looking for help from my HW friends

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loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 1/8/2008 3:58 AM (GMT -7)   
My beloved hubby has been fighting off the flu for about 10 days, and whenever he gets sick it totally messes him up until he is really well and rebalanced on all his meds that he messed with during the time he is sick. Because of course at first he thinks it is the meds and is tweaking them ever so slightly here and there. Always at the beginning it isn't obvious he is getting sick until we look backwards and see all the symptoms added up. The coughing starts, the meds start seeming off, the extra very growly nature, even worse insomnia than usual for him. He starts panicking that his meds aren't working....yada yada. And the surefire sign...depression starts and he is feeling VERY low and he can't focus or concentrate and just wants to hide in our room (although he doesn't do it full time, just off and on throughout the day). Well tonight he opened up to me about what was going on with him. He's already called the doc's, set up the appointments, etc. I didn't push, I just listened, assured him he was not alone, told him I felt he was a strong man (which he is) and this was most likely just the flu finally catching up, but that I was here to support him in any way he would allow and I would do whatever he needed.

The pdoc has ALWAYS said that when he or my son get sick, that during that time it will throw everything off until they are well and stabilized again. I understand it, but tonight my husband let me see some of his pain about it. I opted to not get too overly emotional about it with him because I felt it would overwhelm him if I did. So I stayed calm and reassuring him that he is not alone, I am here for him, and just tried to gently show I cared by making him hot cocoa, listening to whatever he wanted to say and dropping it when he needed, and refocused on something benign with him. I shared that while he may not think I understand what he is feeling, that by being here with all of you, and learning from you, I have a much better idea of it. I also encouraged him to finally come here and allow himself to get support from all of you. I hope he does it.

So here is what I need from you...share with me things that your spouses or significant others have done for you, or said for you, in similar moments that worked to help you through it quicker, better, whatever (if that is possible), even just a little. As a spouse, you become our teachers in these moments if you are willing to share. After 16 years of marriage, I have been here before whenever he gets sick. But it occurred to me that perhaps there were things I could learn from you to add, or shift, what I am doing to get through to him even more than I am. So.....let my know.... and in advance, thank you all. HUGS...LFW

dutchie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 88
   Posted 1/8/2008 7:16 AM (GMT -7)   
LFW...once again thank you for your support.
For me...going through all these issues and dealing with things, the most difficult and scary feeling for me is the feelings of lonliness at times. Not a fear of BEING alone...rather, I have all these great people around me...FBF, the girls, my mom and sisters, MIL/FIL, friends on HW...yet sometimes when I am down I still feel so alone. So for me the biggest support that truly hits the heart the most is from FBF in the hugs, the reassuring words etc. The encouragement from everyone else does not go by without great appreciation, but I think when it comes from the closeness of a spouse it gives the most comfort. I have deep regrets I was not the wife he needed for alot of years.
And on the flip side, that is what I try to do for FBF. If nothing else...I don't want him to feel like he is alone, so that is what I do the best I can...is to just let him know I will always be at his side.
It sounds like you are doing all you can to support your hubbie and doing it in the right ways. Though it doesn't take away what he is going through, I'm sure you are a great comfort to him.

Dutchie

mommy.michele
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 369
   Posted 1/8/2008 9:45 AM (GMT -7)   

I must agree with dutchie...The roughest time I seem to have is at those low points when I feel alone.  Even though I have a great support group,DH,my brother, my mother, 2 sister in laws, and my best friend who also lives 2 doors down....there are those times you just feel alone in this.  The guilt about everything I did really weighs down on me sometimes, and I can't help but think things like "how can anyone trust me?"  "how can anyone really love me"  "how can anyone really still be concerned with my well being with everything I had done" (the lying, overspending).

So just letting me know that he is behind me, and he still does have compassion for me means alot.  Even when things seem to be going well..just saying something everyso often, to remind me that I can lean on him, means alot.  Just that fact that he loves me that much, that he still feels that way despite everything....means alot to me.  And like dutchie...the support from him means that much more to me.

I think you sound like you are very supportive and understanding.  I think you are doing things wonderfully.


"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending" ~ Maria Robinson


sukay
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1432
   Posted 1/8/2008 10:08 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi LFW,

I hope your hubby gets to feeling better soon. Regarding your question, I need for my hubby to do all the things that you are doing for your hubby right now. So I would definately say you are on the right track.

I need for my husband to understand how I am feeling and that when I go through things it affects me much more differently than it does other people. It is not something that is cut and dry. That things take longer for me. Handeling stress affects me way more differently than it does other people, etc., etc.

I just need to hear from him and to understand that I am having a harder time at the moment for whatever the reason is and to believe and accept that from me. Then he will usually ask, "What do you need from me?" I would then tell him....I just need to be alone and quite right now, I need to not deal with making dinner tonight, it would help if you ran the errands today, or maybe it's, could you find some time to just sit and talk w/me or just be near me?

If things start getting too noisy around the house, he would say, "Hey guys, your mother isn't feeling well today, could you keep it down?" or if friends or family called to make plans to get together, my hubby would say, "Well, maybe another time, Sukay isn't feeling too well today.

I just need for him to acknowledge that regardless of how I got at this point, the point is...is that I am not feeling well or having a hard time and I need for him to understand that and trust that it is not as easy to get out of it as it is for others.

So basically, for me...it just an understanding thing, that I have bipolar, I am on meds, things are different for me and I need to deal with things in a different way than most do. And to trust me, that I know what I need to do for myself when certain issues come up. (I am at that place right now where I can "see" things for myself) and not have to be TOLD what I am expected to do. Does that make sense?

When I am down, sometimes my hubby gives excellent advise like, "Why don't we go for a little walk, the fresh air my help you." or "why don't you let me finish up things and go lay down for awhile"...but he know not to push me on what he thinks I should be doing...like....you need to do this or that. Suggestions are good...but not too many, if I tell you what I need, please accept that.

Hope this helps. I think you are doing fine.

(((Hugs)))


~sukay~
Diagnosed Bipolar - August 2004
     Crohns disease - 1995 
Arthritis & Fibromyalgia 


loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 1/8/2008 1:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you Dutchie, MM, and Sukay. Yes, it all helps. I think you touch on a really good point Sukay when you say how different it is for you vs. others. My H says that too. And, like your H, I do get that (even better now because of all of you). The key in what you said, that you now know what to do for youself....I think that is where he wants to be, but in these moments, I think he is so tired of dealing with it, he makes statements like he just wants it to stop. Of course for me...my mind goes to the worst case scenario, so I do ask how low is low, and does he need me to call the pdoc because we are at the level of a safety issue. I will only ask once, but I get too scared otherwise. He says no, nothing like that. And I then let it go and move on to being supportive in whatever way seems best for the situation. I think I went in the right direction last night. But, you all have so much you can still teach me, it really helps to hear, what I think right now, he can't verbalize to me. And by hearing it from you, I feel stronger. Thank you again. LFW

serafena
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 1/8/2008 8:49 PM (GMT -7)   
LFW:

I hope your husband feels better soon. I'm sure you are doing your best for him and it sounds like you are an excellent nurse and as always, a fantastic wellness partner.

I really needed to think about this question, and others have already touched on some of the most important aspects of what I would say. Your capacity to REALLY listen is the most important element, to listen and not automatically discount our opinions and emotions.

Next to that, I'd say my fluctuations are the most frustrating part of the disorder to me, and my husband's ability to be steady in the face of that is invaluable. He serves as a reality check for me. He tries very hard not to get frustrated by my own changing moods (which is very hard, sometimes) so he can be the steadfast one. I too only ask for his compassion in the face of the storm as I often have little control over it, and mostly he can be ready with all the compassion I need. When he's all tapped out, he says so, calmly, and asks me to look for it elsewhere. :-)

Finally, I too suffer from a lot of guilt (which I acknowlege is sooooo useless). He helps me alleviate this by reassuring me that it's not my fault and he's my cheerleader.

He's a great guy, isn't he? I have nothing but respect for the spouses of bp's. You guys go through a lot.
Serafena
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum

Bipolar II
It is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness. -- William Shakespeare


mogli
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1191
   Posted 1/9/2008 3:23 PM (GMT -7)   

LFW,

One thing that can help me sometimes is to be comforted with affection.  Sometimes however, (you can relate...) being bipolar, irritability creeps in and I tend to push my bf away.  I think during those times, it would help me greatly if he would sit down with me and compassionatley let me know that I could talk to him about everything.  Now, he does this sometimes, but the key is, how he listens.  It sounds to me like you listen to your husband really well.  I need that from my bf.  It seems as soon as I start talking "Bipolar" (and I do make it as simple as I can- "English language"), he has a disinterested look on his face as if I am babbling.

So I think the biggest thing is listening.  Honestly LFW, I can't think of anyone who understands this better than you.  I know that you can't understand it as well as those of us who suffer with it, but you have come as close as you possibly can and that would be all that mattered to me.  All the other things you do are like the cherries on top!
 
You are just so great, and we all appreciate you so much, as does your family.  Many hugs yeah
Mogs
 
Bipolar II, Anxiety/Panic Disorder
Clonazepam .5mg as needed, Trazodone 50mg/day & Lamictal 100 mg/day

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