Monday, January 2, 2012

Guilt and Fibro Expenses

There are two days of the month that I hate more than any other.  The horribleness of these two days even transcends Auntie Flo's monthly visit.  Why?  Those two days are Pay Days... days where some people get to be excited that they have money again and go out for a steak dinner.  For me, though, Pay Day means it is Bill-Paying Day and I have to take our debt, our low checking account, and our virtually non-existant savings... throw it into a blender, and try to make everything fit into one gut-kicking smoothie.  And then try to make it fit into our budget.

I'm already done paying the bills for this cycle, and am teetering on the edge of a flare from the residual stress.  My keyboard feels as if it's made of tiny needles rather than smooth plastic, my fingers are throbbing and swollen, and I won't even get into the fact that my son is tugging on me and begging me to pick him up and my body just will not do it.  I want to cry... and although our finances look dreary and this isn't the financial position we planned to be in... the money isn't the part that sends me reeling into a flare twice a month and causes one of my friends to always check on me while I'm paying bills.

It's the guilt that arises when I see an endless list of huge transactions to CVS pharmacy, co-pays to doctors, and various other places where I get my herbal supplements, massages, bath salts, heating pads... and the occasional wheelchair rental here and there.  (Not to mention the other expenses... a new baby stroller I can actually lift into the car that can double as a walking assistant to me is the latest one)

I feel like it is pretty much all my fault we are in this poor financial situation, no matter what others tell me.  I know i never asked to get sick, but if I wasn't, things would be very different.  Our initial chunk of debt was accrued under the assumption my husband and I would have a dual income to pay it back... But since I've been unable to go back to work that second source of income has dried up to a grand total of.... $0.19/month. (I hold the title of Resident Manager of our apartment complex, although my husband does all the work.  We receive a small amount off our rent in exchange for keeping an eye on the property.)  The rest of the debt came after I developed Fibro and could no longer work.

I think it would be easier to accept this financial crapolla (and drastically reduce the guilt) if I was physically capable of being June Cleaver.  Keeping house, cooking, taking care of kids, etc., is a full time job and a half.  If I could handle all these responsibilities the way that I used to when I was going to school I would feel like less of a burden on my husband.

So now, after purging all of these negative emotions, it is once again time to find the Silver Lining in a crappy situation and turn my frown upside down. Here goes....

One Silver Lining is that my husband accepts all of this in stride, telling me that the amount we spend on my health is fine.  He doesn't expect me to keep the apartment in the condition i used to be able to... in fact, I think he's more okay living with dust bunnies than I am.  Another Silver Lining is the fact that I have learned about juggling our finances, budgeting, and avoid certain stores... something I would have been incapable of doing a few years ago.  I can also find comfort in the Silver Lining that this situation is only temporary... that once my SSD is approved I will be bringing in my own income and will feel less guilt about our finances.  A Silver Lining can be found in the fact that I am able to have pride that no matter what, the bills are paid and there is food on the table (when I can cook it.)

How do Fibro and Finances interact for you?  Do they cause the same problems?  Do have Silver Linings to them that you can share?


  1. As I sit here in the late afternoon after having just gone over my budget for one month, I sink even deeper into the same guilt we all share. I am facing moving out of the house I rent (shared with a roommate who is turning tail and running out on me). I absolutely hate the thought of moving into an apartment but I digress...I am solely responsible for my welfare. I work 2 jobs to put a roof over my head and to keep it from crashing down on me. I go over and over my monthly living expenses and am constantly looking for ways to cut but it's at the bare bones now.

    I've had Fibromyalia for over 30 years so I've pretty much gotten over the "Why Me Lord" syndrome. It is what it is. I've said for a long time that I am so much more fortunate than the tens of thousands out disease is very mild and I am only burdened with the expense of paying for a small amount of pain meds and vitamins I take every day. So this Fibromite thanks God everyday for his mercy and grace. That is my Silver Lining. It is my truest wish and hope that each of you will be able to share life's joys without too much guilt.

  2. I too feel a guilt for not being able to bring in the income that I was once able to acquire as an able bodied working individual. I know that I am fortunate because I recieve SSDI and have a husband who does all that he can to make sure that the lights stay on but the stress of seeing the bills coming in the mail has pushed my already fragile mental state to the edge. The silver lining to my story is that I have a very understanding husband who despite my occasional throwing of any object near by or breaking down and crying while watching a dog food commercial, comes home to me every night and tells me not to worry. He told me yesterday how much he love his life and how he has "the best wife and daughter" any man could ask for.

    1. This story is poignant to me because I lie in bed feeling such guilt because the wonderful woman I share my life with and who has been by my side every single day without the first complaint or criticism gets up every morning and heads off to work while I with difficulty head back upstairs to take my morning round of meds and go back to bed. She was working 2 jobs because I could no longer work even 1 until they cut her pay and hours down to a quarter of what she was previously working and making. She is now looking for another parttime job. Each payday I have to try and figure out who gets some of it and who will have to wait til the next payday. I had gone through 12 drs and almost a year of not knowing what was wrong with me and feeling like I was going crazy until I was finally diagnosed with fibro. Since then I have researched and wondered how all the physicians I had seen prior to the diagnosis hadn't mentioned the possibility that that was what was wrong with me. After having rotator cuff surgery and a hysterectomy to remove a large tumor that my dr suggested could be my problem and after having rounds of spinal injections with no relief, and being bounced from dr to dr I finally had an answer. I have been terminated from my company due to having exceeded the 12 months allotted for longterm disability, to which they denied my LTD pay stating that I was within their bounds to be able to perform my job and therefore they would no longer pay me. I have applied for SS but that too has been denied and I had to obtain the services of an attorney to fight for that. I have also had to obtain the services of another attorney to file a civil action suit for me. I cannot apply for unemployment because I cannot actively seek employment...can we say "between a rock and a hard place"...but my silver lining is the amazing woman in my life. As I said she has been there since day one of this journey working and then coming home to take care of me on those days that just the thought of getting out of bed is an effort. I feel guilty for being sick, for being in pain, for not being able to be the "me" I was just a year and half ago. I have 3 grown wonderful children but i'm not the mother they are used to having and that they want to have again so I try to put on a front with them to make them feel better. Unless you've walked a mile in our shoes no one can really know what we are going through. It's like trying to explain how it feels to be pregnant. You just don't know until you experience it...with it's every present and ever changing symptoms. Though I have applied to 35 different positions to which I have heard from none,I can't help but feel frustrated and guilty that I want to work and can't. And when people,my friends,see me and say..."well you don't LOOK sick" adds to the guilt. But I am thankful for sites like this where I can feel a part of something,as odd as that sounds,and NOT feel alone. Thank you to all my fibro "family" for sharing your stories and allowing me to share mine. Happy days and hoping for great health to us all!