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Chronic Pain and Problems with Marriage

Hello. I am brand new to the forum and I could really use some help.

I am 50 years old. About 30 years ago, I woke up and found I couldn't sit up from bed, somehow my hips got out of alignment. No clue what had happened. I struggled on and off with lower back pain ever since. I would take medication until my back was better and then I would be fine until the next episode. I never had an issue with addiction.

About 6-7 years ago my back had gotten so bad I had to give up all my favorite activities and became really depressed. In addition to degenerative discs I was told I had arthritis in my lower back. I went through a pain management clinic and after trying several different medications, was put on Fentanyl. After finding the correct dosage (75 mcg), I loved that I did not wake up every morning with back pain. I was able to take up golf and felt like I could manage life again. I was also given Norco’s for breakthrough pain. This past January, I went to pick up my monthly patch and found that they were now going to cost me $350 a month due to a change in the insurance.

My husband has always hated that I took any medication and he really hated the Fentanyl and Norco’s but he tolerated it. I didn't tell him how much of the Norco’s I took because I knew it would lead to an argument and honestly, it was my choice. I was trying to quit Fentanyl cold turkey but the withdrawals were way too much for me to handle. I am now just taking Norco’s.

My husband has now given me an ultimatum – either I quit pain medications or he will divorce me. He is convinced that I will die from liver disease and he doesn't want to stand by and watch. He doesn't even like taking aspirin.

I can see where he is coming from but I hate getting an ultimatum. Even if I got off the pain meds, I am always going to have back pain so why go thru all the withdrawals?

Not sure if anyone else has been through something similar. I could really get some advice/input.

Thank you


  • edited 05/08/2014 - 2:31 PM
    Wow that is terrible, I'm very sorry..

    I don't claim to be a marriage expert(young and not married) but here's my two cents.

    1 cent: Get a marriage counselor, your husband seems a bit unreasonable and you need professional advice and a mediator between you to in order to address both your guys' concerns and disputes.

    2 cent: Get liver function test, if comes back alarming, well then your husband does have a point, but if negative you got some great ammo on your side. Still even if your liver function is off you can easily substitute to another drug without tylenol, which there are a lot of cheap ones I'm sure.

  • I don't know the usual dynamics of your relationship. In my opinion, after 18 years of marriage, secrets, lies & untimatums are never good. You need to have a long talk about this & maybe counciling is a good idea.

    How long have you been taking just the Norco's? How many are you prescribed & how many are you taking a day? DDD & arthritis covers a multitude of conditions, some feel little or no pain & others can be completely crippled. When was your last MRI & what did it show? Sorry for all the questions but it's hard to advise from the information you've given.

    From the way you've worded your post withdrawals appear to be a big concern. Your doctor can give you a tapering plan where you slowly titrate down & off of the meds without any problems if you want to stop. Are the Norco's allowing you to function & lead a more active life? Are you receiving your prescriptions from a pain management or GP doctor? How does he feel about you stopping the fentanyl? I don't know many doctors who wouldn't rather you were taking an extended release medication, there are much cheaper ones than fentanyl patches. I know, more questions! Sorry ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • tamittami Posts: 6
    edited 05/08/2014 - 3:43 PM
    Thank you both for your responses. I don't mind the questions...

    I started counseling several months ago. It was more for me as I wasn't happy but I didn't know what to do. I was terrified to leave my husband/security. He has come to one of my sessions. My counselor has said I need to do what's right for me but I just can't shake the fact that I would be choosing pills over my marriage.

    I had a blood work up within the year and all was in normal range. I've been taking just Norcos since the end of February of this year. I go about 3 hours and I start feeling the withdrawals kick in. I take 1 & 1/2 every 4 hours. I am currently under the care of just a GP. She doesn't like me taking the Norcos and wanted to prescribe me extended release morphine. I didn't want to go that route as that would be harder to get off of. I feel terrible because I am not strong enough to deal with withdrawals. I have reduced the amount of Norcos I was taking after getting off the patch. For awhile I was taking them 24 hours so I should be proud of that.

    It's been years since my MRI but my symptoms haven't dramatically changed. There's nothing that they will do for me at this point.

    I feel I wouldn't be able to function without something stronger than over the counter stuff.

    Thanks again for the responses. I'm really struggling with my situation.
  • SarahLindeauSarahLindeau Posts: 767
    edited 05/08/2014 - 4:04 PM
    Firstly, have you asked your doctor for oxy instead of Norco? Believe it's very similar without the acetaminophen which is what damages the liver.

    But secondly, I can't get my around your husband's ultimatum. It seems incredibly harsh of a demand to have of someone who lives in chronic pain to give up the pills that help you get through the day.

    In all my years of chronic pain I've discovered that people range from broadly supporting me to barely understanding what I'm going through. It's the people that cannot understand who say these crass things and make such unrealistic demands. I think if he is genuinely worried about you being addicted to your meds, that is one thing. But even that can be dealt with by educating him on the protocols in place and close monitoring that all of us have to undergo just to get out scripts.

    I wish you nothing but the best as you navigate this unreasonable ultimatum of his. There can be middle ground. Cold turkey will make him happy but yourself miserable. In more ways than one.
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • SarahLindeauSarahLindeau Posts: 767
    edited 05/08/2014 - 4:05 PM
    My marriage is in a state of disarray right now myself. I am really struggling to convey my pain level and need for his extra help around the house. I think he thinks, "okay, you've had you $150,000 surgery, you are fixed." Bit that's not the case.

    I get it. The line, "I'm in pain. I need help," is getting old. But will I EVER be healed? Not likely.

    I love my husband more than he knows, but the relentless pain covers everything in a layer of sadness, bitterness and regret. I sometimes wonder if he would have been better off marrying someone who could do all the things he wants to that I can't anymore. I need help with nearly everything. On bad days, when I sense his impatience with me, I will try to do something to make him happy - make coffee before he wakes up, massage his feet or even buy HIM flowers. And I also try to do some of the physical tasks myself, without bothering him with yet another request.

    But it's unsustainable. I feel like I'm heading for a wall. In the last month, I've really struggled with my depression, like you. I stand in the shower and cry because no one can see or hear me. I'm unhappy. I can't be the wife he wants/ needs. Our intimate life is non existent and he's resentful of me for that.

    Where do I go from here? I fear he wants a divorce. I'm paralyzed with fear.
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • Oh guys. I'm crying! It's heartbreaking & your post has hit a nerve with me Sarah. I go through this with my husband. It festers, it reaches a desperate destination for me..usually just for me because my husband thinks I've just been being quiet & distant because of my pain. We have the big talk. He promises he's not going anywhere & we carry on. I do think 'How long will he put-up with this? Why would anyone put-up with this?'. I convince myself that it's just depression whispering in my thoughts but deep down inside I'm haunted..or maybe chronic-pain has infested & polluted a part of my mind that will forever be insecure & a little depressed. And I know that the thing that's even worse than living with someone suffering chronic pain is living with a depressed, self deprecating chronic pain sufferer but I can't help myself sometimes.

    Huge Hug crying ladies. Huge hug ;-(
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • What is your prescribed dosage of Norco.........You said that you are taking 1 1/2 tablets every 4 hours, but what is your prescribed dosage and the interval that you are supposed to be taking the Norco? Does your doctor know that you are no longer using the fentanyl patches?
    There are plenty of other medications that you could be taking for the osteoarthritis, and ddd is a normal finding that the majority of the population would have if they had an MRI done. Now, that you are 50, it is expected to be in your imaging studies. Anti inflammatory medications would be a better choice for osteoarthritis pain than opiates, because they help to reduce the inflammation in the spine.....which in turn reduces the pain.
    I am including several links for you, and would suggest that instead of having a GP treat your condition, you start by seeing a pain management doctor who can offer you other treatments, not just opiates, and see if those help to reduce the pain......


    DDD Resources

  • Sandi, my prescribed dosage is 1 tablet every 8 hours. She is aware that I am not on Fentanyl and that I take more than 1 a day. I've been taking Norco as breakthru relief as long as I've been on Fentanyl (6-7 years). I've been open and honest with my doctor and she knows I'm trying to taper off and has told me if I need help to let her know. I've tried most everything - acupuncture, pain management, anti inflammatories, etc. I didn't just turn 50 and decide to start on Norco's. I've been dealing with DDD and arthritis since I was about 28. I have tried Oxy's and they actually made me mean so I didn't try them for very long.

    Sarah and EnglishGirl, I am sorry you are also going thru what I am as well but it also gives me a tiny bit of comfort. I didn't think I was alone in my situation. I am getting very resentful towards him because he doesn't understand my side of this and some of the hurtful things he has said. He has called me a 'junkie' several times and that makes me really mad and hurts my feelings. This is definitely affecting our intimate life and that puts more distance/strain between us. He brings up how he feels and we get into a heated argument and then things settle then sometime later we discuss it again. I can't tell you how tired I am of the same conversation and I'm sure he's got to be as well.

    Since February I've been out of Fentanyl and just recently my back went out. Normally I'd be 'back to normal' after about a day. Now, I've been struggling after a week and I'm still not 'normal'. I don't see how I would be able to function with either over the counter medication or nothing at all. To me, it's just not realistic.

    To make this situation even more complicated, he is bi-polar. It is a tough relationship anyway then add this on top of it, it's getting to the point where I am ready to just leave and be in peace.
  • I did go thru a pain management clinic and that's where I tried the acupuncture, etc.
  • Oh his condition must make things even harder for you. Is he in counseling, properly medicated? You say he's completely against all meds, how does he cope?

    There is no excuse to be verbally abused by the person who's supposed to love & support you. You've reached the point of secrets, lies & ultimatums & as you say, you've got some big decisions to make. I know that my pain & depression has made me see my loved ones in an unfair way in the past but you don't give the impression that's what's going on here. Anger & stress amplify my pain, I just don't need it in my life.

    Good luck ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Thanks EnglishGirl. Yes, it certainly does. He is not on medication for his bi-polar. He's tried different medications and hated the way it made him feel. He likes how he is. He doesn't have the constant ups & downs, just occasionally. One of the things that really drives me crazy is that he says one thing one time and then something different another time so he's constantly contradicting himself. He tells me he wants me off medications because down the road I may not be able to get them and then next time it's because he's afraid I'm going to die from liver disease. I think I'm seeing him honestly and I can see his point, to a point. Why should I be physically miserable to make him happy?

    I am truly trying to reduce my intake but it's the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life.
  • Your meds are a different subject. There are other meds you can try that are cheaper than fentanyl. It's the Tylenol that's hard on your liver. My doc says don't go over 3000, that's the current guide but he would like that lowered to 2000. There are risks with all medications (including OTC's) but unmanaged pain is also very distructive to your mind & body. But your husband doesn't want you taking anything even aspirin??!?

    If your meds are allowing you to live a fuller life so be it. What would he say if you were diabetic or needed blood pressure meds? You're not getting any younger. I don't know many seniors who don't take anything. It's an argument I don't get & to be honest I hate ultimatums!

    If YOU want/need to stop taking narcotic medications you can get a tapering plan from your doctor but it seems like your doc thinks you should be taking them..he'd prefer you to be on an extended release but you haven't said he thinks you don't need them.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,848
    edited 05/09/2014 - 8:39 AM
    a marriage or significant other relationship. This is pretty normal when one of the two involved is suffering from chronic pain and the other is basically healthy.

    The healthy one most of the time does not really understand your condition. Its not if you wear a cast or have some other visible physical evidence of your pain. So for them, its hard to comprehend what you are going through. They can also view this as they have everything on their shoulders. Before when it was shared, its now them alone. There is a sense of resentment and anger associated with that. Then there is the unknown. They dont know whats wrong with you , how your feel or just much pain you are in. They dont understand.

    Then the one who is suffering probably has guilty feelings every day. As if WHY did this happen and now look what it is doing to my marriage No one asked for the pain, not always sure how it started, but its here and you need to do the best you can to make every day easier. You also feel guilt about not being able to contribute to the day to day activities, then you can go out that often, social times get harder and harder.

    I think the best two people could always do is have open two way communication. Real two way. Let the other person talk, not interrupting, let them tell you how they really feel. Then you need that same opportunity.

    There are also trained social professionals that deal specifically with chronic pain and relationships. Its not easy...
    You just have to ask yourself - Is (he/she) worth it? When the answer is Yes, you will find a way to make things work.

    Chronic Pain and Relationships
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Very true Ron. In my case, "Is he worth it?" the answer is a resounding Yes! My insecurities will always be lurking. He is a young, healthy, successful man..he could start again but as he jokes "What if that one becomes defective too?".

    "For better or worse, in sickness & in health". We don't have health but we do have lots of better & many laughs.

    What happens when the answer is No? I rely completely on my husband, physically & financially. Loosing that security must be a terrifying prospect.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • when pain becomes the center of attention and the be all and end all of a marriage or any relationship. it is or will become doomed. if all that is communicated is my pain or i cant do this or i cant do that or constant talking about it, the other spouse does not want to hear it also that does not mean they are not trying to help, they cant relate and after a while they dont want to hear it. this is the same with marriage, work, friendship. the person not in pain does not want to hear about it anymore especially if that is al that is talked about. i have been married going on in june 28 years and the last 13 have been with chronic pain. first of all true chronic pain does not happen or affect people 100% of the time. i have good days bad days and days i dont feel pain. so you need to get out of the habit of talking about pain or complaining about it all of the time. the cold fact of life is that no one cares, bosses, workers, friends, or spouses. after a while they will drop you like a dead balloon. get involved with your spouse, travel, go to a movie or a dinner, dont sit at home all of the time or lie in bed all day because pain does not work that way. on one hand, i can see the spouses point of view. even with meds. all they see and hear from some spouses is taking or talking about meds. dont bring it up and keep it to yourself. i guarantee marriages friends and work will disappear if pain is all that is talked about in your life. i dont talk about it at all unless my wife family work or friends bring it up . and then if it is, i will make a brief statement and say everything is fine even if it isnot that day.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Me? Talk about pain & meds? Never! Ha ha ha! I know what you mean Jon. That's what this place is for. I bore you to tears so my other loved ones don't have to listen. ;-)

    But seriously, we all have 'those days', we need to feel loved & cared for. It must be terrible to feel trapped & verbally abused, with or without chronic pain that's no way to live.

    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • eg
    it is a cruel fact of life, on one and i mean no one wants to hear about our chronic pain unless there is a need to. i vent here and keep quiet at home and at work and with relatives. in fact my sister in law stated that she did not want to hear about back pain when i visited them a couple of years ago. too bad a friend of theres also had surgeries and pain so he and i talked about it and showed each other our scars.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • paininohioppaininohio Posts: 240
    edited 05/09/2014 - 9:29 AM
    A suggestion, if I may. I am the kind of person who has a very hard time explaining my feelings and I can get sidetracked real easy. I have found in the past to write it out and allow my dear hubby read it first, then we discuss things. That way I know i can get out everything that needs to be said. and sometimes while your writing, it can be easier to see how it might come out and you can maybe word things differently so they don't sound confrontational. Anyway, its just an idea for anyone who may have trouble with verbal communication.

    I am lucky in one way, as my husband also has chronic pain AND he is also SEVERELY bi-polar amongst other mental health problems. Our roles are revered in the normal sense as I'm the one who works and he takes care of the home. but we understand each others pain at least so things aren't as difficult for us in that area and for that, i feel like I am truly blessed.

    As everyone else said, if the other person is worth it, if you love each other, you can find a way to make it work. and it IS work. nothing worth having or keeping is easy, just try to keep that in mind as you navigate through your issues and hopefully everyone who is having marital problems can have peace and get things worked out. 8-) (if you don't mind, I will say an extra prayer for everyone this evening.)
  • my wife also says he has chronic pain, chronic pain in the rear from being married to me for 28 years.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • SarahLindeauSarahLindeau Posts: 767
    edited 05/09/2014 - 9:34 AM
    You sound like me - I have the worst time explaining my feelings as well, especially in the already-charged environment of an argument. I just can't say what I mean to say.... Given time, I always can think of the right words the next day or so.. but what good does that do, if, in the heat of the argument, I cannot say what I need to say to my own satisfaction?

    My husband now... he is a rock. He rarely gets upset or cries. He's the epitome of Scandinavian stoic. And sometimes I resent him for that because I am 50% IRISH and guess what? I'm stubborn...It's a crazy mix.. or maybe I'm the crazy part and he's just the audience. But sometimes I feel like I am this raving lunatic compared to him.

    Why did he marry me?? Now I constantly look like the crazy one. haha
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • is to allow your spouse to come to a doctors' appointment with you. Allow him to discuss his fears, his concerns with your doctor. Sometimes, hearing it from the professional makes a huge difference in how the spouse percieves the use of medications.
    I brought my spouse with me, and still, all these years later, he still does occassionally go.......he asked what questions he had , and expressed his concerns, and it allowed the doctor to provide answers.......
    I found that it helped immensely when it came to him understanding my condition, my expectations, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.......it was by far the most helpful thing that he could have done.
  • VikingGunnerVVikingGunner Posts: 1
    edited 05/10/2014 - 8:26 PM
    I understand that your husband is concerned for you, but he is misguided and ignorant to the true realities of a condition such as yours. His requests are unreasonable. I wish I could never even take aspirin but that is not my reality. If you could just snap your fingers and stop your meds I believe you would jump at the chance, but as I have personally told people, the only thing worse then the meds is the pain.
    You should be having your liver enzymes monitored and as long as you do so regularly, liver failure should not be a concern.
    You know your pain and what you need to manage it. Don't let your husband's ignorance cause you to live in pain. I don't know if it is possible for your husband to meet with your pain doc to better understand the reality of your situation and the true risks of your meds- which do not involve death from liver damage. The most dangerous thing for your live in painkillers like percocet and vicodin is the tylenol, not the opiod. Your fentanyl dose is not very high, by my standards and his reaction is out of proportion and based on fear and his preconceived notions towards medication.
    That being said being the spouse of a person in chronic pain is incredibly difficult. If he is not in a support group or some sort of therapy I believe he should consider it. Living with a spouse in this condition is very, very hard to handle and he needs education, perspective and support to better understand the reality of your situation, and the actual cost vs benefit of your medications. Used properly, they should not be any sort of risk to your life. Often I find people blame the deterioration they see in patients with chronic pain to their meds when in my experience, far more often what is causing them to decline is the horror of their chronic pain. It is an unfortunate result of the enormous ignorance within the general population to narcotics/opioid painkillers.
    I wish you the best. I hope your husband understands that thought he may wish you the best- and for you to be healthy- that he is being wrongheaded with his ultimatum, and more importantly, taking away adequate pain medication from an individual with severe chronic pain will do the opposite of improving their long-term health and wellbeing.

    Wish you luck,
  • tamittami Posts: 6
    edited 05/13/2014 - 5:14 AM
    Thank you to those who have responded to my post. I really appreciate it. I've had several suggestions of having my husband meet with my doctor and I think that's a good idea. I don't believe anything my doctor or I say will change his views on medications so we may have to agree to disagree and he needs to decide what he's going to do about it. If he can't stand by me and the decisions I make for myself's best interest, then so be it. I'm tired of worrying about what is he going to do and I'm just tired.

    Viking gunner, you said the spouse of someone in chronic pain is incredibly difficult. I completely agree. Before all of my medical problems reached an all time high, my husband had major medical issues and I had to take care of him 24-7. It was incredibly hard and I had to put me aside and put all my energies into taking care of him. I wonder if he would do the same for me.

    Several of you have talked about not complaining. I very seldom complain. I used to before and when I was trying to get into the pain management program. One day I realized he just wasn't saying anything. So, I stopped complaining, only did I say something when he asked me.

    I truly wished I was not in this situation but I am and like I said earlier, he's got to do what's right for him and I will do what's right for me. It is sad that in our wedding vows he promised to stay by me in sickness and health. Sounds like this isn't going to happen.

    Thanks again
  • I have so many things to add, here.

    1. My mom is bi-polar and I have mental illnesses and being bi-polar, one NEEDS to be on medication. I don't know how he's functioning. Don't the highs and lows of his illness make life hard for you, being his wife? That's not fair of him to not take medication when he should want to be mentally healthy and stable for you!

    2. He has NO RIGHT to demand that you stop taking any medications just because he doesn't like pills. That's ridiculous. He has no idea what pain you go through on a daily basis and will be dealing with for the rest of your life. It's your body and you have the right to be in as little pain as possible. You're taking legal medications prescribed to you for a legitimate medical need. You're not snorting coke or shooting heroin on the street corner. Your husband is being completely unrealistic and cold and inconsiderate. You would think he wouldn't want you to be in any pain.

    3. It makes me so angry that you're even considering this. You should not have to suffer one second for someone else, let alone a judgmental, mentally abusive, rigid jerk.

    If I were you, I would get back on my fentanyl and keep taking any medications your doctor prescribes you. That's your right. Then I would kick him to the curb. It doesn't seem like he deserves you in his life. You have every right to be happy. You should find someone who is compassionate, who cares about you and recognizes your pain, and doesn't want you to suffer in any way, physically or mentally.

    My husband hates pills and won't even take cold medicine when he's sick or take an aspirin when he has a searing migraine. That's the way he is, which is fine. But he has no right to tell me I can't take my medications simply because he has an extreme and insane aversion to pills. That's ludicrous.
    I hope you'll get away from your husband who is verbally abusive to you and wants you to be miserable. That's not healthy. Life is so short and you shouldn't be miserable in any way for one second if you can easily avoid it. Good luck.
    28. Mom. BPD, Chronic Back Pain, Carpel Tunnel.
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 05/13/2014 - 5:50 PM
    regarding making snarky comments about one's spouse......this is Tami's husband and rightly or wrongly, he is entitled to feel as he does regarding medications.....we are hearing one side of the story, and he may have legitimate concerns, and is voicing them in a less than considerate way.
    Tami , I'm sure does not need anyone bashing her spouse, he is her spouse afterall, and her feelings needs to be respected regarding that. Even if he and she don't agree regarding her treatment, I'm sure that reading others saying negative things about her spouse is not something that she needs to contend with on top of the current stresses.
    Ideally, we would all like to have our spouses advocate for us, and want to support us, but for some reason, whether it is due to not understanding the reasons she needs the medications to function or his fear of addiction or some other health concern, the reality is that being the spouse of a chronically ill person, whether the condition is chronic pain or any other chronic condition, it places stresses in addition to the normal martial stresses that some people just can't cope with...rightly or wrongly.
    We can support Tami and any one else dealing with an unsupportive spouse, offer suggestions but don't vilify someone , it's just not necessary.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,848
    situation where the tone and comments are negative or nasty. Those out pour can be the output based on confusion, fear, jealousy and other feelings when it comes to chronic pain and relationships.

    I've stated this before and will always say this, the only real way in dealing with situations with chronic pain and relationships, is to have true, open communications. While that can be difficult, allowing each other to open up and express their feelings is key There is no right or wrong here, just telling each other how you feel.

    When that is out on the table, then you can work on that. Some folks for whatever reason can not or will not have open communications. If it is like that, then your best plan would be to see a counselor who deals with chronic pain in relations.

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Tami-I feel for you and your struggles. It seems there is a fine balance with pain meds, and it sounds like you follow the advice of your doctors. Is your husband worried that there is an addiction problem or is it he just does not like pills? Maybe he is not able to communicate to you why he really doesn't want you on pills. If he is changing his mind of why he does not like pills, maybe he really does not know why he doesn't want you to take them. I know from my own situation that I am a much more "normal" person when I am able to control the pain, but unfortunately that is not very often. Are you functioning better on meds? Can you point that out to your husband? Can you let him know how you will be without pain control? Will he actually listen to you? Like Ron says, it is all about communication,
    I know it isn't easy. My husband doesn't understand that if I have a normal day and do normal activities, that the next day I will not be able to get out of bed. Last night he yelled at me because the dishes were not done. As he started roughly putting the clean dishes away I told him I would do it when he went to bed. He then yelled that he does not want to come home when the house is a mess. I told him then not to come home. Then today when he got home from work he acted like nothing had happened. I did not do the dishes now just because he made me mad. I know, a bit passive aggressive, but I do not like to be told what to do. He did not say a word about the dishes. When I try to tell him about my pain, he just says he has pain too and he just pushes through it and that is what I should do. I try to tell him my pain must be different then his, because there is no pushing through it. Sometimes when I get up in the morning I can barely stand, tears roll down my face as I try to walk to the bathroom. It take me about 2 hours to feel halfway normal. It takes time for the ibuprofen to start working. I try to communicate how I feel, he doesn't listen, and instead of having a conversation with him telling me how he feels, he just yells about what I have not done during the day, instead of focusing on what I have accomplished.
    Oh, I am sorry, I am rambling! I just want you to now you are not alone. I wish there were answers for us, a magical cure for our pain.
  • 64pvolvo1800664pvolvo1800 Posts: 250
    edited 05/14/2014 - 12:05 AM
    I can tell you from experience that addiction is a brutal path for the addict and the loved ones. Perhaps he has an addiction experience in the family or friends and his fear is very real. Perhaps he just can't express it in a loving and caring way.
    I know that in my situation, my wife has been through my addiction to narcotics and my recoverery for 11+ yrs. having the spine I do, and those magic words uttered by the surgeon, "pain mgmt" was devastating. I was depressed and destroyed for months. Knowing that an addict was sentenced to a life if pain meds was horrible. Tell an alcoholic he has to drink one drink for his health daily but no more. No buzz at all. My brain doesn't know the difference but my body does. It's a tightrope and somedays I cry when I take the meds. I can't NOT take them and function. My wife keeps me accountable and honest as I've asked her to help. The difference is she knows both sides of the experience, horrible addiction and horrible pain in my life.
    Without her support I don't know what I would do.
    I'm sorry for your pain and lack of support and urge counseling for one or both.
  • backache99backache99 Posts: 1,338
    edited 05/18/2014 - 2:00 AM
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
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