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About how people socialize standing up!

Posted by Kathy G on 5/18/03 at 11:01 (119177)

As I have finally accepted the fact that I probably won't be going back to work, I have been seeking other outlets for myself. Since most of my friends work, it hasn't been easy. Luckily, I am quite self-sufficient and don't mind time alone. I can almost always find something to keep me occupied on the days that my husband works.

I rejoined the Zoning Board of Adjustment and that's something I've always enjoyed and it keeps me more involved in our town. I also joined the local Garden Club. Most of its members are at least ten years older than I but I find it to be enjoyable. I'm just getting to know people. Yesterday they had a plant sale and I volunteered to work on the raffle table.

Well, first of all, I thought I could sit most of the time. I had envisioned a table with the members sitting behind it, selling tickets and talking to people. Wrong! We brought lawn chairs but they were placed far away from where the people were purchasing raffle tickets. It was kind of frustrating. I had to go and sit on several occasions and it must have appeared that I was being anti-social but my feet hurt so much from standing! There's no way I can stand for four hours!

To top it off, the other woman who was working the table with me had to leave early and the third woman, who had an Avon table of her own that she was working, was not happy when I said that I'd really like to help cleaning up but that my feet hurt too much. She was less than gracious about it. She knows, from conversations we have had, that I had to quit my job because of problems with my feet. I'm not thin-skinned and I wasn't asking for sympathy but I didn't expect her to act like I was shirking my duty or something. I never signed up for the clean-up committee. All in all it was a humbling, frustrating exercise.

We've often mentioned, on these boards, how much socializing is done while standing up. This experience sure amplified that! It brought to mind that, as we have mentioned countless times, PF is not a visible malady. You have no cast, no limp, no crutches. If I weren't basically so stubborn, I think I'd invest in a cane. Not that I need it, thankfully, but it would be a visible sign that I have some kind of disorder that makes it difficult for me to stand.

I didn't even have a chance to check out all the plants that were for sale! I was trying to be a good person and be available for the table on which I was working. That's all right because we can't plant anything around here until May 31st but it would have been nice to see what was offered. All in all, a kind of lousy experience. And I woke up this morning with a migraine! I think I'll just kind of write off this weekend!(:(PIPE)

Re: About how people socialize standing up!

JudyS on 5/18/03 at 11:24 (119181)

Kathy, I'm remembering the times when I would deliberately use my crutches just for the kinds of events you've described. I knew it would be the only way people would 'accept' that I had feet problems.
Please don't be discouraged - that woman just couldn't get it and couldn't be sensitive. Keep getting out there and keep finding things to enjoy - it's well worth it while you're healing. =D>

Re: About how people socialize standing up!

marie on 5/18/03 at 11:29 (119183)


Been there! I am feeling better but I have decided not to join anymore groups that hold fundraisers...etc. I only join groups that are fun and promote socilizing.

You will get it figured out I am sure. Give it some time.


Re: About how people socialize standing up!

Pam S. on 5/18/03 at 20:04 (119215)

Hello gals:
I am so interested in these experiences you are having. I do not work outside my home. I recently joined a volunteer group that raises money for a large hospital and they have a house walk. I have to work at the house walk all day. I said I needed to have a chair. I felt so silly sitting down that day. Also, there are things you have to do and you so not realize how much you NEED to be on your feet. Also, we make baked goods and casseroles for several days to sell. That requires more standing. I did not realize any of this when I joined.

Once a month we have a meeting in someone's home with a luncheon. Everyone STANDS around and talke for quite a while before the lunch. This ALL requires decent shoes too. I just feet so depressed about this because I really enjoy things like this and it is difficult.

It is hard enough standing in your own kitchen, right???
Taking crutches is a great idea. That gets everyones attention. Poor us. I love having company but I do with we would all find relief.

Re: About how people socialize standing up!

john h on 5/19/03 at 07:57 (119241)

Pam what you need is one of those little seats golf spectators carry around. It is just a little seat on one leg that folds up and as they move from hole to hole they just plop it down. Of course they are using it on turf. I suspect they have them a non skid leg.

When I was in pilot training in Waco, Texas I was dating a girl who took me to me her parents home for a visit. Her mother was working on an invention for a seat that folded up and you carried it around and in particular into football stadiums like Baylor. I looked at it and thought she was wasting her time. It turned out to be what we today call a stadium seat and there were zillions of them sold. I was transferred shortly after seeing that seat and I never did find out if she is the one who patiented it.

Re: About how people socialize standing up!

marie on 5/19/03 at 08:26 (119249)


Re: Pam S

Kathy G on 5/19/03 at 16:40 (119307)


You sound like me. You want to join a group but it has to be a group that doesn't require you to stand or walk.

Do you like to read? I am contemplating joining a book club as something to get me out and socializing. For me, the most difficult thing about not working is not being able to see people. I wouldn't exactly describe myself as lonely but I definitely feel isolated. In my prior jobs, I had a great deal of public contact.

I'm a lazy reader. I just love to read, have all my life, but I like to read those books that interest me. I'm mentally lazy, I guess, but some of the books the clubs read are not at all what I'm interested in. That's what holds me back.

Years ago, when my first child was young, I belonged to a group and it was terrific. We read books that were on the best sellers list - books that were classics - and everything in between. We'd get together at a different person's house each month, talk about the book and have a great time.

The only clubs I've been able to find meet at the library. One is for senior citizens and I'm really not interested in the books they read. The other is run by a friend of mine and she's wonderful but the books are not necessarily my cup of tea. Like the last one was about a guy who climbed Mount Washington several times and what he encountered. Sorry, but while I admire him, I'm not sure I want to read about him.

Too bad I don't know how to reach out and start a club of my own. I know that there are people out there who read mysteries like I do and who'd love to discuss them. They used to come into the library all the time when I was working there and we'd recommend books to each other and talk about what we were reading. Too bad I didn't start a group back then.

Another thought: Do you do any handicrafts? There might be a quilting group or a group of knitters who get together. A friend of mine mentioned that she likes to do needlepoint and since I crochet and do similar things, maybe we should get together and do it. I'm thinking that might be fun. Maybe you could find someone to do similar with you.

Just some thoughts. I understand how frustrated you are that you like your group but you have to stand so much. Even with the Garden Club, much of what they do is touring of gardens, flower shows, etc. and I can't bring myself to go and be wheeled around in a wheelchair, so I pass.

We'll find something we can do!! It just may take us some time!

Re: To Kathy G.

Pam S. on 5/19/03 at 23:06 (119341)

Dear Kathy:
I really appreciate your post. You and I DO have alot in common. I am also very flexible and am fighting with this night splint every night. I do not know if it is worth it or not since my arch not my feel hurts. My arches feel like they have pebbles in there or trigger points. I love to massage them. I really need to know if we should continue wearing that crazy night spoint or not. What do you think?

I have been on the phone all night with my freshman in college daughter who has just been diagnosed with mono. Going into finals etc. She is hysterical. My freshman in high school just fractured her foot this week running track. Not a good day today!!!!

I am a little tired but I will write more later. Basically I am a totally social person. I am a terrible,impatient reader. I only can read what totally grabs me. I do not have a good attention span. I love to BE ACTIVE. Weird as it may sound, I truly love to exercise. Race walking WAS my favorite. Tennis too. My husband is a huge biker but I could never keep up with his group. We have an active social life which involves STANDING and talking to people, of course. I just do it and suffer in silence. I am constantly searching for decent shoes to wear out.

I could maybe needle point but I had rather be out doing things but maybe it would be fun with a group. Alot of my friends play bridge but I do not know if my memory is good enough on this Neurontin. I probably sound like a complete dope. I do have a masters in social work but no license so I do not know what I could do. I just love people.

I also have fibromyalgia which is also a challenge. I have some other issues with that but I fight it like crazy. I finally get good sleep but I am on 3 meds. I never thought in a million years i would end up like this. I was PTA president - just a really out there person. OH WELL My husband wants to go to Sun Valley this summer. There is incredible hiking there etc. I will feel so out of it but he works hard and deserves to take this vacation.

I am very lucky to get to stay home with my kids. My mother says I should just not complain and count my blessings. I am grateful but I want to stand and walk. HAAAAa

I want to talk more about our being so flexible and how to stretch our tight feet. Do you massage with a tennis ball? Do you wear orthodics? Do you do yoga? I think the burning pain is really the worst of it all.

Sorry I am rambling on and on. I guess this is what this is for. At least I learned how to use a computer this year (finally!) Do you have children? I hope I am not being too nosy.

I have heard that there is an occupational therapist here who does myofacial release that can really help feet. Also,trigger point work in your calves that Carmen wrote about.

Thank you again for your response. I look forward to problem solving with you and everyone else on these boards.

Re: To Kathy G.

marie on 5/20/03 at 08:51 (119354)

I know just how you guys feel. I was and still try to be very active socially...as my feet and fibro allow. I don't have a choice not to work. We need my income and mostly benefits. So I have learned to adjust.

I have learned that I need my weekends to relax. In the past we would run from one social gathering to the next with either friends or family. Or my kids activities always came first. I had to learn to say no to many things. With fibro it helps to keep on a daily routine. We still do some socializing but it is mostly around a campfire. We bought a small cabin in a wooded area. We use to camp alot but had to give it up when our schedules became so bogged down. The cabin gives us the freedom to come and go whenever we want. Plus it has central air. Now we socialize in the little neighborhood were our cabin is located. It is alot more caual...and you can sit around a campfire alot easier.

At first I missed being so active if just for social reasons.....now I think I must have been crazy.

A club I am trying to start is a gourmet club. I was in one years ago and it was easy and fun. You need about 6 couples to make it work or twelve people. Each couple takes a turn hosting it at their home. The hostess plans the menu and assigns the dishes. Each couple brings a dish and a bottle of wine. That way we have a variety of wines to sample. Since it's a dinner party most of the socializing is done at the table or seated.
No fundraisng is involved. It would only meet in the fall and winter months with December free.

It's an idea I hope to get going this summer. We'll see.


Re: Marie

Kathy G on 5/20/03 at 09:47 (119364)

My mother was a member of a Gourmet club. I had forgotten. She just loved it. She lived in a different time than I and for the first twenty-five years of her marriage, she didn't work. She was active in many community and church organizations and she was always on the go. She and my dad had a nice group of friends and they would go to a community or church dance a few times a year. Before the dance, one of them would have the rest over for dinner. Many's the time, I remember my mother having a dinner party for twelve. For me, the only time I have large numbers over for dinner is Thanksgiving and on occasion, Easter.

None of my friends socialize like that. All of them work and weekends are spent going out to eat or doing family things. And of course, catching up on housework.

When I stopped working, I came to realize that I don't have a great number of friends. Lots of acquaintances but not many friends. And I guess it's because I am very much like my father. I'm terribly reserved - very private - to a fault. And very self-sufficient, again to a fault. So at this point, it's kind of coming back to haunt me!

I also do a great deal with my husband and believe me, that's not a complaint. But as a result, my need for friends has never been that great.

I would volunteer for more town committees but to tell you the truth, I spent so many years volunteering that I've kind of reached a burn-out point. One of my favorites is the 'long-range planning committees.' I cannot tell you how many hours I've spent brainstorming, reaching consensus, coming up with goals only to have the plan adopted and then totally ignored. What an exercise in futility! If someone mentions long range planning to me now, I just tune out! The town has had two master plans and is talking about another one. They haven't paid any attention to the first two, why bother with a new one?:-/

I was rambling again, sorry!

Re: Pam

Kathy G on 5/20/03 at 09:55 (119366)

I was going to sign on and quickly peruse the messages but I have to respond to yours and I'll be brief because I need to get going. However, I couldn't sign off without telling you how sorry I am to hear about your son and your daughter! Wow, both at the same time.

My daughter got mono her senior year of high school. I wish I'd been more strident in getting her extensions on many of her assignments. From my son and daughter's experiencs, I can tell you that college professors are very understanding and will grant extensions if the student gets in touch with them and explains what's going on. Make sure she lets them all know. My daughter got sick last semester and two of her professors gave her incompletes and allowed her to pass in her final projects at the beginning of this semester. I can imagine that she's freaking out but tell her they're used to this at college as, short of first grade, it's probably the time in a person's life when they are most likely to get contagious diseases.

The timing is good because she'll have the summer to rest. She won't want to but she may find herself sleeping for hours on end. My daughter wasn't too bad about that but she had a friend who just slept and slept during the summer after her mono. She'd go to work, come home and lie down and end up sleeping until the next morning.

If I try to click back, I may lose what I've written so I'll ask, did you say your son was active in sports? What a bummer for him. The only good thing is that at least nowadays they have cooler casts, some you can even swim in.

Hope it all quiets down for you all!

I'll be thinking of you!!!

Re: Pam

Kathy G on 5/20/03 at 09:56 (119367)

Oh gosh, I'm really dumb. He's a girl! And you clearly stated that she was running track. Sorry about that!

Re: Marie

marie on 5/20/03 at 13:52 (119389)

I know it's hard to make close freinds during the kid and work years. I am in the same boat. We have alot of friends that we socialize with but I wouldn't say they are close friends. I am a very quiet person at home...you'd probably never guess that here. I have always been that way. I have to be out in the community because of my job but I am very reserved as soon as I leave school.

You know alot of folks go through what you are going through when they retire. My brother had the same problems when he first retired...this is not my brother with MS. He and his wife were alone together as the kids were grown and gone. They started escaping to bed and breakfasts. Slowly they worked into a pattern. It's so hard when you first quit working because it is such a big part of your identity.