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How do you manage your pain without being cranky with your spouse?

I've had 2 lumbar surgeries and will be having a 3rd in the near future. I'm in pain 80% of the time and it's starting to take its toll on my marriage. I've done the PT,injections,and pain meds. Is there anything that any of you have found that helps your mood and keeps your from being cranky all the time? My wife thinks I should see a shrink but I'm skeptical that they will beable to help at all.

So lets hear it, how do you manage your chronic pain when meds etc dont seem to work.


  • Love and marriage is the saying? I would get out as much as possible. As much as it hurt I'd rather leave to avoid argument ormaking eeveryone miserable. Don't take me too serious tho I'm divorced now. And I really don't know what would really work. Just somethings that just take their toll and there's nothing we can really do. I wish you the best of luck. Let me know if you got suggestions. Current relationship could use some suggestions
  • Chronic pain is just one more burden to add to the marriage cart. Unfortunately, it is doubly burdensome. It is one of those "issues" between mates that can be an irritant, BUT, it also causes frustration in your spouse because (he/she) can't do anything about it and they also agonize over/with/because of your pain. Spouses don't want to see their spouse in pain.

    I have found distance/separation/isolation to be beneficial. If my wife does not see or hear me in pain, then life is better.

    Honesty is also a good foundation. For example, I will respond honestly to any inquiry regarding my current pain level. If I can't participate, then I honestly say so. If I am willing to participate and accept the risk of increased pain, then I will honestly say so. My goal is for "life" to continue as best/positively as it can in spite of me. I disdain sympathizers and DO NOT want anyone to pity me.

    I am not trying to be Pollyannish about this. Spine pain hurts and debilitates. I just don't won't to be the party pooper. So, I try be as honest as I can and seek other means of contributing to the betterment of the family and the community.

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  • gaj399ggaj399 Posts: 265
    edited 11/25/2012 - 1:00 PM
    When my wife and I started down this horrible pain journey, we wrote our wedding vows on paper, each of us, we knew that it was going to be a long difficult journey with very few roses to smell along the way. When things get touchy and the argument brews, we head for separate rooms and read what we wrote on that paper. We vowed to love and cherish each other till death do us part. I'm sure she's had to read her's a lot more than me, she's had to put up with me in pain, but I try to not take my pain out on her, I know if she was able to cure my ailments she would do it now, but this is the hand we have been dealt.

    In the day we live in now, people separate and divorce at the drop of a hat. Marriage needs to be worked on, it doesn't just come up roses without some care and love to make it grow.

    Sorry if this is a bit sappy, but, we have been married 18 years and 7+ have been years that I have lived in pain. As far as I can tell our marriage is still on solid ground, so we must be doing something right.
  • Thanks for the responses everyone. I think in my case it makes things a little more difficult because we are newly weds. I don't realize that I'm being snippy in my responses to her questions, physically I'm not in the "mood" as much as newly weds should be which really bothers her because she thinks I dont find her attractive anymore etc.
  • Tison1200:

    I have been married to the same patient and caring woman for 40 years and one day (24 November 1972). Your situation is totally different than mine, thus a different perspective exists. Maybe some of the young bucks on this forum can provide advice.

    However, even though I have bruises on the side of my head where I have been dinged for not remembering/anticipating/understanding a situation, I have learned that good communication is critical for a successful relationship. Dr. Phil would be proud of me!

    Good luck my friend.

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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,347
    so, I figured the best way would be to create a separate thread to provide some details, or more to the point my insight.
    Here is something to read and think about:
    Spineys and Relationships
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Been married 28 years and on and off the last 27 have been dealing with chronic pain. Hubby does feel bad that he can't help me and does hate seeing me in pain. It makes me feel worse when he or the kids ask how my pain is and I lose it because I don't want to talk about it. My solution was to put a dry-erase board on refrig. and write a general number 1-10 of what my pain level is that day and they can see when they come in from work or I will just text it to them. Now they don't have to ask and risk getting head knocked off...lol. If I want to talk about it they will listen but now don't feel like they have to walk on eggshells anymore. Has really worked well for us. I try to come to ya'll more and hope you don't get tired of me :)

  • i've been married 25 years and half of that with chronic pain and 4 fusions, the last was in May. for the most part my wife is pretty understanding but on occasion she flies off the handle not me. i am pretty easy going, she is the one who gets her pants in a bunch. when she yells, i just ignore her. if i feel like crap i tell her. i am pretty silent, i just lie on the couch and if her and my son want to go to a movie and i don't feel like it, i just tell her. the issue that bothers me is not being grumpy but the lack of sex and a sex drive. i have not erections or no desire at all. i have tried meds etc but nothing works. i think that a fusio n i had 5 years ago put a cramp into my style. there are lots of nerves around the area of a fusion and they try to watch but sometimes, nada. she does not complain as of now and i ususally sleep on the couch. i don;t think she is seeing someone else but i think she has come to grips with the lack of motion in the ocean. i could be wrong but we have discussed it. i keep on trying to see a dr to see if we can do something else like an implant which really drives my wife up the wall if i mention i was going to get one. maybe over christmas vacation i will see one. i have seen a urologist about this but all he does is throw viagra my way which does not work.
    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.
  • I will say that is one rough topic.. I know how it "should" work, but it doesn't for me. Me and mine are best friends deep down, but man he can scream, yell, he gets so mad because I can't play anymore. I can't be spontanious, he constantly says, I can't believe our life has come to this - drugs, drugs, and doctors... I can't help it, and have resigned to let him rant and rave. When it's good - its amazing, when it's bad, nobody better throw a 357 in the mix cuz it's gonna get used by one of us! I do know that were the roles reversed, I would never, ever say the ignorant, hurtful, rude things that he does. I would never treat him or anyone like that. But, I also must remember, he is the one that goes out at 6 a.m. and feeds my horse (whom he despises) and the other animals because I hurt too much to do it. He is the one that has to go haul hay for my horse, even so he'd just as soon I have him put down because we both know I'll never ride him again and he is a very expensive financial burden - but I have had more awesome times on that horse than anything I have ever done in my life. I am so blessed to have had him and been able to take him to the mountains every weekend, just he and I and go for hours! There is truly nothing finer in life in my mind. It pisses me off he tells me I should have him put down because he is expensive to keep around and i won't do it. But, he does make sure he's always got food, takes care of fencing that Blitz dicks with and rips up, and all the other BS that comes with animals. He fixed the barn to make sure it wouldn't cave in on him, which cost thousands because the jackass kept rubbing his butt against the block wall till it broke off the foundation. He does the things that are necessary, and at times can be a very nice man. I tell him, he can be my saving grace, and my worst nightmare all wrapped into one. I know it is ALL because of my physical condition. I get mad enough at myself when I can't do it - I don't need him barking his BS too. I don't know what the answer is, I guess you just have to find a way to get along the best you can. I do know that treating others as you wish to be treated is helpful. Hard at times, but a good idea nonetheless. When you start losing parts of yourself over it however - it's time to draw the line. Then of course their are finances that play into it all. I used to be the one bringing in the big bucks, now I'm lucky to get 6 hours in a day, have burned all my leave - I used to have oodles, so its' me depending on his income. That really sucks. Without him I wouldn't be able to keep my horse or other things so I have often pondered that too when things are really bad, do I want to put the horse down, pack up my shit, leave my house I've worked so hard for, the property, the toys, and get an appt in town, or am I gonna just suck it up till it gets better and deal with it? When you'all figure out the answers, please let me know!
  • kamgramkkamgram Posts: 483
    edited 11/28/2012 - 6:58 PM
    Oh Mouse, I went back and read my first post and realized that it did not represent how we got to the point of me writing it down and my family knowing when to leave me alone. I can tell you with my husband that it was so bad that I packed a bag and went and stayed with my brother and sister-in-law for a week. He was angry when he woud have to get up at 7am for work but forgets the yrs. I got up at 3:30 and would work 16 hrs. to help out our family. He does not have to do laundry or cook dinner or even bring wood in because either I or father-in-law or son does it now so he doesnt have to. I was so tired of listening to him curse because he was tired and didnt want to go to work but had to. When I had my fill i packed my bag and told him dont go to work, quit and sit home on your butt...I dont care anymore and left. I did not answer his calls. I would not allow the kids to tell him where I was...our kids are adults...I didnt speak to him and finally at the end of a week my daughter called and said he was crying and begging me to come home. Things have been very good since. Like I came home to a different man:) I hope things work out for you. im not saying this will work for you but I really could not live like that anymore.

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