Why I don’t ask for help…people let you down

what does a rheumatoid arthritis flare feel like
Image source: http://www.anesthesia.org/images/pain3.jpg

I haven’t blogged for a while because I’ve been extremely sick. Potential Adrenal Crisis type sick.  My immunologist fit me in for an ’emergency’ appointment, but I still had to wait almost a week. Worst week of my life.

My friend knew this. She came over and saw how sick I was. And she offered to drive me to my appointment.  I declined at first, because she has let me down before.  But then I changed my mind. I was feeling awful, and I wanted some support, a friend.  So I called her and she was to pick me up at 9, for a 9:30am appointment.

Great.  Except she didn’t show up until 9:20.  It’s a 25 minute drive.  I had no choice but to drive myself (not a good option considering how bad I was feeling).

My friend has sent me a text saying she’s very sorry.  She says she knows I’m angry.  That’s the thing. I’m not angry. I’m hurt. Really hurt.  I can’t talk to her. She was here on Friday night, when I was at my worst.  She knows how sick I was, and how much I needed this appointment.  We spoke last night and she offered to drive me.  Not trusting her, I booked a cab.  She said to call in the morning if I changed my mind.  I did change my mind, two hours from pick up time.  If she couldn’t be here in time, she should have said. If something came up, she should have called.  By the time I realised she wasn’t going to get here in time, I had no other option but to drive myself.  I saw her pass me the other way…so I know exactly how far away she was, how late she was.  20 minutes.  She gave no reason for being late.  Just a sorry, and a promise that next time she’ll be on time.  There won’t be a next time.  She has done this before.  Fool me for depending on her.

I called my doctor from my car (Bluetooth, hands free) and let her know that I would be ten minutes late, and then I broke all the speed limits to get there, and parked illegally. No ticket. My lucky day. My doc was angry because she fit me in as an ‘emergency’ appointment as it was, but she agreed to see me.  She wasn’t angry anymore when she saw me, she felt sorry for me.  I was so upset she made me lie down for a while.  Then I went off to the endocrinology department to book in for a short synacthen test.  Tomorrow I’ll finally find out if my adrenals are working.    I say they are, given how high my blood pressure went, when my friend didn’t show up.  Pure adrenalin.  I have to be there at 8:30am.  I’ll stick with the cab plan this time.  My Immunologist thinks is more likely the underlying disease showing up, given my blood work.  Unless the synacthen test comes back bad, I have to keep tapering.  But I don’t think I can get any lower.

Thing is, this is not a one off. This is how people treat me, have always treated me. I go to the ends of the earth for them…they forget to show up for me.  This is why I don’t rely on anyone.  Years of experience.  My ex-husband was the worst betrayal. But there have been so many others.

I would never do that to someone else. I don’t know why she was so late and it doesn’t matter now. If she had a good reason, she would have said.  I spoke to her son, when I was waiting. I called her phone to find out if she was on her way, and calculate how far away she was.  He laughed and said she was running so late! Haha. Hysterical. Clearly no one there was injured or sick.

People always tell me I need to ask for help more. Well, this is what often happens when I do.

People don’t get ‘strong’ by choice. They get that way because people constantly let them down.  No one chooses to be this strong.  They’re forced to be.


  1. Chic – I hope they get you figured out soon, or one of your doctors takes the bull by the horns and says “enough!” and give you the meds you need. On top of being let down….again. I SO know the feeling. And it happens with people who claim to love and care about you. Back during the autumn pollen flare in November, before the hospital stay and pulmonary emboli, I was in my chair, unable to move. Lung swelled up, AND sick with the tummy bug (as usual when I flare). The hubs wants to know if I want some soup since I had not eaten in 2 days, I said “yes, thank you”. So he goes to the kitchen, swings open the pantry door and begins to critique me on how many cans of tomatoes we have “I buy them when they’re on sale, I use them a lot” “well we have enough to feed the town” and he begins to re-arrange the pantry. So I got up, reached around him and grabbed the can of soup, opened it, poured it into the pan and stood there and heated my own soup. Pissed him off and he went to his bed room and slammed the door. And I’m thinking “WTF just happened?” He says “I’m just worried about you” and I said “Well…your ‘worried’ and your ‘pissed off asshole’ look exactly the same. You’ll have to inform me from now on which face you are wearing so I can act accordingly”. And he wonders why I say sometimes I feel like a burden. He can’t even fathom that. I have learned, there are those who can’t see beyond themselves, to help others. I’ve even stopped saying “I don’t feel good” or “I’m hurting today here _____” because the typical automatic response is “me too, I don’t feel good today either”. Sometimes I swear if I said I had bent over and shot peas out my behind, he’d have done it too, or something similar and it just becomes a competition to see who’s the sickest. So I just keep it to myself. I understand exactly where you’re coming from…….and they claim to care about and love us……..huh. I hope I made you smile 🙂

    • You did indeed make me smile :). Next time someone tries to goad me into a ‘my pain is worse than your pain’ competition (and it happens all the time) I’ll try the ‘peas out my behind’ thing. I’ll let you know how it goes!!! lmao. But seriously, I’m sorry you’re husband treats you that way. But I’m glad you called him on it! I think you’re right tho…many, many people can’t see past themselves. Even when faced with someone who is obviously in worse shape, they continue to push their own agenda. It’s a very selfish world. I don’t know how to change that…I try to teach my children to care for others, but I’m honestly afraid I may be knobbling them for a life where they will always be at a disadvantage because they care about more than themselves, and few others do.

  2. I can so relate. I had a boyfriend who was the king of “one up man-ship”. I finally stopped sharing the state of my health with him because it always became a pissing contest. Funny thing is, once I stopped he turned around and accused me of withholding. There was just no winning with him and frankly while RA has caused me to have to change many things in my life and to accept certain limitations — the one great gift I did receive is the realization of what an arse he was and bid him goodbye. At least on my bad days/weeks when I’m flaring I don’t have to contend with a clueless slug. RA and other autoimmune diseases are hard enough to deal with given their complexities and it is far better to remove toxic folks from one’s daily life as they can heighten stress which we all know in turn can make the chronic pain, inflammation, fatigue and other myriad of symptoms that much worse.

  3. Yep, have also been let down. This is why I don’t want ‘informal’ supports. I want workers who are paid to be on time and to do the job. You are right in that it is hurtful. When one is so sick and desperate for help, when one states how important it is that they are on time, or do the important thing. they promise and then do none of it and apologise well after the fact, after the actual crisis time has passed. It’s no wonder that people in our position become self-reliant. Unfortunately it also leads to cynicism, suspicion and difficulty trusting people. I can totally understand how you feel.
    If people let you know they can’t make it, in plenty of time, you then get a chance to make other plans and find other help. Even if something happens at the last minute, the decent thing to do is let you know. I don’t think you overreacted – my reaction to being let down badly was the same. I couldn’t even speak to the person either.

    • I’m sorry you were let down too Jodiebodie. I’m sad that its so common! I think an immediate apology might have worked. I find it hard to accept an apologies days, or weeks later. Like an afterthought. Shows no understanding of how important it really was to you. I have been trying to get paid supports via NDIS, I’m finding those are even less reliable. And they’re being paid! And talking to other people, that’s also a common story. They don’t show up, or if they do show up, they don’t do the job right!


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