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marriage falling apart

Cherra3CCherra3 Posts: 6
edited 06/23/2014 - 9:31 AM in Matters of the Heart
My husband is the one suffering with chronic pain. He has had a spinal fusion and needs two more according to his surgeon. He works in a medical lab looking in a microscope a big part of the day. Is there a worse job for neck pain? I have been more than understanding. I have gone with him to Drs appts. and have been his biggest advocate. He currently is seeing pain management but it's just not helping much. Now he's supplementing his pain meds with alcohol. He knows the dangers but he says he can't live with the pain anyway so it's worth the risks. At first this did not affect our marriage but the more he drinks (which is more and more) the meaner and angrier her gets. He's always sorry the next day, but to tell the truth, I'm getting tired of the apologies when I know he's going to do it again in a matter of weeks. I don't have anyone to talk to. Is there someone who can help me help him?


  • I'm sorry for what both of you are going through.......I assume that since you mentioned the neck pain, that his problems are all in his neck? Have you discussed with his pm doctor other options for the treatment of pain, aside from just the use of oral medications? A spinal cord stimulator perhaps? An intrathecal pain pump? Radio frequency ablation?
    The combination of alcohol and narcotics is dangerous, and with opiates the combination can become lethal......very quickly.
    It sounds like he is self medicating, and I can understand your frustration with that, coupled with the anger. Have you discussed his getting into a program for the alcohol? Considered a conversation with his doctors?
    I would try to talk to him, first, and discuss looking into what other options there are to help ease the pain, but if he fails to act to stop the drinking and continues being verbally abusive, then you may have no option but to step in and intervene. For his safety and yours.

    While we are concerned about our members, we can not provide treatment or intervention in cases of drug or alcohol abuse. The numbers below are for your convenience to seek help with the proper resources.

    Drug Abuse and Alcohol Abuse help

    Alcohol and Drug Abuse Hotline
    Alcohol and Drug Hotline 
    Al-Anon for Families of Alcoholics
    (888) 425-2666
    National Institute on Drug Abuse
    (800) 662-4357

  • Thank you so much for the reply. His PM Dr. says he can't have anything more. They are going to try a spinal something or the other next month. He knows the risk of mixing the alcohol with the pain meds. As I said, he is willing to take the risk. He doesn't want to stop the alcohol. It makes it just barely tolerable. So I guess there are no answers. I just needed to know if someone had any ideas on how I can cope. I couldn't find a forum for spouses of chronic pain sufferers. He's not the only one whose world is falling apart. He's only verbally abusive and our children are grown so I won't leave him.
  • boy alcohol and narcotics are a bad risk. they are like oil and water, they dont mix and there are numerous over doses with alcohol and narcotics together. yes i agree, some kind of program to deal with one or both of these would help in my opinion. i never drink since i started with the narcotic pain meds and i have been on them for about 13 years. i will on occasion have a small, very small glass of wine but that is rare and ususall around a holiday with the relatives around. but for the most part, no drinking on my part.
    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.
  • It is not an easy road , for either one of you. I can understand why the doctor cut off the medications since he is consuming alcohol.....the dangers are far too great......no matter how much someone says they "understand" the risks. When the lethal combination of combining those two occur, the families are left to deal with the grief and the anger.
    It is in his best interest to not take the medications at this time......did the procedure they mentioned include a spinal cord stimulator trial? If so, you may both find that if the trial is sucessful that it offers him great relief.....
    Have you considered seeing a counselor? One who specializes in the treatment of chronic pain? It might help him to have real life support and they may have a spouses/family support group available as well......it is worth a shot to see if there is one in your area........and if not, why not start one?
    Chronic pain is hard on the patient, but it is even harder on the family, because they want to help but just don't know how ...
    We are here, for you, and for him if he wants to join......hang in there honey.
  • After being drunk/overmedicated for 3 out of the last 4 weekends, it came to a head last night. He was angry and yelled at our daughter and she told him that she couldn't live like this anymore. He said he'd fix that. He went upstairs to our room, fired a pistol in our bedroom. We thought he'd killed himself. I ran upstairs and he was standing there with the gun to his head. Our daughter was behind me. I knew I couldn't stop him so I tried to close the door so she wouldn't see. The SOB said for me to leave the door open and before I could close it she saw him with the gun to his head. She ran out of the house screaming and called 911. While we were outside waiting on the police, he got in his car and drove off. Then he ran into a ditch. The police found him there. They didn't take him in on suicide watch or drunk driving. They were going to let him come home with him still drunk and cussing me! His brother took him home with him but we left when he got home this morning. I shouldn't have to leave my home when he's the one that's gone crazy. I love him, but I can't live with crazy and he has damaged our daughter forever. She doesn't feel safe anywhere near him and doesn't want me anywhere near him. I don't know where we are going to go or do.
  • backache99backache99 Posts: 1,314
    edited 06/23/2014 - 9:27 AM
    just look at what its done to a man that I am sure was a perfectly nice guy at one point .your situation proves to me that pain can drive one to do things that are irrational .all he wants is to be out of pain he will be dealing with awful person problems and will be in a world of pain ..is there anyway he can be helped with getting his pain under control ? then addressing the alcohol problem ..I feel for both of you

    Post edited for inappropriate comments . 5.18 Spine-health.com reserves the right to edit, monitor and/or delete comments at our discretion without notice.
    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
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,302
    edited 06/23/2014 - 9:31 AM
    Domestic violence is NEVER acceptable, under ANY terms or conditions. NO EXCUSES. He may in fact, need professional help and his doctor needs to be made aware of this situation, because it is ONLY going to get even uglier......
    In the meantime, I strongly suggest that Cherra, contact her local domestic violence shelter, and get with them about a safe place for her and her daughter. She also needs to contact her local police department, and county court system to obtain and serve him with a protective order. The court system and the police can assist her with his removal from the home. You may be able to go to your local court with a copy of the report from last night, and obtain these documents temporarily. THE MOST IMPORTANT thing you need to do is protect yourself and your daughter.

    Yes, your husband needs help but it is not the kind of help that you or anyone else , including your daughter can provide. You can not LOVE someone through domestic violence, nor can you LOVE someone through alcoholism and abuse, verbal or mental, or emotional. His behavior is out of control and the ONLY one who can help with that, is him.
    He needs treatment, with qualified professionals, and most likely some psychological assistance as well. He fired a gun in a home , where you and your daughter were present, and easily could have aimed that firearm at one of you.

    Suicide resources

    While we at - Health are concerned about our members, we are not equipped to provide intervention or assistance to someone who is suicidal. We strongly encourage those who are feeling or expressing feelings of suicidal ideation to seek the proper support and help in real life. The numbers below are for your convenience.
    Suicide Help Resources
    Suicide Help Resources
    Suicide Hotline Numbers
    USA: 1-800-784-2433
    UK : 08457 90 90 90
    ROI: 1850 60 90 90
    Suicide Hotline Numbers for Canada (URL Link)


    While we are concerned about our members, we can not provide treatment or intervention in cases of drug or alcohol abuse. The numbers below are for your convenience to seek help with the proper resources.

    Drug Abuse and Alcohol Abuse help

    Alcohol and Drug Abuse Hotline
    Alcohol and Drug Hotline 
    Al-Anon for Families of Alcoholics
    (888) 425-2666
    National Institute on Drug Abuse
    (800) 662-4357

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