He is such a trooper! I just don't know how he deals with the pain day in and day out. His chronic back pain has been going on for 3 years. He has had back issues for at least 20 years, though. The doctors say there isn't anything they can do until it gets worse. It seems to me that everyday it gets worse...or different as hubby would say. He makes daily goals for himself and accomplishes them. Some days, he goes too far and the pain is extra severe. He has been getting up in the morning with pain and it really showed today on his face. I asked him if there was anything I could do for him and he said, "If I can't fix it, then you can't either." It's not that he is giving up. He is coming to terms with the pain that will never go away, and there is no hope that it will in the future. This just broke my heart!
Medically, he has been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, bulging discs, spinal stenosis, facet joint issues, radiculapathy, retrolisthesis. Mostly in his lower back, but now he is starting to have issues with this arms, too - numbness and tingling. Severe pain across the lower back, extends up the backstraps with bulging and tight muscles. Sometimes he has difficulty lifting his arms. Sometimes he has trouble holding onto items. Sometimes he has trouble moving his legs. Sitting for too long hurts. Standing for too long hurts. Walking for too long hurts. Laying down in bed gives some relief, but in the morning he is in pain again. The pain meds take the edge off he says, but he'll only take one a day and not every day. Anyways, that's a quick background of what he is dealing with besides having to give up his business, learning how to do things differently, having to ask for help with tasks and not being able to pick up the grandkids. He did not have an accident or anything. All of this has been coming on slowly but surely. He has always done physical labor for work, and has always been the powerhouse of strength at home. After 34 years of marriage, I've seen him accomplish so many amazing things. I am still amazed at what he gets done with as much pain as he is in!
I just want to help him. My heart breaks for him. But he is a lion! He wants to do things himself and not have to ask for help. He doesn't want any pity. Finding that balance of helping him without making it seem like I am doing things FOR him is difficult. Crying when I see him in pain and there is not one thing I can do to help him is so hard. As a spouse that has never had to deal with chronic pain, I can only imagine what he is going through everyday. I know that he has gotten depressed in the past and has worked through it. I guess his comment today just hit me really hard. I've always had hope that someday we would be able to find a way to get him some relief, to get rid of the pain. His comment today let me know that his hope is gone.
Thanks for letting me vent. I don't think that I need to see a professional. This too shall pass.