British Lung Foundation
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why don't they understand?

Hi all.

I feel like having a rant,so here goes...

I have 2 daughters,1 is 34,the other 24.

The 34 year old has said things to my younger daughter that has really upset me,and I cannot mention it to her for fear of dropping my daughter in it.

Basically,she said that I don't do enough excersise and that my condition warrants it.

I do what my body will allow,which is normally 20 mins a day on my excersise bike,in 10 minute intervals.

I know excersise is important when you have a lung condition,nobody knows that better than me.

Her problem is I don't do enough for her.

Like her step mum can,and her mil can.they drive.i don't.its buses everywhere,and some days I just am not upto it.

But I get slated for it.

Don't think she realises how hurtful it is when she says things.

And don't know how I'm going to keep my mouth shut....has anybody else had this problem within their family?

That's it...rant over!


23 Replies

Yes I have its just me me me me all the time from one daughter ,never asks if I want anything doing until she picks her bag up on the way out !! It doesn't bother me anymore until I see my younger daughter who is ill, struggle too do things for me

I guess that's familys

Take care



The younger one shouldn't have said anything. I don't think you can avoid a conversation, otherwise this will fester. What about a chat with both of them to explain why you can't do everything. If you handle it carefully you needn't let on the younger one has said anything. Robin


Families eh, all different and all loved by us. I am lucky that we have three great kids (37,34,32) that all live close by and are very understanding of Pete's health problems. I must admit though that our daughter is a star in every way. She is very kind and helpful and will offer to do things whereas our two sons will only do things if asked. I don't say anything and just try to get along as I care for Pete and don't expect anyone else too. I am just so glad we have them nearby though, the youngest actually lives with us, and we get to see our two grandchildren which is a big bonus.

I agree with robinell and think that you could have a word with both daughters there and see how it pans out. You can only do what you can do and not what others think you can or should do. Good luck to you. xxxx


Hi Fantasy 3

you have a good will do you good.

I agree with other replies on here...also you know your own body and what you are capable of doing on any day, good or bad.

You are probably not like me...If I was you I would have a word with the eldest daughter and tell her that, her remarks are ..hurtful..unwarranted..,and unhelpful.

If you can't bring yourself to do that....Put your post up and get her to read your replies.

I hope when she reads them it will encourage her to be more supportive.

Velvet xx


I have to agree with a couple of the above posts, you have to speak to your daughters. For your own sake, it's important to discuss the health problems you have so they can understand them better and hopefully quit judging something they can't understand.

I have all sorts of varied health conditions which prevents practically all exercise. I'm now at the point of having mobility cars and scooters in order to spend quality time outside of the house. This is not good for my lungs of course but I have no other option. And when you're doing all you can, those around you need to understand that or it puts us into shame and guilt spirals, which affects our mental health. Not good.

So talk to your girls, together or individually. Invite questions so they can learn about the effects of your illness instead of judging it on something they may have read somewhere or heard from a friend.

I hope the air is cleared for you soon.



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Ah, families. My husband and younger daughter discuss mother(me). Used to drive me up the wall. I'd hear it from my other daughter. Visiting her, we'd have a cuppa and go over the 'findings'. I'd put my side of the story, she'd reformulate it into an aside for wee sister, who'd of course talk with her dad. Phew!

Following bout of depression last year, six weeks counselling persuaded me to look at it from their point of view. Given last ten years has had a health problem in it, it's no wonder dad and this daughter touch base every so often. Now I see it as not talking about me behind my back. They're just concerned and don't want to worry me by saying anything.

Your girls will be the same.


Thanks everyone.

My younger daughter does understand what I'm going through.she has lived with me since diagnosis,and only recently got her own place.

Older daughter has 2 young children,the eldest has just been diagnosed with autism,and she has a struggle with her on a daily basis,she's 8 years old.

Herself has been diagnosed with mild ms,although she manages to run a home,kids,dog,husband,and she works part time.

Plus she's an excersise freak,running between 6-10k a day.

So yes,she has her own worries going on in her life.

But it hurts so much when she makes judgements on my life,and what I should and shouldn't be doing.

Once again thanks for all your really helps.



Once you see the whole picture, you can understand. She can hardly cope with her own life, is worried about you and feels guilty that she does not do more.I think you have to be the judge of how you deal with this. Our daughter was at war with us forfor 18 years. (she worked abroad for most of that time - more her dad than me). Something happened that was so unfair I spoke my mind, on ly the third time in her life. Took 6 months for her to thinks things over. Everything has been so much better since. People will never understand how we feel with a lung condition unless they have it themselves. Good luck Kaye


Sounds like your older daughter has a full plate. Maybe she just let all her pent up emotions out on poor mom. Kids do that. Especially daughters. Sounds like a good mother daughter day out, is needed. What excellent advice you received. Hope we all helped some.

Rubyxx 😊


Hi I think it's also a generational thing and when you are young and healthy it's very hard to understand anyone a lot older and especially with health issues. You are coming from a totally different place than they are and they will understand a lot more when they are older. x


Oh god YES. Also I know how difficult it is to talk to them when you're feeling so upset.

I've had this and worse from the daughter I'm now supporting after an op. I have sometimes wondered if she actually hates me and blames me for all her problems, her dad & I splitting up when she was 16 for starters.

They have selective memories and often their recollections are quite wrong.

I have the opposite problem. If I try to talk to younger daughter about her she won't 'get involved'. Can't talk to my son who better understands because I know he'll have a go at her then she won't speak to me because I spoke to him.

Sometimes she's said that I always favoured him and he got everything which is so not true, they were all equally adored by me. They were brilliant fantastic kids, I, who did two years towards a counselling qualification and several years working in mental health can't understand it.

Now I'm having a rant!

On the up side for me, my drama queen daughter started counselling on 4th September and she's improving already. Plus her partner has been getting up in the night to the little one who gets up 6-10 times a night and he's on his knees. At last he knows what Anna has been through for 4 years while he slept. (Heehee)!

Anyway back to you. You could get some BLF leaflets, two copies of each to give them one set each to keep it even? Let them read what it's all about and hopefully the one tricky daughter might change her tune.

Her nagging may come from concern or fear of losing you. You could ask her gently why she does it & tell her it has the opposite effect and makes you upset, depressed, feel worse and short of breath - all contributing to shortening your life.

Something I'm thinking of is writing down things in a factual, unemotional way for my 3 so they might better understand. You could write down why you are unable to do as much as the other two. No way could I help mine if I had to use public transport, hell, it would take every ounce of energy & leave none for anyone.

Thinking of you. I think nothing ever comes of anger between family members.


I do not get it from my family as they have seen me in ICU and how it affected me from then on. But people do very often say "but you do not look unwell?" My GP bases his conclusions on a O2 meter after I am rested. It was not until I was in AC that a consultant followed me from my seat to the ECG room to turn around and say I understand now how the observations at rest are so different to the tests! You recover quickly but you are also exercise intolerant!"

I have had to fight for everything based on what they think they see? Ask your daughter to carry some things up and down stairs while breathing though a straw in her mouth only. As a lot of people with lung issues feel like all the time.

Be well


Ah yes, good idea about the straw.

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Hang on a minute. Never mind what you can do for her. It should be what she can do for you to ease the daily struggle! Yes Ican talk, my daughter thinks that if I am incapable of picking up my granddaughter on certain days then I need a paid for carer. Heaven forfend she should do anything for me herself! Rant over.


Hi fantasy, that's the best thing to do, have a good rant, you often feel better for it,

most families are the same, believe it or not, My daughter in the pic, often thinks i can do anything, i'm not quite sure they fully understand,what were quite capable of, The only folks who truly understand, are the folks that are going through it them selves

But things always sort themselves out in time,

i have had well meaning friends on the phone,, when i've been completely even unable to talk, yet they still cant understand, i have a deaf friend who is very hard work for me [not his fault] but have needed to write answers to him on an a4 sheet of paper, he cannot see the difficulty i go through, this off course was making me worse, i had to write that down and tell him! Yet still he doesn't understand,, although it sounds bad, i finished up writing a shopping list , partly to give myself a break, partly for him to get some shopping for me :D,, which he did :D

But i did write THANKS :D when he came back with it :D

have a good rant anytime, it does you good, hope all turns out well

lots of love jimmy xxx :)


Must be the weekend for it fantasy, I feel quite hurt with one of my daughters, (I want to go into, 'after all I've done for you mode') you've had great reply's to this, which has helped me a lot, because I'm so cross all I can say is 'ROLLOCKS' !!!!!!! To difficult daughters, but I know by tomorrow I will have calmed down a bit, hope Sunday is being good to you xxxxx


Hi fantasy, there is always time for them to change keep you fingers crossed.

I always prayed for my 2 daughters to get on with one another, they have always fought and moaned about each other. It wasn't until I was very ill a couple of years ago and we had that thing of the family around the bed that they realised they had each other to lean on. The agreed each time they met they would hug and it has gone up in leaps and bounds they really love and support each other and we love going out now the 3 of us.

Hope it works out well for you.

take care

polly xx


Thank you,thank you all,for all of your replies.

I am at the moment on holiday in beautiful Norfolk,been up the broads on a boat for 2 days,so it's been lovely.

My daughter actually left me when she was 12 to go live with her dad.we fell out over it,I know we shouldn't have,but God,it hurt.

Then we made up a few years later.

But fell out again,and I never went to her wedding.

For the past 7 years we have been "ok" I suppose.but she refuses to come pick me up if she needs a babysitter etc,I have to get the bus and meet her halfway,(she lives about 5 miles away).

Yes it makes me feel like she doesn't really care about wether I'm here or not....

I sometimes think that I don't need her in my life.but to not see my granddaughters would break my heart 😢

Anyway,I love all you people on here as you give such good,honest advice.

Thank you from the bottom of my heartxxxxxx

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Sounds like she's being harsh to punish you for past hurts. Needs to grow up a bit. And see a counsellor maybe. Meanwhile, you have to draw a line somewhere & for me that would be getting the bus to babysit. Shes really testing your boundaries there. But be calm and try having the chat. You dont want to fall out with her long-term, it would be awful to lose her and youd just feel worse I think. Nothing in the world, ever, would make me sever ties with my children, theyre my life. R


I wouldn't be catching no bus to go and babysit for her.

I'm soft hearted, but what she is doing there smacks of emotional blackmail using your grandchildren as the ransom.

Your doing her the favour, not the other way round.

My brother nags me constantly to do more exercise, even though I've told him my fibroakes it very painful and hard to do.

So, even though I know he is just worried about my Copd worseniing, it still hurts that he doesn't get it. Your daughter could be worrying the same way.

Then again, she could just be being awful about you because she's stressed.

Only you can know the answer but, I think that the suggestions of a chat with both daughters present, is a good way to clear the air.

You will also have the suppport from the daughter who actually sees how you struggle, which might just put the elder daughter straight. xx


My family is unsupportive too. I think much of the time with COPD we don't look sick and can do things such as walk around the house (on a good day) without gasping for breath so we look 'normal' while we prepare coffee and food for them. I have sons and no daughters. Two sons with their families came to visit me two days ago and the mess they and their children left me with had to be seen to be believed.

They don't ask their children to eat at the table and the result is that I have chunks of muffin and food crumbs all through my house where the kids had been running around with food. Cups, plates, serviettes, food and cutlery all over the benches and table in the kitchen. My kitchen looked like a cyclone hit it. Without noticing the chaos they created they just pack up and leave when they're ready. They don't think, because they're wrapped up in their own lives.

I've now turned my reply into a rant. I think what I'm trying to say is that many families are non supportive because they're not aware of the seriousness of our situation. It's very hurtful, I know how you feel.


Thank you brondana,at least I know I'm not the only one.x


Get it all the time - by phone! I very rarely see this daughter as she is too busy with her own life. Other daughter lives in Australia so not much trouble from her. I have learnt to ignore her by thinking she can't be bothered to visit so I can't be bothered to listen! Sad but it's my solution.

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