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Grunting, groaning, crying, sniffling, noises of pain, owwwing, husband is getting tired of it.

blackberrybunnybblackberrybunny Posts: 157
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Matters of the Heart
Hello all.
Bless my mother's heart. Years ago, she started having her own degenerative disc disease problems in her thoracic region. I never realized what kind of pain she was in, but I've had my thoracic area burn before, but that is not my problem--mine is lumbar. Point is, she was in terrible pain and I used to (mentally) roll my eyes and just get soooooooo tired of hearing her grunt or groan or make some kind of noise when she hurt. Like when we'd get in and out of the car. Or at home. How she's holler when she'd lie down. I hated it, not only because she was hurting, but because it got on my nerves.
Karma got me.

Because now I am 41, and if you any of read my other posts, you'd know I have annular tears in L4-L5 and L5-S1 and I need a multi level spinal fusion to fix it. NOW I am the ONE making the noises.

Now I am the one grunting and groaning and literally crying when I have to sit down, when mom and I shop all day, getting in and out of the car, I literally cry from the pain. I fear my husband is getting tired of it. I've been trying so hard to keep the noises in, but not when I'm alone (!), but keeping the noises in still can't hide the sniffling that comes from the tears squeezing out of my eyes. It's worse than grunting, the crying, right?

What do you do to deal with this? What do you do when you fear your spouse is getting sick of it? I hate it when he get gout and gruns and oooohs and ahhhhs, and here I am, at a pain scale of 6 - 7 most days, and he has to see me walk all bent over and funny. It's taken away from my ability to walk sexy like a woman should. It has stolen my womanhood from me. Now it is stealing my husband's sanity.

What can I do? I'm already crying--the other night he hinted at how it's a burden to his heart to hear me all the time msking these pain noises.

What can I do, what can I do, I lament?


  • Is your Mom out of pain now? If so that would be good. It could be heredity that's got you rather than karma with the DDD. When is your surgery? Hopefully that will help though it's not guaranteed. but right now maybe you're doing too much. I can't shop or do much housekeeping without bringing on a ton of pain. and moaning... I had to go back to my Dr. many times to get some pain relief meds that help and injections. It's so hard for your loved ones to see you suffer so and I understand.
    Maybe just venting it out here or talking to your Dr. may help. I try to go out for a walk almost everyday to get some exercise and give my husband a break. It's really hard to deal with this and we can only hope there will be something in the near future to help like surgery or new advancements in research.
    Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I'll be honest, I just rarely do it. I really can't stand it when others do. My kids especially will notice I'm sighing a lot, but I don't do the moaning groaning thing.

    But I'll tell you what struck me in your message. You're doing too much. Adjusting your level of activity is going to be one of the things that keeps your pain level under control.

    As for husbands, well, gotta love 'em. Give him some time to get used to this. I think rather than making pain noises, it might help to discuss your new activity limitations with him. This is something the two of you need to develop a system to deal with, since it looks like some level of disability is permanent.

    Personally, I make mine do the laundry ;)
  • Hello,
    R Sternbach the eminent Pm doctor, suggests that in behavioural terms we should ignore the negative and focus only on the positive. As you say, it sometimes seems that you have no control or are unaware that you are doing this, in emphasising or making this noise what do you hope to gain.

    It is always difficult for our loved ones when they are unable to help with the pain in what they feel should be a supportive role towards us. In recognising inappropriate behaviour it perpetuates that response on each occasion, even you are questioning what purpose it does serve.

    Although these may seem to develop subconsciously we could have more control than we think and it is up to us to determine how useful they are.

    The construct of pain behaviour

    “Although pain is a personal and subjective
    experience, the fact that someone is experiencing
    pain is often apparent to others. People who have
    pain may vocalize their distress by moaning, crying
    or complaining, or may exhibit pain-related body
    postures or facial expressions. These verbal and
    nonverbal behaviors have been called pain
    behaviors because they serve to communicate
    the fact that pain is being experienced (Fordyce,
    1976).” (Keefe, Williams & Smith, 2001, p. 170,

    To be fair we are in pain and in attempting to hide these cues from others we do well, it is a balance of disclosure and not allowing these traits to dominate how others deal with us and seek proper expression of that daily challenge many here face.

    Pain behaviour is a fascinating topic and well researched on the Net.

    Take care John

  • John, great point. It isn't that I don't want others to know I have pain- I do communicate, because there are limits to what I can do and if I don't tell people why, they figure I just don't feel like doing them.

    But if I am doing something that causes me so much pain, I figure it's my job to step back and ask... "do I HAVE to be doing this thing? Can I delegate it? Does it add to my life?" If I can delegate it, I delegate it. If I don't NEED to do it, I don't do it.

    But of course, that often means saying "You know what, I can't manage that. Could you do it for me?" And that, I think, is much harder to do emotionally than just doing it yourself and dealing with the pain.
  • A lot of what you guys are saying sounds very Zen.

    But how do you STOP making the sounds? How do you not cry out in pain when you sit down on the couch and it hurts to bad it makes you cry? How do you hold it in? Sometimes, mom and I can be out at a restaurant and I'll get such a sharp out of the blue stabbing pain it makes me yelp. How do you guys control it?
  • Blackberrybunny,

    Greetings! As you can see by my sig, most of my spine hates me! I have learned "what actions" for the most part make me hurt, or using your words, grunt, groan, yelp etc. I've practiced a few different ways to say sit and get up, bend over, stand up etc. I also hold my breath sometimes when I know "its gonna hurt" a bit. That seems to help - but yeah, the urrrrr, aaahhhgg OUCH does occasionally come out.

    Nothing you can really do if you get a surprise "zinger", and most people will only casually notice an "ouch, grrr, wow" in say a restaurant. I have on occasion did a small chuckle after a zing makes me say "ouch" in public. Most folks will think you hit your elbow or something and forget about it!

    My hubby over the years knows I take a bit more time getting up, or getting things done - he even helps. As another member before me posted (excellent observation by the way), part of what might be going on with you, you are doing TOO much! Let your body be your guide if you can. "Normals" do to much they are sore for a day or so, "US"...heh, could be a week! See if cutting back a bit helps? Take care. Gentle supportive *hug*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Before my surgery, uncontrollable grunts n'groans of pain would escape and like you my posture was like quasi modo-not pretty! I seemed to spend more time apologising for my behaviour. As all the other posts have suggested perhaps you are trying to do too much and perhaps your doc. could help with more appropriate medication. When I asked my husband how he could put up with such a "wreck" he said he wasn't angry with me, just frustrated that he couldn't help with my pain or mobility. Now I have learnt that it's OK to admit my pain is "killing me" or that certain movements are beyond my abilities.I hope you are able to find something to help reduce your pain. Gentle Hugs n' Loves - Paula
  • Hi Puala and Brenda, thanks so much for your replies.

    One thing you both said stands out--that I'm doing too much. I must chuckle to myself, you see, as I am disabled. I have been legally blind since I was born so I have never been able to drive. My husband and I live wayyyy out in the country, no stores, nowhere to even walk to, no neighbors. So you see, the reason I laugh is because I am home all day, alone, while he is at work, and believe me, I don't do much. Because there isn't MUCH to do!! LOL

    I do the usual things a housewife does--(Oh, and I have never had any kids, nor brothers or sisters, so it's just me and my sweetheart)--- I do a couple of loads of laundry a week. I mop the vacuum once a week. Our house is very verys small, its the smallest mobile home they make. One bedroom, one tiny bathroom. Not much to clean. So you see, I don't do a lot. And I feel guilty for not being a good housekeeper this past year.

    We have fives acees of wilderness here, like I said, we are in the boonies, and my husband has carved out 7 beautiful nature trails over the years for us to enjoy. I take my dog, Rudolf, on good daysm, for a walk on them. We have our own state park in our backyardm, or at least, it's easy to pretend we do.

    I'm only 41. I'm supposed to be at the height of my life, right? And instead, I injure myself. So I don't do a lot, you guys!? I spend a great deal of my time on my computer, because what else is there for a person to do who has no neighbors and cannot drive themselves anywhere? Yard work? Forget it! I can't do it anymore.... I have one outside dog, Rudolf, and a few kitties.

    In fact, my cat just hd her kittens yesterday! When we came home all fat and fluffy from an early Easter dinner at mom's, our cat had suddcenly thinned up, and I found her kittens right away, a place I guessed she'd use for her nesting box. SO now I've got 4 cute kittens to enjoy.

    Thanks for listening. I'll try holding my breath a lot more---I have noticed myself doing this when I know it's gonna hurt., But it won't keep the tears from squeezing out. Today feels like it's going to be a pretty good day. Happy Easter, everybody!
  • I don't think you should be mopping, vacuuming, or doing laundry at all! Those things are SO hard on your back. The walking, that's good for you.

    Believe me, I understand how hard it is to say "you mean even these little things are off limits for me?" But really, you have to take care of that back of yours.

    But you wrote about shopping with your mom all day. These are the kinds of things I have just eliminated from my life. I would be in so much pain after something like that, and after 2 years of dealing with this injury I've learned to just say no.

    I do not do laundry at all- can't even do a couple of loads without major aggravation. I don't unload the dishwasher. I don't go around the house and pick things up. I don't lift anything more than 25 lbs. I don't drive longer than an hour, or do anything that requires sitting more than about an hour at a time. These are MY limitations, but you're going to have to develop some strict limits of your own going into this.
  • Oh, regarding not making noises- I don't know, I think it's something ingrained in me. The only two times I've ever allowed myself to make pain noises were when I was in labor with my son, and when I was in the emergency room after my accident strapped to a back board for 2 hours with no pain meds.

    But as I said, I just don't DO things that hurt that much. The most painful things I do right now are mucking my horse's stalls (I don't do this by myself, but have to sometimes), doing computer work, and going out to eat at a restaurant with bad chairs. And the first two things, I can stop before it gets that bad.

    This is the rest of your life. You'll find that a life without pain is much better, even if it doesn't include some of those things in it.

    But, as an aside, I have been known to lay prone on bleachers in public when it got too bad. Other people be damned ;)
  • Happy Easter Bunny!!

    Up until the last oh...4 months, most of my back pain was the "more common" everyday stiffies, pulls etc. Well, now I have disk issues. Before this, I could rake and such, get a bit sore, and then be done with it. Now (thinking of your mobile home and size), I just sweep the dang bathroom and I am hurting for like an hour or two! Even though your place is small Bunny, sweeping, laundry, dish washers, picking up after the kitties - some of the WORST for your back! I think that is were my odd level (L2/3) is like everyone else - baaaadddd juju beads for the back!

    Oh before I forget, I want to applaud your hubby! 7 Nature trails! Awesome!!! That just sounds so loving and supportive, and warm. :-) Thanks for sharing that, wow, what a smile that put on my face! Stuff like that makes for the beginnings of great romance novels! (G)

    Okay back to your lifestyle. Couple the sweeping and such with the small living space. You might not walk around in between these chores as many in a regular sized home - might also add to making it worse. Try some baby steps if you will. Don't sweep at all this week, and assuming your other activities didn't change, any better?

    I hope the holding your breath as a brace helps. Yeah I hear ya about the tears, kind of hard to stop those puppies. I hope you have a relaxing pain free weekend!! *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • happyHBmom said:

    This is the rest of your life. You'll find that a life without pain is much better, even if it doesn't include some of those things in it.

    But, as an aside, I have been known to lay prone on bleachers in public when it got too bad. Other people be damned ;)

    HappyHBmom nailed it in her closing in my mind - "Other people be damned"... SSSSOooooo true! I can't lay on firm surfaces, but I am NOT too proud to grab a piece of wall outside a store I was shopping at to try for relief! Other people don't have your health issues - they'll get over it. If they don't, THEIR problem!

    So True Happy, so true!!! :-)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I have laid on a bench in a public park and cried like a toddler having a trantrum---that is when my discs must have actually ruptured, but I didn't care, it hurt sooooo bad. I'd hate to break down like that in a mall, LOL, but hey, it could be worse, right? I don't mean to complain so much, I'm just so relieved I found this forum, and it's a huge help to finally be able to talk about this with other people who have similar problems.

    I feel like a drunk person, wanting to tell you all that I love you!! LOL Thank you, everybody, for the support your provide me and others here. This type of social networking is a wonderful resource.
  • I noticed when I was on one pain med(ms con)I moaned more... I told my Dr. I moan all day long. Then she switched my pain meds and I only moan not so much now. Also now when I lift the laundry out I hold my tummy in and have less pain on the back. Of course I can't afford a cleaning lady but looks like I'll have to find someone to do the vacuuming.
    Good to hear about the kittens they're so sweet I want one! I have a kitten just turned 6 months and was looking for a playmate for her. Happy Easter! Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • hi bunny,
    I know how you feel i went thru back surgery in 06 and been dealing with neck and back issues since spring of 04..
    So as you concern for your hubby is like mine..do they get sick of see and hearing us in pain..yes they do..there frustration comes in they don't know what to do to fix us.
    i have not worked since last june ..i have more back and neck issues and been diagnosed with fibromyalgia..my husbands and kids are alot of times at their wits end..more duties for them that i used to do which i think is a good thing..instead of me doing for everyone i have been trying to deal with becoming the new me..
    As my hubby had always handled stress he does the same with me..sleeps or shuts down..but thats way he handles his stress,,
    i do not worry anymore what they are going thru or how i'm affecting them..i do my best to help myself..
    weather it be in here,or helping others in small ways..
    I have my youngest at going to be 10 and i know it hurts to see mom cry we have talked about it..alot..and when i have bad flare ups due to weather or many other things..i go be alone.. i do not cry or carry on in front of him.(.my son has seen his mom go to er and had to go with me once via ambulance..cause nobody was around to watch him.).i try not to hide much from others they are grown and we talk alot about what i'm going thru..My son and i talk about alot different things and he has told me how he hates to see me in pain but how i have taught him so very much ..how to be strong person..be brave and he likes having more responsbilties..
    my family this time around with my health..is doing better ..due to me and i told them the old person i was is gone so..we have to accept things the way they are..
    my hubby goes out socially if he wants and we go together even if only time i can is for hour on a sunday..and we are grateful for that hour..
    talk talk and more talk is only advice i can give ya..if they listen they listen..if not well at least your not holding things inside..
    i use to hide all my pain inside..but with the grown ups i do not..only in front of my son and my grandaughter..i do ..she is 4 and me moaning and crying..will only harm them...
    i am here anytime for ya..i do alot of reading and rabblin (as you can see)so pls feel free to pm me vent or chat..
    take care of you
    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • I just don't go to the mall.

    I still don't quite get why you are pushing yourself to do all these things when it hurts so much? Is it all necessary? Or are you just trying to hold on to the old life?

    Do you have a physical therapist who can help you adjust all these activities to be more gentle on your back?
  • You guys have all been so sweet and supportive.

    I think it was HappyHBMom that said computer work causes her pain? In my case, it's the opposite. The initial sitting part really hurts, but once I'm down, I can easily sit here for hours, and sitting forward seems to be the only way I can be pain free. And we all know sitting forward is VERY bad on the spine. I have sat forward all my life, since I was born legally blind---and I have always sat right in front of the tv on an ottoman, forward. Same with the PC. Last 11 years, sitting in from of a PC.... but it doesn't hurt to do so. Isn't it odd how we all have such painful back issues, yet some of us CAN sit in a certain way and others cannot.

    My friends, when I went to their house the first time, insisted I put my feet up on their ottoman as I sat on their couch, I was in such pain that day, and I said absolutely not, no thank you! And they were shocked that it would cause me more discomfort. The lady, she even works at my doctor's office!! SO you'd THINK we'd all suffer in the same ways, yet we are all so different.... no wonder back problems are so hard to diagnose and repair!
  • Bunny,

    Same here for me! If I try to sit back or "proper" posture when I sit, back, outer hips and down the legs - not good. If I sit with my right leg folded up (foot into my other thigh), and lean forward about 20 degrees with my upper back arched a tiny bit - as pain free as I can get, and like you, once in that position, I can stay put for hours. Any other sitting position, 15 minutes tops! I can't find many with the levels I have, so for all I know this is a "normal relief" position? I just know, it works! Great observation Bunny. :-)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I sit forward or crosslegged too. If it gets too bad, though I just have my netbook in bed with me ;) I also always sit shifted to the left.

    Actually, the funny thing is when I'm hanging out at the barn and talking, I often find a pole to rest a leg on, and I'll pull it all the way up around my hips and rest like that. Everyone thinks it's odd, but way more comfy than just standing!

  • Whatever works for you, HappyHBMom! Isn't it funny how we all have our own special positions to get into?

    I have found that when walking a lot, sometimes just squatting down relieves the pain, but only while I'm down like that, but, it looks like I'm squatting to pee, hahahah!
  • Bunny,
    For a person in chronic pain you seem to be doing plenty, and perhaps the suggestion from HBmom, of trying to keep your activity to a level that would not increase the pain, which we know is never easy, may prove beneficial. It is perhaps impossible not to express how we feel when we hurt and right that this expression is a natural indication of our need for nurture or support. We are not robots, the distinction is where that level is set and how influential our usage is.

    Failure would be in not trying, and better to have tried, doing so in pain all the time takes some resilience and fortitude to sustain that continual effort, although it may seem that our subliminal intention is in sending a message to others, we may be validating that very pain to ourselves.

    Does it matter that we are using pain behaviour.

    A pain behaviourist would say that these disclosures are the inertia for words and actions higher up the hierarchy of restriction, I am all for the occasional methods of reducing the pain by any means and only we can decide individually how per-emptive or influential they are.

    Take care.. John

  • Hi John, thanks for your reply. I know HappyHBMom thinks I am doing too much cause I mentioned about how mom and I go shopping all day. Well, LOL, I must explain really quick--we only do it once a month, unless something comes up.

    See, I have no family left, just mom and my husband. And I was born legally blind, so I've never been able to drive. Mom is 61 and has DDD and Spondylosis and all kinds of problems...so we both see the same Neurologist (our pain mgmt dr.) and the same family doctor. Since we are both disabled, we both receive disability checks once a month. SO, when we get paid, she picks me up and we schedule it so we get all of our dr's appts on the same day, the same time, you see? And we also do our monthly grocery shopping and whatever else we need to get done that one day. That is our shopping day. Since I can't see well, I need mom's help to shop sometimes also. My husband works but he does take me on the weekends for those in-between trips for milk, etc., and sometimes if mom is too sick to take us, he'll take the day off and drive us around for our appts and stuff.

    So you see, Mom and I only shop like once a month, and we are required to see our pain mgmt dr. every month to get our pain pills, but our family doc only every 3 months. Some trips for us are all-dayers and it is a lot of work to get our shopping done. And each lunch, Go to the bank. Get pet supplies. Pay bills... We both hurt terribly after lunchtime, and bless her heart, my mom hurts very bad too. She's on lortabs AND the 100 mg Fentanyl patch every TWO days! So this is very difficult for us, you guys. And being now that I am 41 and mom is 61, how do you think it makes me feel to have my elderly mother driving ME around, when *I* should be driving her? It breaks my heart. It makes me so sad and feel so helpless and useless.

    So believe me, you guys, I don't really do a lot. Also because I am visually impaired. We live way out in the countryside, not even a store to walk to. I never had a chance to make any friends after we moved here, so it's just me, mom, and my husband and his family.

    Just now, my husband's father had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital. He's 91 and was having trouble breathing. I was waiting outside, as they brought him out on the stretcher, and even the paramedic asked ME if *I* was okay---he could tell by the way I was standing and the ugly faces I was making I guess, that something was wrong. He asked me if I was ok---I told him, LOLing at him, YES---back trouble!!! And he smiled and said ok, take care of yourself.

    SO SIGH::::::::::: even the paramedic noticed something is wrong with me. BTW, my father in law lives next door-- he lives alone since his wife died a couple of years ago. But we are right here, and his daughter lives on the other side of him, so we are way out in the country you see, but my only 3 neighbors are my FIL, my SIL, and my BIL. Best neighbors in the world! I hope my FIL will be okay........but we all can't live forever, right? And he IS 91. But let me tell you, he walks better than me, bless his heart!!!! Thanks again, for listening to my story.
  • I guess I'm not telling you to do less. Or, rather, to just sit around and be sad. I'm telling you that certain things, as necessary as they seem, are not going to be doable without severe pain- like a full day of shopping and doctor's appointments. Part of managing your pain is going to be figuring out how to live your life so that you can do what needs to be done with the least amount of stress on your back.

    On the other hand, walking, chatting with friends, etc. are good for your body and soul- you should do MORE of those things.

    This is the life you have, waiting around for a medical breakthrough could mean just missing out on having a good one.
  • You are so right, HappyHBMom. So right. I AM missing out.

    Unfortunately, I can't drive, so I'm really stuck here. I just called mom and asked her if she'd like to come over for hotdogs, but she asked for a 'rain-check.'

    I wish I could drive..... I'd just have fun walking around in the mall, looking, or having an iced coffee at the little coffee cafe in the mall, or a lunch buffet, even alone. These are the things I think some people take for granted--- life is so much more difficult when you are visually impaired. I'm really in a bind some days it feels like.
  • :( Is there any way you guys could move to a less isolated location? Somewhere that you could get around with public transit?

    You sound very sad. I can see why you try to pack so much in when you finally get out and about.

    I don't suppose there's any sort of transport that goes out there?
  • Moving is not an option, unfortunately.

    And no, there is no transport, as we live in a very small and pretty poor county. I'm stuck.

    Also, there are TONS of churchs all around, but I'm a Buddhist and there are no temples anywhere near here. Not for hours away.

    I guess I am really sad. The Celexa is helping me cope, but my unhappiness with what my life has become is pretty apparent I'm afraid. I try to find happiness in every little thing, Buddhism dictates it, but as far as independence, I have none.

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