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Minimizing or Not admitting??

Aviatrix36440Aviatrix36440 Posts: 5,722
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Pain Management
Howdy fellow Spineys!!!

My hubby and I were in the pool tonight - I love this part by the way with him - NO TV, Cell phone, computers --> Just me and the hubby!!! Okay, with that, we get into all manner of conversations. Tonight I brought up jlrfrye's post of "lying about our conditions" and do I do that - with him?

He told me that I don't lie about my condition, but I do either 'hide' my true pain that day, or ignore my pain and push into things that hurt me later! So hence my question, do you with your loved ones do this? I didn't think I did, but he brought up various things I do or don't do that shows when I am hiding my pain and pushing through. Neither he nor I are "the man" of the house if you will, we are partners, but he has on occasion, asked me to "go lay down" or take my breakthrough meds, as he apparently sees in my body language and mood when I do this. He is my "Best friend, lover and confidant", and I wouldn't give him up for the world! March was the 20 year mark for us, the last 8 of which his dealing with my dang spine issues!

Anyone, or am I just odd? No, not trying to 'man up' as a woman, I just like many don't feel like constantly saying this or that hurts, I just go along - and apparently I am NOT fooling my hubby! Love him!!!

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


  • I do that all the time. Unfortunately, my husband is truly oblivious most of the time, and will NOT save me from myself, so if I don't I truly suffer. I try to train him to do it for me sometimes, but it is truly futile, as it's not lack of knowledge, he just is unaware of the signs and I can't train him to notice. And he'll ask me to do things expecting me to say no if I'm not capable. DUH!

    Last week I was so bad that I have been flat out this weekend. URGH!

    I am worst when it comes to my kids. I want them to have what they want, not suffer for having a gimpy mom. So when my son needs Orange Juice for his class party and my daughter wants to ride her pony, I man up and take care of it. Then I come home and crawl in bed with my heating pad and whimper.
  • Howdy HappyHBmom...:)

    Sorry to hear that he doesn't see it. Honestly I didn't realize that my other half "saw right through" my good and bad days? Wow! Now, he's come home, took one look at me and said, "Okay, what did you do today, you look bad." Now with the conversation in the pool, in "hindsight" I now understand what he was getting at! I feel he and I are very good at communication with each other, but I guess I missed something that *he* did see. :)

    HB, not sure if you can train him. Please let me know if you do. :) I don't have kids, but I can fully understand your 'manning' up per say so they have "mom" and not the gimp as you describe it. I have a feeling they still know what hurts you and doesn't (kids are good that way!!) - kinda like I found my hubby knows. *HUGZ*

    Also too, I never thought that I 'hid things' or 'ignored' things and pushed through. Thinking about it, I guess I do. Hummm....

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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  • I notice now lately I haven't said anything about my pain to my husband but when I go past him notice I have to grab onto the couch arm as I walk by then the wall. I just know he notices me struggle at times without me saying anything. That's great you've been together for 20 years! We've been married 18 years but I've had this back injury for 2.4 years. Just lately I see him watching me and he does everything anyway and when he sees the dishes in the sink he does them and doesn't say a word because I used to do them just automatically so when they're left he knows I'm having pain so I don't complain anymore. Thanks for that insight! 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
  • Interesting thread and insights. Congrats on 20 years!

    I thought I'd just add a different perspective since I'm a single young spiney with my significant interaction being with parents. I don't think it's so much that I "hide" my pain, but just that it is to the point where it is no longer productive to evaluate it on a daily basis. It sounds like a lot of us are at this point with our loved ones. Immediately after my accident when I had to move home we did the daily "how are you feeling today," but after the acute phase I asked them to please stop doing it because I wasn't "getting better" and focusing on it was not helpful.

    Like you, I try to help as much as I can- I do a lot of cooking, and will cook elaborate spreads even when perhaps I'm not feeling up to it. I think it is validating for me to feel that I can still do something helpful, and for my parents it shows them that I'm not going to just roll over and give up. So is it pushing through beyond a reasonable limit? Perhaps, but I think the psychological benefits outweigh the physical discomforts sometimes. For me, I guess I don't feel like it is "hiding" or "ignoring" because I am aware when I do this- I just choose to prioritize the need to feel useful over the need for physical comfort if that makes sense?

    And no, I don't fool anyone, including myself. The clues are there, even when they are not specifically pointed out. The significant people in my life can tell when I leave dishes around, or don't use the stairs, or when I get out of bed and go straight for the couch that I'm having a hard day. I think that is part of the beauty of having loved ones, though. They can read us so well a lot of this can go without saying...
  • As I was reading this post my hubby said "are you alright?". No-I was hurting and he could tell by my body language. I definitely try to hide my pain (not always very well) and also do the pushing through, especially where my kids are concerned.

    I think that there are those who never stop complaining and then theres the opposite: the ones trying to hide their pain and push on through.

    Glad I'm not the only one that does this, I'm in good company!

    Take care spiney friends,

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  • Charry,

    You're Welcome, but I guess on this one, I have to give the "insight" to the hubby! I thought I was doing well with coping and function and balance, and yet our pool chat showed me. When he relayed that he could tell when I was 'ignoring and pushing through', I could actually see the hurt in his eyes! That right there woke me up! He tries not to get mad at me when I do this, because as he put it, it would serve no purpose! So he let me plug along. (lol)

    My hubby like yours Charry has scooted about and done things that I normally do - no complaints, no guilt given towards me. I just get mad at myself sometimes when he does some of these things, then I back off of myself and give myself a reality check. It's funny too in that I don't think I've ever consciously "ignored or hid" my bad days - shrug. I learned something soooo new last night! And that, that isn't a bad thing, right?

    Congrats on 18 years Charry. I think we both have 'keepers!' :) :) :)

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

    "I guess I don't feel like it is "hiding" or "ignoring" because I am aware when I do this- I just choose to prioritize the need to feel useful over the need for physical comfort if that makes sense?"

    What you posted here Lala..? That is what I thought I was doing. Yes it makes perfect sense to me. :) I would also do a lot of my cleaning, prep, or chores well after the hubby was off to bed. I just thought I did that so there was on one to distract me. He sees it totally opposite and that it showed me 'pushing' through without someone to curb or stop it! Grrr... I feel the same as you though on it. There is a bit of mood lifting, even if pain is the reward if I feel I accomplished something 'normal' this or that day!

    The problem for me though, is I guess with some of it I was 'fooling' myself in that I didn't see it as ignoring pain, or pushing through. Sigh... I just attributed it to what doctors have told me over the years.,,, "You have a high tolerance for pain, so issues "most" get diagnosed early, you don't get help until it is bad." I experienced that in '02' with a huge ovarian tumor - I thought I had a small hernia! Go figure. hehehe...

    So I guess I was fooling me a bit, but like you, NOT those around who love and care. :) That's good insight too! I guess some of our behaviors aren't something we can change overnight, even with pain. Part of our human spirit I guess! I hope you're having a great day Lala! *hug*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Howdy Lisa,

    As I read your post, it struck me as ...there are 2 types, those that complain day after day, and then those of us that maybe validate or comment back to our other half's when things hurt, but otherwise say nothing or try to do day to day things without comment as to how we feel.

    Before I retired, we had a secretary that I feel bad saying this... I was afraid to ask her "So H, how are you feeling today?" She was commonly handing you the results of her latest doctors appointment, and then relaying every little thing that hurt! She saw doctors probably 3 times a week! She overheard one of the guys in the kitchen tell another that the 'pains' he was feeling was due to an enlarged Prostate. The next day she was calling her doctor complaining of the same symptoms, and asked the doctor, "Could my Prostate be enlarged?" Sadly, I bowed my head and walked away. Extreme case yes, but I bring that up because of those that comment on each and every discomfort or pain, people ignore them after a while. I guess part of why I don't say anything, I don't ever want to be "H" in so far as waned interest from those I care about. I don't think it is in my fiber to comment constantly - the hubby kinda showed the exact opposite - too quiet! (G)

    Have a super day Ms Lisa!!! *HUGZ* :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,552
    I know in my situation, I rarely ever have to tell my wife that I am hurting more, something isnt right with my spine, etc.

    Since we both have been dealing with my spinal issues since before 1972, she knows how to read every visible action I take. Be a hiked shoulder, more pronounced drop foot, pale face, etc, etc, etc; she knows whats going on, and knows what I need to do.

    Its a good thing she can, cause if I was left to myself to do things, there could be a 50-50 chance I would do the right thing to help myself.

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • "Words are not needed" is so true as I found out last night! My hubby elaborated a bit with "Sometimes you limp with a stiffness, a slower walk, rubbing your neck etc. Spouses can be so good for us! Like you Ron, my hubby was the one to push me to see a doctor when my neck issues went from "my regular stiffness" to a more pronounced situation. I probably would have put off attention longer on my own. We have keepers!!! Kudos to your wife Ron!! :)

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