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    Old 05-25-2006, 10:05 AM   #16
    BrittleBones
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    Re: How does your spouse, BF/GF handle your pain issues?

    I bet this is a thread that could go on and on and on!! It affects so many of us. When I married my husband in 1992, I was an independent, hard working single Mom who was used to taking care of everything myself. I had my share of medical problems, but nothing disabling. In 1997 I took a fall while attempting to wash a window. I fell 2 stories and am lucky to still be alive and walking! I broke many bones and this is when all my problems started. From that point until today, my husband has been such a positive and supportive force in my life. I know that I'd never be here now if it weren't for him. He has always taken time off from work to take me to my appointments and to sit with me after surgeries, (more than 10 in total) etc. I wish that there was some award that I could present him with. But now I'm getting better and we've started going out and doing things again. I'm able to drive now and run many of my own errands. If he hadn't stood by my side through all these very bad years, I know that I would have given up and most likely would have just died for lack of spirit or the will to live. It's not that he doesn't get tired or depressed about having to do so much more. I can see it on his face and sometimes I've heard the frustration in his voice. But I can honestly say that he has never, ever ridiculed me for being unable to do what most folks take for granted. He's never yelled at me, or even raised his voice in anger. I think I better stop writing now before I start crying!! I wish everyone could have a person in their lives like my husband. KathyMac

     
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    Old 05-25-2006, 12:13 PM   #17
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    Re: How does your spouse, BF/GF handle your pain issues?

    Kissa, Curious, and Kathy- You are all very lucky to have spouses like you do. When you think about it, we do put a burden on them with our problems. But I know myself, and the rest of us here, would all be there in an instant if our significant others had a medical problem and needed us.

    Curious, I agree about this and women leaving their husbands while in Iraq. When I was in the Army, many of the guys got Dear John letters. Telling them that they were with someone else. It amazing these guys that were there rough and tough, but seeing them shed tears when they were left by there spouse. We all became eachothers family.

    Its the same with medical issues. It sure is nice to know that someone is there for you when you wake from surgery. Or when you're wheeled into surgery to have someone to tell you it will be ok and see you when you wake up.

    Right after my last surgery, I was at home watching TV and my wife was sitting on the other couch. We were watching a sitcom and in this particular episode, one of the actors was going in for surgery. And the family was waiting and nurse came out and told the family that this person was not waking up from anesthesia. The TV family started crying and everyone was upset. In the show everything ended up working out ok, but my wife you could tell felt weird and walked out of the room.

    For me personally, I could not live with myself if my wife went to surgery and I chose to stay home and watch TV and something happened to her. I guess that just me though.....

     
    Old 05-25-2006, 01:19 PM   #18
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    Re: How does your spouse, BF/GF handle your pain issues?

    Hey Aranger, Sorry to hear about your marriage. I think I have run the gammit as far as our relationship. In the beginning, believe it or not I was the ***. I figured I wasn't the same guy, this wasn't what she signed up for and pushed her awayt thinking it would be best for her. I guess she stayed partly do to our child, I had become primary caregiver and still am, but there was a point where she was pretty crappy and I wanted to leave, but because of my daugter I couldn't.

    The biggest killer is resentment, it smolders away and often goes unspoken untill it errupts like a vacano. If your in relationship it takes constant work and flexability. Plaease don't think I have all he answers because I'm still dealing with my own problems. This certanly wasn't what I thougt our life would be like but it takes couseling, a solid relationship from the get go. Having kids will keep you from doing anything impulsive but someone asked how can someone be suportive in the begiing and then turn cold. That's easy. people have an expectation that surgery or medicine will heal you.They can be very suportive in the beginning because doing the right thing is very clear and we awill be getting better in X days or months. If you happenm to fal into that percentage that doesn't get better or gets worse, that's a completely different ballgame.

    It's normal to feel responsable and like we let them down by not getting better, did I try hard enough in PT, did I make the right decisions, it's normal to doubt yourself . I don't know if my decision not to have more surgry is basd on fear of getting worse and the recovery, or based on wondering if I get worse will it tip the scale where I become a burden and can't help out with what I do.

    I'm sure part of the work I do around the house is purely based on guilt and feeling like I have to do my part, even though I pay dearly for it. I was brought up that you have to push yourself and was never told life is easy or fair. Accepting that phylosophy when it happens to you is a constant struggle. Some days I'm more comfortable with my life and some feel like I can't live the rest of my life like this.

    I'm sure our spouses feel the same and I guess it just depends on what someones idea of love and commitment is. As bad as I feel for Aranger , at least someone has a chance at happiness if nobody is now. It may relieve guilt of letting someone down, Not that getting injured or being sick should make anyone feel like they have let anyone down, I struggle with that myself. Nobody chooses to get cancer and in his case it's no different.

    Obviously I could ramble on and on and on...., but it's an interesting topic. If the relationship is worth saving it's worth seeking professional help to save. Learn to work on the relationship in a positive way or communicate better. Sometimes it takes an outsider to point out the obvious and that may hurt someone ready to leave when they are told it's a crappy thing to do if the other person is doing everything in their control.

    Things are good with my wife right now, going on 18 years married but I have no gaurentees other than trying to do my best each day. Little things I think Chaswick pointed out to me years ago make a big difference. I wasn't going to bed with my wife, I hurt too much to sleep, had minimal pain management, sex wasn't even a thought but my bud told me it wasn't a huge sacrifice to restore that part of a relationship.

    Just going to bed together can do wonders. I still can't sleep and usually get up after she falls asleep, but simply going to bed together turned thiings around when they were bad.

    Anyway, that was good advice, spending an hour laying down uncomfortable is no different than watching TV while in pain. It's not a huge sacrifice to just go to bed like we used to and have that basic level of intamacy.Why should my wife have to loose her husband completely because my surgery failed? I don't have all the answers, but wanted to pass that on to others that have gotten into a routine of staying up alone.
    Take care, Dave

    Last edited by Shoreline; 05-25-2006 at 01:27 PM.

     
    Old 05-25-2006, 02:25 PM   #19
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    Re: How does your spouse, BF/GF handle your pain issues?

    Hey Dave,

    I totally agree with you. Marriage is such a compromise on both parts. And honestly, I feel guitly because I know I'm not the same person she married physically.

    At first you wonder why doesn't she care and why doesn't she want to help me. But soon I realized that this has to be just as hard on her as it is for me. Maybe not pain wise, but mentally. So I started to try and go out of my way to do things that I knew I was not really capable of doing, but wanted to do so that she felt like I was still somewhat useful....

    Like you said, we pay dearly for it the next day. But that was a sacrafice I was willing to take. But as you know, one day of activity that is too much, means the next day of severe pain and fatigue. So I end up back at square one the next day. But I do my best not to burden her with my pain the "next" day. And she is the one that has to go to the store and what not. But whenever I can, I'll grab the vacuum or cook dinner, clean the house etc.

    You know that my last two surgeries were because my stiched internally broke open. My doctor told me specifically that I was not to lift anything for a couple weeks as I had stiches in my spine holding stuff together. It was even wrote down from him. I told my wife of this. She would leave our daughter with me who is a toddler and leave to go to work. I had no choice but to pick her up as she would get into things, etc. I begged my wife to please find a babysitter or help me with her. Well, too late. I was back in surgery because the stiches busted open. Had another surgery, same restrictions. Same scenario again. I told my wife I did not want to have another surgery. Well, 3 weeks ago, back in surgery to repair the internal stiches. This time, after surgery I went to a hotel so that I could heal. I had no other choice.

    The part that gets me is that indeed I have chronic pain and will for life. But I still have a lot of acute pain from all the surgeries and I think that some of that will go away. Sure, I'll be left with chronic pain, but hopefully much more manageable. I had promised my wife that I would take her somewhere nice (cruise, hawaii, etc) as soon as I can get around better. But even then I run into problems. I can't even go through a metal detector. I have to carry a card to show. Its like this follows me wherever and whatever I am doing.

    I would love to make my marriage work. However, I have asked her to go to counseling and suggested many things. The old saying, "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink." I think she just wants some guy that is active and can do whatever. I told her that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Like I've told her before, you never know when its your turn. I hope she never has to go through it, but I wish she could feel my pain for an hour or so. Just so she has an idea of what we go through daily.

    I applaud all of you that have made your marriages work through this way of life. I always think about Christopher Reeves wife. That guy was successful, active, and seemed to be an all around good guy. After he was disabled, his wife was with him every step of the way. Even though he was in a wheelchair and paralyzed, she was there. What a great marriage and dedication that we should all try and achieve in ours.

     
    Old 05-25-2006, 08:03 PM   #20
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    Re: How does your spouse, BF/GF handle your pain issues?

    Arnager-I was wondering, do you ever feel sorry for your wife? I sometimes feel bad that my husband works all day, then comes home and has to mow the yard or do some other chore. Last week I felt bad so I went out and mowed. Now I have to recover. He keeps letting things go, and I think he is hoping I will go out and do these things. But then, I think, at least he just feels tired at the end of the day, how lucky can you get?? I have often told him that I wish he could feel my pain for just five minutes. Then maybe he would be nice. He did suffer a masive heart attack two months before our wedding and I stood by his side, day and night. Missed work and all. He was scared I wouldn't marry him. I told him he was crazy. You would hope the favor would be returned. I do my best to keep how I feel to myself and to put a smile on my face when he comes home. You are right about Christopher Reeves, that was such a great relationship--we should take lessons!! I did write you again on my esi thread about all of this--kind of got off the subject. I hope you have a great night.

     
    Old 05-25-2006, 08:32 PM   #21
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    Re: How does your spouse, BF/GF handle your pain issues?

    Hey Aranger,
    I just have to say one more thing. I know alot of friends here have given you some sound advice but on the other hand nothing can heal the hurt we feel in our heart when someone you love turns there back on you. I think its one of the deepest hurts in the world because you know there may be a chance something could go wrong in surgery and would hope that the one you love would be right there with you, it brings you into a nice comfort zone when someone you love is there for you. And to wake up and no one is there can crush a person. The surgeries we go through are traumatic and i think the one thing you want after something like that is to feel loved by someone, to know someone cares. I am so sorry for the pain I know you feel. I hope that one day it heals in your heart, I know its hard but you do get over it. Its to bad we cant all email each other or talk to each other via phone cause I think it would make a world of difference for you to be able to talk to any of us. Its very comforting to come on this board and know people really do care about us. I hope things get better for you. I know things will get better just give it some time and dont be afrais to let the hurt show because I think its a big part of a healing process. GOOD LUCK AND MY BEST TO YOU ALWAYS.
    MSHATCH
    ps my other nickname is kiddo soif i use it forgive me.
    pss I kinda disagree with the statement about what are you doing for her"no offense anyone just my opinion". My belief is that if my loved one is hurting my first priority is getting them better and then when your better then you can focus your attention on your spouse but I thik right out of surgery someone should be attending to you not the other way around.

     
    Old 05-25-2006, 10:58 PM   #22
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    Re: How does your spouse, BF/GF handle your pain issues?

    Blue Stream- Thanks for the kind words. I've been on this board for 2+ years and honestly can say I feel more like I'm talking to my family here then at home. Maybe its because we all understand eachother. I enjoy giving advice and sharing knowlege that I have. I enjoy hearing that someone benefited by hearing advice from all of us. And most of all, I enjoy knowing that I am in familar company here. Its too bad that we all have to be "Familar" this way (in pain), but think about how it has changes our lives. For me, as many depressing days that I have, I think that I'm a better person. I know that I can treat a person with the utmost care and compassion because I know how it feels. So for that, I'm thankful. You mentioned that you stood by your husband day in and day out when he had a heart attack. And you're a better person for that, even if he doesn't return the favor. At least you were there for him. I wish my wife was the same.

    MShatch-You mentioned being wheeled off to surgery and waking up from surgery and having your spouse there both times. I remember my first surgery which was an ACDF in 2004 (Of course we were just married). My wife cried as I was wheeled off into surgery and she was right there when I woke up. I felt bad for her, but I also felt so relieved that she was there. I went into that surgery strong knowing that I had to make it through so I didn't let her down.

    Both of my last two surgeries, she wouldn't even take me to the hospital. My sister took me one time and my dad took me the other. I can tell you it just wasn't the same. I know my dad and sister care, but I missed my wife. Even though she was being unsupportive and not even there, I felt this void. I remember waking up in recovery and my surgeon was filling out some paperwork. He said to me, "I'll go out to the waiting room to see if anyone loves you." Of course he didn't know the situation and was trying to be funny. But he came back in the room a minute later and didn't say anything. He ordered my meds for the nurses and wished me good luck. Well, there was no one waiting in the waiting room when he went out there. I felt bad for my surgeon because I think he felt bad for saying that, although I knew he was just trying to be funny. I remember him telling me that I could have anything I needed and just to ask. I guess it was his way of being supportive. He's a great doc. But for the last two surgeries I was wheeled out of recovery and to my room. It was just kind of weird to see no one there when you are coming out of anesthesia. Not to have a pity party, but just reconfirming for me that I could never ever do that to my wife. Because of things like that and her lack of support, I know I'm a better person. So I guess its not all bad. I can thank her for helping me.

    Thanks again for all of your support, suggestions, and advice. I normally answer questions on this board for people, and this time I asked for some suggestions, and you all passed on your suggestions and advice to me with care and concern. You all are a great group of people

     
    Old 05-26-2006, 10:53 AM   #23
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    Re: How does your spouse, BF/GF handle your pain issues?

    I too am seperated from my husband. However, it is due to his addiction to pain medication. Every time he went back to the Pain Clinic, they upped his medication (Oxycodone). I might add that this guy is in recovery from alcohol for 15 years at this point, but is truly a drug addict as well. He I'm sure had legitimate pain after surgery, but not a year later. He was on 105 mgs of oxy a day, and it was not handling his pain. It was however affecting his business, his marriage, and relationships all around him that we was too drugged to realize it. When he blew up and threatened to shoot me and himself, I got out ! He eventually (2 weeks later) attempted suicide with the pain meds. I had to get out. I had to save myself from this destructive behavior. I make no apologies. This was not the man I promised to love, honor, and cherish in sickness and in health. He had become an isolated, bitter, addict. I could not allow myself to be held captive any longer.

     
    Old 05-26-2006, 11:47 AM   #24
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    Re: How does your spouse, BF/GF handle your pain issues?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FATNANA
    I too am seperated from my husband. However, it is due to his addiction to pain medication. Every time he went back to the Pain Clinic, they upped his medication (Oxycodone). I might add that this guy is in recovery from alcohol for 15 years at this point, but is truly a drug addict as well. He I'm sure had legitimate pain after surgery, but not a year later. He was on 105 mgs of oxy a day, and it was not handling his pain. It was however affecting his business, his marriage, and relationships all around him that we was too drugged to realize it. When he blew up and threatened to shoot me and himself, I got out ! He eventually (2 weeks later) attempted suicide with the pain meds. I had to get out. I had to save myself from this destructive behavior. I make no apologies. This was not the man I promised to love, honor, and cherish in sickness and in health. He had become an isolated, bitter, addict. I could not allow myself to be held captive any longer.

    I'm glad you got out. Your situation is a whole different ball game than most.

    You have no reason to make apologies - as he threatened to kill you.

    Please take care of yourself....

     
    Old 05-26-2006, 12:39 PM   #25
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    Re: How does your spouse, BF/GF handle your pain issues?

    I have never gotten support from my wife.I knew who I was marrying and I guess I was ok with it.After time it does it's damage though.My wife has never stood behind me for anything unless it involved money.She never went to any of my 4 lumbar surgeries and was never home when I got out of the hospital.Actually the last time I got infected at the incision and had to return to the hospital for 12 days of i.v. antibiotics when I got home not only was she not there but she had left my son home from school because he didn't feel well.I live in fear that if I really needed her in a life threating situation she wouldn't be there.I have gotten stronger from this but I feel a void between her and I and I must admit some bitterness.I don't know what I can do to make this woman see that it's not my fault and that the things I am able to do at home come at a cost.Oh well,sorry I didn't mean to carry on it's just that I have never spoken about this to anyone before and it kinda got away on me.At least I'm still able to walk and get around and do things.....Dave

    Last edited by mpvt; 05-26-2006 at 12:41 PM.

     
    Old 05-26-2006, 09:34 PM   #26
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    Re: How does your spouse, BF/GF handle your pain issues?

    This thread was such a good idea to start. Having to deal with pain is something life changing. It effects everything. I'm not and would never wish anything on anyone. But I believe everyone at one point in there life becomes needy or ill in some way. It amazes me how certain people never think it could happen to them. It was so important to me to have someone there when I had my surgeries. I don't think I could have gone unless someone was waiting for me. What is sad is children are also effected when one parent turns there back on there Mummy or Daddy.

    Last edited by Wingsoflove; 05-26-2006 at 09:37 PM.

     
    Old 05-26-2006, 09:57 PM   #27
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    Re: How does your spouse, BF/GF handle your pain issues?

    Fatnana- I totally agree with your situation. With something like that, there is only so much you can do, and in the end, protecting yourself is key. It sounds like you tried but the other side wasn't willing.

    Mpvt- I relate with you completely. I'm in (as you have probably read) the same situation. Its amazing how some people feel ok with their actions.

    Wings- You're right about pain changing someones life. Unfortunantely, for some people that have never went through it, they don't understand. However there are many that do and are very caring. I guess it really depends on the person. Some people I think are just brought up with the "caring" gene. And others think about themselves too much, until the tables are turned....

    Your right about the kids. My son asked me, "Daddy when is your back going to better?" He doesn't understand why his dad is always in the hospital and has trouble moving around. When my wife acts like she doesn't care, it makes it hard for my son to understand. I try and be as positive as possible, but its hard when you're laying in the hospital with tubes all over your body and need help getting in and out of the bed.

     
    Old 05-27-2006, 09:20 AM   #28
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    Re: How does your spouse, BF/GF handle your pain issues?

    I know Aranger was worried that this thread would go on forever, but do you guys think it's true that people with chronic pain tend to end up having a lot of other physical problems. I mean since my injuries I seem to have come down with sooo many other problems!! I can't even tell my husband when I am having other problems. I feel like I am being overwhelmed by illness sometimes. How do you sit there and say Gee, hon, on top of everything else, I also have this going on this week. I have had a slight headache for a few days and just assumed my topamax would need to be increased--I didn't bother to even mention it to my husband, we all know why. I just realized today I have a bad tooth. I am debating whether or not to even talk about it with him. I can almost see him rolling his eyes, like here we go. A couple weeks ago, it was an allergy I broke out with on my hands. It seems to always be something anymore. I don't know if it's guilt that keeps me from saying anything or embarrasment or what. I used to be so heathy. Maybe he's afraid if he gets too close he'll get sick too. And not to get too personal, but one of the side effects of the topamax will deffinately hurt your personal relationship too, so it doesn't seem to matter what we do, if it's not the pain we're in then it's the meds we're on. I don't mean to ramble--just wondering if it's common to start having other ailments.

     
    Old 05-27-2006, 09:39 AM   #29
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    Re: How does your spouse, BF/GF handle your pain issues?

    Hey Bluesteam,

    I'm glad this thread has continued. It is really amazing how many people have or have been in the same shoes. Its really too bad.

    As far as additional problems and pain, one of the things about taking opiates for a long period of time is that you decrease your natural pain killers. Most everyone has natural pain killers or daily life would hurt you so bad.

    When you have been taking opiates, your body stops producing these chemicals and you get almost the same symptoms as almost fibromyalgia. I could go into the big process about neurotransmittors and how they are changed, but that can be a little confusing

    Also, certain meds can cause other problems in your body as well. Some people report dental problems and headaches are side effects of some meds.

    Sorry to hear you're having such a hard time with your husband. Hope it gets better for you.

    Take Care

     
    Old 05-27-2006, 10:05 AM   #30
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    Re: How does your spouse, BF/GF handle your pain issues?

    I've been fairly lucky in that my back problems are all that I have.I have had 5 rt knee operations over the years with the last one about 20 years ago.I don't have any pain in my knee at all.....Dave

     
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