... bulging disc in his lower lumbar and a degenerative issue with his spine. at first he was prescribed a med called tramacet that helped him manage his pain. after a few months he was taken off work on put on long term disability. following his Dr.'s orders he had an injection done later that year to help with inflammation thus helping with his pain. unfortunately for him he experienced a negative reaction to the injection and was off his feet for about 6 months. following all this he no longer felt relief taking the tramacet and was prescribed morphine. what a disaster that was, he could not function on that medication and was a walking zombie, tripping over his own feet when walking and walking into things. at that time i said i don't think this medication is right for you, you need to be able to live a life and function. it wasn't long after that the Dr.'s gave him oxycodone which seemed to be better for him. However he continued to do nothing to strengthening himself and being present in our marriage all he keeps saying is he needs to rest. Is 2 years of rest enough? Its been 2 years since this all began and he’s not showing any progress, he doesn’t work for obvious reasons and have any social life. Its like he’s put up a big wall around him and won’t even let me in. there’s zero affection or intimacy in the marriage and when I attempt to express my concerns about him abusing his medication he gets upset and says he’s doing exactly what the Dr.’s tell him and maybe I just can’t cope with his condition. But I feel like after 2 years there should be some kind of progress I don’t understand how he can be happy staying at home day after day, reading, watching movies and playing video games. Am I totally out of line here? I feel so alone and defeated I don’t know what to do…
You are not out of line and I don't blame you for feeling like your not getting your needs met. I suspect that his spinal condition would respond nicely to some physical therapy based on what you have described. Learning some exercises to build the muscles that support his spine would help alleviate pain and in turn get him off some of the pain medicine. Laying and sitting around all the time is not helping his condition. He may be taking the medicine exactly as prescribed but the doctor may not be looking at improving his condition only treating the pain, why I don't know. You have a right to have your needs met in this relationship regardless of his medical limitations and to be honest from what you describe his limitations are not that great.
I would pursue some marriage counseling. Take the focus off his condition and put it on your relationship. He doesn't need to hide behind his condition any longer. You have a right to a marriage that he agreed to and his spinal problem need not prevent that. Separate the two issues and deal with them as such. A good marriage counselor can help you do that.
Living with chronic pain such as he may have can cause depression too. He maybe suffering from some depression. Whether he would be willing to contemplate that, I don't know, but only wanting to read, watch TV and play video games sounds like a rather limited life style and could be indicative of a more serious problem, I can't say for sure, but maybe a possibility.
I am here to support you and will help anyway I can. Best wishes,
Laurie is right Rina! I also have a bulging disc and many degenrative issues in my spine! I know everyone is different and everyones pain is different but!!! I still work, granted, I work mainly on the computer and phone now instead of being on the floor like I used to but there is work out there available. But lets say there is not for him. Even so, you are right, there should be progress! He has had some set backs but he is doing himself NO favors by sitting/laying around doing nothing! The less you do, the worse you feel! I know, I live it every day since I hurt my back in 2004! It is easy to become wrapped up in pain and numb yourself with medications but that is the WORST thing he can do. You should probably have a little conversation in private with him and his Dr. Opioids should only be given if they HELP a person progress and enjoy more activities and help their quality of life. They are not for everyone.
In some they hinder their ability to do more and that is when they should be discontinued and something else tried. He needs to be doing exercise to strengthen. He should be walking and stretching at the very least. The meds are probably taking his desire for sex away too. It is quite common for opioids to reduce testosterone levels, and also affect his ability to get it up and keep it up, not mentioning taking away his desire because the meds are satisfying that portion of his brain. His brain is rewarded by the opioids instead of sex! Even if he is not abusing his meds, they are not helping at this point. This needs to be brought up to his Dr. I also think Laurie had a great suggestion that you should go to counselling and place the blame on your relationship rather than his condition. He IS hiding behind his condition. If the tables were turned, I doubt he would stand for it, so you shouldnt either. Perhaps this might be enough to wake him up to your dissatisfaction. All Drs agree that bedrest and resting should not go on past 2-3 DAYS, not years! Get to those counselling sessions and start putting some conditions into effect! If he wants this marriage to continue then he needs to start exercising and reaching some activity goals. His Dr can also make this a condition for him to get his medication refills!!! This is a GREAT motivator! If he thinks his meds will be taken away if he doesnt start making progress, believe me he will get moving!! Talk to his Dr to see if he can make this a part of his treatment. Let that Dr know what is really going on. I hesitate for him to cut off his meds because he may just try going to someone else but if you ask the Dr if he can make the condition of refilling his meds that he has to start moving and making progress. I think the Dr would agree to this. Most Drs dont want to be causing their patients to regress and this is what your husband is doing. Hopefully once he sees he CAN make progress he will actually feel better and at least start participating in life again. He probably should be on an antidepressant too. I suspect he is probably somewhat depressed. Depression can cause him to sleep a lot and take away motivation. Another bonus is that many antidepressants also have an effect on pain so another thing for his Dr to do! You might do some research on the pain sites like the National Pain Foundation, the American Pain Society, In the Face of Pain and others. Just stay away from the ones trying to sell you something! Paintopics.org is a really great resource. Print some of this info off that way you are trying to take an interest in helping his condition while you educate him and yourself on what to expect from a back condition and things to do to help things along. There is a wealth of information on those sites for the both of you! I really feel for you. This is no way to live for either of you! Good Luck to you! All my prayers will be with you both and I hope he can do better in dealing with his pain in the very near future! Hang in there girl!
1st thing is don't become co-dependent on his condition! Thats what i did with my husband. I would have a valid point (like about the intimacy) hugs dont hurt! He says you just don't understand, you think I want to be like this? Well the anwser is "Yes" or you would stop. If he won't try to improve the quality of his life, you improve the quality of yours! Go to some co-depedency groups or try al-anon. Al-anon is not just about having an alcoholic in your house or any addict. It's about living your own life and stop trying to make him do something, he probably won't do. Trust me when he sees you going out to a meeting or for coffee, he will be singing a different tune. It worked for me, plus I got the added benefit of gaining self-esteem. My husband and I are both in a family group and our daughter benefits also!! I hope this came across right, good luck..Sweetpea
You have to understand what he is going through BC his medical conditions. He probably feel he lost what life is for and also probably feels like his role of being the man was taken from him by poor health that's not his fault. Realize that everything you miss out on of feel bored or this or that, yes I understand but you are going to have to be the one to step up and think of new things and new friends that will work out with his condition. He probably feels like he was the big man and the show and now he probably feels he can't keep up and will be judged as a downer and he is punishing himself for letting others down. And as far as the attitude of like its been two years like get up off your you know what. Well that is so cold of you BC yes he has done things to get better but other parts of the body go too in the mean time. If he is taking his meds its BC he needs to, not just for the hell of it.
If you had cancer for two years and treated it and he acted like you, think of how you would feel and with every diagnosis he gets how can you think that would give him the strength to do your selfesh narcissistic events... wake up he is sick and may get worse so just give up the idea of things going back to what you think is a past normal life. You need to hold his hand and let him always feel like the man he is. The way you think and act probably makes him feel that your just going to replace him for someone else... well guess what say you meet someone who meets your needs, and one night you go out with your new fun man to dinner and on the way in the Bentley someone hits you head on just on hie side and now your new fun lover is terminal. So then what how much greener was the grass on the other side? You need to help him cater to him so he loves you and then rework your guys hobbies and interests together in a way that will work... I'm sure you have said ohh why don't you just go take another pill or can't you just get better so we can have our life back... ya know
it doesnt sound like you were meaning for better or for worse but I bet you made sure everything was just right. Wake up. I have random paralyzed time for me and sometimes I'm in so much pain I can't even lift my spoon to day
Could it be that your husband IS in the amount of pain he's telling you he is? They usually don't put people on permanent disability unless doctors state it is necessary. My husband was 32 when he became permanently disabled, & it worked on his mind for years not being able to work or preform the things he once enjoyed. I understand how you feel, but if you have never had serious back pain, it may be hard for you to understand. It distroyed my husbands 1st marriage. We are both disabled, & I can empathize with anyone who has chrontic back pain. My husband has had 10 back surgeries & 2 on his neck. Four of these were spinal fusions. He has many other problems along with all of this, but the last 28 years of his life have been hell. I agree therapy could be a place to start, & maybe you need to let him go by himself.
You obviously want him to jump up & get moving, & apparently he cannot do this right now. Has he had any second opinions about his back? Maybe surgery would be an option. I'm am so sorry for you. No one expects these things to happen to them right after getting married, but such is life. It sounds like you both could benefit from separate counseling, & then maybe together. You must try to show your husband some support even if he is getting an addiction problem, not just turn away if you really love him. Please give this some deep thought...
Hi RinaBallerina! Welcome!
Your question seems to have stimulated much discussion & many opinions!
First of all I'm just a person, not a nurse or doctor. I have had chronic pain for over 3 years now along with some other health issues. I've probably slept at least half of my life away (likely more) during these past 3 years!
I lived with my 1st husband for many years. He was diagnosed with clinical depression. From some of the signs of your husband's behaviour, I'd say it's extremely likely that he has some sort of depression & needs to get checked by a doctor. Please contact his doctor with your concerns.
If your hubby does have depression, adding marriage counselling might be too overwhelming for him right now. Some depressed people don't think in exactly the same way that we do. He may not find it easy to remember things.
Rina, please look at "depression" on this website. There's an initial quiz that might tell you if he has some of the symptoms of depression. How are his hygienic habits? Does he shower & brush his teeth daily? Does he change his outfits enough? Can he show any interest or happiness or pleasure in anything? Does he drink alcohol more or smoke more? Does he speak in a normal conversational manner with you? Can he look you in the eye? How does he react when you hug him? Or when you try to kiss him?
Some medications can affect libido; depression can as well. My 1st husband couldn't even kiss me! He'd say that it would make him feel physically sick to his stomache. He would never watch an entire movie on TV. He could walk away from the climaxing finale without a 2nd glance.
Presently, until you find out if he has depression or a physical condition or something else occuring, please just let him know that you're there for him & that you love him & miss doing things together with him, especially in light of the fact that you're newly married. Rina, you ask how he can be happy just doing the activities that he's doing. The answer is: escape. He's trying to escape from his pain, his thoughts, his disabilty & how his life has changed so drastically.
I firmly believe that doctors should sometimes try to include spouses more in patient care. The physicians would certainly get another view of the picture!
Rina, you say you feel alone & defeated & don't know what to do. Well, let me tell you that you are doing great so far! You're his 1st line of defence! You found this website, you put the question out there, you're thinking about different options & scenarios, you're on the right track!
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!
My heart was shattered once & I must tell you, Rina, that there is hope! You've got a lot of great & varied postings here for you to ponder & to help get you started. Please keep us in the loop. We're here for you & to give you support & information along with, hopefully, care & comfort.
I'll add you to my prayer list. I wish you both all the best, Rina!
from Wendy :)
Well RinaBallerina, you've asked for help. And you've received answers. Take what you need, and leave the rest. Its very simple. We all have ideas, opinions. If you don't care for the message, advice, opinion being given, leave it alone. But do remember, its an open forum, you opened the door, and by doing so, you get feedback. What I might suggest is simply this, every question that is asked, is open to interpretation. You can disagree, but do so by simply saying thanks, but I don't agree with you. Point finale. Simple as that. Its cut and dry. We all contribute here, of our own free will, and by doing so, we give our time. Advice is just that. Its our own opinion. Be it what you might like to hear, or not. best wishes to you and your husband, I truly hope that things do work themselves out for you.
I too am going thru the same thing, only with myself being the one in pain. I understand exactly what ur husband is going thru as well as u. I am actually in the process of going thru a divorce bcuz my husband doesnt understand what its like to live with this pain. I have had a lumbar fusion as well as 3 cervical fusions bcuz of the degenrative disc disease in my spine. I have also just found out that I have permanent nerve damage that is causing additional pain and issues in my lower limbs. Ur husband is in no way happy with his life. It is all due to the drugs and pain. It also is in no way fair to you to live with the consequences of the meds and pain. It is a totally personal decision in the road your marriage will take. The only advice I can give you is that if you truly love ur husband, try to make his life better in all possible ways. The pain is just as bad as the meds.
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