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Would love some advice for my husband

HeidiLynnMHHeidiLynnM Posts: 445
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Chronic Pain
Hello everyone! :H :H As some of you know, my husband also has back problems. He had a lumbar fusion in october '07. Needless to say, the fusion failed. He is in chronic pain daily. He has not left the house in about 3 days now. He is relying on his cane to walk around the house to get to anything.
He does go to a doctor for pain meds, he has tried many things. He is currently on morphine 15mg, and percocet 10/325. He is drawn to tears daily. We have tried oxycontin to see if that would be a good drug for the pain, but it made him so MEAN :T . He no longer takes that, he took it for a month. I just can't live with him when he takes that medication, it was pure heck. ~X( .
We are going to see his doctor on friday for a follow up to see how he is doing, and I just don't know what to do anymore for him. He does have his days where he does feel okay, but for the most part, he is in chronic pain even with the meds. He is only 39, and I just cant see him go on like this forever :( . It has even gotten me to the point that I don't think I even want to try surgery!!!!!
He did go see the surgeon that did the surgery on him, and he wants to go in and numb the hardware to see if that was his pain source. He will not do it. They are quacks I swear!!!! This is the surgeon that wanted to do surgery on me also at first. I just need some ideas here, and WE are both at the end of our rope :T :T .
Thanks for reading, and any suggestions you may have.


  • Hi, sorry you & hubby are not having a good time lately...Is his morphine extended release?? (every 12 hours) I was on that for a month or 2, and it didn't do much for me. I also took oxycodone for breakthrough pain. I was recently switched to Methadone Extended Release every 12 hours, and I am doing a little better. I still have pain,and have to be careful what I do, but at least I can sleep at night. I usually am up at night in such unbearable pain!! Never got enough sleep. But now I sleep like a baby, and feel refreshed the next day, which really helps with healing. I also go to PT twice a week. I know it probably isn't a great idea to suggest a certain narcotic med, but at least tell your Dr that the morphine isn't doing what it should, maybe bodies build a tolerance to it. I hope the methadone isn't the same story, as I've only been on it for 3 weeks now. I hope better days are in store for both of you...both my hubby & I are injured, my husband's knee has had it, and he's currently back in school, and I've been off since September 08. It can be tough!! I can relate!
  • My husband is so stubborn!!! Well so am I. :? I am glad that you are feeling better with the new meds. I am sure hoping that we can find something to help him. It does stink to have two people in pain, doesn't it?
  • Your husband is too young to give up. There are spinal specialists who specialize in rescue surgeries...surgeries for cases that have been deemed hopeless by the average ortho or neuro surgeon. Do you live near a large city? Often the teaching hospital associated with a university will have a spinal clinic that offers a whole continuum of care and a variety of specialists to cover all the bases, so to speak.

    I consulted with eight different specialists including orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons and a physiatrist in two different cities before I settled on a surgeon for my fusion. There really are a variety of options out there -- perhaps your husband needs some sessions with a psychologist first to get him to the point where he will accept more treatment. Obviously, I understand that if he is not in a frame of mind to seek treatment, the procedure will not go well. So much of healing is having a positive attitude.

    If I remember correctly, you have found a surgeon that you are happy with. Has your husband seen him? I'm sorry but I don't remember the details of your husband's situation. Is there some reason why he cannot have another surgery? I just hate to see someone giving up and not pursuing every option...especially when he has his whole life in front of him.
  • My husband is so persistant that he will not have another surgery to help him that it drives me bonkers. He swears that he will never have another surgery, BUT he did say that he would see how it goes with the surgeon that I did see in Albany. The neurosergon that I seen was the chief of surgery there. I am hoping that Brian will see that maybe something will help him.
    It is so hard to help him understand things at times. I told him about the scs, and he thinks that won't help him. I know that he is depressed (who wouldnt be). He just can't stand the life he is living and thinks he will never get better. I know that he is still young, but he is one very stubborn man!!!!!! I wish I could just get things through to his head. I know that he needs some help with his issues but, he just won't do it. Ugh, there are days that I just want to scream. I also have severe depression, and panic attacks so that doesn't help. Two people in pain, and one that admits that they have depression, the other one doesn't.
    I thank you guys for responding to me, it does help to have some support.
  • Heidi,
    At 39 I was medically retired and also had three small children and for the most part pain patients are supported by others who are more healthy but not always, it is balance in finding what does not increase the pain if anything and doing more of that and less of what makes it worse or anything. It is never easy finding he right balance of activity, rest and appropriate medication regime that will improve quality of life overall.

    It is emotionally difficult when your husband has had the fusion that was intended to improve the situation and it has not done so and this takes time to develop a new strategy and trying what might work or not.

    Slow and steady may be the process and introduce additional elements one at a time so that then you know what may be making it worse, this is the new him devoid of past history and not based on what he could do but what he can do now, never easy or simple.

    Communication may also be the key and not addressing what issues you have in relation to his medication will only deepen the impact and longevity of the symptoms, as you know he is not doing this against you but just trying to survive the days as best he can, and his responsibility to you is to be response to how this all impacts on you, it is not just an individual thing and become about the family as a unit. Does he do any activities that he did previously, he will have to adapt and becoming isolated in you own home as a remedy for getting along may just be a confidence thing. It is never easy living day to day and most of these things you are experiencing as well, our objective is for those things not to have a bigger impact then need be, depression is always a constant challenge when in chronic pain, does he have someone he can talk with. His experience is more common that we would all like to admit and I continue to live this life also.

    Is he aware of whom he becomes and how he behaves at times, it may well be a phase and time will change and you also need support and encouragement for yourself and the role you are continuing to endure. It is easy to live in the pain, rather than with it and develop new and ongoing strategy for some improvement, nobody has a magic wand and it takes hard work and tears sometimes to get through, many examples of SH of others doing the best they can in difficult circumstances.

    Take care and be kind to yourself……… John
  • I am also confused!!!! I am not really sure if it was the oxycontin that made him miserable or not,but I know that when he is taking the morphine(like now), he isn't the way he was on the oxycontin?! I don't get it at all. :? . He was on 40 mg of the oxycontin, 15 mg of morphine 2x day.
    I would love to wave a magic wand to make things all better, I am also sorry to hear that you are also in so much pain. I never truely understood it until I got hurt. What a slap in the face for me!!!!! I felt so bad that I never understood. I am trying to learn and research on all sorts of things to help him. I will mention to him about the chair, and the tens unit.
  • When I read through many of your previous posts, you have used the word "stubborn" about a hundred times!! Maybe we all can think of something to get your husband to view all this in a different light. I'm afraid he will never get better with his current attitude.

    Do you live near Albany?
  • have i got this right..your husband is not a nice person when he takes oxycodone? i am puzzled if this is so as it has a similar profile to morphine but its better tolerated in most .i have been on it for nearly 4 years now.and its the only thing that helps me with my pain {if you have read any of my post and topics}you will have seen that i too am on my knees with pain and it also brings me to cry on a daily basis..could it be that the fact that your husband is only a young man and his life has had to change ...do you think that that has mad him so mean to yous you words? the oxycontin/oxynorm are very good drugs maybe you should re try but this time give the drugs more time..meanwhile has he tried a good TENS ?.some other advice .a good recliner to rest in and an electrical adjustable bed make life more tolerable {i understand that not every one has the means to pay for these items but maybe you could look at them in the future?? its not nice to be in constant pain and you both have my sympathy..i wish you both all the luck with getting something sorted out regarding pain control {there will be drugs out there but its just getting the right combination for him.
  • just a thought
    can your husband swim?
    i find i enjoy it and maybe he will too?
    you may also find ..he has some self loathing issue due to the fact he is no longer able to do stuff that he once could the only way around this one is to re learn and just do what you can when you can ..and be satisfied .its not easy .its take me a long time to adjust!
  • I'm sorry the both of you have been struck with bad back problems, and that you're husband is taking it especially hard, no wonder he is so depressed. It sounds to me that he's giving up on himself and feels nothing will improve his situation. He and I do the same thing- use the cane indoors and out. I have a difficult time getting around. Getting up from a couch takes strategery (here's a Bush-ism for you) :D . I get filled with despair at times and feel hopeless, it's the nature of this beast. One day you can work around it and the next you're ready to throw in the towel. 1 step forward and 10 steps back. What type of surgery are they recommending for him? Have they discussed trying a morphine pump? I hope he can change his outlook and try different things in order to improve his quality of life. Best wishes on your surgery,and I know it will encourage your husband as well. Take care
  • Thanks for all of the responses!!! I really do appreciate it. As for the stubborn thing coming up, yes he is very stubborn!!!! We went to the pain doctor today, and he wanted to know if Brian wanted to go to another surgeon, try to get a pain pump, ect. and he is scared to death of another surgery!!!
    He was put on opana er today, so far he says that it is helping. I have to say that it was VERY expensive to get. He also got started on cymbalta for nerve pain. That was also very high priced.
    Straker, my husband does like to swim but the water has to be very warm. I know that it helps my back when I get in the water. He also is very much feeling like his life is gone, and he can no longer do anything. He seems to pull me right into his misery though. He says that he never gets to do anything, so why do i get to? It has been driving me nuts. I tell him to go do something if he wants to, but he always says there is nothing he can do. He does need some support, but he is not taking any of my advice. I just want things to get better, but he is still very angry that the surgery he thought would help him, made him worse.
  • I hope you can get your husband into counseling. If something doesn't change, he is going to spend the rest of his life making himself and his family miserable.

    Cymbalta should also help with the depression, so we'll keep our fingers crossed that it will give him enough of a lift that he will be able to accept looking for the help that is out there, available to him.
  • I would agree, if he won't do counselling does he have any friends he can vent to? Maybe if he will open up and dump his anger he will get to the point of looking at the things he can do.

    We don't get left with all the options we used to have, there are things we can do.

    I actually told everyone of my docs I really needed some help dealing with my feelign of being lost after my accident and surgeries. Would you know that not a single one of them actually knew anyone in this area that specialized in US? I was dumbfounded and still am! With all of us that are out there I get stuck in this crapfest of an area. One pain clinic, no pain therapists! har, har lucky me :D

    Just got to find someplace like here to vent!!!
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