. We were on the msworld message board talking about this very thing!!


 I loved Dr phils show BUT I would love for SOMEONE to do a show about what its REALLY like to live with MS! I know some people do great BUT there are many of us out there suffering. We get treated like crap from MANY dr's and dont get good treatment because of insurance companies. I found a wonderful dr because I would not give up, but I hear it everyday. Also I would like to see someone do a show about how we struggle. I am sick of hearing someone say "well so and so on tv was doing so great, why arent you?" OR "so and so I saw on tv .....fill in blank" I dont want them to do a horror show and scare people, but show the reality some of us live with SO that other people can understand better what we live with. Its hard when people say "well you look normal" or " just get up and walk". Or my fav "I have MS. MS doesnt have me" Well that is great but many of us living with MS KNOWS MS HAS US! Our attitude DOES make all the difference in the world. Everyone should have a possitve attitude (about life in general) BUT we are also realistic. If MS didnt have me I would just get up and walk or run or play with my kids, but there are days I cant do that. Anyway, just wanted to share my 2 cents (worth only 1).

Dr phil I would love for you to do  a whole show on MS and dont just show people with MS who can run marathons. Show REAL people living with a REAL disease! I am all for encouraging others, but lets not forget the rest of us!

Anyone who has ms PLEASE check out this board. You will find awesome support. Its for people living with MS and family who support them!!
www.msworld.org (there is a chat and message board and also great information!!)
 
May 31, 2007, 4:48 pm CDT

Show about MS

Like the lady on the show, I have MS as well. The major difference between her and myself, though, is that I was diagnosed when I was 13 (I'm now 25). I am shocked that her husband would say the things that he does to her! Luckily, my husband has been nothing but supportive of me ever since we've been together. He has never had someone else to talk to that's in the same boat as we are, but he's a big enough man to deal with it. Also, if I'm too tired to do something he doesn't hold it against me. He's thoughtful and understanding to my situation. He's actually the one to hold me back when he feels like I'm pushing myself to do too much!

I think Sal should be more supportive and considerate of his wife and her feelings. She has to deal with enough as it is!!!  My heart goes out to her.

 

 
May 31, 2007, 5:05 pm CDT

I understand how she feels.

Quote From: flrat69

As a husband, I am really stunned that you feel you can't lean on your husband. Maybe it's just taking him some time to realize that he has to step up.  Have you friends and family?  They are a great resource and have strength you may not appreciate.  I hope you can get in a support group.  They are really very helpful. 

 

One thing you must appreciate is that the people on this board will be here for you when you need to talk.  We may disagree and even fight a bit among ourselves , but we will do all we can to help. 

 

Please don't be afraid to reach out.  People really do care.

I completely understand how Lawyergal feels.  My diagnosis in the early 80's was MS, but there were unsolved questions.  In the 90's, with medical technology, it was really progressive HNPP - a form of MS.  As I progressed my husband only looked for a way out.  And we had a great marriage!  I understand her fear!!  I have my family now, and will go to a home when the time comes as per my choice.  I will not be a burden on anyone.  All my legal papers are completed. 

Lawyergal, take care of your joints.  I worked in retail almost 20 years after my original diagnosis.  Wrong thing to do, but, I wasn't going to let this disease take over my life.  I am almost 50 and now I have to rest.  There are so many forms of MS.  Don't let it take charge.  Fight it!  Do the things you have always wanted to do.  I worked and played hard for over 20 years when I was diagnosed.  I did most of the things I wanted to do and see.  Take care of yourself and live life to the fullest! 

 
May 31, 2007, 5:07 pm CDT

New to this

A friend told me about this show.  I am very depressed, just had surgery last week, and have been staying with my parents so I could recover.  It is really hard as my mother who was very verbally and physically abusive now has Alzheimer's disease.  I am a very compassionate person to everyone except for her.  I am finding it really difficult to be around her and I hate feeling that way.  I am a christian and truly believe in forgiveness but it seems harder in this situation.  I wa smarried to a pastor for over 12 years that changed his plans to include an older woman that was about to inherit 2 million dollars.  That was 5 years ago and he never leaves me alone. Calling every couple of weeks or so just to run me down.  I am on overload and need help.
 
May 31, 2007, 5:13 pm CDT

Your great!

Quote From: eunice9

I've lived with MS for 14ears.  As a single mom things were difficult but I did the very best I could.  I'm now in a power chair which I love because I can go out and enjoy life.  The very best part is my beautiful Golden Retriever service dog!  She is with me 24/7 and has helped me meet many wonderful people.  My life is good (one day at a time) and I am happy.  My answer to people who want to feel sorry that I have MS is "Why not me".
 I have only been diagnosed for 2 yrs but I am already in a power chair. I have progressive MS, so it attacked pretty fast, BUT power chairs are awesome. I would encourage ANYONE who is having trouble to get one. It makes you mobile again. DONT be ashamed that you have to use a cane or walker! If someone says something rude to you its THEIR ignorance NOT YOURS. I had one person tell me I couldnt use my walker in a resteraunt because I wasnt "old enough" to be using one. Well glad to know! I am only 34 yrs old, and I would be happy to put that walker up, but its not possible. I have a VERY loving and supportive hubby. (dr phil it would be great to show some of them on the show too!). I wouldnt of even made it this far without him!

To those with family who have MS and you are their support. I just want you to know you have NO IDEA how greatful we are for you. Its your love and support that keep us going. So on their behalf I just want to say THANK YOU!!

Here is a quote I love written by someone on the MSworld board
"THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE IN LIFE WHO HAVE MUCH WORSE AFFLICTIONS  THAN MS, BUT TO THOSE OF US WHO HAVE MS, THERE IS NOTHING WORSE."
 
May 31, 2007, 5:30 pm CDT

Where'd ya find book?!

Quote From: anquinity

i look forward to reading this book i know all about stress and ms it can knock you down in a heartbeat i know the one thing that has helped me come out of a wheelchair and walker and that is horseback riding i wish more people with ms will try it  my dream someday is to have a small farm where i can offer free riding to people with ms and other dissabilities  thank you for this show . sallie

I'm dying to read this book!!! Where can I purchase one from?! I like many others have M\S at the ripe old age of 34 at time of diagnosis with 2 beautiful kids and not to mention still at age 36 still happily married.

 
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