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My relationship is taking a hit with my lower back pain

*I'm running on a lot of emotions and very little sleep, please bear with me here* I am 27 years old, I have three bulging discs in my lower back and a pinched nerve under each of those discs (making a total of three pinched nerves). I have dealt with the pain for 8 years. About 5 months ago I had a normal throwing out of my back, only this time it hasn't gone away. I have had 2 regular ESIs and 1 Caudal ESI. Scheduled for another Caudal ESI next week. They are working at the bare minimum. Over the last 5 months, I have been using a walker, I can't get my socks and shoes on by myself, I've had embarrassing urinary issues, and until recently I couldn't get in the shower or wash myself. My amazing boyfriend of almost 3 years has been here to help me through it all. We've recently moved across the country for better job opportunities, a more exciting music and art life, and better life all around. Two weeks after we moved is when this all started back up. I feel it's causing a huge impact on our relationship. Most nights, I sleep in the living room in the recliner because it's so hard to get out of the bed. I rarely go to bed at the same time as him because of the pain and my messed up sleep schedule. We've only been intimate 4 times in the last 5 months. We can't go out because it's so difficult for me to get in and out of the car, and I have been having to use a walker to get around. He really tries to be there for me and he's been so great and understanding. I know he loves and cares about me, but I really feel this whole situation is causing a really big impact on us as a couple. In the beginning of this all, I was having a hard time coping with the pain, he threatened to leave unless I stopped being so mean and angry and unless I let him begin to help me with things. I've gotten a lot better at both of those and I think we've moved past it, but I feel he's getting anxious. Between the stress of moving here, not having many friends other than at work, and not being able to explore our new city and do all the things we've been dreaming to do since we met many years ago, I think it's really effecting our relationship....He gets home from work and we barely talk anymore. We mostly just watch T.V. It's hard to tell if it's my guilt because of my situation or if things are taking a hit. I'm on disability leave from work so I'm alone at home with only my thoughts most of my days which I feel could also make me a but paranoid. 

Does anyone have any advice as to what I could do while in my situation to keep/get things back on track? 



  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,270
    hello musiccandy!
    welcome to spine-health
    please click on link for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • So sorry you're in so much pain & that it's affecting your relationship. The one thing I keep catching myself doing is constantly talking about the pain. I have made a conscious decision to bring up other topics. Also,seeing it's extremely uncomfortable to move around, I have made plans for the kids & my husband to get out of the house without me. I am missing out but I feel it's for just a season. It's so hard on them & they don't know how to help all the time. My husband gets really good at shutting down but he has a very hard time watching me in pain. So as hard as it is,I pretend I'm not in pain. When it's really bad I'll go lay down away from them & try to calm down. 
    This is so hard for all involved. It sounds like he really loves you & just wants to help you. Continue to let him help & praise him for it. I know my anger is atrocious too but just try to remember they really don't know what we're feeling. 
    I hope this to shall pass & you'll be back to enjoying your city & boyfriend! 
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  • blossom77bblossom77 EnglandPosts: 50
    edited 05/15/2016 - 7:15 AM
    Hi Musiccandy,
    so sorry your in so much pain, have you seen a pain specalist? I hope your dr's can get your pain better controlled so you can enjoy your life more. Chronic pain is horrible, have you tried sleeping with more pillows to cushion your back.,I put pillows all around me and use about seven. Have you got a walk in shower? Seats can be purchased so you can wash while you sit.
    Take care

  • SooveritSooverit Finger Lakes region of NYPosts: 460
    Hi musiccandy,

    I hear ya. Same here with my relationship. I'm so lucky to have such a patient and loving husband. Anyone else would have probably hit the road at this point. 

    That your boyfriend has stuck with you through this (and it IS so hard for them, as their own needs and wants get pushed to the wayside) is a really good sign of his caring and commitment. Try to focus on that, and what a blessing it is to have someone who loves you that much at your side through this. I try to keep that in mind. 

    I know it is so hard. I adore my husband and son, but I get snappy and riled up over minor things. I try so hard to put on a happy face and be nice and fun (fake it 'til you make it), but I reach a point where I'm just worn down by the pain, then I lose my patience :(  
    Then I surrender to the couch.

    What does the future hold for you medically? Aside from injections, do you have any other way to control pain? Are you considering surgery?

    Welcome. Sorry to hear of your difficult situation. I hope it turns around for you soon, and that you and your boyfriend are able to weather this storm.

    Sara :)

  • MusiccandyMMusiccandy Austin, TexasPosts: 12
    Thank for the advice, Sarah. I'm doing my very best to keep what just be frustrating to him in mind too. We are doing much better since I wrote this entry. 

    Medically, the options will be physical therapy (if the injections work), or surgery. It would be a three tier spinal fusion if so. I have my follow tomorrow. Super nervous! 
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  • Hi there,

    Why don't you try talking to your partner about everything you wrote here?
    On a day when you are feeling not as bad as usual, remind yourself to be patient, get both of you comfortable, maybe on the bed, together and say to him, talk to me, tell me your worries, I know this is really straining us, I really do appreciate all you do for me and I am worried that I am so enveloped by the pain that I am neglecting you and us.

  • SooveritSooverit Finger Lakes region of NYPosts: 460
    Hey musiccandy, 

    How are things going? How did your follow up go?

    Im glad things are better for you guys. It does ebb and flow, so things can turn again. Just keep communicating. 

    Take care :)
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