Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Any advice on how to handle spouses??

dcarterddcarter Posts: 76
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I need help!
My husband has been so wonderful through all this. It has been 9 weeks since my surgery and he has done everything from cleaning, cooking, shopping, yard work, taking care of our daughter.
This week though, he seems to be irritable and seems to be avoiding me. This has been very hard on him. When you have a surgery like this (fusion in lower lumbar)you need someone to take care of things and help you out. But who thinks of the people that are helping you? I have been back at work and so when I get home I am worn out and can't do much. I have been helping as much as I can with the chores around the house but there is only so much that you can do when you can't bend, lift anything, or twist. My husband has been having to handle a lot these past few months. I am afraid that he is starting to resent me. He has that worn out look in his eyes now and seems to get irritated now when I flinch from pain while walking. He deserves a much needed break but will not allow anyone to help.
I don't want him to start hating me so any advice will help.


  • I depend a lot on my friends, who have given my husband much needed breaks. One of my most pain filled nights last winter was his birthday. I managed to get a friend to come by with a huge chocolate birthday cake. So basically, whatever I could come up with using phone calls and emails ... and not to forget the internet - found I could order a lot of stuff from target.com with free shipping, and get my groceries delivered from time to time. Not always the most cost effective, but worth it if you can do it on occasion.

    Other than that, communicate, and just know that this is the sickness part - there is health yet to come again!

  • Just wish I had one! :D

    No seriously I know what you mean as though I live on mu own my mum (in her 70's ) so often is a helping hand. I di have to organise a lot more pre surgery but that was OK.
    Now as far as your spouse goes, get him a couple of tickets to a sporting match or a movie he would like. Arrange a fre4ind to come over and tell him you want to have a 'girly" night/day, so that lets him off the hook if he feels he has to do everything.

    Anything really so that he knows he is apprecieated.

    Blessings to you both
  • First of all we talk about everything! We planned out our financial situation before I had surgery. I make more money so my surgery was going to have a big financial impact. My company gives 50% of your salary for employees 1-5 years of employment. From the month you hit 5 years, the 1st day of the following month you are eligible for 66%...so we held off my surgery for 1 1/2 to get that extra 16%. And my STD only lasts 8 weeks..then nothing until LTD kicks in at 12 weeks. So we had to plan for an entire month of NO MONEY FROM ME...that was rough but we did it...by talking and planning.

    My husband has been fabulous (we're newlyweds)...and I try very hard to thank him for everything he does as much as I can...even if it's a little effort..it does make a difference. I know the vows say "in sickness and in health" but no one should forget to say thank you! One thing I do for him that seems silly to say but he loves it, is to make his breakfast every morning during the week. And I don't mean I get up early and cook before he leaves for work... What I do is, on Sunday night I make 3 days worth of scrambled eggs...sometimes with bacon bits and cheese, sometimes with ham..sometimes with all the above...it doesn't really matter to him. And then I do the same on Wednesday night so he has enough for the rest of the work week. He loves not having to take care of that small detail, he grabs his container in the morning..heads to work and heats it up...and in some small way it makes me feel like I'm still taking care of him a little too. Taking off more thing off his plate. I used to do all the cooking and now he does the majority of it for me but I still try to help and do my part...but I just refuse to give up his breakfast making! And I can tell it makes him happy.

    So it doesn't matter what you do...no matter how small..it does make a difference!
  • I just posted, but it got lost somewhere (forgive me if this is a duplicate)

    7 yesrs ago I was the spouse. DH had a discectomy. I was resentful, I was irritable. But, I was also 3 mo. pregnant, horrendously sick with morning sickness (lost 25 lbs in 2 months) and I was probably almost as miserable as he was.

    That said, I stayed up all night post surgery for him, I did roll him over when he couldn't, I did call the nurses when the pain meds weren't working.

    The surgery was just the beginning, he developed a strong drug addiction and I had to deal with that too. I admit, there were many times I was ready to leave. I couldn't take it anymore.

    He did go into treatment for the addiction, it required an in-hospital stay, and lots of money - but he did it. He started to talk - the therapist required it, and we are still together today. Almost 25 years total now.

    Now, it's my turn. I'm the one having surgery. Lucky him, he gets to be in Iraq (not lucky, I'm being sarcastic here), and I am so anti-drug that I only allow myself 1-2 800 mg. Ibuprofen a month. I seriously wonder how 'low-dose' I can go - the addiction was the hardest on our marriage by far.

    In the end: I second the idea of talking and I highly suggest that you find a 'gift of the heart' that you can give often.
  • My poor hubby has had to deal with me and my surgeries for years and to be honest I cannot believe the patience and support and love he has for me, and I know what you mean about "that look in his eyes" I see it too! But on the days or nights I do feel better I try to make a nice meal, watch a DVD, enjoy some of the old things we use to do together only alot slower now!!! LOL I buy him cards just to say thanx, or leave a cute note!
  • I too have a wonderful and supportive husband, but I see things getting to him sometimes too. It isn't so much that he has to do the extra stuff (I have teenagers who help a lot), but it wears on him that I don't feel good. By the time evening comes and he is home, I am wiped out and don't want to do anything. I have found myself taking him for granted recently, and I know that I need to give him a little tlc for always being so supportive of me.

    You mentioned that you are back to work and by the time you get home you don't feel up to doing any work. One suggestion that would help tremendously is if you spend 15-20 minutes every morning before going to work and put together the evening meal in a slow cooker. There are many simple and tasty recipes (google search crock pot recipes), and just having that ready when your DH gets home would show him that you are trying to help. Also, if you have the financial means, try hiring a teenager to come in occasionally to do some of the more time-consuming tasks, like mopping the floors, scrubbing the toilets, etc. Most teenagers will do a decent job.

    I have also found that I can sort the laundry while sitting down (as long as the rest of the family brings it to the laundry room). Once it is sorted, doing laundry is rather easy. Don't worry about pressing his clothes. Just get them folded or hung, and they can be pressed as they are worn. Just keeping up with this meanial task can take a load off of him, and it can be done while sitting in front of the television, or you can break it up into 5 minute segments throughout the day.

    There are really many things that we can still do with a little determination. I have found that if I have accomplished anything at all during the day, my husband is all the more willing to help with the more difficult things. He isn't home a lot, and when he is here, I want him to see how much I appreciate all he does for me.

    I think I just wrote this post for my own benefit--I need to take better care of my husband!

    Good luck, and be sure to communicate, as others have said.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • I don't have an SO, but I do have a wonderful daughter, who would rather not have to dip my cat pan (in addition to hers when she gets home), take her lunch time either bringing me lunch or taking me to the dr.. But she does it. Said she didn't realize she had a choice. I had a knee replaced last year, so she got sort of used to helping and I did try to work with her job on taking me to PT and stuff.
    Her apt. mate doesn't drive and has lots of physical/medical problems so she has to deal with those too. Her bosses are so good, she gets to take her vacation 1/2 at a time and they let her take off to run us to dr and then come back after us.
    That is one of the reasons this is such a wonderful spot. I can talk to those who not only "been there, done that", but "are there and understand that."
    One of the things we have done this year that we didn't do with the knee is Home Health. Someone to be here when I take a shower is a big help to her and right now PT comes to the house so she doesn't have to take me there. However, we don't know what this blood problem is going to do. Seems I have too many platelets (975,000 as opposed to the 1-300,000 I should have) Totally new to us since my dad was down in the thousands - before chemo.
    Oh well, life has to stay interesting.
    I think I will send an Edible Bouquet to her at work. Maybe. Anymore suggestions would be appreciated.
  • My husband has been wonderful taking care of me.. Altho sometimes I think he has bit too many high expectations of what I am capable of doing.. But he hasnt complained at all about the extra things he has to do to take care of me..
    Well, unless i wake him up early in the morning (like this morning when i couldnt get out of the bed without someone's arm to pull myself up on), but he understands..

    I just make sure i tell him that i love him everyday and thank him for the things he is doing.

    I think flowers or a card or some special present for your husband would show your appreciation to him. Just make sure he feels appreciated, that is the most important thing. Don't take what he does for granted.
  • you guys are absolutley right. I am at 7 weeks and fighting my impatience and frustrations and I think I lost sight of hubby here lately. He did take the kids on a up north boating expedition with his family, but that made me resentful because it broke the family up. You guys are right. I'd better have a little more mercy and settle down. Thanks, guys!!!
  • Just a few suggestions. Sounds like he was doing just fine at the beginning and is now running out of steam. Could you have a friend over for a weekend and then let me go spend some guy time with his friend? I bet having a friend pampering you for the weekend would help.
    If you are members of a church, maybe ask for people who would be interested in dropping of meals for your family.
    Maybe pay for someone to come in to clean, this may be cheaper than you trying to do it yourself and messing your back up.
    On Friday, stockpile on movies and all the foods for the weekend. You can sit down and make large quantity of pasta dishes (I do 6lbs of pasta at a time). Buy Glad Freezer containers and store in your freezer. You can find many freezer books that can have you cook one day to eat for 30 days. This means less trips to the store.
    On another more girl front, even though you feel like crap show him how much he means to you in anyway you can safely. Make it a romantic thing. That resentment may be coming from that versus the workload?
  • I am 3 wks and my wife and kids have been a tremendous help. I have made it a point to get my wife out of the house with her girl friends so she does not feel trapped. I am really pretty much self sufficient. We are lucky the finances are not an issue. I remember when we were newly married (16 years ago) and our finances were tighter. Can only imagine how finances and surgery would effect a relationship. Thank God for our love and devotion to each other.
  • My husband has been taking care of me and our kids for almost 9 months now since surgery, and many times beforehand too. I know that what seems the most helpful is when he is fed up, frustrated, irritated, I ask him very calmly, "Honey, tell me what's going on...why are you so upset?" I take his hand and then I just listen. I look him straight in the eye, not doing anything else, and listen to him. I try really hard not to respond with any excuses for the kids, or comparisons with what I go through in a day, but keep focused on what he is saying and how he feels about it. Then i give him a big hug, tell him I love him very much, apologize that things are so hard for us right now, but that I am so lucky to have him and I appreciate everything he does for our family.
    Usually that's all he really wants, to get his stress off his chest and to be reassured that he is loved and appreciated. Its important to tell your SO that things won't be like this forever. Remind them that when you are all better you will make it up to them and they won't have to carry so much weight anymore. They a simple words, but you have to speak them for them for them to be heard.

  • I am planning a weekend alone with him, just us 2. I talked with his brother and he is going to take our daughter friday night until sunday afternoon. I am planning to take him to dinner friday night and then just see what develops for the rest of the weekend. He has been very grumpy these last 2 days and today is not talking besides to answer a question so I was right on my feeling when I first posted this that he is frustrated. I tried sitting down with him and asked him what is bothering him but he just got up and walked out of the room. I haven't had time to do anything wrong so the only thing that I can think of is that he has had enough and needs a break. I have talked to my manager and she agreed with me that I can work from home 1 day a week so on that day that I am home I plan to also do the house chores ( I don't have to stand by the washer and dryer while they are going and I can fold laundry while a report is archiving or printing and I have a dishwasher I should use although I perfer hand washing) This should help things out alot for him.
    Baby steps to bring back our relationship!
  • Sounds like you are on to the right start. My husband was wonderful (still is 4 months out) through the entire process. He works many hours a week and still works most evenings from home. He still worked and took care of our house and kids which with 5 kids is alot of work which he told me the week he was home. It had been along time since he had done laundry and he could not believe how much there was!
    I made sure he got out of the house a little the first couple of weeks. Even if it was to go get some coffee and go to Barnes and Noble for an hour. Just some time to himeself. He wouldn't go at first but as I was up and moving he would go for an hour or so.
    My husband also had a hard time (very emotional) about 3 weeks after my surgery. He felt so bad for me and watching me go through everything, the pain, surgery, etc. He is very empathetic and it showed. We are very close and talk about everything so for him to feel that way didnt surprise me. Just something to keep in mind that it can be hard to watch the one you love go through all of this. I know it would be hard on me to see him go through it.
    Hope you both enjoy your weekend, I think that will help.
    Take care.
  • Something that happened by accident seems to have helped my daughter. I know she gets tired of always dealing with me
    I had to go to my PCP on the blood mess and so she dropped me off, went to get herlunch and them came back. She got there just as I was finishing up so they sent her on back. The Dr. came by with samples for me AND he just talked to her for a few minutes about that one day I would be better. It might have helped that he is her doctor also, but that did seem to make her feel better - just knowing that someone else saw she was in a bit of a bind.
    Chele and I have not alway been close, but we work at it - staying in touch AND not always for a problem. I sure couldn't do this without her OK, enough here come the tears. So must go.
  • Pillow over the face while he is sleeping..... }:)
    Me = Cranky 8)
  • You are cranky today... ;)
  • To tell him how much you appreciate EVERYTHING that he does for you and how great of a husband and friend he's been through it all. Let him know that if it wasnt for his love and support, you wouldnt have been able to go through all this.

    Christina :)
  • Hello:

    Just a thought.."In sickness and health", that is what we signed up for!

    I have had many surgeries over the years and my husband has been a wonderful care taker. I was very well prepared before my surgery and let him know how much I appreciated his care and love.

    Since you went back to work at 9 weeks maybe your husband thinks you are ready to take on the rest of the house duties as well. I know you probably are worn out when you get home. I do agree that communication is key. Talk about what you both are thinking, be considerate and respectful of one another.

Sign In or Register to comment.