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?