Relationship, pain, and disease

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 5/27/2008 12:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all.  I am having a really hard time right now.  I have had chronic pain for over 2 years now, and the pain is in my throat and face.  Its so embarassing because i dont want to tell people about my problem cause its disturbing.  I have been single for 6 years and recently met this wonderful guy.  I have not been in a relationship since my pain and its sooooo hard for me to open up about the illness to anyone, let alone someone whom i am attracted to.  I have a very hard time swallowing and eating, and its embarassing to eat infront of others.  My boyfriend invited me over to his parents house for dinner and i was so afraid to go.  I told him i am not going to be able to eat much because of the pain and he was quite understanding.  But still, I am so embarassed of this problem and it makes it sooo hard to really have a deep relationship because the pain rips your life away from you.  Sometimes when we are talking the pain shoots up to like a 10 and im sitting there thinking, "i wish i wasnt here, im hurting so much, and no one knows it but me.."  and I get really quiet and distant.  I dont want to complain about the pain, but i dont want to hide it either like everything is alright, because its not.  I really like him too and i dont want this stupid illness to come inbetween something so great, it makes me so upset.  How do you cope with relationships and pain and illnesses?  THis is so hard

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 5/27/2008 12:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Gabby,
I'm not in a relationship now, but the problems you're having are things I contemplate and wonder how I'd deal with them. It sounds like he knows something about your pain, as you told him about going to his parents for dinner. So that must mean he has some level of understanding and compassion. I'm not sure what your diagnosis is, or what kind of treatment options you have, but have you tried all your treatment options? Do you have an accurate diagnosis of the problem? If not, I'd start there and make sure I was doing all I could. In the meantime, you could begin to involve your friend in your treatment. Maybe start by even telling him how hard it is for you to talk about, but that the relationship is important to you so you want to slowly open up to him. He hasn't run off yet, and you said he was very understanding. If I had someone I'd met that had come that far with me, and knew a little about my pain (it would be hard in my case not to, because of activity limitations and effects of medications) I'd certainly take the risk to be open with him.

Keep communicating with him, slowly if needed. Ask him what questions he has. And if he doesn't run away, I'd say he's worth the risk! If he can't take your limitations, then it wasn't going to work anyway.

Good luck!!


Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 5/27/2008 9:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Gabbs
         I am sorry to hear you are having such awful pain!  You did not mention medication(or maybe I just mised it) Have you ever taken anything to help ease the pain a bit. Maybe seeing a pain specialist could help you get back to doing the things you feel comfortable doing.
  I can relate to what your going through.  I began dating my husband before the pain started but we had only been together for a month before everything got turned upside down(whirlwind romance, we were already living together by then).  All I could think was, he is defenitly going to break up with me, who would want to deal with this?
So I hid it and tried to do everything I normally would for ao long. It hurt worse to suffer silently, sneaking out to the doc so no one would know.
It was really causing me alot of added stress and depression to hide my pain and eventually I sat him down and told gim everything. I remember being so nervous after I was finished thinking, well this is it, nice while it lasted...see ya later buddy. 
To my surprise he grabbed a hold of me and started talking about taking care of me and getting me the help I needed.  I felt so releived after I told him. 
But I think if he had gotten up and left I would have been relieved also to know he wasnt going to be the one for me(well i'm sure I would have sse that after the depression cleared)
But I do think you would be doing yourself more of a favor telling him than expending all the energy it takes to suffer silently. If he cant handle it, it's good that you know that now, however hard it will be. If he leaves, you desereve better.  Someone that will want to be with you No matter what is going on. 
But with that said, I do know how hard that is and more easily said than done.   you deserve to have the love and support of someone you want to be with.
You wont know until you try and down the road you'll be happy you found out just what he can handle.
There are man out there who wantto be with you besides having chronic pain. My husband and I knew eachother a month before I got sick and ended up getting engaged 2 months later. 
He's already wanted to introduce you to his parents, thats a big deal for most guys. 
His reaction may just surprise you.  But never settle for less than you deserve.
  In suffering, we are given the key to a door which most rarely 
      get to open.  Behind it lies the ultimate gift which is only visible
                             in our darkest hour.
                                True strength.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 5/27/2008 1:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Gabby - the girls above have said some great things to you.

Chronic pain is really hard to cope with - even with the support and understanding of family, friends, and loved ones. I really can't imagine how I would get by without my husband. There are still days I believe he's going to up and leave me for some one who isn't broken. Like going to walmart and trading in because you got a defective product.

I hurt my back less than a week after we were married. Woke up and felt more pain than I'd ever felt before. That was October 2000 - and somehow by Gods grace I'm still married. I still remember the pain on his face when the doctor walked in with all his students and told me what he thought the problem was - and then to have it confirmed by a MRI and neurologist a few months later sucked. I cried myself to sleep so many nights when he was out for times doing his Army stuff. I waited and waited for him to come home and tell me he couldn't do it anymore. So far - he's been more than I've ever hoped for - and more than I've dared to dream.

You deserve someone who will help you through this, someone who will be there on the bad days and the good. At least this guy has the choice, my hubby got married then got stuck with me :P.

Seriously though - I agree - opening up to him slowly is all you can do. If he runs, he runs, and you deserve better than that. But if he stays - you have no idea how good it will feel. Knowing he's staying and taking you as you are, broken pieces and all, it's an incredible feeling.

You can't suffer this silently and alone - you just can't. Let him be the man he is, not the one your scared will run away.

I know it's so much easier to say than to do - but in the end - it's worth it. Give him a chance - as Freya said - he might surprise you.

"When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of one thing we can be sure; either God will provide something solid to stand on... or we will be taught to fly.'"

"Cause when push comes to shove You taste what you're made of, You might bend, till you break Cause its all you can take; On your knees you look up Decide you've had enough, You get mad you get strong Wipe your hands shake it off, Then you Stand" From "Stand" by Rascal Flatts
Dx.: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Ulcerlative Colitis, Chronic Inflammation of the Colon, Ruptured & Fused L4-L5-S1 w/pinched nerves, Degenerative Disc Disease, Chronic Costochondritis, Back Muscle Spasms, Asthma, Benign Tremmors (hands)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 5/28/2008 5:49 PM (GMT -6)   

Thank you evryone for your replies.  Im recovering from an eating disorder, and I have gastroparesis and acid reflux disease, very severe.  The medications offer little help, and on Friday Im going to a special clinic for treatment.  The pain is truely agonizing and I dont know how to cope with this anymore.  I know I have to eat, but the pain in my throat is so awul some days i dont eat anything at all.  Its so hard because I feel like no one understands what I am going through just cause my pain is in such a weird place.  My boyfriend is understanding, and we talked last night about things.  He said he doesnt want to get serious because we both have things we are dealing with.  He doesnt have a job right now and I cant eat.  I mean I totally understand that, but it still makes me mad because I know if I wasnt dealing with this pain things would be different.  I really want this too work cause I like him so much - i havent dated in 6 years and I want this to work.  Its hard for me to find someone I am attracted too.  I am hoping this clinic can help me.  And then im thinking, what if they give me a feeding whats gonna happen then??  Im really nervous but I know I will do whatever it takes for me to get well.  *Sigh*,  i just hate dealing with all of are blessed to have a husband who understands and is there for you to help you get well.  Thats real love and thats what I hope to find in someone.  Im just praying this clinic will help me...Im just waiting in faith


Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 5/28/2008 7:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow Gabby,
  You sound like me.  I had to change my eating habits and take Nexium.  I know it when I don't take my acid reducer.  I have not been able to have my hand resting on my abdomen in about 10 years.  The pain is very bad.  My husband was going to bring dinner home 2 hours ago.  I have to be on a strict eating schedule or I get the burn that only GAVISCON can take away.  I would do a commercial for that company it works so good.  People can never feel your pain but they can can care.  I wish you good luck on your quest for pain control and eating like a  person again.
Age 3 fell on my knee.  I have Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis in all my joints, Patellar-Femoral Syndrome, GERD, degenerative hip disease
Medications routine: Mobic, Plaquenil, Methotrexate, Flexeril, Nexium.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 177
   Posted 5/31/2008 2:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Here you clearly have two different problems. One, the pain problem itself. If the pain is so intence it prevents you from living a normal life, don't be affraid to ask your doctor for the necessary medication (incl. pain medication). A person still needs to be able to function in order to life a "good" life. Problem number two is something you shouldn't actually worry about. You don't have to go out shout over the rooftops that you're in pain, but informing friends and family surely can't hurt. When they know, they can take this fact into account when taking you out or inviting you. Same thing here with the person you feel attracted to. By explaining what is wrong with you, you show himthat :
1) You want to be honest with him,
2) You trust him,
3) You're interested in a relationship.
If he has serious feelings for you, he won't make a big deal out of it and support you. Be careful though, it could be that he doesn't really know how to react (apart from telling you it isn't a big deal to him). A lack of proper reaction from his part (you might have expected a lot more sympathy) usually means he wants to give you all the room you need to maneuver in and that he awaits furter info from you. He might be curious into your pain situation but might not know if it is proper to ask.

Basically, she should take the lead here. Women are simply better in these situations than men. It is one of those rare occasions where a woman's intuition comes in really handy (from a male point of view of course).

Go for it. Tell him about your pain and with a bit of luck (you always need a bit of luck in a relationship) the pain will bring you closer together than you could ever have imagined.
darn the torpedoes, full speedahead!
To stand and be still at the Birkenhead Drill is a mighty bullet to shew.

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