Begging for understanding

Hi my name is Vicki. I was diagnosed with RA and Fibro at the age of 42 right after the death of my son. I am 53 now.
My RA started in my ankles and knees. I was working as a restaurant manager and on my feet for hours on end. When I finally went to the doctor I could hardly walk because the pain was so intense. I was given my diagnosis and told I would only get worse, not better. From that point I was given a walker and started on MTX and Humira as well as narcotic pain meds. I was given a referral to a rheumatologist who confirmed my doctors diagnosis as correct. Within a year or two I was in a wheel chair and eventually a motorized chair. Just recently I have begun walking again and now since knee replacement surgery I can walk again with no help. Although my ankles and hips do flare up but I have pain meds that take the edge off enough in those times that I manage. Pills and injections that are just a part of my life now.

My question is how do you get other family members and friends to understand you?? My husband tries hard as do my daughters. My grandchildren just know Grandma is sick and can't hold them much any longer. However other family members including my parents just don't get it. They act like I enjoy being in pain or just simply love being on these meds. Not long ago my Dad told me to just go take another pill I need to get high again anyway. I have been told by my brother that I should go get a job instead of letting them all support me. Disability is not a charity, we worked for every penny we get. They hate that I park in handicapped parking. And so on and so.

I am asking if any of you also have had problems getting others to understand that these are real diseases and that they are very painful. Any help before the Holidays and family time would be greatly appreciated.

Vicki in Iowa

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