Author Topic: unsupportive friend  (Read 7895 times)

alibauer

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unsupportive friend
« on: July 28, 2005, 09:14:29 am »
My best girlfriend knows that I have this tumor. I told her via IM, which is how she chose to ask me how my doctor's appointment went.

She asked me and my husband to go out with her, her new boyfriend and her friend this Saturday. Friday is the day I find out more about my tumor. I don't expect I'll be in the mood to go out and meet some new guy. Also, I know my husband wants some alone time. Plus, we may find out (depending on past scan comparisons) that this tumor is malignant. This would be the last time in the world I'd want to go out with them.

When I told her we wanted to be alone, considering, she was all "that sucks" blah blah blah. I was a bit angry. Here's a girl that supposed to be my good friend, and she's so self absorbed that she doesn't understand that I'm not in the mood to meet her boyfriend just now. It means so much to her, she doesn't realize that right now it's a lot to ask. This makes me think that she is very selfish. Also, she hasn't even CALLED me since my diagnosis. I am really angry with her.

Am I overreacting?

GM

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Re: unsupportive friend
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2005, 10:55:58 am »
Nope not at all...sounds more like she wants your point of view on this guy anyway.  This is the time where we find our true friends and the "paper tigers" amongst us.  My suggestion would be to send her an email, tell her how you feel, and try to meet the new bo when you are ready. 
Originally 1.8cm (left ear)...Swelled to 2.1 cm...and holding after GK treatment (Nov 2003)
Gamma Knife University of Virginia  http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/neurosurgery/gammaknife/home-page
Note: Riverside Hospital in Newport News Virginia now has GK!!

alibauer

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Re: unsupportive friend
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2005, 12:18:37 pm »
Awesome, thanks for the advice, GM. I didn't think I was overreacting. I swear, if she doesn't call me in a few days then when she does I will seriously read her the riot act. I can not believe she is flaking out on me like this and for what? Some dumb guy she met on the internet and fooled around with the first time they met in person. Oh, we are all so impressed.  :D

matti

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Re: unsupportive friend
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2005, 04:35:43 pm »
WOW! I can totally relate to that kind of a supposed "best friend". Unfortunetly in life, there are people that are so absorbed in themselves that they are blind to others problems. It might be that she doesn't know how to relate to anyone that is in crisis. I had a best friend for 9 years and the last 3 of those is when I was dealing and recovering from my AN. She would call me several times a day and never once, ask how I was doing or if I needed anything, instead as I layed in bed with horrible headaches and coping with the fact that I had lost my hearing and had facial paralysis, I had to listen and help her deal with HER problems. A couple of times I broke down crying and she just kept talking about herself. She had to have a hysterectomy and EXPECTED everyone to cater to her and cook meals for her family, It was at that point that I had to end our relationship. I was so tired of giving and never receiving, I just had no more to give. She literally sucked the life out of me.

Has your friend always been like this when someone is in pain/trouble? Maybe she is scared and doesn't know how to verbalize. (trying to give her the benefit of the doubt). I understand your anger and hurt, and NO you are not over- reacting. 
3.5 cm  - left side  Single sided deafness 
Middle Fossa Approach - California Ear Institute at Stanford - July 1998
Dr. Joseph Roberson and Dr. Gary Steinberg
Life is great at 50

Kathleen_Mc

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Re: unsupportive friend
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2005, 06:18:55 pm »
Being the "devil's advocate" maybe your friend is unaware of your need for support at this time, maybe she is just trying to carry on like nothings wrong to make you feel better or maybe she just doesn't know how to deal with this or how to help you, some people don't know how to deal with such things and so they don't...they stick thier head in the sand and hope it just goes away (my sister is a great one for this). Bring up your health during your next conversation and see the reaction you get.
If your friend is un-undersatanding and doesn't get it and this friendship is just a "one-way" maybe it's time to find another friend....during the time when I was first diagnosed and operated on I really saw who my true friends were and lost some (my decision). Certainly do not over-extend yourself to accomodater her, you are the most important one right now and anyone who can't see that...too bad.
Kathleen
1st AN surgery @ age 23, 16 hours
Loss of 7-10th nerves
mulitple "plastic" repairs to compensate for effects of 7th nerve loss
tumor regrowth, monitored for a few years then surgically removed @ age 38 (of my choice, not medically necessary yet)

alibauer

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Re: unsupportive friend
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2005, 08:13:21 pm »
Matti + everyone,

Thanks so much for your comments. As a matter of fact no, she hasn't acted like this before, but that's because I've never really had a crisis like this before. However, she did go through some terrible financial and break-up stuff recently, and I gave her the freedom to call me whenever she wanted (even though I work full-time and she was out of work at the time). In a nutshell, I spend hours and hours and hours and hours listening to her complain and whine and cry about her life and I was completely supportive. I gave her advice, etc. My husband and I took her out lots of times and I was a good friend to her. Did I mention that this was because of FINANCIAL and BREAK-UP issues?!  :o

The more I think/write about it, the more pissed I get. She is really being awful and I am getting tired of being her friend.

GM

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Re: unsupportive friend
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2005, 07:09:45 am »
Maybe you should call her and tell her how much you need her right now instead of cutting her off.  If she's never been though a major health issue she just won't understand.  I have lost both my parents when I was young, those who have not, can't relate to this.  Maybe she just can't relate.  Let her know that this is a major thing.  Don't IM her... have her over, and let her see what AN's are on the internet, and the major decision that you have to make for the treatment.  If after that things don't change, then tell her that you need supportive friends and family right now, and wish her well in her life journey.

Gary
Originally 1.8cm (left ear)...Swelled to 2.1 cm...and holding after GK treatment (Nov 2003)
Gamma Knife University of Virginia  http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/neurosurgery/gammaknife/home-page
Note: Riverside Hospital in Newport News Virginia now has GK!!

Pembo

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Re: unsupportive friend
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2005, 07:20:04 am »
I have found that in this past year since surgery that people's reactions to my problems were very odd. Get ready for all kinds of support and non support.
Surgery June 3, 2004, University Hospitals Cleveland, BAHA received in 2005, Facial Therapy at UPMC 2006

alibauer

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Re: unsupportive friend
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2005, 11:03:34 am »
Thanks everyone for the great advice. You all make really good points. I am not calling her though, or having her over. If she won't be there for me that that's all I need to know about her. I found out about this tumor Monday. Today is Friday and she has still not called to see how I'm doing. Also, today was my follow up. I'm back at work and on IM and she hasn't even IMed to ask about it.

Whatever. I'm starting to not care.  ::)

matti

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Re: unsupportive friend
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2005, 02:40:58 pm »
Alibauer - I was wondering how your follow-up appointment went today.

matti
3.5 cm  - left side  Single sided deafness 
Middle Fossa Approach - California Ear Institute at Stanford - July 1998
Dr. Joseph Roberson and Dr. Gary Steinberg
Life is great at 50

alibauer

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Re: unsupportive friend
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2005, 03:34:37 pm »
Hi Matti,

Well it's good to know that SOMEONE cares! HA HA.

The follow up was boring, for the most part. I went to see my ENT and he read the CT scan and basically said it told him nothing new, but he is, of course an ENT. I got a Neurologist referral. I don't think I'll be using it. I think I'll go to Memorial Sloan-Kettering instead. They are the tumor removal experts.

Also, he tried to get my salivary gland stone out. I have one in the duct of my parotid gland. The symptoms it causes when it blocks the duct are the reason I went to see the ENT surgeon in the first place and accidentally found my cranial schwannoma! Anyhow, he probed around and it hurt, but it didn't get the stone out. My cheek is sore, but whatever. God bless that little stone for allowing me to find the tumor before it caused symptoms.

Ali

matti

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Re: unsupportive friend
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2005, 05:13:43 pm »
Ali - It isn't it amazing how we go to the doctor for one thing and it turns out to be something TOTALLY different? I was misdiagnosed for almost 2 years by several different specialists. They kept telling me it was all in my head and I was just under too much stress. I have  a good friend who is an oral surgeon and he finally called  doctor #5, read him the riot act and told him I needed an MRI. When I received the MRI report, I also called the doctor and told him how correct he was, as yes, it was all in my head! He was speechless for a few moments  and then apologized. Needless to say he is not my doctor anymore.

Sorry it didn't work out at the ENT today. What else could he do to get the stone out? Does it cause you pain everyday?  Hopefully, you and your hubby can de-stress this weekend. please let me know how it goes when you see the neurologist.

matti
3.5 cm  - left side  Single sided deafness 
Middle Fossa Approach - California Ear Institute at Stanford - July 1998
Dr. Joseph Roberson and Dr. Gary Steinberg
Life is great at 50

alibauer

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Re: unsupportive friend
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2005, 12:28:09 am »
Matti,

Wow, you're such a good person. I'm really impressed with your kindness and empathy.

No, the stone isn't constantly painful. It is consistently bothersome, however, but that is only because I am following doctor's orders and trying to push it out through the salivary duct. It's barely budged but has in the process it has made my cheek very sore. Who knows if I'll ever get it out, but I wouldn't wish one of these on my worst enemy (well, maybe one or two people  :D).

The worst part about a stone in a salivary gland (or its duct in this case) is that every once it a while it gets lodged in such a way or causes irritation and swelling - and saliva can not leave the gland fast enough. The result? The most painful, worst-looking swelling of the side of the face (in front of ear) and down the neck (as far down as you could imagine) in the world. I mean, I dare you to imagine somethiing both more painful and humiliating than ones whole necek becoming swollen because saliva can't escape! Try getting around that and EVER EATING. I assure you, it is painful in many ways.

Anyhow the surgery to remove it is both disfiguring and nerve damaging. My schwannoma's removal may cause some similar damage, but I'm looking into alternatives for this stone. I'll be damned if two different things will $&#% up my face!

Okay, so enough about that. Sorry for the ramble. Thanks again. I'll keep the forum posted, trust me!

Ali

Raydean

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Re: unsupportive friend
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2005, 04:49:05 am »
Hi Ali

I've been following this thread  and truly wish you  all things positive and good with both medical conditions that you're dealing with.   As to the facial issues I'd like to comment that facial
problems as difficult as they, are should not be a source of humiliation.  When your Mother told you that beauty is only skin deep, there is thruth in that statement.  Facial issues doesn't change who you are, or your things that make you, you.  Things that you believe in, or the love and friendship of the people that love and care for you..  Many people of all ages with many medical conditions from Acoustic Neuroma, stroke, burns,cancer,  birth abnormalities  face the issues on a daily bases.  Their inner  courage and inner beauty shines so bright , their love of life is so strong that ithey are truly beautiful people in all of the right places. 

All of the best
Raydean


Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

wanderer

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Re: unsupportive friend
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2005, 08:15:47 am »
I have a friend I worked with when I was being diagnosed with my AN.   He is pretty outspoken.   One day while I was explaining my situation to another co worker,  I had just found out the night before that it was a tumor.    He listened to me for a moment and said  "oh you and your tumor, get over it"    I told him it was a tumor.    He was quite shocked,  he said, "I was just trying to make you feel better"    Sometimes people don't realize or are unable to cope with serious events for others.   

I have always hated to talk to people who have lost some one the love because I have no idea what to say to them.    I use humor in every circumstance.   

others like to just avoid it as it makes them uncomfortable. 

I spent a lot of time down playing my AN.   I told people it was nothing,  and carried on like normal.  I even tried to do that after surgery.     But the day came when they saw I needed to ride in the motorized cart at walmart because I was too tired to keep walking.    At that point they understood a little bit about how much it was affecting me.

 


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