"Is It True That My Family Member Is Really Sick?"

 

Outside of your significant relationship with your partner, there is no other interpersonal relationship that will be affected as strongly with the chaos of chronic fatigue syndrome as the association with your family. Your relationship with these individuals is one of the most vital and primary associations that you will have in your entire life time. The total commitment you have made to them over the entire existence of your being encompasses many years of directed efforts into sustaining the relationships amid many obstacles and adversity. At this point in your life, you are facing another complication in your intertwined life threads with your family-CFS. The common belief in society is that a family should be more committed to each other than any other relationship. The immediate members of a family are supposed to know and believe in each other no matter what any of them could engender for disruptive circumstances. Family is a word that incites feelings and thoughts of love, devotion, and guaranty. The bond that the kinship creates acts as a sort of supportive brace for the entire unit to build upon. Every constituent in the home learns how to relate to all beings based on the depth of companionship that he or she has within the household.

Every human being has a family unit that has developed and matured from some geographical point on the globe. Each and every being that lives and breathes has a rootedness that grew from a specific person and these deep-seated roots gave birth to the special branches that diverge into being the separate members of each family. The communal ideal of family bonding is one that each being on this planet can relate to and comprehend at some distinct level. Humans have a basic collective identity with each other knowing that we all have families. Each person in our world believes the premise that family is the most meaningful and cohesive connection that we may experience. Society respects every individual's right to believe in an assumption of an unyielding pledge and promise to protect his or her family out of love. There are so many cultural standards that have been impressed on people over their life times that aver what and who the "perfect" family is and the concept of what one being, who took it upon himself to determine what perfection meant a long time ago, felt has long been forgotten. The idea of what "perfect" is merely adapts and alters itself at the convenience and whim of our society's current heroes and role models. The gist of "perfect family" is that the family unit should be ideal in physical appearance, ideal composition, unyielding commitment, and accomplishing intelligence. The ideal clan standards are based on the public's interpretations of who procures the most successful accomplishments in life and modeling family member's behaviors after this axiom. The error in this type of judgment is that every individual perceives perfection in a different way. For one person, it could be measured by how much money he or she acquires over a lifetime and for another it would be how much good he or she has done towards his or her fellow man. Another may feel that perfection is authenticated by the amount of material goods he or she has acquired and yet another may think that success is ascertained by how much education he or she received. Another may conceive that achievement is verified by how many children he or she has reared. There could be another who views flawlessness as the motivation to live life or someone who sees "perfect" as just a word. Perfection is indeed in the eyes of the beholder. Society's outmoded standards of demonstrating flawless characters and possible role models on television, in movies, books, and magazines only contributes to the faulty image of an impractical dimension that we human beings can never reach.

Families are comprised of human beings who are born to be individuals with different perceptions and interpretations of life. Humans are not perfect and aren't meant to be. You have flaws and weaknesses but these traits contribute to your uniqueness of being. Sometimes, it is these specific and dissimilar character traits that are most cherished and revered by your loved ones. Being human is something to be treasured as a gift. You are who you are-no greater or less of a being. It is in this acceptance of your individual essence that you can contrive to comprehend and understand the other members in your family. Everyone is in the family because he or she is supposed to be and every person fulfills a specific role within the family drama. All family members deserve to be loved for who they are, not a gauged version of what society thinks. They don't have to be "perfect". You have somewhere along your life's path acknowledged that the personification of what an ideal family should be is not the actuality of the relationship that exists at home. Most families in today's world aren't nuclear families with a female mother, male father, male son, and female daughter. In current society, a family can consist of many varied scenarios from a single parent of either sex with children, a homosexual set of parents with child, both parents living in separate households with children shuttled back and forth to co-habitate with each one, grandparents raising grandchildren, etc. There is no longer a rigidity to the public's perception of being a family. The reality is that a family doesn't consist of any specific makeup of male or female individuals and no combination of sexes derives a better family unit than another. A family is the essence of who these beings are as a united group-their thoughts, emotions, commitments, and sense of spirit. The connected linkage of members in a family supersede any external relationships. The household folks are raised to perceive the assemblage as a foremost priority in their approach to life. There is an unspoken, understood interdependence among each member in the home. Everyone comprehends the intensity of feelings that each member in the home has for each other which can be supportive or repudiatious. Some constituents are favored more than others because of a sense of compatibility or friendliness between members in the family and others are shunned for the same reasons. A guardian may express or display favoritism towards one or more children because he or she senses a stronger bond with this being-be it a negative or positive one. There may exist an inane closeness between two specific family members that may appear to be almost surreal where they seem to be sharing a unique life experience which has overlapped into this life time from a previous one. Personality and characteristics from one individual in the kin are evident in another's physical appearance and behavior and because of this obvious display of mutual likeness, there is an intense bonding between the two similar beings. In the same sense, a family member could be ostracized for not having any similar disposition or character.

Every being in the home is considered a separate entity unto her own right of existence and is also perceived as a part of the family totality as well. There is no mistaking the undeniable fact that no matter what any individual member in the household does, feels, or thinks, it will directly or indirectly affect the entire family unit. The intimacy that the family has slowly fostered within the four walls of their existence together as a group has allowed an unconscious permission for all of them to co-exist within each other's worlds. The interrelated closeness that they all feel for each other enhances the intimacy that they all share within each other's lives. There are no discernible boundaries surrounding each individual's life from a family member's viewpoint. Everyone in the clan is expected to contribute to each member's welfare as it has been throughout the eons as long as man has existed. If this premise is indeed true, then every member of your family should be supportive and compensating of you who has chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome. The statements about family and their interconnectedness are probably accurate in a general way but some relatives are not as close as others. The injection of illness in a family scenario could indicate a sign of weakness and frailty in the genetic disposition of the lineage. There are certain heritages that perceive any type of sickness as an insult to the entire family pedigree and the incumbent malady that one individual in your family has somehow disrupts the entire connective feeling of the relations. After the actuality that you have this illness has been haphazardly accepted, there is a dread and fear that follow. If it is true that genetics play a major role in the contraction of the viruses that cause this syndrome and that you have the genetic makeup to incur this viral onslaught of CFIDS, a certain type of vulnerability has now been acknowledged by the entire clan. RNA and DNA are generationally passed down from one set of parents to their children and so on and so on. The offshoot of genetic material dispersed from one generational group to another may have indeed been the specific cell composition that encouraged the viruses that cause this disease to grow and multiply within your body. The fact that one person in the entire lineage has displayed a "weak link" creates a sense of desperation and dismay in the rest of the group. What makes one individual in the family more susceptible to the viruses than others? If you got the viral infection, will everyone get chronic fatigue syndrome and what if someone else in the family shows symptoms of the disease? Will the babies and the children in the house catch this disease since their immune systems are more fragile than the grown children and adults? Now, the entire family has a distinct and obvious reminder of its genetic vulnerability to these viruses every time that they see, hear, or have any contact with you. There could be a silent postulation that you have contracted this disease to intentionally discredit the stability and credibility of the whole household even though the actuality of such a statement is false. You have the stigma of a debilitating illness and this is an embarrassment to and for the entire clan. Some inquiries that keep going through your mind are why you would deliberately set out to be chronically debilitated and how could you be able to embarrass the entire clan in being ill. There are various methods of deceit and abashment that you could employ if you indeed chose to chagrin the entire kin that would have been a lot less stressful and exhausting.

There may also be an assumption that you are demanding more attention than anyone else in the family as a result of being chronically ill. In a negative connotation, you have exacted this "silent shame" on the entire family's reputation. Is it conceivable to you that some family code or honor has been wronged because of your weakened immune system? Again, you are condemned for something you had no control over and you surely didn't ask to have chronic fatigue syndrome. You may have been a recipient of the enormous responsibility to succeed because all of your relatives have placed so much emphasis on following in your relation's footsteps. In a way now that you have become ill, you have let the entire family down. How can you presume to achieve and accomplish all of the expected lineage goals if you are too sick to fulfill them? If you were the pride and joy of the household and were placed on an unrealistic imagined pedestal, then you now have fallen from grace with the family.Your clan could feel puzzled that you have been stricken with a "weird" or "strange" sickness that the medical community doesn't even believe in and the available information they have read and heard about this syndrome is not hopeful and isn't very definitive. There are so many abashing, confusing statements made about a person who suffers with this illness from being a little on the loony side to hypochondria to depression.You have informed them that you are chronically ill but you have no idea of the length or duration of the disease and how it will affect you over time. You could be sick for a month, year, or indefinitely. How can they believe that you are actually ill with CFS and not one of the mental illnesses that some doctors may feel you have?

There are no outward signs which denote any diseased areas in your body. The possibility of going to the hospital to have the viruses that cause the syndrome operated on or removed such as with other health issues isn't feasible. There are no "injury badges" such as bandages, casts, or slings to designate virally infected areas of your body. You don't have any drastic or major physical changes that can be observed by your family as results of this syndrome. Maybe you have gained or lost some weight, some black circles under the eyes, and a constant sore throat, "but so doesn't everyone who doesn't eat or sleep well", says your family and some of the medical community. You may complain a lot more especially about your swollen lymph nodes and you seem really melancholy. "But, that's not unusual for someone who is unhappy with his or her lot in life", says your folks. You may be more quiet and distractible while others are speaking. Your kin feel you are just plain bored with the family's conversations and have decided to just ignore parts of the discussion. All of these seemingly minor observations made by one or more relatives are not as insignificant as they may seem. The devoted faith that each one of your relations should have in believing you seems to have disappeared once the news was heard that you are chronically ill. If the family unit took enough time and felt some obligation to love and believe in the sick you, they would discuss among themselves all of their perceptions and you might be the subject of clan conversations for a while, but the actuality that they are talking seriously about the disease and you is worth a little extra humiliation and embarrassment. There should be an honest evaluation of how much your personality and physiology has changed and it will take a committed, serious effort on the household's behalf to candidly assess your declarations of pain and illness without having any judgmental attitudes. They should reach the conclusion after their extensive discussions that something is very seriously wrong with your health and you have not feigned being ill after all. There is no room for condemnations or accusations when deliberating about you. You are a part of the bonded family unit and deserve some respect and consideration even if some folks in the home don't really believe you are ill. The power of observation and listening can provide all of the necessary information that a family member would require to base any kind of a conclusion. Intuition and true predilections of caring that each individual in the household shares with another can also contribute some merit in making a frank assessment of the adversity. Each of the kin should evaluate and acknowledge his own definitive ideas and conclusions on how ill you are. It may be that some kin in the house don't really believe in the syndrome itself, or some might not have faith in the doctor that concluded the diagnosis or some may not think that you are truly sick at all. Every person is allowed his own opinions and the expression of these beliefs but there is a point where the oration of ideas end. The ailing you doesn't merit or deserve any negative comments or indignation because your relatives don't believe in you. It is a choice for each person to make if he thinks that there is a genuine disease agonizing you and each person will have to decide to be supportive and nurturing or removing himself from your life. You will definitely benefit more from some honesty and straightforwardness than deceit and indecision. You would want everyone to be totally sincere and truthful in expressing their doubts or corroborations even if they might not be what you would hope to hear. What good would it do to have a family member state that she believed in your illness and then you hear that this same individual is stating behind your back that you aren't really ill at all? Would it be helpful to have a loved one give the impression of caring and empathy when there is truly none to be found and what would happen when you became dependent on a relation for help in your time of need expecting aid and there was none?

All of these inquiries are meant for you to consider how much extra stress could be created for you in coping with a family who doesn't understand your fight with CFIDS and maybe doesn't truly care what you are going through. It is awfully painful to confront the fact that your family may decide to not be supportive and understanding about your battle with this syndrome. The reality of your family decision is another obstacle in the battle with this sickness that you will have to discover a way to cope and live with. Some family members may be sensitive and sympathetic while others are disinterested and unmerciful. One relative could believe that you are truly ailing but is cautious about giving credence to the idea that you are chronically ill. Another one of your clan may assert an unyielding commitment to you and is willing to be a support person for you while you are sick and another person is thinking that you are truly depressed and should go to a psychiatrist for therapy and medications. Yet, one of the folks confesses that he or she requires visible proof such as test results or a doctor's letter of diagnosis that you are truly coping with chronic fatigue syndrome. Still, others reject the idea that you are actually ill with a virally based infection and strive to find out what you are truly suffering from and they become "medical specialists" in their own rights and begin scrutinizing various diseases to see if there is some categorical illness that they can adapt your symptoms to and state that this sickness is what you are actually confronting.

There are a lot of scenarios that can be conjectured where kin is concerned but the fact of the matter is that you are the fatigued individual who is being rejected and renounced because you are warring with CFS. You feel misunderstood and estranged from everyone as is and don't need any unnecessary stress in your life. After the exposure of non-support and disbelief is made by your relatives, you have the choice of how you wish to deal with their attitudes and decisions. It is not a comfortable predicament to be in, but you have made a pledge to yourself to keep as stress free as possible in helping yourself to get well. You have enough tensions and pressures to deal with in just being ill. Knowing you now have to confront disrespect and disregard from your family is devastating and very confusing. You were brought up to believe that you could depend on your relations for love and support no matter what the circumstances and in this situation you discover that this belief is not a reality. They are demonstrating a selectiveness in what they choose to advocate involving their family ties. It appears that this ailment is too complicated or perplexing for the clan to comprehend so they have decided to withdraw from you and your life. You are still a member of the family but can now be considered in an exile of sorts. The household may be concerned with you and how your life is going, but there is absolutely no display of unconditional love and support from them. You are to accept their decisions not to endorse you or your battle with chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome without any choice in the matter and they are expecting that you comprehend and understand their doubts and hesitations. You have no alternative but to acknowledge this situation because you respect and accept their viewpoints since they are kin.

However, you have the option of how you want to deal with their rejections. You can choose to let their ignorance and selfishness in refusing to concede that you have CFIDS bother you or you can reverse the impact of the negative emotions into positive ones for yourself. You need to clarify this situation in a simplistic way. Your relatives have elected not to support you in your fight with this disease and this outcome is their preference and prerogative. You are now aware of who is or is not going to be in your life for love and support while you are ill. Don't allow guilt to play a role in how you tolerate your family's decisions to help or not to help. These people are relations, however, that doesn't give them the right to expect that you will expend all of your efforts on adjusting to their wishes and focus your limited life style around theirs. The priority in your life should be you and fulfilling your agenda the best that you can and you should consider the issue simplified and concluded. Why waste your valuable energy on attempting to get your family to care about you in this situation? Redirect your frustrations and concentrate your precious energy and focus it in on people who truly desire to be involved with you for the duration of the disease. It may be that your extended clan will be more receptive to supporting you during your illness than your immediate folks. The emotional distance that these people have from you may be enough to bolster an objective attitude in accepting your bout with this affliction. They may be capable of helping you without a phenomenal amount of expectation of if and when you will totally recover from this illness. You may feel a lot more at ease in discussing your own contemplations with them because these relations could be more unbiased and impartial with their opinions and advice to you.

A necessary conclusion for your emotional survival in coping with your kin and chronic fatigue syndrome could be to completely sever ties. You sense nothing but denial, isolation, and rejection from your relatives and there is no sentiment of love and caring from them. All you experience is pain, grief, and anguish whenever you confront the actuality that they don't believe you are ill and don't care if and when you recuperate. No support is shown from any of them and family life proceeds along the same lines without you being actively involved in it. There is no obvious sign that no matter how bad things may get for you they aren't going to support you. It is saddening to think that your relations don't love you enough to help you when you are ill. However, you have reached the conclusion that you have to live with so that you can sustain yourself and watch out for your own welfare and you are not going to feel better if you don't monitor your health and keep your life as stress free as possible. The decision to have no further contact with your family may be beneficial for you. The stress and energy you use in worrying about what your clan thinks and feels about you and your sickness can be refocused and channeled into other directions. You may discover that it truly doesn't matter to you what your folks think about you after all. It was the pressures of the hereditary expectation of family perfection that you found yourself being measured up to by your kin and when you didn't size up to being suitable any longer because you were ill, the family wish was to alienate and cast you off. Your initial counteraction, after moving beyond the disturbing reactional emotions, was to never have contact with any of your relatives ever again while you are ill and why not listen to your own intuition. You are the best gauge of your own tolerations and endurances. It will be distressing to disconnect yourself from your relations but you know that you will avail. You deserve to have others around you who do care and want you to be a part of their lives sick or not.You should try to readjust your ingrained thought pattern that only family members would be there to help you if you needed it. You may detect that sometimes people outside the family can be the best resolution to a difficult household situation. Friends, co-workers, and neighbors can be supportive, loving, and committed to your well being. They may be the ones who understand and apprehend the peculiar situation that you now find yourself in with your clan. It is sometimes easier and more comfortable to express strong emotions of frustration, anger, and vehemence with a person who is not directly connected to the cause of these feelings. He can offer an unprejudiced opinion of what you are exhibiting and resound back to you what he is perceiving you are actually saying. The sounding board that your friend, neighbor, or co-worker provides can reverberate your own reluctance to accept what you have previously determined is the right attitude for you to possess about your folks. Your main concern should be your own health and welfare and the people you choose to surround yourself with should be sympathetic to your wishes and needs.

You may be fortunate enough to have a supportive, loving, and nurturing family who will be there for you during your duration with CFS. The entire clan has committed their incontestable assistance and positive support to you and helping you to get well as soon as you can. There is a refreshed and renewed sense of kin togetherness that bands everyone together because one of the folks is ill and requires everyone's backing. You feel the strong deep-seated accord that a family should have during a crisis and it makes you think that you can conquer anything because everyone has pooled their strength together to give you a reserve for when yours gets depleted. You are so very lucky and should demonstrate your appreciation to your relatives through genuine words of gratitude to hugs and kisses. They are there for you and the expectations are for you to get better no matter how long that takes. The hypothesis that genetics play a vital role in the predisposition of contracting this disorder is interesting and frightening for the entire family. For you, it has become an actuality of a new way of living that you weren't prepared for. But, you may have been able to anticipate a presumption that you may have a predisposition to contract some kind of immune dysfunction disease. How could you have done this? If you were lucky enough to have your grandparents and even great-grandparents in your life, you should have considered a serious conversation about your generational roots. Most people don't think about talking with older relatives about health issues because the discussions usually revolve around hearing stories about past relations and their experiences in life. It is really interesting and intriguing to listen to stories of days gone by, however it is very important to consider health history as well as personal histories. Genetics can create and reek havoc on a unsuspecting individual in a family who isn't prepared or knowledgeable about what has previously happened to the health of his or her relatives. Inbred genetic diseases are fearful to contemplate and confront but it is even more frightening to consider the situation of contracting one of these sicknesses and not realizing why you had the weakened resistance to this particular illness in the first place. One of your clan could have exhibited symptoms similar to your pre and present chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome manifestations. Could your predecessor have had this illness and not have known it? Possibly! This individual could have been very ill and sought out medical treatment, but was misdiagnosed because this disease wasn't perceived as this disease in his or her time. It could have been prescribed as schizophrenia, malaise, or any one of the various popular physical dysfunctions within the era that she may have lived. The person could have been committed to a mental institution or put into the hospital enduring excruciating, painful testing for some sort of a diagnosis to be reached. These experiences resulted in more confusion and no accurate conclusion to what was actually happening and the individual just suffered in silence with no definitive idea of what was wrong and accepted the disease as part of his or her life. Her folks could have considered the diseased member as weak, someone to be ashamed of, and learned to ignore the anguish that the sick person was tolerating.

The acknowledgment that there could be some relationship with this relative struggling with a strange illness and you suffering with CFIDS appears too similar. There are many likenesses between symptoms and complaints. Your great-grandparent or grandparent may recall specific characteristics about this person that would seem suspiciously familiar, such as an overabundance of fatigue. The genetic coding within the family tree could have indicated that you may have been susceptible to catching the viruses that cause this illusive disease because there is a defined pattern that can be discerned from generation to generation. There may not have been any predictory example if there was no indication that any one of your distant or current kin were ever ill with this type of sickness so you may have had no indication that there were any contagious diseases in the family history at all. You may have decided to question all of your family about current afflictions that they suffer with and there could have been some common threads that bound your symptomatic complaints with another individual. Your great-grandparent may have had problems with fibromyalgia, fatigue, and hypoglycemia. Your genetic grandparent has bouts with depression, sore throats, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck and chest all the time. Obviously a diagnosis of any kind can't be made on just these vague symptoms. But once a physician had ruled out any other reason for their discomfort and couldn't really explain their pains, it demonstrates that there is a possibility that genetic coding has indicated a weakened immune system in both individuals. You have concluded that just previous to contracting chronic fatigue syndrome, you had a impaired immune system. Is it possible then that you can deduce the genetic make-up was pre-existent in you to have this sickness? The only way to be absolutely positive would be through a battery of DNA and RNA testing by medical physicians who specialize in this disease for you and your all of your past and present relatives which isn't possible or realistic. However, you can draw some insightful conclusions based on your own personal discernments about the genetic relationships between you and your family. You are an intelligent individual who can surmise that there could be some similarities between yourself and another previously ill clan member that seem too identical to be considered coincidence. You question if you do have a genetic disposition to be ill with CFS and sense that you may have. Even though you now have this ailment, it is practicable to have a discussion with your grandparents and parents about health related inquiries. As you have already discovered, chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome seems to extract partial symptoms of underlying health conditions that would have affected you in your later years as you matured. You may suffer from bouts with arthritic pains or fibromyalgia and your mother and grandmother have problems with the same conditions. There could be diseases relating to aging that may contribute to new identical symptoms surfacing in you such as adult diabetes, high blood pressure problems, and heart murmurs or palpitations. You begin to detect that your own possible future health afflictions are occurring to you at this point in time thanks to this affliction. It may be difficult to perceive that genetic dysfunctions could contribute to the intensity of your discomfort with this disorder but it is a real possibility. No sufferer will be absolutely sure of the past and present immune dysfunction connection between relatives until more research has been done on entire lineages that have histories of CFIDS.

This illness forced itself into your life with no warning and you had no preparation time in coping with the idea of living with a chronic illness. Doesn't it make logical sense then to gain some sense of self-awareness by knowing and educating yourself with what physical illnesses have already surfaced in your family? Wouldn't it be easier to take some time to relay your concerns for your own health future to your family, even if they don't exhibit any outward signs of caring and why not discuss what you can see the genetic future holds for you via the health foundation of the kin? The roundtable deliberation may give you some feeling of readiness in the foreknowledge of knowing what types of afflictions could affect you as you progress into chronic fatigue syndrome. The endorsement and affirmations that your relatives make in your life will furnish some of the incontestable energy you will require in your battle with this syndrome. The types of support that they will need to provide for you will have to be demonstrated to you in perceptible ways. The basic postulation that your family accepts your chronic illness and your contention with it is most important to construct a successful foundation for the aid that you will demand in the present and future. The bestowal of unconditional love and commitment of assistance in your time of need contribute to your sense of a basic connection with your relations. You were brought up to believe that they would be there for you in good times and bad and now the family is exhibiting this behavior in helping you to cope and live with this syndrome. Once recognition and the depth of your alliance establishes, you will detect that you have already hurdled one of the most difficult complications in your CFS-related relationship with your family. The illustration of family hope that you will overcome chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome and their solidarity as an assemblage to bear through this disease with you promotes a stronger internal spiritual harmony. You now can consider that no matter how intolerable or lonely it may seem to suffer with an illness that no one truly understands, your family is there for you. They may not be able to totally comprehend all of the complications of living with CFIDS and how these discomforts affect you, yet your relations will try to promote life enhancing convictions of faith and prayer to sustain you during these tough times. Your clan could become a spiritual mainstay for you. All of your kin could descry that getting together as a group utilizing their personal beliefs of spiritual healing and focusing that energy on you can give you some sort of relief and nourishment while you recover. Sometimes, your relatives are the only group of individuals that can accommodate your specific necessity to be nurtured. The entire household's credence to contributing to your welfare incorporates the epitome that everyone in the home considers to be protected and sacred. . . a family's love for each other.

Your relations will need instruction from you in what alterations have to be made now that you are ill. They can't have unrealistic expectations of what your adjusted activity limits are. No one should anticipate that you are going to be able to participate in life the identical way that you did before you were sick. Things in your life have changed and what affects you in many ways affects them and you can't be required to perform physical feats within the family operations if you have no energy or desire to do tasks with them because you are too fatigued. Your clan wants to abet you but may not be aware of how little you can do. You should contemplate that a family meeting may be in order to disclose the various physical restrictions that you are now faced with. You can attempt to clarify the reality that you can no longer attend every kin get-together. Maybe the relatives expect that you should attend all weddings and funerals no matter how you feel because such appearances have been mandatory in the family lineage out of respect and the actuality is that you may not have the pep to get out of bed that day. You shouldn't be made to feel guilty by the members of your household because you are too fatigued to show up. There needs to be a clear understanding that you must allow yourself the permission to decide if and when you know you have the energy to do something and when you don't without having any guilt or remorse about your decision. Your relatives should be empathetic to your plight and not perceive your absence at any family related events as a personal insult or intentional non-appearance. They may feel a need to make up an excuse for your absence and you could elucidate that there should be no compulsion to do so. You don't owe anyone any excuses for being ill and in how many ways this sickness affects you. If there is a problem with you not going, the concerned person should be informed to contact you directly. Your relations should realize that there is no need to feel embarrassed or that they should be chastised because of your illness.Your immediate family should also comprehend that frequent events such as birthday parties, family dinners, and outings are treated no differently. They can't presume that because these affairs are intimate and inclusive of only close clan members that they should be the exception to the rule. They could try to compensate to accommodate your attendance at these occurrences by not requiring you to attend. It is painful for some kin to consider any kind of family oriented incident without you being there because it isn't the entire household without you participating and there is a simple adage to dispense to your relatives about this situation," If I can come, great! If I can't, that's okay too." You shouldn't be pressured to attend at all. The excess stress of forcing yourself to try to show up will only make you feel sicker. You should encourage your relations to sustain traditions even if you are not able to attend because everyone shouldn't miss out on a good time. If you don't enforce this attitude, you could detect some resentment from family members over time because you will be considered the sole reason that others can't enjoy themselves at these events. Your absence will have created a sentiment of unhappiness resulting from the postulation that you have now contributed to the entire household being an incomplete family and when one member is unhappy, everyone else eventually ends up being just as distressed. If you can muster up the energy to go, the clan should be considerate to the certitude that you may only be able to stay for a short time or have to leave before the main premise of the family happening occurs. There should be anauthentic respect for you and the fact that you at least tried to attend though you may feel a bit cheated in having to depart early. If your kin makes you feel guilty about your departure, you can shift into a state of stressful turmoil. They may verbalize that you seem to use your illness as an excuse for not attending one specific function as compared to another event and it appeared that you were being selective in showing up at the affair that you would enjoy the most not the occurrence that you should have attended because your relatives were there. The reality may have been that you had a "good" day and were rested enough to attend the more relaxed event for a short time. They anticipated and expected you without ever contacting you to see how you felt and if you were rested enough to attend. You can count on the fact that they will say something disapproving or negative the next time you see them either at their home or at another happening. These relations may just decide not to invite you to any future events ever again because you can't and won't exert any visible efforts to go where they wish for you to be and the basic fact of the matter is that you are still entangled in the mentality of satisfying the family semblance and upholding lineage honor. There is no allowance for deviation from these implanted notions no matter how ill you are or what the reasoning is for you having to forego attendance at a family happening.

You can advocate a solution to this dilemma by reiterating your obligation to your own health and that exiting when you do is necessary so that you can rest to try and sustain your current energy level. You require lots of rest and rejuvenation time which is totally out of your control. If your body needs to lie down, you are obligated to do so no matter how much others may not comprehend your body's requirements. There needs to be a clarification in your clan's comprehension of your mandates. If you are feeling rested and have a desire to get out and fraternize, you will attend events that you know you can handle. You must stress the fact that you are being selective to a certain degree because you have to monitor your health and what is best for you. It may not be feasible for you to go to a large wedding but you may be able to tolerate a small dinner with family and friends. Going to religious services with your kin may be inconceivable because the rites are too long and you have an intense reaction to the incense used during the service. However, you may sense you may be able to cope with the relatives getting together after the ceremony. Your relatives must retain a sentiment of empathy, sympathy, and understanding of how difficult it is for you to make these types of decisions. You want to go to all of the same kind of events that you used to go to before you became ill, but now that you are sick you have to make choices to save your own energy level from total exhaustion. You can attempt to compensate for your early departures and no-show appearances by suggesting that the relations cooperate with you in attaining some sort of connection with them and the celebrated happening. You could propose that maybe a family member could meet with you at a later time to catch you up on the occurrences of the affair. Also, you could suggest that another clan person take some photographs or shoot some videotape to keep you apprised of the events that transpired after your departure and then you could review the photographs and video at your leisure. Why not have some kin over to visit on a day when you feel rested to have a talk about present and future family events so that you can pre-plan which opportunities that you may desire to partake? You can't say for sure that you will be able to attend because that will depend on how you are feeling that day, but at least you will be aware of what events are already planned and have the foreknowledge of what is being offered as an invitation.

Some of the most difficult concepts for your relatives to comprehend may be the depletion of your physical, mental, and emotional energies. Fighting this disorder absorbs every ounce of vigor from your body. Your clan's expectations of you are ingrained from the many years that you have spent together. It seems almost incomprehensible and imperceptible to them that you could really be this sick. The entire clan has an implanted structured rigidity in their way of thinking about disease, illness, and family. Your relations have a difficult time seeing you as an ill person. Denial is the more comfortable alternative. There is no place for a person who is diseased to be in their household and the dynamics of your clan drama are forced into a state of upheaval as a result of confronting the reality of your illness. The household members can't apprehend this disease because there are no distinct abhorrent physical abnormalities which show that you are as sick as you claim to be and it is almost as if they require some tangible visible proof that you are diseased. If there was some, it would be easier to accommodate the theory that you are chronically ill. There is also a conscious fear that you may actually have a more serious viral disease than what you think you have and what if this disease is an antecedent to a serious malady that could affect the entire family. You are shunned because of your sickness and are no longer considered an essential member of the kin. Somehow, you are perceived as diseased and disposable. There is a circumscribed major modification that occurs in everyone's attitude toward you as a result of disclosing your illness. Their perception and validation of who you are as a person now is somehow directly connected with your past existence of who you were-pre-chronic fatigue syndrome. The entire family seems very comfortable with the healthy "old" individual that you once were and now everyone has an almost narrow minded viewpoint that you have somehow mutated into an alien being who no one knows or recognizes as the same person that they loved. It is almost as if tolerating CFS has transformed you into someone else and your relatives refuse to acknowledge that person. You are still you but they repudiate that truth because they find it easier to convince themselves that you are no longer the individual they used to know and love because you are ill. How can this be? Why would your family believe that you have now altered into being a stranger and what can you do to convince them that this isn't right or true? Absolutely nothing! Your relatives will believe and think what they wish to no matter how much reasoning you try to get across to them. Part of human nature is tending to put faith in ideas that are easier to grasp and assimilate into existing lives as pieces of selected conceptions and abstractions to be conceived as reality. Your family finds it agreeable to contrive their own solution to the issue of acceptance as compared to facing the facts which may make them uncomfortable, uneasy, and embarrassed in that they didn't believe in you. The end result in this scenario for you is frustration, anxiety, and anger because you are still being forced into conforming your life, sick or not, to the clan's expectations of who you were and should be. Why waste your energy on convincing kin of your point of view when they are demonstrating no indication of compromising their beliefs?

There is an impression with the relatives that the foundation the unit was built upon is crumbling. The existence of normal daily living has somehow been threatened and every person misconstrues the actuality of the interrelationship that now exists between them and you. The chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome in you indirectly brought massive change and adaptations into their lives as well. Change is a difficult concept to accept when they may be acclimated and satisfied with their lives as they are and there is too much disruption. The alterations aren't worth any amount of effort that they would have to expend to contribute to your well being. Selfishness surfaces and the protective shell of the ego is in danger of being cracked under the pressure of having to accommodate your illness. The relatives decide that supporting and comprehending your inability to summon up a normal amount of energy is too much of a threat to their life styles. The family's repulsion towards your bout with this illness creates in you feelings of negative frustration yet you understand their viewpoints and empathize with their perceived fears and denials. You have accepted the reality that there is not much you can do to change their attitudes. You are ill and that scenario will be your life style for who knows how long and you have chosen to distance yourself as much as possible from the family to make the entire situation less stressful for all concerned. You do have the propensity to control your own participation in events where you know that relations will be in attendance. It is up to you to decide if you wish to be in the same locale or not. Will it be beneficial for you to have your unbelieving family in attendance at the same event? Only you can judge what is best for you at the time. But, what do you do when you don't have the choice and can't avoid interacting with your clan in a social situation?

Your first reaction may be to leave the event immediately because there is a discernible strain when you are confronted with kin. You go through the formalities of being friendly and polite but are extremely uncomfortable with the situation and are acutely aware of the fact that they don't believe you are ill at all or have made it crystal clear that they aren't going to display one iota of support for you. You can't help but think that they are sizing you up and wondering how ill you really are while they stare at you and whisper among themselves. You know you are the subject of the conversation at their table and you can almost sense that what they are saying isn't complimentary or pleasant. The kin's suppositions and conceptions of who you are and their evaluations of your battle with CFIDS appear to radiate across the room in your direction and almost everyone in the area can sense them which in turn cause you to become extremely agitated and very uncomfortable.Yet, if you exit the occasion, you are really only short changing yourself. It took a lot of energy for you to attend this happening and you do need to get out and socialize especially now that your social life is so disrupted and limited with you being ill. It is unpleasant to be in the same area with people who are selfish and relentless but you have resigned yourself to the fact that this situation is not going to change. Since you have no influence or control over what others think of you, why let it bother you and ruin your rare opportunity to have an enjoyable time? Stay and find some other people to converse with who will welcome your company. Even if the affair is a family related event, you can sit and talk with distant relatives or friends of the family. If the subject of the conversation shifts over to what is going on within your immediate relations and why aren't you seated with them or that they have heard you aren't getting along, you could be honest and explain the truth as you see it to the person asking or you can politely state that you don't wish to discuss it now since this event is not the appropriate place and you are there to have a good time. Allow yourself to be concerned with your needs ahead of your family's ignorance. You are there to enjoy yourself and that is what you should focus on. If you discover that it is indeed too difficult to be there with your clan, then you should consider leaving. In this situation, you are creating unnecessary stress for yourself if you stay in their immediate environment and if you attempt to tolerate suppressing this negativity and stress throughout the event, you could sabotage any progress that you may have made so far in coping with chronic fatigue syndrome. You could end up flat on your back in bed again as a result of absorbing this nonessential anxiety. If you are absolutely sure that you can't cope being in the same area with your kin, you should ask yourself if staying there is worth the possibility that you could be much sicker once you leave. It may be nice to get out and fraternize but in this particular predicament you may discern that exiting will do you less harm than staying and enduring internal frustration and trepidation. You should not feel guilty if you choose to exit because you care and respect yourself and your needs. If you are lucky enough to have a family who is supportive of you and your battle with this disease, they should be conscious of your new social requirements. You could discuss your hesitations with them in considering any type of social invitation because you are afraid you may have to leave the event once you are there. Your relatives should be empathetic to the fact that you need to socialize. However, now you have to be selective of the affairs that you do attend. You have a limited allowance of energy to get you to and through the event. Vigor is precious to you and the conception that you should get out with the relations as much as possible is defeating the purpose. You want to enjoy yourself, but you also don't want to set yourself up for a relapse either.

There may be special accommodations that the family could make to aid you in coming to an event. You might be energetic enough to attend but you know that you can't drive yourself. Another hard fact about suffering with CFS that you have to face is that you may not be capable of driving because your concentration level is so scattered. How about hitching a ride with a relation? No one should make you feel like a burden or that you are obliged with a future debt of some kind to this individual because he or she provides transportation for you. It is difficult to comprehend that you are contingent on someone for a ride since you are so independent but it is part of the reality that you and your family have to confront. They should offer you transportation if they are aware that you aren't able to drive your own vehicle before you even have to ask and the thought would demonstrate some consideration towards you and your temporary insufficiency.You may sense that you could run out of pep very easily because you had such a bad night's sleep on the eve of the event. Why not verbalize to whoever drives you to the affair that you may have to leave early? It may make you uncomfortable to request that this person depart early and you may feel as if you are imposing or being a bit too forceful. Yet, your relative may be anxious for an excuse to exit the event early. If he favors not to depart early, maybe another relation, neighbor, or friend could bring you home instead when you are prepared to leave. There is no need to "stick it out" and stay to the end if you are too tired just to be considerate to the person you came with because if you have been totally honest with this individual, he already has a cautious awareness to watch out for you and any indications that you may exhibit that show that you are ready to go. You may discover early into the appearance that you are having a strong reaction to the lighting and odors within the room. You need to get outside for some fresh air and are too weak to make it outdoors alone. Your clan should be pre-apprised that the possibility is there for you to have these types of responses when you are least expecting them to occur. Accentuate that there is no way for you to know if and when you will have these types of reactions. Also, they should be sure to consider this factor when selecting a seat for you. All or some of the kin should be able to withdraw from the event in this situation without causing any undo attention or notice and someone should stay with you at all times until you feel capable enough of returning to your seat or if you should have to exit early. It is best to have this issue be part of your initial roundtable family discussion about chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome so that they are aware and informed of the fact that you have no preparation or control when and if this circumstance can happen. They should understand that you may just require fresh air or a change in scenery for a temporary time to regain some sense of composure. It is best to attempt to explain that this sickness amplifies your sensitivities and reactions to what might be considered "normal" environmental factors.

Outdoor events can present risks for you as well. You may have a photophobic reaction to sunlight and have to move indoors while everyone else is outdoors enjoying the weather. The relatives could move some of the activities indoors to accommodate including you or may choose to spend solitary time with you indoors with a one on one discussion. No one should insist that you sit in the shade to oblige her wish to have you outside to suffer while this person enjoys the event. Your family should understand that sometimes, as a result of having a type of allergic reaction to sunshine or smells that you can suffer with physical pain. There is a necessity for you to be able to avoid this inevitable conclusion to staying outside or subjecting yourself to unnecessary environmental stresses by having the capacity to be able to go inside or to leave. Your relations may desire that you partake in family outdoor activities where there isn't a lot of physical exertion or movement. It can be important and satisfying for your clan to spend time just sitting and conversing with you. Quiet times can sometimes be the most relaxing for you and your relations could enjoy your company in an easygoing, tranquil setting. They should be appreciative that you are there and not presuming any kind of expectations from you. You should not be considered a "captive audience" for extremely talkative or argumentative family members because you are required to sit and not participate in the kin's activities.

Preparation and discussion are the two key factors in coping with attendance at any family affair. Each incident may require special attention and only you will be the one who knows what you demand and you can't be afraid to express these requirements to your loved ones. They should comprehend that your appearance at the event means you have to participate within certain limitations. However, these boundaries don't mean that you shouldn't go at all because it creates too much of a disruption for them to satisfy your demands. Your relatives should encourage and appreciate any efforts that you make to show up. Have a family conference and discuss all different types of scenarios that have and could occur. Be specific about the obvious particular requirements in each situation and attempt to answer anyone's questions that they may have about fulfilling your needs. You should acknowledge to all of how much it means to you to have their support, caring, and love in wanting and obliging you and your situation. This ailment has changed the entire household in direct and indirect ways. Your immediate family will detect early into coping with the sick you that the normalcy of everyone's lives has been disrupted. Your physical participation in life seems to have been put in a holding pattern and, in turn, it affects your immediate clan. They can't depend on you to go places with them or play or commence any kind of physical exertion. Once you used to be able to get up first in the morning, make the children breakfast, and either go to work or set out to complete your daily list of chores and now you are lucky if you can manage to get out of bed long enough to go to the bathroom and head for the couch. You are no longer capable of handling life's menial tasks. The perception of how your mate and children see you now is puzzling to them. You don't have any idea of how to explain to the kids that you are chronically ill or how to spell out exactly what CFIDS is. They only understand that you can't seem to stop resting and sleeping and that you look really sick. The younger children insist that you take some medicine and you will feel normal again just like they do when they are ill. It is strange that the only people who can truly perceive how ill you actually are, even beyond the doctors and specialists, are your immediate clan. They tend to be able to discern the depth of the disease by being alert and observant to your weaknesses and capabilities. Anyone in the house can look into your eyes and sense the fatigue and sickness. Your spouse and children almost have a sixth sense in regards to their belief in you. You don't need to say a word about how miserable you are. They just sense the discomfort and reach out to aid you any way that they can even when all others can't be bothered. A generous word, loving hug, or tender kiss from them could be the best remedy for you on a bad day and you shouldn't be afraid to ask for one if it isn't offered. Your household members don't seem to question your bout with chronic fatigue syndrome because they get to experience how it is affecting you on a daily basis. It appears that this is the one dominant crux in why your immediate kin is usually the only true support that you may have for the entire duration of this syndrome. They actually observe and participate in the suffering, misery, and annoyance that this affliction brings into their lives through you. They get upset and frustrated in watching you suffer and you get emotionally torn apart watching them be so affected by your bout with CFS. It is in this concession to this disease and what it has done to you that a strengthened family bond develops. You will detect that your mate and the children begin to find a way to adapt to the new struggle that the entire household has to grapple with by pulling together as a unit.Most caretakers do so much for their families in many various, numerous ways every single day. You are no longer capable of performing this duty and have a hard time accepting that this is the way your life is going to be for a while. It is tough to accede to the actuality that they are going to have to fend for themselves for the first time in a while. You can't help but have serious reservations that this situation is not going to work and that the entire household will fall apart without you at the helm. You have taken care of everyone for so long, that you have almost spoiled them into believing that you are the only person alive who can do things for them the correct and proper way. It is hard to see your spouse carrying on with so many responsibilities and you lying in bed sleeping or resting. But, keep in mind this set of circumstances is temporary until you have enough energy to get on your feet enough to be able to contribute to helping out around the house again. The children may have to learn to pitch in more and help out with chores. They may have to sacrifice some of their free time to assist your mate with his extra duties. Any reasonable amount of considerate labor is not going to hurt them. The pride in doing a job and completing it in a satisfactory way will contribute to your children's perceptions of self-respect and self-worth. The usual outcome to this predicament is that the family can indeed carry on without your direct input. They will discover that they can survive without you doing everything for them. It may mean a lot of family meetings for your spouse and lots of yelling and arguing about who handles what for increased obligations but things will get done in their own time. The key issue to remember is that priorities will have to be altered and change of any kind, be it good or bad, brings disruption and rebellion. The family will become closer and learn to rely on the basic structure of the family's interdependence once the introductory confusion and disturbances have ceased. You will need to discipline yourself to allow the transition of power and control from you to your companion. She will have some slight adjustment problems after attempting to deny, bargain, and finally accept the new role as the solitary active head of household. The shift can be easier for everyone involved if you participate in explaining to your children why your mate has to assume your responsibilities as a parent. The children will understand a lot easier than you think they will. They are seeing with their own eyes the fact that you no longer have the energy to do much of anything around the house. Contrive lucid rationalizations that the kids can comprehend in their terms. Everyone must understand her new role in the mix of things. It will only cause massive confusion and distress to overwhelm the kids with too many objectives and presumptions at once. Once the transformation has occurred, your new role as passive parent is to be there to support your spouse when she asks for your help. Don't undermine her new found authority by getting directly involved in issues of discipline and responsibilities especially if the children come whining to you about some sort of disciplinary action that your mate has instructed.

You are not to be eliminated as a parent to your children though. They should feel that you are still available to them for guidance and support even though you are ill. You should make it clear that you don't have the authority to override what the active parent does or says and explain that you don't want to have your children coming to you to contend with how your mate disciplined them. You should monitor any severe behavioral issues that may develop between your spouse and the children. If you have observed or heard your mate abuse or misdirect disciplinary measures, you should discuss the topic behind closed doors for two reasons. The first is that the children should not witness the disturbance of power between the two of you when you talk about what has happened. The children will interpret the debate as a weakening of the active parent's authority and not pay attention or listen to him any longer because they will sense that his control and power over the household is now invalidated. Secondly, you don't want to offend your mate's ego and you want to extend the image of respect to the children. Your companion is having a hard enough time trying to do everything in some sort of order and the best that he can and there may be an interpretation that you are stating he is not regulating the household properly which can project the message that your spouse is a failure or can't do anything right. You can't expect the children to have any regard or respect for their parent if you aren't going to exhibit any deference to him yourself. It makes more sense to talk in private to remedy both situations.Your mate will have a lot of pressure and responsibilities to fulfill besides adapting to your intimate relationship in coping with this disease coming into your lives. You should attempt to be as understanding and empathetic as you can keep in mind that you know how exhausted and exasperated you felt doing the daily tasks that you used to perform. Imagine how she feels working as her job, taking on the total accountability for the children, and attacking your burdens as well, plus caring for you! It is a tremendous load to carry day to day. You can contribute to her well being by encouraging your spouse to make time for herself no matter how hectic things will get. It is hard to think of others when you are so focused on your own misery but make an attempt to. No human being can be put under this amount of extra stress without it affecting him in some way. Call a friend or relative to see if he can come over to help you and/or the children out so that your mate can have some time to himself. You can't expect your spouse to be invincible with infinite patience. He has to have time to focus on his own needs as well as everyone else's requirements in the home. Suggest that he take a vacation alone be it for a weekend or a week. When he is refreshed, it means that you will indirectly benefit with your mate being more energized and directly focused on you and your needs upon his return home. Try to be as independent as you can be in caring for yourself. If you can't get out of bed with help and you just want to get up to walk around the room, be considerate to the fact that your mate is in the middle of dinner with the children. Which is more important at the moment-you getting out of bed or your kids having a parent to share and discuss their day's activities? Readjust your thought patterns and reprioritize your needs and wants. Is it really necessary to have a bath or shower first thing in the morning when your mate is so busy trying to get the kids ready for school and herself out the door to go to work? Couldn't you wait until after the kids go to bed that night instead? It might be a bit inconvenient and uncomfortable to forego some necessities you may have considered important in the past but try to adapt your not so necessary requirements to when it is convenient for your spouse to help you. Being considerate and understanding to what is going on around you in the household is a difficult reality to comprehend when you are initially coping with CFS because you feel so out of touch with everyone and everything but you must make an attempt to try. You will discover that patience will become a virtue that you will apply to your life every day in every conceivable way.

Once there seems to be a vague daily living pattern developing, you can begin to address the topic that you and your spouse have put on hold for a while-finances. The money issue can be one of the most sensitive subjects to discuss. There is a certain amount of power and control that coincides with finances. Egos get involved and tempers can begin to flare or depression can set in. Keep in mind that you and your spouse are both in this predicament together. Neither of you asked to have this battle with this disorder and you should both try to not pass judgments or blame each other for the situation you are now facing. If you were working and bringing in some sort of income, you may have to be out on medical leave which means a cut in pay or the loss of your job all together. As with most two income families, the second income is usually considered a necessary contribution to help cover daily living expenses. If your income has ceased since you lost your job, there may be a desperate concern in your spouse that he or she can't meet the fiscal obligations of the household. As with anything else in coping with chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome, adaptations and adjustments should be made. A review of the household expenses should be done immediately to see if there is any possibility of trimming the budget down as there is always a way to cut back on everyone's indebtedness. It may mean that recreational activities will have to be pruned back or eliminated. There needs to be total honesty and objectiveness in researching what bills or fiscal commitments can be shaved. Neither of you should think that this situation is going to break the family up or cause major financial disasters because there are ways to rebudget and rethink where your money is getting spent. Look at this situation as another challenge-not as a disaster in the making. Life is not going to cease because there is less money in the household. Both of you need to consider the actuality that you are alive and capable of surviving beyond this disease. How much is this reality worth to you?You don't have a terminal illness where you know many calamities would result from the circumstances of that situation. Looking at this predicament in logical terms, the price you and your family have to pay fiscally for you being ill is a loss of one income. You aren't going to lose your life and no one in the family will either because there is less credit or cash to use. Everyone can live with this cutback in money. It just means a little more inconvenience for all. If you asked your family would they rather suffer without you in their lives or put up with a little tightening of the belt, you can bet which objective would win out.

Every parent wants to extend opportunities to her children that may not have been available to her in childhood. Sometimes it is necessary to reevaluate and distinguish what activities are actually imperative for your children's participation in life. This confrontation with your monetary affairs is an opportunity to do just that. Your children may be used to going out to eat two or three times a week, may belong to numerous activities that you pay fees for, or receive regular excessive gifts or allowances. You may not actually be aware of how much overabundance there is in your children's lives. You should be sure to sit down and discuss your money situation with your children after you and your mate have decided on your household's necessary cutbacks. You don't have to fill them in on every little detail of how desperate things may be because that will only cause the kids unnecessary stress and strain. Let them know that you have to cut back on some things that used to be bought or done. Children tend to imagine the worst extremes when coping with loss so try to answer any questions as clearly as you can so that they have sufficient answers to squelch any fears that they may have about being poverty stricken or homeless. Stress the actuality that everyone in the home can adapt to living life a little differently. Reinforce the positives about changing the family's financial behaviors and downplay their negative attitudes about how much they will lose out on if the cutbacks are made. Have you or your spouse considered how much it costs you to go out to eat with the children-even to a fast food restaurant? Your mate could see this as a requirement especially since you are ill as it would save him from having to cook when he is really exhausted from working all day. You need to point out that he will have to work more hours to make up for eating out and your money situation is strained enough without this excess spending. It wouldn't hurt them to cut back to eating out once a week and it would make the occasion more of a special event not something that is expected and unappreciated. The household will save some money in making this type of concession and the kids probably won't really notice that they aren't eating out as much. If they do, you and/or your spouse should remind them of the fiscal trims that have to be made and that they need to understand that it will be a treat to go out to eat.Children do need to participate in activities outside of the home that promote values of self-esteem and self-respect. They should take part in movements that teach them how to interact with others. However, most working parents allow their children to do many different activities because they can afford to pay for the fees, thanks to a sufficient income and the luxury of having the extra money to be able to afford them. Some parents also have a sort of guilt complex in that they think they owe something to their children for not being around them as much as they would like to be as a result of having to work. Another justification could be that the parents grew up with very few opportunities themselves and want to be sure that their children have the chances to do things that they didn't. Now that your finances are depleted, you and your spouse must reweigh the meaningfulness of each activity and if there is a necessity for your children to be doing what they are. Does your son need to go to karate classes three nights a week and is it necessary for your daughter to have dance lessons twice a week? It will be hard to decipher which things to cut back on, but with a little honesty and cooperation, the choices of what to cut out or trim down on will be easier than you think. Allowances are a sensitive topic. It is a personal preference to bestow rewards as results for any job well done. Some parents find it necessary to reward and some parents don't. The important factor is that you have a cutback in finances which means that there is less money to dole out for compensation. A suggestion might be to substitute cash allowances for actual activities such as the children going to participate with the active parent doing something they like to do. You might consider eliminating the idea of money on the whole and making up "reward chips" for any responsibilities that the children are accountable for and they can save up their chips and trade them in later on for a treat or activity such as going out to eat at their favorite place or a mini shopping spree on a specified pre-planned date. You can vary how much each activity "costs" and put a chart up for your children to see and have a special time of the month that they can trade their chips in instead of dealing with the children constantly attempting to give the chips to you whenever they wish. This type of readjustment in dealing with allowances gives the children a sense of responsibility in trading and earning chips. You and your mate just have to use a little imagination in creating a program that conforms to you and your children's adapted financial requirements.

You may have been diagnosed by a medical professional and are under a doctor's care and have been ill for over two years with no hope of recovering anytime soon. You have depleted any savings and medical leave benefits from your employer. Now in reviewing your monetary situation, you discover that you have no income at all. You may consider applying for Social Security benefits. No, these programs aren't just for when you reach retirement age. They are there to help people who are too disabled to work. There are two main programs that you may qualify for depending on your assets, income coming into your home, work history, and health history. It is a very lengthy process to qualify for Social Security benefits and there are many different steps that you will have to go through to see if you can receive any money or medical coverage. Don't be overwhelmed with the amount of initial paperwork that has to be filled out. You can have your mate, a relative, friend, or even neighbor help you complete the documents. As part of the determination process, the Social Security office may request that you see another doctor or even go to a psychiatrist for an evaluation. Try not to take this request as an insult. The government is an organized system that demands things be done in a step by step manner. The verification process has to be almost air tight with no allowances for mistakes. The adage "jump whatever hoops are necessary to get what you need and deserve" applies in this financial situation. This illness is currently being recognized by many senators and government officials as an actual physiological illness. It used to be that this disease was not considered as a reason to qualify someone for benefits and that there had to be a dominant symptom or diagnosis as the qualifying disease such as depression or severe fibromyalgia. Social Security is now acknowledging chronic fatigue syndrome as a designating qualifier for people to receive benefits. There are three important justifications that have to be completed by your physician before you will be consider for Social Security benefits. His or her opinion and diagnosis about your sickness must be documented in writing. The second piece of information is the doctor's best approximation and prediction of how long you will be ill and what his or her feeling is towards how much of a recovery you will make. Lastly, the physician has to provide verification of your bout with this syndrome over the length of time that you have been ill. You will discover that waiting to see if you are going to qualify is a lengthy wait. It can be up to one hundred and twenty days before you get any type of decision. You may be denied in qualifying for benefits the first time that you apply. Don't let this discourage you and keep applying for benefits. You may be requested to add any additional information that you have regarding your case the next time you make out an application. At any time after receiving a denial letter, you can appeal the office's decision. All you have to do is follow the instructions that are provided for you on the denial letter itself. Responding in a timely manner is very important in dealing with an appeal. If you have been denied three times, you can request an attorney through Social Security for no fee. He or she will represent you in appealing your case. Your Social Security office will be able to provide you with any information regarding the application or appeal process. Don't get discouraged or dejected over the denials or the appeal process. Stand up for your own rights as a disabled individual. You may also qualify for some legal preservations and services that other disabled people get. It is hard to perceive yourself as a disabled individual, but you are for the duration of battling with CFS. The disability is temporary and you will eventually get better over time. Don't allow society's label of disability to define your specific individual limits and boundaries.If you aren't up to going to the office, some offices will allow you to call and request the necessary paperwork over the telephone. The worker at the office will forward the papers to you immediately. It is imperative to remember that the person you deal with (your worker) is a human being doing his or her job. This individual is not being judgmental or subjective in dealing with your case and she has a job to do that requires certain objectives be completed before the process can be finished. You will get frustrated and impatient waiting for a decision because you may think that you have been forgotten in the immense amount of paperwork that your worker has to get accomplished. Don't take your frustration out on this person! She is there to help you and can if you cooperate with her in responding to any of your inquiries. Before you call her for answers to your questions, write them down on a piece of paper so that you will remember what it is that you wish to ask and always have your Social Security number available whenever you call about your case. In that way, you will not waste your worker's time and you will exude a certain amount of respect towards this person's workload by saving her time and energy in responding to your case. Be sure to follow any instructions that you receive from Social Security to the letter. If you do qualify, you will receive a monthly check and free medical coverage. This monthly allotment can be a real life saver when you have no income. If you decide to try and keep working, be sure to reevaluate all of your options first. Going from full-time to part-time hours may seem like a logical solution for now since you do need to keep receiving the medical benefits as well as the obvious financial ones from your job. However, if you cut your hours, you could place yourself at risk for not getting any kind of governmental aid in the future. Some programs consider that if you are capable of working even part-time, then you don't require any type of help and it doesn't matter how ill you are. These programs may be set up with specific guidelines to follow and if you don't meet them, then you won't qualify at all. Another aspect to consider is that even if you can manage to work part-time plus receive government benefits, it may mean that you will obtain less money in the long run. You have to be absolutely objective and realistic in considering all of your choices when contemplating the future of your career and your financial picture as a whole.

A component of the money topic is borrowing from relatives, family members, and friends. It will be a temptation for you to borrow cash from people around you who want to help out. The loan would take care of the initial expenditures that you can't meet and it could serve as a temporary solution to your fiscal problems. This idea appears to have some merit and the both of you begin to seriously consider the loan. Still, there are some strings attached to this seemingly charitable offer to give you sustenance in your time of need. The primary offer of aid may be with good intentions but as time goes by that intent wavers. The individual will become frustrated and embittered in having to wait so long for repayment on his loan to help you out. He may be in need of receiving payment because of hardships that he or she now faces. This scenario sometimes contributes to the breakup of families and friendships. You both should consider the long term effects that borrowing money could have on your relationship with that person. If you feel confident in believing that she would allow you the necessary amount of time to repay the loan, that your alliance could withstand the pressures of assuming the loan, and there would be no unnecessary pressure to pay the loan off in full at an inconvenient future date, then seriously discuss the possibility of borrowing the necessary funds. The loan may be all that your household requires to get you back on your fiscal feet.

If your finances are stretched beyond your budget and limit, you may consider going to a credit counseling service before you borrow any money from anyone. This organization can help make arrangements with creditors to cut down on your monthly payments until your bills are paid in full. The counselor will request that you hand over your income to him or her and then it will be budgeted accordingly. Some people have a hard time letting someone outside of the household control their income. It is difficult to relinquish the control and power that money has to someone that you hardly know. However, your monetary affairs are in disarray and you do require some sort of guidance and advice to decide what you can do about the loss of income and the increase in indebtedness when there is no other presentable alternative. This option will also help keep your credit in good shape until your financial situation can improve. Who knows? You may even consider staying with this program even after you have recovered to get some fiscal support to aid you until you can go back to work full-time. Your spouse may wish to work overtime to contribute more money to the household to keep some sort of control on your fiscal problems now you have no income. If this decision was being considered under normal circumstances, you would have no problem with it. However, it isn't. You and your children are distressed because everyone demands your companion's attention and you are ill and need to have some help. The children don't have you to raise them any longer and there is no way possible that you can attempt to be the sole parent for them while your mate is at work because you don't have the energy or capability to function in this capacity any longer. Your spouse becomes irreplaceable both at home and at work and he or she can't be in two places at one time. Your household requires the extra income just to make ends meet and your mate's employer is willing to help out by letting him or her work overtime. What alternatives are available for the household to help cope with this situation? A recommendation you may suggest could be to have someone else (a family member, friend, or neighbor) come over to help out on the occasional shifts that your spouse works overtime if it fits in his schedule. A concession that would have to be made is that your mate would only be able to work one or two shifts a week overtime and no more than that even if there is still not enough money. His presence is required at home not just for you but for the kids as well. Your spouse should not get overworked either because it would do no one any good if your companion got so fatigued from overwork that he or she ended up ill.

Another issue to consider that this intertwined with the finances is your medical coverage. Most sufferers will pursue the traditional medical therapy from the onset of the disease into the first two or three years. If you decide to have a medical doctor be your sole medical provider, the odds are that your coverage that is provided as part of your Social Security benefits will cover any services. You will need to check your medical policy through your employer or your spouse's employer to see if the insurance is adequate for your medical needs. However, after the initial two or three years of battling with this disease, you may discover that traditional medicines and therapies no longer have any benefits to combating this syndrome. At this point, it becomes apparent that you may have to consider alternative therapies such as acupuncture, homeopathy, and naturapathy. These alternative treatments are usually not covered by traditional insurance companies and can be very expensive to pursue. It is vital that you and your mate discuss the increase in your medical costs now that you have consistent medical needs that will have to be addressed. Most of the alternative therapies have to be paid for out of your pockets since the insurance company will not acknowledge these fees. The both of you have to communicate on a regular basis about your medical requirements if indeed you have to pay for every treatment. It could be feasible to pursue alternative treatments and then discover that this regimen is too expensive to continue on a regular basis and then you are left with no medical treatment whatsoever as most physicians will not forego their fees or work out a long term payment arrangement for you since you have no income. It can become a serious obstacle if you are in need of some kind of therapy and can't afford it. You may wish to set aside a specified amount of funds to cover your alternative treatments and inform your physician of your financial situation from the initial visit. You will want to ask if he or she foresees any problems with the choice of therapy and treatment methods being disrupted since you may not have the sufficient funding to proceed with them at some point in time. Don't set yourself and your family up for rejection from your physician by not inquiring about this situation previous to its onset. While you are looking at insurance policies, it wouldn't hurt to review your life insurance policy as well. Be sure to check the policy to see if it may have a medical disability clause which states that the company will pay your premiums while you are disabled. Some credit cards and mortgage companies have the same kind of provision so that you are not responsible for payments while you are ill and unemployed. If you do have such a clause in your policy, contact your company immediately to see what paperwork has to be completed so that this provision can be activated. The payments that the company will make for you will free up some funds that can be focused on other more important fiscal issues.Your family will have to adjust to a different life style not only because of the financial decreases but because of the adjusted schedules in the household. Your mate may be working more hours and not be around as much as she would like and the children are around the house more because there is no one to take them places or to do things with them. There isn't as much for them keep themselves occupied with that they consider fun and enjoyable. You can't do very much around the house and what activities you can participate in bore the kids to no end. They require more movement and energy to their lives. This situation is not going to change for quite a while and the children will have to learn to monopolize their own time in their own ways. You are not totally responsible for keeping your kids busy and interested in life twenty four hours a day. Suggest alternatives to their previously busier activities that they can do from home or a friend's house. Over time, they will adapt to their new life style and will detect that they have more control over their time that they spend on their interests and hobbies.

Another family that will be directly affected by all of the upheaval in your home is your "other" relatives-grandparents, parents, sisters, brothers, and their families. You may have an extremely close group of relations that stays involved in each other's lives on a regular basis. Once you have revealed your chronic illness, their are two options that your family will pick. . .either to help or to alienate you and your clan. If they estrange, it is difficult to realize that you will have no choice but to rely on neighbors, friends, and co-workers for any help. They will have to make themselves available for you, your spouse, and your children in a confidential manner which may be uncomfortable at the inception, but will work out in the long run. If you have kin that will help, the time to ask for aid is from the beginning of adapting to the difference in your family's life style. The entire family should make themselves available to you and your children. It is more beneficial for each section or part of the clan to perform specific duties so that no one feels overwhelmed with more responsibilities than others. One of the biggest disasters that you could encounter in your situation would be for everyone to get frustrated and angry with providing their time and energy to helping but all of them want to do the same things or dominate the entire household without taking your children and spouse's opinions into consideration. Everyone involved should keep in mind that you appreciate their help but it is still your family's home not theirs to overhaul, rearrange, and reorganize. They should work within the established boundaries that are already at play in your home. There are many different ways that each relative can contribute to the responsibility load in your household. Your grandparents and parents may be the ones to baby-sit your children on a regular basis. Your sisters could be the ones to depend on for your personal care and helping cook occasional meals for your family. Your brothers could help around the house cleaning or doing outside yard work that your spouse may not have time to do any longer. Everyone could have a definite role in helping and contributing to your welfare by relieving the stresses, concern, and worry that you would have on a daily basis not being capable of running your own household. You may discover that your children will enjoy having their relations around on a regular basis and may be motivated to spend more quality time with them outside of your home.

The most obvious questions that your immediate and distant relations will have regarding your activity level are what you can do now that you are sick and what can they do with you. It is hard for you to cope with having a major life style change and this situation could be even worse if your family doesn't comprehend that your life is now different. You can make a difference in how they perceive your abilities through being totally honest and up front with them. No one else in the clan (unless he or she is ill with the same disease) can truly understand what you are coping with and what activities are the most beneficial and comfortable for you to do since your energy level is so low. Attempt to break through any preconceived barriers that your kin may have about you and how ill you actually are and once they can embrace and acknowledge you for who you are now a forward motion can begin for the entire family. You are going to be the "expert" on you and what you can and cannot do. There may be days where getting outside for a short walk is the reality or it could be as simple as watching movies on the couch. You have to monitor your own health and know your limits because your relatives may not be as observant as they should be when they spend time with you. A recommendation you can make to your relations is to bring activities to you instead of you going to the activity. How about your brother and sister coming over and bringing their own popcorn and rented movie for an early night of entertainment just for the adults after the kids are in bed? Maybe your aunt and uncle could make dinner for you, your mate, and the kids one night and possibly your parents could take out some old home movies from the attic with the projector and have an "old times" evening with everyone over. Perchance, a family picnic indoors? Maybe your cousins could take turns having the children sleep over on a weekend night to give you and your spouse a break and some quiet time to rest and relax. Have your spouse pull up the rug in the dining room and your parents can play ballroom dance instructors to the children. How about a possible family baking affair where everyone has to bake something edible for another family member to take home? A small barbecue after everyone pitches in from doing outside gardening chores would be fun. How about going through old photo albums with your relatives and talking about your memories about the pictures with the entire family? Conceivably, have a family craft circle night where everyone exchanges finished crafts-this notion would be ideal near the holiday season for gift making. There are a myriad of activities that families perform and don't even consider that they are doing something together. It just takes a little imagination on everyone's part to have some fun with you even though you can't move around or do a whole lot. You may not wish to participate in some or all of the projects because you are too fatigued to plunge in. Allow yourself to say no if you don't want to do something. The family can still do what they set out to do without your participation. You should encourage everyone to have fun around you as sometimes their happiness can't help but rub off on you as well.

Laughing and cajoling can be some of the best medicines in helping you get well. Be appreciative to have their support, love, and happiness around you even they are engrossed in an activity and you are sitting on the side lines just watching. You will be amazed at how much your perspective will widen once you have the time to sit back and observe your family members cooperating and sharing as one big clan. Your observations will make you think about how much you used to take your family ties for granted.

There are always alternatives to consider when confronted with any obstacle that chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome puts in your life's path. It will just take some ingenuity, honest communication, and effort from you and your relatives to confront and tackle the problem. You can get through these tough times by pulling together as a family unit and focusing on you and the needs of your household. Keep in mind that it makes no difference if your relatives are supportive or not, you are a part of your family and deserve to be loved and nurtured for who you are now. It doesn't matter if your "family" are blood relations or not just as long as they are truly there for you. Family equates love, support, and caring.