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Helping a frustrated spouse

FirstshirtFFirstshirt Posts: 1
edited 03/09/2015 - 10:07 PM in Depression and Coping
My wife had back surgery a little less than two weeks ago to remove two cysts that were putting pressure on her spine, causing severe pain and numbness in her legs. We're home now, and everyday she is getting a little stronger. The last two days however have not been good, she's been hurting. We have a strong relationship and have been together for 24 years, and I know it is the pain that is causing her to be angry, frustrated, impatient, and tired. The kids and I are doing everything we can for her, but there are days like today when that is just not enough.

I am tired and want to make sure she is taken care of, but sometimes feel too overwhelmed myself, and I am not the one in pain.

Am I being selfish? Is this what others are feeling and experiencing.

I have a wife who I love and care for more than anything on the planet, and need to know that I am not alone in feeling stressed while helping her cope and recover.


  • LizLiz Posts: 8,835
    Welcome to Spine-Health

    Use that above hyperlink to help you get started with Spine-Health and navigate through the system.

    If there are any questions, you can always post them here, send Liz or myself a private message or contact Ron rdilauro@veritashealth.com

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Totally understand what you are saying Firstshirt and you are not alone. A lot of times when we are in pain we can only focus on that and tend forget about the feelings of our loved ones. I believe for some of us these episodes are more difficult for our caregivers than it is on us the patient. Over time I have become aware and informed to be strong going into my surgical procedures and come out fighting to be the best I can be for the people around me.
    It's not always easy but time and patience will make that road to recovery much easier.
    Try and talk to your spouse and explain what you are feeling also, communication is key to any relationship as you well know.
    Take care,
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  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 606
    I totally understand what you are saying. I am a certified nursing assistant & I would take care of patients in their homes. I would see the patients family members getting very stressed out while caring for their loved one. I always suggested to them to see if they could find someone to come in & sit with their loved one for a couple hours so they could take a break away. Go out & do something. Anything?! Try to find a family member or friend to help you out. My husband took care of me after my 2 surgeries. I know it was hard on him. We've been married for 32 years & love each other very much. I would tell him to please leave for a while. Take a break. Just remember, this too shall pass. Keep up the good work!
  • trivedisitestrivedisites Posts: 3
    edited 03/18/2015 - 8:28 PM
    I hope your wife will be alright soon. I can understand what are you dealing with. You are very kind that you love her and want to help her. Talk to her about what you feel. Let her know that she is not alone. I am sure you both will feel better.
  • subbareddyssubbareddy Posts: 3
    edited 03/24/2015 - 5:51 AM
    Make her feel that you love. Tell her she has to be alright for you. I am sure she gets positivity if you express her this.
    Good luck....
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  • From her viewpoint, my guess is the recent setback has brought that fear to the surface, which often is expressed in anger. The more angry she gets the more angry she may feel, at herself for getting angry with you, at her situation, etc. for me I finally went to a couples therapist with my husband to help me understand how to express this in ways other than anger at the people who were there for me. I was primarily the caretaker in the family, so to have the tables turned, was very hard. The little things, like how the clothes were put away or whether the dishes were done at night or in the morning, all of the sudden seems larger than life. It was an outlet for fear and anger at the situation, my husband's extraordinary patience and love helped so much, but also hearing him vent to the therapist about how hard it was on him helped a great deal too. Her whole body is out of control, as is her ability to help with the house, life, kids, job, as a mom and wife, it is hard to process. The fact that you are asking shows how much of a support you truly are, hang in there, she will see all you are doing.
  • You are a wonderful Husband to come on here and ask for help.
    I wish I had that kind of marriage. So feel good about caring so much
    that you reach out to others for ideas.
    There are so many that struggle with all the things that the other mate
    was doing and now it sets in their laps. Then dealing with the attitude
    just adds to it all so overwhelming for you both.
    Make sure you take time to enjoy yourself or create ways maybe that
    the two of you can get your minds off things like ask her what movie she
    would like to see and you guys could watch it together. I mean just
    things that are what she could do and you both could enjoy.
    I am the pain person and threw a fit the other day and felt so bad about
    it the next day. The thing is I had a right to be upset but it did no good to
    do that to others. She
    is just trying to get through it all and I bet she knows how lucky she is
    to have you beside her.
    Take Care
  • MagistraMarlaMMagistraMarla San Antonio, TexasPosts: 217
    edited 05/26/2015 - 7:15 AM
    I'm very, very frustrated with the restrictions that have made my life so miserable.
    Before the surgery, I had lots of leg pain and spasms, so I couldn't drive, but I could do what gives me great joy - cook.
    It's been seven weeks since the surgery and every time that I feel that I've made a few steps forward with progress, I make several steps back the next day. I cooked a nice meal last Tuesday and then felt awful on Wednesday and most of Thursday.
    Since my hubby was finally around this weekend, I finally managed to walk around the entire neighborhood with him and did some water walking at the pool.
    I tried driving to the pool and back and found that I still have the same problem. The muscles in my calf tighten up and my feet get numb. My foot slips off of the brake, so I'm really nervous at stop signs. I still can't see ever driving in traffic or being able to deal with a stoplight.
    The surgery didn't help with my major problem (not driving) at all, but did cause my back to be weak and sore, so it gave me a whole new set of problems. I can't bend down to lift a casserole dish or even to get out a pie pan to bake a pie.
    My surgery was elective, and I should have never agreed to it. (lumbar fusion with three pins)
    I wish that my husband had actually taken some time off to focus on helping me, but he didn't. The hospital released me three days before the doctor had told us I would be released and I was denied any time in the rehab center.
    My husband was caught totally off guard and had nothing prepared for me at home. I had to call him to come from work to take me home. I had to sleep on our very uncomfortable pillow top mattress for five nights before we could get a rented hospital bed delivered.
    Hubby had promised to take FMLA time to take care of me, but there were some pressing problems at the office, so he was back at work half days three days after I got home and was back full time by the time I was two weeks post-op. When he is home, he's working on his dissertation on his computer or he's asleep in his chair.
    I've had to do everything for myself very quickly, including getting in and out of a very old, slippery and unsafe shower alone.
    I finally got over my fear of going out alone and started walking around the block with my rollator early in the morning while its still cool as long as it isn't pouring rain. We're in South Texas and if it isn't pouring rain, it's hot and humid.
    I love walking in the mall. but hubby has rarely had time to take me.
    I go to PT, but when I do the exercises at home, it just makes my back hurt worse. My hospital bed is the firmest surface that I have to do the exercises on, but I think that it gives too much and makes me strain the muscles.
    The doc said that I would feel great after 6 weeks, but at 7 weeks, I feel much worse.
    I'm beyond frustrated and regret that I ever started the idea of having this surgery.
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