caring spouse needs advice

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punky
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Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 11/16/2008 8:45 AM (GMT -6)   
my husband has uc and arthritis. he doesn't eat properly,that i can tell, and does no sort of exercise. it seems to me that he has already dug his own grave. what am i to do?

Sweetie31105
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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 11/16/2008 8:56 AM (GMT -6)   
I tend to go on a food binge myself, but my hubby ends up getting strict when he notices that I've gotten "too crazy" in my eating habits. For me, my hubby too does no real exercise and just sits around on the computer due to his crazy schedule. I'm trying to go on a diet that will help my UC, and hopefully help his weight. That won't happen til January. Right now we have started a routine to sit down and make our own meal menu for the week together to make sure it's balanced for both of us. Do you know what he can and cannot eat? Knowing trigger foods is the best first step.

Hope this helps.
26 year old, Married, Female.
Diagnosed with UC since March 2007
Taking Humira and Imuran since May 2007 (Currently in remission since May 2007)


punky
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Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 11/16/2008 9:04 AM (GMT -6)   
no, not really. eating late at night seems to be a concern for him due to acid reflux. i just can figure out why he eats what he eats...lots of fats, fast food,salsa, candy. just doesn't make sense to me. And then sitting all day. granted his knees hurt, but would something like water exercises or using the treadmill at a slow pace help? i've suggested all of these and he just tells me he is sick and i don't understand. can you help me understand?

Sweetie31105
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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 11/16/2008 9:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Sounds like he's letting the disease get the best of him. I'm stumped myself. It's kinda hard being the wife and feeling like you are running out of options. Have you talked to him about how you feel? Told him what worries you? Tell him to explain things to you so you can understand. It kinda sounds more like a communication problem more than a diet problem. I personally he can be the only one to help you understand. That's what a marriage is about, communication and understanding and helping when needed.

I'll be praying for you guys I totally know where you are coming from. My husband and I deal with stuff like this. We both watch our food intake and talk each other out of stuff we both shouldn't eat ourselves.
26 year old, Married, Female.
Diagnosed with UC since March 2007
Taking Humira and Imuran since May 2007 (Currently in remission since May 2007)


punky
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 11/16/2008 9:44 AM (GMT -6)   
1my biggest concern is that he doesn't seem to care. i feel he thinks he is living with this death sentence and then,so be it. he won't go to therapy because he doesn't want to take one more pill added to the many he already takes.i really think an antidepressant or antianxiety med would do wonders. i go to marriage counseling, but he won't go. when i suggest things for him to do, he says that i am not a doctor! (yelling)! my counselor told me that i can't make him take care of himself, so i have to focus on my own self. when i go on with my life he gets upset, too. im stuck in the middle. i dont like watching him die slowly, so i stuff my feelings and pretend nothing is wrong.

jujub
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Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 11/16/2008 10:10 AM (GMT -6)   
What medications is your husband taking? Prednisone is notorious for causing increased appetite and craving for salty foods. This leads to water retention and weight gain.

As far as diet, most of us have found it helpful to keep a food diary. Over the course of several months, we can identify which foods really cause us problems this way. It varies widely. Some find that eliminating dairy, gluten or other products helps them. Others of us find that food isn't really a big issue. Most of us do limit high-fiber foods (such as whole grains, raw or steamed fruits and veggies), high-fat and highly spiced foods when we're flaring. When in remission, I eat whatever I want, although I do try to limit the fat intake for general health reasons.

Be aware that food doesn't cause UC or even flares. When in a flare, some foods may increase the symptoms however. Also remember it's a chronic disease and has flares with lots of symptoms and remissions where there are little or no symptoms. That contributes to the difficulty in knowing what is really working.
Judy
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from Entocort.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
"My life is an ongoing medical adventure"
 
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.


Limeycricketlover
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 67
   Posted 11/16/2008 11:25 AM (GMT -6)   
One of the symptoms of UC can be the most horrendous exhaustion - it can be a struggle to even speak at times. It may also be that the full impact of having this darn disease is just hitting him - the idea of having a condition that won't ever be healed, and is so unpredictable (some people go years between flare ups, some never really get into remission) is very hard firstly to take in and secondly to deal with.
How long since he was diagnosed for UC, and how long has he had the athritis?
UC - diagnosed Sep 2008 - Not seen GI since then...
Omeprazole 2 x 20mg
Prednisolone 5mg
Calcium (Adcal-D3) 3000mg
Mesalazine 8 x 500mg
Mesalazine foam enema
Multivitamins x 2
Omega 3
Probiotic (acidophilus)
Ferrous Sulphate 3 x 200mg

Unable to tolerate Paracetamol

Foods for me to avoid:
Any types of green leaf - big time.


NuffinButtTrouble
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 679
   Posted 11/16/2008 12:04 PM (GMT -6)   
punky,

He should consider eliminating candy from his diet and if it's possible, get him an indoor bicycle, it will take the pressure off his knees and he won't need to leave the house. Eliminating sugar and exercising on a regular basis has helped me greatly.

NBT
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis January 2007
Meds: Mesaamaline (sp) Retention Enemas, herbal meds in the search to regain full health.


Meesh
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Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 619
   Posted 11/16/2008 4:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Prior to being diagnosed with UC I was something of a gym rat. For the previous six years I went to the gym religiously five days a week. Once I was in a flare though, the meds and the inflammatory reactions of my body made it really tough to exercise on even a more modest routine. I was really tired, the Prednisone made me achy and as others have mentioned, very hungry. Certain cardio workouts were too jostling and made me have to run the toilet.

Your husband is not "digging his own grave." He is coping the best he can. Different foods affect our symptoms differently. I find very little correlation between what I eat and how I feel, with a few notable exceptions. I find I can't handle much fiber at all when in a flare and my vegetable consumption goes way down. I find that of all things McDonald's works for me, especially for lunch as I know a small fries and small burger will be filling for me and sit well and not make me have to go right away.

Healthier foods that I tolerate well are salmon and avocado.

My husband is very supportive of me, he encourages me when I do manage to make it to the gym, he says nothing when I cannot. If I am not eating well he'll offer to make me something he knows I like and have tolerated well, but if I don't want it, he backs off. If I get home from work and just lie on the sofa watching TV and dozing all afternoon he understands -- I have been known to lay down at four in the afternoon, wake up to eat some dinner, go back to sleep, be woken up to go up to bed, and then sleep the whole night -- I generally feel a lot better the next day. Our bodies really are doing battle all the time, even when we achieve remission, and sometimes we just need to sleep.

I'd try to be supportive of him but really, he's got to deal with this as best he can.

Meesh
46 yr old female, dx'd UC April 27, 2006; mild arthritis in lower back, dx'd May 2008; Osteopenia dx'd 6/08 Finally achieved remission mid October 2008!!
11 Remicade infusions: 7/21/07; 8/18/07; 10/13/07; 12/15/97; 1/26/08; 3/8/08; 4/19/08; 5/24/08; 7/5/08; 8/15/08, 9/26/08; 11/08/08; Current meds & supplements: Lialda, 4 tabs in the morning; Xanax as needed (rarely); Rowesa and/or Canasa; multivitamin w/folate; Culturelle; Fish oil capsules, calcium chews and/or Tums; Vitamin D; Past meds: Prednisone 4/06-4/08; Entocourt EC; Asacol; Colazal; Venofer (iron) injections Dec '07; Imuran (extremely bad reaction 2/07); Protonix; Lexipro


sore_guts
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 185
   Posted 11/16/2008 5:11 PM (GMT -6)   

ditto on what meesh says.

I am very much into healthy eating, healthy exercise, etc.  But when flaring or sometimes even while in remission I can suffer extreme fatigue as part of this disease or maybe the meds.  There are days when I feel as though I can hardly walk from the couch to the kitchen.  Its just part of the disease.  Some days my husband is understanding and will take the kids out and let me nap, but other times he gets frustrated and just wants me up and moving.  And I can tell you that although I understand where the frustration comes from it is much, much more supportive when he is understanding.  I am very thankful to have him in my life when he is caring and understanding. 

 


 sore_guts
 
Currently in Remission since June 2008!!
 
High magnesium/ beta carotene diet
36 year old female with left-sided UC
lialda 1 pill  3 times/day
multi-vitamin 1/day
Digestive Advantage Colitis formula 1/day
 
 


punky
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 11/16/2008 5:14 PM (GMT -6)   
he's had it for as long as i have known him..13years. my problem is, is that he is always complaining about it so i never really know when he is in bad shape. seems like it is almost all the time. he will get up and do things when he wants to do something, so i don't know how much of this is disease related or just not really wanting to do anything. we have a treadmill and a rowing machine and the gym is only 2 mins away, we live on a bike path. i just can't figure it out. can you be feeling bad all of the time?

sore_guts
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 185
   Posted 11/16/2008 5:49 PM (GMT -6)   
yes, its very possible. Is he flaring? Does he have bleeding. Constant blood loss can lead to anemia. this is very physically hard on the body. Or maybe there is some depression related to being sick so much. Or maybe he just doesn't like to exercise. Whatever the reason it isnt going to change because you want it to. He has to feel well enough to and decide for himself to want to.
 sore_guts
 
Currently in Remission since June 2008!!
 
High magnesium/ beta carotene diet
36 year old female with left-sided UC
lialda 1 pill  3 times/day
multi-vitamin 1/day
Digestive Advantage Colitis formula 1/day
 
 


kops2da
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 2865
   Posted 11/16/2008 6:33 PM (GMT -6)   

Doesn't really matter how much you want your husband to change unless he WANTS to change.  Be there for him - show him you love him - don't enable him (like cooking really bad things for him).  I have been married 47 years to same man - a man who has his own mind.  When your husband is ready he will help himself.

I will add that both of us have found anti-anxiety and depression medications in small doses have helped us a lot.  Talking with doctors - medical people who understand is how we got where we are.  I have arthritis and so does my husband (worse than mine) and he has lung cancer.  WE support each other.  If we as individuals want to just do what is bad and die early - the other respects that decision.  We don't have to like it, of course, because we don't want to lose them.  My sister in law's husband never wanted to take care of himself - had a heart attack - did not eat right, etc. etc. and she is the one who ended up dying of heart disease much due to stress.  Take care of yourself too!

ElaineNY


68 yr. old granny
New diagnosed with proctosigmoiditis - 6/2008
 Colonoscopy 10/28 showed only 2 cm. left to heal in rectum - going to try Proctofoam first.
Probiotic Align, Prilosec for GERD
Inderol for hypertension,Xanax,Lipitor, multivitamin, calcium w/D, Tylenol
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


jujub
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 11/16/2008 6:53 PM (GMT -6)   
I've also been married for ages, and my husband is a stubborn German. He has type II diabetes. I've learned to never say anything to him about his diet or exercise. If he feels nagged, he won't do what he's supposed to do, but if I leave the responsibility to him he follows his program to the letter.

I basically told him "I love you, honey, but you're an adult and have to be responsible for yourself. If I can help let me know. In the meantime, if you aren't going to take care of yourself, please let me know so I can make sure your insurance premiums are paid on time." With no one telling him what to do, he doesn't have to prove he's the boss of himself, so he can do what he knows is best for him.
Judy
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from Entocort.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
"My life is an ongoing medical adventure"
 
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.


kops2da
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 2865
   Posted 11/16/2008 7:06 PM (GMT -6)   

Exactly Judy!  When someone asks me about "telling" my husband to do something, I say "he is an adult of sound mind and can make his own decisions".  He respects me that way also as I am partly stubborn German! He is Slovak!!  And he knows I am here for him always!!

ElaineNY


68 yr. old granny
New diagnosed with proctosigmoiditis - 6/2008
 Colonoscopy 10/28 showed only 2 cm. left to heal in rectum - going to try Proctofoam first.
Probiotic Align, Prilosec for GERD
Inderol for hypertension,Xanax,Lipitor, multivitamin, calcium w/D, Tylenol
CLOSE TO REMISSION!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


madabs
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 388
   Posted 11/17/2008 8:42 AM (GMT -6)   

Are Irishmen stubborn too? Because I'm 25 years married to a maddeningly stubborn one. 

I absolutely concur with advice of the Judith and Elaine.  I assume your husband knows your feelings on the subject and your concern has not yet made him change so chances are  he probably won't change until he is good and ready.  Its hard, but you can't take your spouses troubles onto yourself, because all that does is make you feel stressed so that you both end up feeling bad.  Sometimes the best way of helping is by being in a good/positive mood around them and not being sucked into their gloom. 

UC is hard on the entire family, no doubt about it.  I hope your husband starts to feel better soon.  He is lucky that you want to improve his quality of life! 


UC diagnosed 10/05, first symptoms 1983
asacol 12/daily and rowasa as needed 
Trying out Culturelle Probiotic
past rx: colozal, lialda, canasa
i can't complain, but sometimes i still do.  lifes been good to me so far.  -joe walsh


Christine1946
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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5963
   Posted 11/17/2008 4:55 PM (GMT -6)   
     Is your husband currently taking prednisone?  That will cause mood changes.  My daughter's brother in law has Crohn's Disease and when he was on the prednisone his entire personality changed...sort of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde.  His wife hopes he will never have to take it again.
62 yr old granny. South Jersey
Diagnosed with ulcerative proctitis in 1998 in hospital
Hospitalized (2nd time) in May 2008
Update 11/03/08...finally in remission!!  Hope I don't jinx myself.  Off the prednisone since 11/01/08...now see if I can stay off for longer than two weeks.  Other meds: 6MP (75 mgm), colazal (6 per day), Benicar and Toprol (high blood pressure meds), Probiotic (2 per day), fish oil capsule and multi-vitamin and calcium with vitamin D.


punky
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 11/17/2008 7:00 PM (GMT -6)   
OMG! my husband is 1/2 Irish and 1/2 Slovak......................guess i just need to shut up now. thanks to all of you!

princesa
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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 2204
   Posted 11/18/2008 1:31 PM (GMT -6)   
punky said...
my counselor told me that i can't make him take care of himself, so i have to focus on my own self.
Though it's not what you want to hear, your counselor is correct. Ultimately, we're all responsible for our own health and happiness. No one can force lifestyle changes on us and no diet or exercise plan is going to work for him until he WANTS to do it. All you can do is be positive, encouraging and supportive. If your relationship is a good one, you may also try having a heart-to-heart talk with him, telling him how much you love him and want him to feel well and happy again so you can have many more years together. My husband is overweight and comes from a family with a history of obesity and diabetes. I think it really made an impression on him when I told him how afraid I was for our future if he continued on the path he was on. He's now watching what he eats and working out regularly.
Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis spring 1999.
 
Maintenance dose sulfasalazine.
Probiotics, l-glutamine and fish oil caps. George's aloe vera juice. Oregano oil antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal. Long-term remission with only minor blips.
 
 


Peety
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 11/18/2008 4:14 PM (GMT -6)   
If you've ever been close to someone addicted to drugs or alcohol, you come to realize you can't fix them and they might very well self-destruct and there is nothing you could have done about it. That being said, there are better treatments for UC than for addiction, so I hope he finds it in himself to try.
I wish you peace.
49 year old female attorney, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985, no surgery but much suffering.
Asacol/5ASA 6x400 mg maintenance for 20+ years; use prednisone & Rowasa for flares. 
August 2008 sought care of naturopathic doctor. Food sensitivity test showed gluten, other intolerances; started diet without gluten, soy, dairy, tomato etc. Replete probiotic first, then Forte pills. 
Achieved remission for the first time in many, many years!? Seemed so, but colonoscopy Oct. 6 proved not so, heavy inflammation in ascending colon & will be using Rowasa again. But I AM better.
 
 


punky
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 11/18/2008 7:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I am so trying to understand this disease, however, I only keep getting more confused. He is so upset with me that I am only now-after 13 years- asking questions. He has two grown daughters and we have grandkids and we are all wanting him to grow old. We are only doing our research out of love and caring, not out of pointing fingers and saying'you're doing it all wrong'. He does eat salads,huge ones, and celery with peanut butter and apples ,sometimes with caramel. No caridovascular activity except for motorcycle riding when the weather is nice. He will putz around in the garage and has a hobby of refurbishing motorcycles in the summer. The winters are bad here, so little if any exercise. He has a family history of heart disease. So not only am I concerned about the UC, but the heart even more. When I suggest he try something new, he tells me I don't understand. I have a counselling session in a few weeks. couldn't get one any sooner. How would you react when someone that loves you is thinking they are trying to help? Do you condemn them? Or do you thank them for caring?


signed, in tears.

kops2da
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 2865
   Posted 11/18/2008 7:47 PM (GMT -6)   

Believe me - he knows you all care!  I am obese and my husband and family often tried to help me by telling me what I should or should not eat. Mostly, I resented it and ate more ice cream to spite them.  Only lost weight when I wanted to!!

I say it again - you cannot help him until he WANTS the help and is willing to help himself!

ElaineNY


68 yr. old granny
New diagnosed with proctosigmoiditis - 6/2008
 Colonoscopy 10/28 showed only 2 cm. left to heal in rectum - going to try Proctofoam first.
Probiotic Align, Prilosec for GERD
Inderol for hypertension,Xanax,Lipitor, multivitamin, calcium w/D, Tylenol
CLOSE TO REMISSION!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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