How do your families treat you regarding your pain? Are they sympathetic or dismissive?

Dismissive sometimes, particularly my father in the past. I have movements similar to Michael J. Fox and it can be embarrassing and painful at times, but he's always been a bit on the cold side. My mother is sympathetic because she has RA, she's suffered for years and I took care of her from a very young age on until I left for college (multiple joint replacements, daily upkeep, and a colostomy). She has trouble controlling her pain most days and we text back and forth to support each other. My father is a bit more sympathetic these days, but we have a disagreement about my pain medications - he thinks it's too much but I've been offered even stronger stuff by my neurologist and have declined it because I don't want to be out of it all day. I find it interesting when those who criticize you for taking pain medications are often healthy people who have no idea what your daily existence is like, family or not. I'm a lot better than I used to be, so that's good, but do you really think becoming physically dependent on a drug is the biggest concern for me? I take 8 other medications, but because there's a stigma around pain medications, I am lectured for it as if I'm just complaining about a sprained wrist.

I was hoping to start a relationship with someone so that I can start my own family. After basically being told by someone yesterday who is okay with dating chronically ill people that I would be unable to keep up with her, I have serious doubts that's ever going to happen. It's pretty awful to hear that you've got all these great qualities and are the sweetest, kindest man she's ever met, but that those traits aren't enough to contend with my neurodegenerative illness. I'm so very lonely, I have friends but I really desire an emotional and romantic connection as we all do. I wish my illness wasn't so obvious, I believe it's a huge advantage if you're able to at least appear somewhat normal, but it is what it is. I got a second chance at life thanks to a clinical trial, but I am starting to wonder if it was worth it.

/r/ChronicPain Thread