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Thread: Dealing with social situations??

  1. #11
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this article, Linda.

    How sad that the author's parents were so unaccepting and cruel. You can pick your friends but you can't pick your relatives as they say. At least she had some helpful friends and was willing to accept help from them--people who were there for her by choice.
    MS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009.

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  3. #12
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    This might be the best place for this question as it's a "social situation":

    For years I've been aware that many people send holiday cards--and even gifts?--to their doctors and other medical providers. I've done that only if I received one from any of them, and that happened only a couple of times, years ago, with dentists.

    This year I actually sent one to the audiologist. I don't want to fall through the cracks so far as that place is concerned. I'd like her to remember me next time I'm in there. In the past I've had the feeling she's not sure which patient I am.

    Do you think it's a good idea to send holiday cards to medical providers? Is it one of those situations where it won't hurt to send a card, and so why not?

    Well, one reason I can think of is that the staff is clearly overburdened at many places, and part of the problem is too much paperwork to handle. A card coming in is one more thing they have to deal with.

    And as for giving gifts, that starts looking a little bit like a plea for special treatment. How fair is it to those patients who can't afford to give their doctors a gift?

    On the other hand, if a doctor has been particularly helpful and you've had a difficult problem, why not show your appreciation?

    I'm of two minds about this issue and would welcome any opinions.

    .
    MS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009.

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  5. #13
    Distinguished Community Member Sunshine's Avatar
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    I have been known in the past to bring a box of local oranges for “Dr. so and so and her staff” They very much appreciate it.

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  7. #14
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    Something like the oranges for the Dr and staff sounds good, but other than a fruit basket or something similar doesn’t seem too appropriate. A Christmas card addressed to the Dr & Staff is fine.

    I remember only once that I sent a Christmas card to a Dr and wrote “personal “ on the envelope. That was a Neurologist I had seen a few times who had, after I told him my PCP had diagnosed me with Perherial Neuropathy, agreed. He was a nice young man who knew nothing about MS. I wrote a nice note telling him what I had and who diagnosed me and thanked him for seeing me and wished him and his family a good Holiday.
    Last edited by Virginia; 12-21-2019 at 05:38 PM. Reason: Correct spelling

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  9. #15
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    We have sent trays of cookies from an Italian bakery to my mom’s nursing unit after she was discharged. Of course we did not do it this time.

    I have been the recipient of gift cards and gifts from
    Patients and families. The card itself stayed with that patient’s chart as part of the record.

    Agate, I think it is perfectly fine to send a card.
    ANN
    There comes a time when silence is betrayal.- MLK

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  11. #16
    Distinguished Community Member nuthatch's Avatar
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    I feel the gifting at Christmas time is overdone. One of my brothers is a FedX driver and he is inundated with gifts and boxes of chocolates from customers over the holidays. My neighbor is a surgeon. Again, inundated with gifts, mostly of food items, which end up being spread out to others (neighbors, friends and relatives). Gifts of appreciation can be given any time of the year and an unexpected gift of appreciation out of the blue is well remembered IMHO.

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  13. #17
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    Speaking of social situations - I had a call a short time ago from my SIL who lives in South Carolina. She is married to my older brother. They are coming to North Carolina tomorrow and will be about an hour and a half away. Next Saturday they are having a family reunion in the town they will be in. I had sent a text to my brother telling him how sorry I was that I could not attend and he responded saying he was also sorry but that he understood.

    My SIL (who has never called me) said she was calling to implore and beg me to attend the reunion. She said there would be 35 to 40 people there and that I was the only one missing. She kept telling me that my brother would be 85 in February and that this would likely be the last opportunity to see him. I tried to explain that I could not be in a situation where I was riding for 3 hours and socializing for 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours. I told her that I suffered from something called sensory overload and that it would not do anyone in this family any good for me to take another downturn at this time. Well....she kept on and on until it really got on my nerves so bad. I already feel bad enough knowing that everyone is going to be there but me. I don't need her telling me how I should make this extra effort to do this. Only I know what this extra effort could possibly cost me.

    I tried to explain that I live alone and there is no one who is going to come in and help me if I do things that I know I shouldn't. I tried hard to make her understand that she just didn't realize what she was asking of me. I am much more nervous and skittish around that many people now. It hasn't always been that way, but it is now.

    She says my brother is sick, that he has a cold and a chest cough and that he had been laying on the couch all day with her giving him Mucinex to try and get him well so they can come tomorrow. If they can go through all that then I should be able to make it. Now, of course, I am worried about him, plus their trying to drive that far tomorrow. Her daughter offered to go and get them, but they said no they wanted to do it on their own. I feel sure that one or more of his kids has also offered. They are coming to North Carolina to be with both families for Christmas. Originally my brother wanted to just stay at home in South Carolina but she did not. I am concerned about them driving here and then when they go back.
    Virginia

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  15. #18
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Your SIL probably means well but she put you in a difficult position by not taking No for an answer.

    The fact is that most people don't understand what MS does to us. I for one can't ever know when my vision is going to go weird on me or when my bladder or bowels will act up, creating a very sudden need to get to a bathroom--which isn't always easy to do in social situations.

    When someone seems to want more of an explanation than "I'm sorry but I just can't make it," I don't offer any more details. I'll just repeat how sorry I am--and sound even sorrier each time.

    It's my way of letting them know that I'm the best judge of what I can and can't do, and I'm not about to argue the point with them.

    If you can think of a way to be "present" by e-mail or PM or Facebook, you might offer to do that so that they will all know you wanted to be present in person but couldn't, and so you're doing what you can. Or maybe send a gift of food or flowers?
    MS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009.

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  17. #19
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    ((((((Virginia)))))) ~

    It's unfortunate that your SIL can't understand how physically strenuous and stressful it would be for you to travel and attend this reunion. It sounds like she is orchestrating all of this insisting that they go, instead of staying home, which your brother prefers. Please don't allow her to make you feel bad. You know that it is only because of the strain on you that you aren't going. Were it not for that, you would likely go.

    How about FaceTime? Would that be a possibility?

    Also, has your SIL considered that this might be too much for your brother, who has a cold and cough? He's 85, and pneumonia seems to gravitate more toward older and frail people. And what if she catches his cold? Who will drive then? They can't both be on cold/cough medicine and drive. Also, out of consideration for the rest of the family, who probably don't want to be infected with your brother's cold, it might be better if they did stay home.

    There is another reason why you shouldn't go to this gathering. You are vulnerable and don't need to catch a respiratory infection. If you're in a car with him for 3 hours, there's a very good chance you'd get his cold.

    While I don't have MS, I do understand the situation of saying, "We can't be there," countless times through the years, because of Jon's or Michael's health issues, and now Jim's health issues. People understand, but they don't make an effort to include us, when we aren't there. Like a speaker phone call or FaceTime. Except for John ... he texts us photos during their gatherings, vacations, baseball games.

    Of course, we feel sad that we can't participate, but we can't change the reasons why that is so.

    I'm so sorry that you're in this situation. Please don't let the stress get to you. You must do what is best for you.

    Love & Light,



    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 49, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. Now, they watch over Jim and me.

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  19. #20
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    I can't think of a good way to Facetime or do anything like that. With 35 up to 40 people there it will be a mad house (except that it is being held in a restaurant). People will be talking to one another and some will have not seen each other in a long time. I doubt that you could get everyone to be quiet, except to say grace before eating. I don't want to get into another debate about how or what time or if I should do that with anyone else.
    Virginia

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