Question for spouses of the chronically depressed

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A_D
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/26/2010 3:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm completely new to this forum and the whole business of sharing problems with other people... but it's getting harder and harder to just carry it inside, and I'm hoping that there are people who had been where I am now and were able to overcome the situation, and that I'm not completely alone. So here's my story.
My husband of 9 years has a lot of illnesses, chronic depression is just one of them. First several years ago he was diagnosed with Hep C-related cirrhosis of the liver, and went through 48 weeks of interferon/ribavirin treatment. That was harsh, but I thought, after a year or two, things will get better. But then he got a C-def infection of the intestines; a week in a hospital, months of recovery. Then he had to get dentures, so they pulled out what was left of his teeth - months of pain. Just as he started to recover - a tear in a rotator cuff in his shoulder. Months of physical therapy, pain medications... and then just recently a surgery for a pinched sciatic nerve, more pain, more medications, after months of pain before it was finally diagnosed and decision for surgery made. So for years he's basically been on a couch, in pain, unable to do much. He had to retire from his job years ago for health reasons, so he's bored to death and depressed. And it's just one thing after another, as if he's been cursed to never get well. He's a trooper and doesn't complain, but I know he's in pain and he just doesn't have any energy at all. There are good days when he wants to go for a walk, or see a movie, but it just exhausts him, so after a couple of hours out he hits the couch again for several days.
Sometimes I feel like I'm not a wife, but a live-in nurse, and it gets very lonely, because he's not in any kinda shape to be romantic or even attracted to me anymore, even though he loves me, I know that much. Every once in a while my mother cries when we talk on the phone because I'm 33 and still childless, and asks if I was checked for infertility, and I'm too ashamed to tell her that my husband is too sick and fatigued to even be a husband to me. But at the same time I feel like I'm a horrible person for thinking it's hard on -me-, because I'm not the one who's been in constant pain for years, suffering from fatigue and all the things I listed above, so what right do I have to complain. But it feels like my life has been put on hold, waiting for my husband to get better before we can have a child, and it's been such a long wait. Sometimes I just feel like screaming "What about me?", but then I feel ashamed for being selfish. It's not his fault any of this happened to him. I try to be positive and supportive and not slip into self-pity, but it is hard and I'm very tired. I've never told anybody any of this before.

So I guess my question to the veterans is, how do you deal with the hopelessness of knowing that your spouse may never fully recover, and this is the life as it's going to be?

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40603
   Posted 3/26/2010 5:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi A_D,

And welcome to the forum. I know that it must be hard not knowing if you are going to have any children. What about artificial insemination? Is that what it is called??? Maybe you could go to a fertility clinic and see about that... IDK... It is just a thought.

I am sorry for what you are going through, and you have every right to feel bad for yourself. Sure he can't help it the way things are but neither can you. And your happiness is just as important as his. But I think just writing it down and talking to somebody will make you feel better. Have you given any thought to counseling to acquire some coping mechanisms? That might be something that you should consider.

Don't feel guilty for feeling bad. Take this one day at a time. Try not to worry about the future, or let the past bring you down. live in the moment...

I hope that you feel better soon. Please keep us posted.

Take care,

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


A_D
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/26/2010 9:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you, Karen
It does make me feel better just to talk about this. We've been both treated for depression (prozac and wellbutrin for me, cymbalta, trazadone and wellbutrin for him), and it did help, but I've never been in counseling, part of it is the way I was raised, talking about problems was considered a weakness and talking to a psychiatrist about it would be like admitting you're crazy (yes, I know it's not true and silly, watching The Sopranos proved it to me :)) Still, it's hard for me to admit something is not well with me or my life. Truth is, I can't even talk to him about this because I'm unable to bring myself to say "I'm not happy with my life", it would mean I'm not happy with him. Probably entirely wrong reasoning here, too...

It's not that my husband doesn't want to have a child or two, it's just that every time we think that maybe now things will get better and he'll finally feel like himself so we can have a baby and be able to take adequate care of it, something else happens and it's not the right time again, you know? On some level it terrifies me to think that I would have to take care of a small child -and- a sick grown-up, especially if it's going to be my first child. We don't have any family living close to help out, my parents live overseas, so I would be doing this alone. And, of course, there are the financial considerations, with so many bills from the surgeon, the physical therapy and what have you. So I'm looking into schools, learning massage therapy and hopefully getting a real paying job instead of freelance work I do now, which doesn't pay too well... but that's also very uncertain, and I'm not getting any younger.

THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18775
   Posted 3/27/2010 5:26 AM (GMT -7)   
hi jamie here, male 37.
 
i am sending you healing compassionate prayers your way.
YESTERDAY IS A BUTTERLY WITHOUT WINGS. (ME)
 
DX, MDD, SEVERE BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER.
 
REMEMBER TO LOVE YOU. BE YOU AND BE TRUE.


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40603
   Posted 3/27/2010 6:09 AM (GMT -7)   
I am glad taht you are going to school for massage therapy. That is a good profession to get into. You can practice on your husband. I bet he loves that.

As I said, take this one day at a time. I believe that things happen for a reason. And there is some reason for this. I hope that your husband feels better soon. And you too.

Take care, keep posting. It does good for the soul.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

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