How do I make my husband understand?

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lapainintheneck
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/13/2012 2:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I have suffered with neck/upper back problems for nearly 20 years after a car accident.  Up until recently (last 8 mths), the usual remedy of muscle relaxers, heat/ice, chiropractor and the occasional sleeping pill worked and I was back on my feet until the next episode.  The last 8 mths have been my worst ever cry I believe that I injured an already damaged back.  Needless to say, the pain has been constant and almost every single day.  I have learned to "tolerate" episodes, knowing that they would end.  I finally had an MRI of my neck back in Sept.  Since then, I've seen a Neurosurgeon, who sent me to a Pain Clinic.  The doctor did a cervical block, and sent me to physical therapy.  The neck feels great now, but in the course, a "new" (meaning probably an already damaged area I didn't feel because my neck hurt so bad) pain spot showed up on my right shoulder blade, so back to the Pain Clinic for trigger point injections.  All good for that area now, and of course since then, yet another "new" spot appears.  This, of course, is very frustrating to me because the "new" pain I have not learned to tolerate as I had with the pain I knew.  Last night was it for me, I couldn't take the pain anymore this week, and I went to the ER.  So glad that I did, because the doctor gave me dalaudid, and it sure was a nice break from the pain.  Of course she pointed out that I need to see my primary care doctor to work on treatment of my depression. confused    Didn't notice that one, however, it does make sense why I go from crying to anger to frustration over my current condition.
 
Now for the reason I'm here......My husband is absolutely furious with me over this entire situation.  He has expressed his frustration over all of the doctor apts., meds, treatments, physical therapy, and I'm still in pain.  I can't make him understand that I truely am trying to get better, that I would love nothing more than to be "normal."  Nor can I make him understand that one treatment in one area is not the cure all to all my pain.  That more than one "spot" on my back/neck is damaged and that I do not notice all of the problem when one area is screaming in angry pain.  He sees me as getting worse, not better, not understanding why after everything I've done lately is not "fixing" the problem.  He always says, "Well outside looking in, this is what I see!"  He was with me and worried, when it was suspected that the problem could be a "spot" on my brain.  Once the neurosurgeon cleared that up (meaning it was nothing on the brain) and diagnosed that I have a pain in the neck, my husband has treated me as a pain in the neck. cry    He has not been with me to the Pain Clinic, he wasn't with me during my treatments, and he's just tired of me being in bed all the time outside of work.  And even more frustrated with the fact that th pain is really starting to interfere with my job.  I mentioned that maybe I need some time off to rest and heal more by staying home and being able to take all the meds every 4 hours without fear of drowsiness or loopiness.  Then return to work hopefully feeling better.  It's just a theory. idea    Nope, he's not for that AT ALL. Because what happens if my bosses don't like it and I lose my job?
 
How can I make him understand?  How can I make him see that I am trying to get better, that I really don't enjoy taking all of theses meds at home (because it's safer there)?  How do I make him understand more than one "spot" and that they can't always find the root cause of what's happening?  PLEASE HELP!!! shocked
 
-Living with chronic upper back and neck pain.  Zanaflex, Vicodin and now Trazadone
 

Post Edited (lapainintheneck) : 1/13/2012 12:12:15 PM (GMT-7)


bayoub2
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Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2861
   Posted 1/13/2012 2:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I say this in jest, since I live with a hubby that does NOTHING to understand my pain..."if you would get off your a** and lose some weight, you'd get better' "if you would stop obsessing about it' blah blah balh, why don't you taze him and see how he likes it-lol...

I have suffered from fibro chronic pain sciatica blah blah for years and he still does not get it.

BUT, he has recently started showing signs of fibro, roaming stabbing aching pains, sleep disruptions, extreme fatigue etc...i wrap his feet, rub his shoulders and tell him "welcom to my world" but of course, he thinks his pain is MUCH worse than mine-LOLOL!!!!

You cannot make someone have empathy orunderstanding really, maybe doc could talk to him? I don't know...just wanted you to know you ahve plenty of comapany when it come to uncomprehending spouses...good luck

Maggie
"We never realize how strong we are, until being strong is the only thing left"
Major Depressive Disorder, ptsd, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, l3/4, L4/5 gone, bursitis arthritis sciatica

seroquel, hydrocodone clonazepam norvasc multi vitamin and magnesium

lapainintheneck
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/13/2012 2:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for your response. It really is nice to know I don't have the only spouse in the world acting like a jerk. Although he got a reality check when I told I was going to my mothers for relaxing and pampering since he obviously doesn't get it. I also told him I won't be bothering him with my pain and dr apts And just suffer in silence when he's there. I have a great support system with my mom and 2 of my girl friends. Guess what happened next? He called to ask when my next appt is and that he will take time from work to go with me.  tongue   We'll see what happens now......

bayoub2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2861
   Posted 1/13/2012 3:19 PM (GMT -6)   
smart tactics!! I think men get frustrated because they are fixers and they cannot fix this and they get mad (at us )...sometimes I reassure mine that I don't need him to fix it, I just need a shoulder to lean on and I get a hug, which is really all w want, isn't it?

Soaltho I still like the tazer idea, sometimes just letting him know you just need a hug will probably make you both feel more in control

Good luck baby..let us know...Ps my hubby NEVER goes to appts, even when I had ects for depression, so good for him!!!

Maggie
"We never realize how strong we are, until being strong is the only thing left"
Major Depressive Disorder, ptsd, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, l3/4, L4/5 gone, bursitis arthritis sciatica

seroquel, hydrocodone clonazepam norvasc multi vitamin and magnesium

lapainintheneck
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/13/2012 3:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh and you're right about there's being worse than yours....lol. I have also suffered with anxiety/depression over the years and have had my share of anxiety attacks. Of course he thought I was just being all dramatic and such, UNTIL he went black friday shopping with me at Wal-Mart and experienced one of his own. He FREAKED OUT. I felt bad for him, truely, but there was a part of me saying "Now you get it, don't you!" He hasn't given me grief about my anxiety since. I hope he doesn't have to have something to cause chronic pain before he understands this one.
-2 Bulging cervical disc w/3 dehydrated ones, chronic upper back muscle spasms/pain, depression

Zanaflex, Trazadone, Vicodin and Zoloft (hope that changes soon, it's not working anymore)

"Live like someone left the gate open"

bayoub2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2861
   Posted 1/13/2012 4:08 PM (GMT -6)   
yes, I wouldn't wish my fibro on anyone, but wouldn't it be helpful if they could walk in our shoes for a day...you know they teach high school kids what it feels like to be drunk or old...a little sensitivity training would be a great idea

I always say "let them walk a mile in my shoes 'cause they wouldn't make it a hundres yards" lol

Take care
maggie
"We never realize how strong we are, until being strong is the only thing left"
Major Depressive Disorder, ptsd, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, l3/4, L4/5 gone, bursitis arthritis sciatica

seroquel, hydrocodone clonazepam norvasc multi vitamin and magnesium

stingray
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 1/13/2012 5:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lapainintheneck
I'm sorry to hear your having such a rough time. I have had back problems since my teen years. A few years ago I had a spinal fusion that didn't work out. My wife is not the kind of woman who is very supportive, which didn't bother me at first because I've always been one to deal with my problems on my own. However as things got worse and worse I would look to her for comfort and support but rarely found it. I've had 11 surgeries in total all over and she has helped but always felt that it was more out of obligation than anything. So it's not just men who don't understand the hardships that come with chronic pain. She has recently developed back problems herself and yet I don't think she still makes the connection of what it's like to have pain 24/7. I'm so glad your husband is now taking an interest in coming to the doctor with you. My wife has come along with me but sadly that doesn't seem to have much effect. I still think that she thinks if I would try harder I'd be better. I'm ashamed to say that there's been more nights than I care to admit that I've been to the point of tears and sat alone in our basement wondering if it is my fault somehow.I really like Maggie's saying that we never know how strong we are ,until being strong is the only thing left. Hang in there, it sounds like your husband does care for you very much and maybe just needed a wake up call. I wish you all the best and don't forget to let us know how it's going. Take care.
Stingray
Chronic Back Pain, Anxiety, A little Depression, Left foot problems...foot growing in length and big toe growing out sideways, Osteoporosis,11 surgeries total..right foot twice, right knee 3 times, right elbow, throat/neck, spinal fusion, left elbow, left knee, currently deciding on whether to have surgery on left foot.
Meds: Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Clonazapam
Birthday July 18th

bayoub2
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Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2861
   Posted 1/13/2012 6:34 PM (GMT -6)   
You are absolutely right stingray...didn't mean to male-bash, we all need to learn more empathy, especailyy for our loved ones. Why do we cry over a stranger's sad story on the tv and ignore our own family's suffering?

It is so hard to live with someone with Cp, they get burnt out on us and then we start stuffing the pain and not being honest. My husband will ask"What's wrong?" I say "nothing" and he is relieved, you know? he cannot really do anything to alleviate it so i try not to burden him wuith it which is why coming here is so important to me...i can vent and i know you don't say what a whiny baby.

So when you don't get what you need at home, come here, we will always listen

maggie
"We never realize how strong we are, until being strong is the only thing left"
Major Depressive Disorder, ptsd, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, l3/4, L4/5 gone, bursitis arthritis sciatica

seroquel, hydrocodone clonazepam norvasc multi vitamin and magnesium

CRPSpatient
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1276
   Posted 1/13/2012 6:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lapainintheneck, and welcome

I'm sorry that you are having such a bad time at home. I know how important it is to have good family support, and it's yet another hurdle that nobody needs . I hope someone will have some useful suggestions for you.

Take care - and please keep posting. We're all here and if you need to vent you are welcome to do so.

Laura
Moderator - Chronic Pain Forum

Full body CRPS with spasms, dystonia & contractures, gastroparesis, orthostatic hypotension,bradycardia/tachycardia, bursitis, CTS, osteoporosis, multiple compression fx, disc bulges.

Oxycodone ER/IR, Topamax, Mobic, Somac, Cipramil, Midodrine, Vit D & C, SCS, baclofen/bupivacaine pump

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16758
   Posted 1/13/2012 7:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lapain, welcome to Healing Well's chronic pain forum. I am very glad that you found us but so sorry that you have to be here.

You have obviously brought up a subject that we have kicked around here many times over and please know that you are not alone with this situation at all. I think someone else said it, men are fixers, and when they can't fix us they can't accept it, let alone understand it, meaning the pain we live with. But, it also works the other way around if its a male involved a lot of times we have seen here at the forum the wife was not supportive at all.

I became ill not from CP in July 2002, and about 4 months into the illness the CP reared its ugly head one more time. I have had CP issues for a good 20 years or better. I had multiple health issues hitting me all at once. My husband had absolutely no clue what I was going thru and he sure did not want to hear about it. At least that is how I felt. So, I did my usual thing, I withdrew and clammed up and never discussed any of my health problems with him again. I ended up seeing a psychologist and she was a gem and helped me so much. I became very depressed and agreed to go see someone. My PCP happened to be my husbands dr too and knew my husband very well, lol. My husband on the other hand had some bad health issues that happened years earlier. The bottom line was he depended on me for everything from the house all the way down that long list of things. He went to work and that was all he did. He was scared of many things, who was going to take care of him and his needs, we were a two income family even though the kids were grown & gone. Our life style revolved around two incomes and we needed both incomes to stay afloat. In reality it was if Susie's ship goes down who is going to keep mine afloat.His biggest fear was who is going to take care of everything here if she is not able to. He did not know until about 2 years ago that I had been to see a psychologist. His comment to me was, well why would you want to do that, lol? So, boy did I ever tell him a thing or two or maybe even three, all I know is I calmly told him what my life had been like including him being such a louse about my health problems. I had to stop working in 2004 and ended up on SSD because of all the health problems.

Even to this day I stay pretty mum about things or how I feel. I can say after all of these years his attitude is much better than it was. He no longer doubts I have these problems and I am sure he wishes I didn't have these problems because i took better care of things then than I do now, lol. Yes, he has been forced to be responsible for a lot of things that he never was before, its been a real eye opener for him, lol. But, I stuck to my guns and just forced the issues a lot. If he starts in on how bad he feels or whatever, I just look at him & say I know what you mean, lol.

Not only does the spouse some times not understand but you will find friends do not either. I had lots of friends I thought, then found out later they were not my real friends, only the real friends stuck by me. But thats ok, I found out who was my real & true friends. But, you know some days I still do not understand all of this and then I say to myself, well if you don't understand it how can you expect someone else to. I am much thicker skinned now than I use to be.

I will tell you and many others here at the forum will agree, depression and CP go hand in hand for some reason. If you can get the depression under control sometimes it does help with the pain. it will not make you pain go away, but it can help. Do not be afraid to get some professional help, that was the best thing I could have done for myself, for me. My first couple of appts I had no clue what to do, what to say and the lady I picked was wonderful. It was great to talk to someone that understood what sickness and pain can do to a person. Personally speaking, I do not hold much for a psychiatrist, but a good psychologist can be worth their weight in gold for a person. Had my insurance not changed and such I would have continued seeing her much longer than I did even though she did get me pretty much over the hump on many things. Believe me, getting help does not mean that you are weak or mental either, it takes a strong person to live with CP.

Just know that you are not alone, need someone to visit with or vent come here, there is usually someone around to hear you out. I really cannot tell you how to make your husband understand, he is going to understand things the way he wants to until he can change his attitude towards you. If he would be willing to come here and read some of the posts perhaps that will open his eyes. Take care and keep us posted on how you are doing.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

dnk1102
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/13/2012 7:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello,

Just to stand up for us guys (LOL) I have the exact opposite problem, My WIFE has no idea or understanding of ow much pain I have everyday. She despises my Dr. because he gives me pain meds!! She says she believes I have pain but it seems that it is only words.

I get to the point that I start to believe there is something else wrong with me because I should not have this much pain. I hate not having someone here who understands, I try to suffer in silence but it's not always that easy!!

I hope everyone else out there finds some kind of relief, mine has gotten considerably worse in the past month and a half. I begin a round of Facet blocks next Friday, god I wish it was this Friday!!!

Good luck to all, Dan

bayoub2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2861
   Posted 1/13/2012 7:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, I think a lack of empathy is a equal opportunity thing...how can someone else understand us? And so many spouses think we are being melodramatic, even when that is not our personality type.

My hubby has started developing some fibro-like pains (roaming, sharp, bruised ) fatigue and he is just at a loss to explain it. I told him fibro isnot explaainable...it hits anywhere anytime without a physiological explanation. He is in denial right now and it is hard to watch him going thru what i went thru with NO support years ago.

I hope that all of you learn to handle yourself with gentle loving care,,,and pray our spouses never have to learn to live with CP...until the, take care

maggie
"We never realize how strong we are, until being strong is the only thing left"
Major Depressive Disorder, ptsd, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, l3/4, L4/5 gone, bursitis arthritis sciatica

seroquel, hydrocodone clonazepam norvasc multi vitamin and magnesium

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16758
   Posted 1/13/2012 7:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Dan and welcome aboard. If you would, please start your own new introduction post so that all the members will see it and be able to give you a proper hello. To start a new post click Post New Topic and a heading will show up, put something like new member suffering too and click again and then start typing away about yourself.

Look forward to getting to know you and yes we do have other men on our forum so please do not feel you will get stuck in a hen party, lol. Take care.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

BrightEyes98
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/13/2012 9:31 PM (GMT -6)   
I offer hugs! The sad thing is, you can't make your husband understand...I suffer with chronic pain too and since July I've been suffering with Sciatica as well in my left hip. Until I had the sciatica, I could deal pretty well with the pain but now? It's extremely hard and I know it's hard on my husband who watches me struggle just to do every day things.

lapainintheneck
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/13/2012 9:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for all of the encouraging words. We talked yet Again this evening. I explained that there is no explanation, that I my have fibromyalgia, and if that is something he doesn't believe he can handle, I understand and gave him the ok to leave. His reply was "I married you. For better or for worse. In sickness and in health. I will probably never understand it, but have learned that being a jerk about it makes it worse for you." it was very nice to hear. I emailed him an article to read (books take too much and would never be read) on chronic pain and how it works and has no explanation. I'm feeling hopeful. And I'm glad I found this forum. Sometimes you just need to talk to people that paddle the same boat.
-2 Bulging cervical disc w/3 dehydrated ones, chronic upper back muscle spasms/pain, depression

Zanaflex, Trazadone, Vicodin and Zoloft (hope that changes soon, it's not working anymore)

"Live like someone left the gate open"

sos007
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 615
   Posted 1/13/2012 10:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome lapainintheneck...I am happy to hear your husband is going to your next appointment. I like the way my doctor did it, she left a message on the answering machine saying that she wanted to see us on such a day and time. She also said that this was not anything to worry about just wanted to explain results to both of us. We went to the appoint and explained to us that I have CP, Fibro and she believed mild depression and then she turned to my husband and said this changes who she is...she needs plenty of rest and plain old loving care. She said I do not know if or when your wife will be able to go back to work, any added stress will make matters worse.  Then asked if we understood and then told us her plan of action.  Now I am not sure why my husband has been so good throughout this whole mess but I do think it is good to hear it explained from a doctor.  So I do hope this helps the way your husband views your illness and that it makes your life alittle easier.


Blessings, Amy smurf

Screaming Eagle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 1/14/2012 4:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Lapain!

Welcome!

While I have not read all of the replies here, I will say I wish more Dr would do as Amy's did! I believe this would take care of many…but not all spouse problems early on when a patient is diagnosed with Chronic Pain. I have often thought that those who suffer from Fibro….,might suffer more in the marriage department. Just my opinion!…cant see it even with MRI's at CT scans.

Good luck, and do post often for support!…we wish the very, very, best for you and your hubby!….While CP is hard on the patient…it does affect family members, ...and they will more than likely have to make adjustments in many areas of the marriage. A Chronic Pain diagnoses, can be painful for many family members, and I have always thought that when a Patient is diagnosed….there should be some sort of counseling for members of the family…including In-Laws! ….children…and so forth.

SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward."

Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 1/14/2012 2:33:23 PM (GMT-7)


lapainintheneck
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/14/2012 4:58 PM (GMT -6)   
In just the 24 hrs since I've joined, I have found amazing support and understanding. It makes me feel less alone. Glad I came here! Thanks everyone! I hope some day I can give someone else encouragement.
-2 Bulging cervical disc w/3 dehydrated discs, chronic upper back muscle spasms/pain, depression/anxiety (that's getting worse)
-Zanaflex, Trazadone, Vicodin

"Live like someone left the gate open"

JoJoGal
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 1/14/2012 6:29 PM (GMT -6)   
It sounds like a good thing that your husband is willing to go to a doctors appointment with you. I would ask many questions of the doctor that you think your husband might want to ask himself but probably will not. As well as chronic pain, I suffer with mental illness issues. My father has accompanied me and many doctors appointments, but he still does not get what I go through on a daily basis. Most of the time I think is just because he does not want to understand.

So make sure to ask your doctor many questions and hopefully he can explain it when your husband will understand. Good luck with that, and keep us posted I'll be thinking of you.

AngelinaATF
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 135
   Posted 1/16/2012 9:28 AM (GMT -6)   
My husband didn't understand either when I was in such debilitating pain that I couldn't get up! It has taken 5 yrs & he FINALLY looked into my disease & realized how bad off I was! He knows I cannot work & no longer says derogatory things.
I'm sorry he doesn't GET IT. sometimes it takes FORTHEM to have pain to even BEGIN.to understand! Hang in there!
Angelina
age 41
dx: MCTD, RAYNAUDS, FIBROMYALGIA
meds: Arava, prednisone, NIFEDIPINE, estropipate, cyclobenzaprine, fentanyl patch, methotrexate - MTX (on hold), minocycline, clonaxepam (sleep), vitamin D, B stress complex, PRILOSEC, Transderm-Scop (on hold)

fireflyhillary
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 148
   Posted 1/27/2012 12:20 PM (GMT -6)   
I realize this post is over a week old, but I wanted to vent my frustration as well. My husband understand my pain for the most part, but is not comforting to me at all. If I ask for a hug he acts like it's a big deal & says he's too tired from work. I know his job is very physically demanding and that he has to carry very heavy parts all day long, but how much effort does it take to give someone a hug? We've only been married 9 months and he's pretty much always been a "no touch" type of person- even when we are sleeping I am not allowed to touch him. I kind of hoped that once we got married and were together all of the time that he would get over this, but nope. I am definitely someone that needs affection when I am not feeling well (which is all of the time for months now), and a hug would really make me feel better. He's also worried that there's nothing else that can be done for me and that I will always be on pain medications- I understand his concern, but don't know what to tell him. I have had so many procedures done and next step would be SCS and then spinal fusion- I do not want major back surgery and have not heard good things about the SCS. I wish there was some easy way to get our spouses to understand what we are going through and to make them understand that we need as much as their support as they can give us.
shakehead

snobrdgrl321
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 278
   Posted 1/27/2012 7:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Lap,

So glad you posted this!! I am in a similar situation!! You can search my screen name (I think) and see what I have posted and done regarding the same issues... Recently, I gave him this letter... It's really great and to the point. If you wanna see it or wanna talk, let me know. You can always email me too. I know it's hard and I'm still going thru it, we need each others support.
Donna
Tethered Spinal Cord~1.5x1.2 cm spinal cord cyst at L5/S1  (Lumbar Laminectemy completed 9/10/09)~Scolosis~Migrains~Leg Deformity~Foot Deformity~Knee, Hip, Back, Neck Pain~Severe Depression~Insomenia~DDD~Artheritis (Spine)~Spinal Bone Spurs~NEW: Herniated Disc T5/T6 
"I'm not going to vacuum 'till Sears makes one
you can ride on"
~Roseane Barr~
 

fireflyhillary
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 148
   Posted 1/27/2012 8:12 PM (GMT -6)   
snobrdgrl321- I would love to read the letter you gave to your husband as I'm having problems with mine- but I don't see an option to e-mail you.
Current: DDD L4-S1, Arthritis L4-S1, Facet Syndrome, Interstitial Cystitis, Vulvodynia, Restless Leg Syndrome, Bi-polar, IBS, Fibromyalgia, PTSD. In past 6 months have had epidurals, facet blocks and radiofrequency ablation.
Past: Endometriosis, Adenomyosis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. 3 laparoscopies, 2 cystoscopies, total hysterectomy, appendix & gallbladder removal.
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