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Caring For Those in Chronic Pain: How Spouses Cope

Couple_justin-follis-A7Um4oi-UYU-unsplashPhoto credit Justin Follis

Traditional marriage vows generally contain the words "through sickness and in health." For some couples, chronic sickness in the form of a painful disease can come close to defining their lives. I set out to see how these caregivers coped with this change, chronic pain, in their marriages. Research first led to Lynn Greenblatt, a family caregiver for her husband who was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) in July 2008. I began by asking Lynn how she provides the care that her husband needs. 

Lynn's Story: "My husband Seth has been in constant severe burning pain from shoulder to fingertips in both arms, from hip to toes in both legs, in his back, temples, parts of his tongue and mouth for almost seven years," explained Lynn. "While he is on medications to treat his nerves and to curtail the pain, he regularly gets twitches and muscle spasms alongside breakthrough pain. He knows that the medications are working as best they can and have kept his CRPS from spreading more quickly. This is important because when his neurologist tried reducing the dosages, his pain increased and spread to other parts of his body."

"The only thing that gives Seth a break from pain is sleep, which is erratic at best - CRPS takes away the ability to fall into deep sleep...

Continue reading for real stories from spouses who care for a husband or wife living with chronic pain:

Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. “I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.” ...Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

Discover the Difference. EGOSAN - the Top-Rated incontinence brand from Italy. Now Available on Amazon.

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Comments

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I agree wholehearted, Helen.
I feel for both doctors and patients for the reasons you mentioned. Thank you so much for your eloquent response!
Carol

It is heartbreaking to read about a patient who is not having his pain adequately treated. Why in the world would the doctor attempt to lower his medications, and cause increased pain and suffering? This is the result of CDC opioid prescription guidelines, which are not law, but are being treated as law. Doctors who prescribe opioid analgesics are being threatened, raided and arrested by the DEA. This is unacceptable. Doctors say they’re worried about people becoming addicted to the meds. These are proven, effective meds that allow many patients to have some quality of life. There will never be an acceptable reason to allow people to suffer with pain.

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