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Do you find when those around you whine you get irritated?
My pain has for the most part made me much more empathetic towards other, for the most part. But it seems as never before that everyone around me has some sort of complaint or another about how they hurt so bad. I hear about how they just can't deal anymore with their bruise hurting (a slight exageration on my part). I am a very empathetic person and I usually try to talk to them and hear what they have to say. But there are times when the same person complains on a daily basis that I just can't handle it any longer. I am the type of person that rarely, if ever, talk about my pain because I "know" people don't want to hear and how can they help anyway.
I feel the exact same way. For the last 6 years I have been experiencing chronic pain on the left side of my body that all the doctors I've visited during the first year of pain have not been able to figure out what is causing it. So I've just learned to live with it, because even I was getting tired of hearing myself complain about the pain. I couldn't imagine what others were thinking. I got tired of becoming a constant downer to my family and friends.

But I did have one friend in particular that was constantly complaining about the smallest of pains (your bruise example made me laugh). It got to the point that after years of him complaining and complaining, I just couldn't deal with it anymore and ended the friendship. I used his being constantly late to parties and events as the reason, but it was more so that I wouldn't have to listen to him complaining and moaning about this ache or that ache any more. Talk about bringing someone down. I'd be in a good mood when we'd first get togeher, but within 15 minutes I'd feel lower than low. And it doesn't matter how much you try to build up their self esteem either. These kind of people just live to belly ache, unfortunately.
OMG I am so glad I am not alone on that!!! I have never complained to my friends...I felt why should I because a) they couldn't make it better and b) there were those worse off than me. I was lucky to have been working with a young lady who had a severe case of MS and she taught me a lot about dealing. I didn't even get a handicap permit until my doctor threatened to take away my license because I was walking too much and it would affect my driving. I have since stopped driving on my own; the signs about being able to be charged with DUI for prescription medications scared me LOL

I can't end the friendship, well I could but then I would be breaking up with my girlfriend. She lives with me and knows what I go through and still every day she is too tired, too sore or afraid of getting sore to go do anything with me so I wait all week to get errands done and get out of the house and then come the weekend the only way I can shop, and get away from the "whining," is to drive myself. Today it is her feet hurt and she is so tired, I have no idea how she hurts because I am not in her shoes...

So I guess we just suck it up and do what I do...laugh in my head and find somewhere to vent about it...thank you for listening :)
Oh, I didn't realize you were talking about your girlfriend. That's a different story.

I think if I were in your shoes, I'd use a technique that has worked for me with my mother. I love my mom to death, but she can be so pushy when it comes to my eating and exercising habits and lots of other things. But to show you what I mean, I'll use her pushing me to exercise more as an example. She'd say things like, "You only work out 3 days a week? You should be working out 5-6 days a week to really get fit!" I would always cringe inside when she would say this, knowing I can only do so much because of the pain I'm in. So I would use my sister, Lisa, as a scapegoat to get a point across to her without hurting her feelsing (my sister is fine with me doing this, too). Knowing she'd want me to work out more the last time I started back to exercise I told her this, "I just started an exercise routine on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and can you believe that Lisa told me I should exercise more days a week? She knows my body can only handle working out for 3 days a week because of the pain I'm in. Sometimes I think she just doesn't listen to me."

So, without directing that statement towards my mother, she doesn't get hurt but hears more of how I'm feeling because I'm not directing my frustrations at her but at my sister. Most of the time when I do this she will agree with me and usually not push the subject further.

Maybe you could try something like that with your girlfriend. Use a friend at work as your scapegoat. ;p Something along the lines of, "Frank at work is constatntly complaining about every little ache and pain he has. I wish he'd realize how annoying that gets after a while." It would definitely make your girlfriend think twice the next time she wants to complain about her most recent bruise.
I used to be friends with a former neighbor who would try to 'top' my illnesses with something always 'worse' than mine, and yes..whine about them constantly. If I was hospitalized with a chronic asthma attack, she would talk about how she had pneumonia. If I broke a rib, she suddenly walked around with a neck brace claiming she had a slipped disc which nearly paralyzed her. It got so bad that I would literally try to avoid talking to her altogether. We lost touch after she moved away, and I actually was happy, LOL.
I guess I have been fortunate. I have not noticed other folk complaining about their minor aches and pains too often, so I have not been too irritated.

I get irritated when people start making suggestions on how I should handle my pain, though.

I cannot stand the "have you tried..." conversations any longer. I find the attitudes behind the suggestions more than a little insulting, and I want to ask the speaker why they believe I'm so stupid that I haven't tried several pain control methods during the last 20 years of writhing pain.

I am also tired of hearing the litany of "natural" treatments and remedies from people who know nothing about chemistry or how pharmaceuticals are developed. One person suggested I start drinking more water to ease the pain from my cervical spine's stenosis, ruptured c-2/c-3, and all of the nerve compression and muscle spasms. That same genius did not know that chlorine is found in nature and insisted white willow bark contained no chemicals.
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