Author Topic: Went to my first support group meeting  (Read 5434 times)

irish

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Went to my first support group meeting
« on: April 22, 2008, 09:26:05 PM »
Last night I attended a support group meeting that is held at our local hospital. It is an MS support group and I ran into the gal who heads it up whom I have known for many years. We ran into each other in the grocery store a couple of months ago and she was telling me that anyone with chronic or autoimmune disease is welcome to this group. We are in a smaller populated locality so she has opened it up for others. There was just her, me, and another fellow from about 25 miles south of here.

They meet once a month and have usually 2 through 8-10 people. It varies a lot because obviously not everyone feels well enough to come every time. I think it will be a good thing for me. I have been feeling better and I know that I need to get out more. The MS group has to work at a Health Fair at a Walmart store about 20 miles from here on a Saturday in May and I will probably go sit with her and hand out brochures.

Also, for someone who asked, my toe was still sore and I ended up going into the doctor again last Friday and got more antibiotic. My blood sugar was over 200 that day so I decided I had better get the toe checked out again. Also put myself on a diet of sorts--cut down on the portions and going to diet pop, etc. I have lost several pounds already and I have no idea why. I have to head out to the doc next Tuesday and have 3 appointments on one day again. I thought I was over that. Irish ;D

eyeamdry

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Re: Went to my first support group meeting
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2008, 10:14:05 AM »
Irish, it sounds as if this was a positive thing for you!  It took some courage and energy to do this and you should be proud!
How often do we (I) just sit around because we feel so bad that it's almost impossible to work up enough energy to get up and go somewhere?  Probably more often than is good for us.

Sitting at a Walmart for awhile doesn't sound that bad.  I love to people watch and I'm always surprised most others do too.   There is a Sjogrens support group about 50 miles from me (in Grand Rapids) and I've thought about that, but as of yet - have not approached them.  There is an ongoing cancer support at our local cancer center and I should avail myself of that.  I think I'll look into it.  I hope you get to enjoy your meetings from time to time.  Lucy 

irish

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Re: Went to my first support group meeting
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2008, 09:39:21 PM »
Lucy, I find it hard to believe that there isn't some type of an autoimmune support group in your area. You have a high enoough population to sustain one I think. Have you thought of checking out a lupus support group or possible a rheumatoid arthritis group. So many of these AI diseases go hand in hand. It sound time consuming, energy wasting and gas guzzling to have to drive to Grand Rapids. Although on a nice spring day it would be a wonderful trip. I love Grand Rapids. So many gorgeous flowering buses this time of year. Take care. Irish

Linda196

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Re: Went to my first support group meeting
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2008, 03:47:18 AM »
One thing I've found in "support groups" is that they can (don't always) become simply a place to whine and complain about how "no one understands me". I can see how easily that can happen, because when you have no where that you can openly complain without having your symptoms belittled, and are introduced to a group with the same issues who won't belittle you, sometimes it can become a case of " my symptoms  (condition, circumstances) are worse than yours". I consider those to be "outlet" not "support" groups. Sometimes that can be beneficial, but only for the short term...then you need to move on to a place of support.

As is so ably demonstrated in this forum, a true "support group" is very much a give and take endeavor, with willingness of all members to provide support for the ability to have receptive eyes and ears when they have the need to complain.

I think what I'm trying to say is "check out a prospective group before you become involved, and don't be upset if it doesn't seem to be what you need, just move on and hopefully find exactly what you need elsewhere"
Please check out our home page at http://www.sjogrensworld.org/index.html {{INCLUDES A LINK TO AMAZON SHOPPING!!}}
; and live chat at https://kiwiirc.com/client/irc.dal.net/#SjogrensWorld

Care

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Re: Went to my first support group meeting
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2008, 08:23:14 PM »
Lack of local support groups is exactly why Spring and I began Sjogren's World.  I led an online support group for the Ohio Buckeye Chapter of NMSS for years.  We had fun!  We actually met in person for a meeting.  It is strange to meet the people behind the "nicknames" we chose for our online Support Group.  I found that you can have a genuine friendship without even meeting a member in person.  We became very close.  So many groups meet a night.  That is not a good time for most people who have autoimmune illnesses.  Pain and fatigue make socializing at night impossible (or painful!) :o Distance makes it even worse.

So we are here!!  We love doing this.

Care

Shari

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Re: Went to my first support group meeting
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2008, 08:40:22 PM »
Hi Irish~~~I hope that the support group works out well for you!  Keep us posted.  It will be interesting to hear your feedback.

Kepp your toe up!!  And your chin!

~~Shari~~

irish

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Re: Went to my first support group meeting
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2008, 08:45:52 PM »
The good thing about ths group is that people just show up when they can. The fellow that came that night hadn't been there for about 5 months. The leader just did a few things to get us talking and we shared information and we all learned something. So far it wasn't a complaining group. The other 2 people have busy lives and I have been busy lately also so we had a few other things to talk about. Irish ;D

Nettie

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Re: Went to my first support group meeting
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2008, 05:20:52 AM »
Irish, I'm so glad you finally found a support group that is working for you.  I have a support group that meets about 20 to 25 miles from my home.  The Sjogren foundation support groups are pretty good.  They train those who facilitate the groups and usually have both caring and sharing meetings along with guest speakers. 

I haven't gone for almost a year now, as things have gotten a bit hectic for me this past year, but I am glad to know that it's always there when I need it.

Nettie

nisha

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Re: Went to my first support group meeting
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2008, 05:50:36 PM »
There is a Sjögren’s Support Group starting up where I live, so it will be interesting to see how it develops.  It will be sponsored by the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation.

nisha

Nettie

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Re: Went to my first support group meeting
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2008, 07:26:04 PM »
Nisha, so glad you too will have the opportunity to try a Sjogren's foundation support group. 

Nettie