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Supporting husband with chronic pain

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by jh58, Jan 2, 2022.

  1. jh58

    jh58 Newcomer

    Hello I’m supporting my husband who is a few months into a chronic pain syndrome. The last 4 weeks have been spasms and soreness in his back, upper and lower, neck and sometimes arms. Moves around. Classic TMS. He now takes about 100mg of tramadol a day, plus one or two tablets of flexeril. Relief is inconsistent. I believe he’s afraid of activity and of the pain, which comes in “attacks” followed by soreness. He has also started chiropractic care and PT.
    I think he’s resisting the idea of TMS. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t want to take the time to read any books on the subject.
    I’m at my wits end. Any suggestions? can anybody relate to my predicament? Thanks in advance for advice!
  2. hawaii_five0

    hawaii_five0 Well known member

    If he is resistant to reading about it, you might try to get him to watch the short videos that Dr Schubiner made, which are entertaining and easy to digest:

    #6 "All MRIs are Abnormal" is especially compelling.

    The Alan Gordon book "The Way Out" might be an easy-to-read one as well, and of course the Sarno books. Hearing/reading success stories about people who have had TMS and recovered is also compelling. There are various places where you can find them, including on this forum.

    But if he is just starting chiro and PT, unfortunately he is almost certainly going to do all that before it really sinks in that it is not structural (if indeed that is the case). It was only after I had been to multiple doctors, chiropractors, PT, acupuncture, massage therapists, etc for many months that I really got the message.

    There are also various practicioners who have a "Do I have TMS?" online test, for example Dan Buglio.

    Hope it helps! Good luck.
    Hopeful22 likes this.
  3. jh58

    jh58 Newcomer

    Thank you so much for your helpful reply! I just requested Alan’s book from the library.
    Another question: should I be indulging my husband’s pain attacks? That is, waiting on him, babying him? I feel like making myself scarce can sometimes be more helpful. Thoughts, anyone? Thx
  4. NCGal

    NCGal New Member

    Does he act as if or say that he wants you to baby him? Does he ask for help? When I have pain I don’t usually want babying from my husband. He supports me in many ways and in all ways that I ask him to. Sometimes he’ll see pain in my facial expression and ask if I need anything. Usually I don’t but I’m comforted by his asking. And when I do need something I do ask. I also make sure to tell him I appreciate everything he does because he hurts to see me hurting. I can imagine how hard it is for you.
  5. jh58

    jh58 Newcomer

    Thank you so kindly for responding, and I’m sorry to learn of your history with pain however it’s helped you at least to provide me with your insight, so there’s that!
    My husband does ask for help with things he can’t currently manage comfortably: arranging pillows around him or behind his head, reaching or bending down for things, etc. His “attacks” are now fewer and further between, but he is very vocal (moaning, groaning) during those times, so it’s hard for me to not want to offer any help that he may accept, however in the throes of those episodes he’s less likely to ask for help because he’s focused on riding the pain wave out.
    I guess I was worried I’ve been giving his pain too much attention, as in TMS that’s more or less the crux of the problem and I don’t want to compound it. That said, he’s been off the flexeril for nearly a week, he’s getting PT (which seems to agree with him, though it is taxing), and we’re tapering him down on the tramadol. Still LOTS of discomfort, some nagging pain, but overall some progress. He’s still resisting TMS theory; it just stresses him out and makes him angry. Not a direction I want to push him in, as he seems to be responding better to simply gentle care and support. I am however definitely trying detach myself emotionally from his condition, both for my own sanity and his.
    Again, many thanks for reaching out. This has been so incredibly tough to navigate alone, and it’s comforting to have anybody respond with support or advice!
  6. NCGal

    NCGal New Member

    The moaning and groaning must be very hard on you. Is there anything he can become distracted by during those really bad times? Music, comedy shows, fresh air, ice cream? Please be sure to take care of yourself too.
  7. jh58

    jh58 Newcomer

    Distraction is helpful, but truly he tends more towards escaping in his mind, with eyes closed, when the pain comes on strong. And I think the moaning is a self-soothing device as he rides it out. This is a guy who suffered from cluster headaches in his 30’s, so intense pain is not new to him, unfortunately. I do like to put on nature relaxation videos for him to listen to when a pain wave hits, and I think this helps to calm him. Today we tried some TENS therapy again, which was somewhat useful. He’s give up on chiropractic for now, but will continue PT because he definitely could use some stretching and strengthening, even if this is TMS.
    Thanks again for your supportive comments, NCGal. Stay well!

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