I knew it was gonna be bad but.... AAARRGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

@mentalward (14716)
United States
February 8, 2011 9:43pm CST
I haven't complained about my husband in awhile now. I had decided not to let him bother me anymore. Then.... It all started around a year ago, I guess. He was having serious lower back pain that began to radiate down his legs. He saw an orthopedic surgeon, a spine specialist. He had two bulging discs in his lower back that were affecting the nerves in his legs. The doctor started him on physical therapy and pain meds. Over the months, the pain increased, the pain meds increased. I had spine surgery (in my neck) five months ago for a herniated disc and was given 90 percocets, a very strong narcotic, when I got home from the hospital. I took 4 of them. I didn't need anymore. My husband took what I had left over, along with the narcotics he was given. He began taking more and more at a time. Yes, he was becoming addicted to them. He IS addicted to them. Anyway, he's in the hospital now, having finally had surgery on his spine on Monday. When he first came out of recovery, he was hooked up to a pain pump. The nurse told me he pressed the pain pump 90 times in the first hour he was out of recovery. 90 times!!! He is supposed to be coming home tomorrow. He has his computer there because he wanted to do some work while he was recovering. No work has been done, to my knowledge. All he's doing is screaming at everyone and waiting for his next pain meds. They've taken him off the pain pump so he can't get a dose every 6 minutes now and he's as mean as a hungry alligator with a toothache!!! We've been "talking" through IM and he's been screaming at me, taking all his frustration, anger and morphine withdrawal out on me. It's a darned good thing he didn't say these things to my face or over the phone because I'd have walked out or hung up on him! I just can't wait for tomorrow when I go to bring him home. (NOT!!!!) I think I'm going to volunteer somewhere, starting tomorrow as soon as I get him home. I'll find some way to get out of the house every day because he is going to be a BEAR! He'll only be given a certain amount of pain pills and when they're gone, they're gone but his addiction won't! I do apologize for the rant but I'm utterly frustrated already and he's not even HOME yet. I had to vent. I hope you can appreciate that. Has anyone here ever dealt with someone withdrawing from narcotic pain medicine? How about any other kind of drug? How did you handle it? Do you have any suggestions for me other than... RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'd like to keep my sanity, you see.
8 people like this
15 responses
@gabs8513 (48803)
• United Kingdom
28 Feb 11
Marti I hope you did not have to suffer to much and I really hope that he is past the stage now, how stupid is he You do not need it as you are not well yourself I do hope that you managed to be spared I am surprised that the Hospital has not noticed what was going on I really hope you got through all this ok Is he back at work yet????
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
28 Feb 11
He's been working from home, Gabs. He JUST took his computer back down to the basement where he has his office. He was using it at the dining room table because he couldn't get up or down the stairs but he's better now. He made an abrupt change, too. He got so bad that I believe he was close to dying. I actually think he realized that, too, and it scared him... BAD. He was not healing well at all and it turned out that he was leaking spinal fluid even after he got out of the hospital. That made him have excruciatingly painful migraine headaches with vomiting each time he tried to sit up straight or stand up. He, thankfully, got better when the doctor prescribed something for nausea and something else for his migraine headaches. He also warned my husband that he needed to stop drinking sodas, coffee, tea, anything like that and start drinking lots more water or he could very well die. That changed him! He began dealing with the pain more and relying less and less on the pain meds. I think he also knew that I was ready to leave his butt because he's been nicer than normal, for him, anyway. He's been promising me all kinds of things, like he'll start working on the new deck and sunroom he promised me when we moved in here, almost four years ago. He said he'd start helping me more with the yardwork and garden and also help more around the house. I won't count on him doing anything to help me because that just leads to disappointment but I will be surprised if he actually does half of what he's promising right now! Yesterday, we went out to a convenience store just down the road a couple of miles. He drove for the first time since the surgery. It was hurting him. I was with him in case he got to the point where he just couldn't drive anymore before he got home. He said there's no way he can drive to work yet but at least he tried. I'll be very happy when he can get back to work. I'm just very glad his boss has been so understanding! He lost his other job not long after his surgery for hemorrhoids because he took so long getting back to normal (he liked those pain meds then, too). That could be part of the reason he's shaping up now. Maybe his boss was starting to lose his patience. Whatever the reason is, I'm glad he's shaping up because there's no way I would have stayed with him if he kept up with that attitude and addiction to the narcotics, at least not once he was able to get around and do things for himself. So, it's been better around here. Plus, we've had some really beautiful, warm days and I've been able to get outside and start working on getting the new garden area ready, pulling weeds, trimming things, just piddling around outside and LOVING every minute of it!!! I hope things are going well for you. How have you been doing?
1 person likes this
@gabs8513 (48803)
• United Kingdom
28 Feb 11
Oh Marti I am so glad that he shaped up I really am You just do not need it with everything you are going through and have been going through I am doing ok, I have a bad cold again which is affecting my Lungs but I am keeping it under control Sleeping a lot again but it is the only time I am comfortable lol and not feeling the Pain so much But I am ok no worries I just wish our Weather would warm up but no chance of that yet Big Hugs to you Sweetie
@Hatley (157913)
• Garden Grove, California
9 Feb 11
hi mentalward my husbands problem was a little different he got hooked on valium and took much too much of it. The result he was a happy camper but not the rest of us who had to live with him. He was so happy he did not seem to see anything bad happening and when I tried to tell him he was not facing reality he would g et angry and just takenmore. see he was emtionlly upset over having to have a colostomy and wear that bag for his refuse for the rest of his leg. he did not seem o appreciate that ht was free of cancer after a seriouc colon cancer surgery.So the result was we had to put our house up for sale and pay off bills and move into an aparment. he flubbed the apartment deal by not getting the info that the apartment he had wanted was denied. so we had to put our stuff in storage as the people who bought our house wanted possession of it or take us on as renters. influenced by Valium he refused to pay rent which at that time rent for a house was really cheap .to close a long story we were homeless until a friend helped us get into an apartment and he paid for the rent for that month. And then we had enough funds to pay the rent as at that times rents were not high like they are now. and I made him quit taking Valium then he realized how the stuff had made him live in a pretend world and he had not known why we ended up homeless until I told him.I learned a lot of people got hooked on Valium and lived in a fairytale world where they die not see anything bad.When I was uptight later my doctor had offered me Valium and I said no not at all. We will use other methods not valium.
@Hatley (157913)
• Garden Grove, California
9 Feb 11
typo alert. should have been I learned a lot of people got hooked on Valium and lived in a fairytale world where they did not see anything bad. sorry I did not see that untill too late.
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
9 Feb 11
Oh, Hatley, I'm SOOOO sorry to hear that! I had no idea. I can see how he would get addicted to Valium, though. He had a lot to deal with that was bad and a lot of people just can't handle it. I was given Valium myself when I was 19 and going through cancer surgery. Two days after I was released from the hospital, I hemorrhaged and was right back there with another surgery, then told I had to come back in 6 weeks to have a hysterectomy because I had two large cysts on both ovaries. (Luckily, the cysts were shrinking when I went back for that surgery and they didn't do it... I had just turned 20 at the time.) I got very hooked on Valium. I couldn't leave the house without at least 20 mg of the stuff in me. I "caught" myself reaching for the Valium bottle once out of habit and knew then that I had a problem. I immediately dumped the rest in the toilet and have refused to take them ever again. They are HIGHLY addictive! Any addiction is bad. I feel sorry for my husband because of this problem but I refuse to allow him to treat me like crap when I've done everything I can to help him. This really is the last straw and, if he can't see what he's done to this marriage, he can just learn to live with it... alone.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12095)
• India
9 Feb 11
My husband's the same and I can't even blame it on pain medicine withdrawal....more like brain withdrawal! I have no idea how to deal with it. Like you, for the past one year I had decided not to let anything of his bother me and I am successful on the most part. But sometimes he manages to get on my nerves so bad that it is me who becomes the demon...I lose total control and I cannot be blamed for all the things I say. Right now, I am contemplating on means to get out of this house for a few hours everyday (for the past one year, I have been stuck at home with both the kids ALL the time!!...if that's not bad...I have to deal with my husband's tantrums too...I don't think I can take it anymore....I have been patient enough)
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12095)
• India
9 Feb 11
My older son has been brainwashed to think hubby is right in all he does :( But I'm working on getting out of here.
1 person likes this
@singout (980)
• United States
9 Feb 11
I'm a little confused at all the pain he's having. I had surgery in my lower back on Dec. 9th and had none of the problems you've described. Was this a botched surgery? Does he have an extremely low tolerance to pain? Was there something unusual about the surgery? Maybe there was something much more serious than what I had. To start with, I had a fractured vertebrate. Arthritis had eaten away the disc and L4 & L5 were rubbing together and pinching the sciatic nerve. I could only walk a few feet at a time before my left leg hurt me tremendously. Every time I tried to walk I was stretching that nerve. The surgery fused L4 & L5 together with an artificial disc in between. This was the best thing I ever did because now I can walk without pain. I never had any intolerable pain. The worst pain I experienced was in my right leg for a week after surgery. The nerve was reacting sympathetically to the whole proceedure and it wasn't the leg that was giving me problems in the first place. The most powerful pain medication I had was Lortabs when ever I felt a need for them 4 times a day. I hope he will get better soon and that you will be able to keep your sanity. Just remember, "this, too will pass."
@sedel1027 (17868)
• United States
9 Feb 11
I would talk to his current Dr who has him in the hospital, explain the situation and ask if he can just be automatically checked into rehab.
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
9 Feb 11
You know, that's a good idea. His doctor likes me because he was my doctor five months ago and I was his "dream patient", not complaining, always smiling and needing very little pain meds. He likes me. He'll listen. Thank you. Excellent idea!
@amirev777 (2552)
• India
9 Feb 11
Hi Really sorry to hear what you have been going through during the past few days.Yes, i know addiction can really destroy households, families and relationship. I have personally experienced that. Once you are addicted to something it is very difficult to get out and you need professional counselling to do it. Why don't you seek professional help? your husband needs you more now than any other time in the past.
1 person likes this
@amirev777 (2552)
• India
9 Feb 11
Hi I am really sorry for what you have had to go through in these past few days. I know that addiction can really destroy households, families and relationship. I have had personal experience. once a person gets addicted to some vice, it really becomes difficult for him to get out of it and needs professional counselling for the same. Why don't you take some professional help? your husband needs you more now, then probably any other time in his life.
@amirev777 (2552)
• India
9 Feb 11
Hi, Really sorry! due to break in my internet connectivity, I rewrote my reply. sorry once again!
@amirev777 (2552)
• India
9 Feb 11
Hi Really sorry to know your problems are just getting compounded. I think now the onus is on your husband now to keep your marriage working, you have done your best. He needs to really muster up strong will power to get out of this mess.
@moondancer (7434)
• United States
9 Feb 11
I certainly do, run right now to a phone or to the hospital or to anywhere ...find out where his doctor is and explain this all to him/her. Tell him everything you just said about him taking your medicine and his. He should already know about what happened at the hospital that's why the meds got taken away. He needs rehab and asap....if not sooner! Like now.... Ask him what your options are. let him know that you are at your wits end! You need to find a group now, call the hospital and ask them what the groups are that "you" can join for helping you to cope with a husband that is addicted to pain medicines. Trust me talking to others that are going through what you are and knowing what they did to cope will help you a lot. Just having that support system will help you. Best of luck to you and him
• United States
11 Feb 11
Yes, and if you plan to stay that will give you some time away for you to have some time for yourself to get out and be able to cope better when you go back. The thing is when they start weaning him off of those meds, for they won't keep him on them for long...things will get rough. Be prepared mentally for that day. You may want to check into some herbal things for him to take that will help him and he does not have to know they are not prescription.....know what I mean....just keep a few prescription bottles around and put the herbal meds in them....he will never know the difference. I'm not usually for tricking someone, but it's like a doctor giving a patient a placebo instead of a medicine because they think they need something when they don't. They never know they difference , it's all in their mind.
@ElicBxn (60052)
• United States
9 Feb 11
You are far too kind. I would take him home and leave - for good. Or just drop him off at a rehab hospital until he's detoxed from the meds...
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
9 Feb 11
I have been planning on "the great escape" this Spring. I've been supportive to him because that's how I am. Also, I want our divorce to go completely in my favor with him having absolutely NOTHING he can use against me. That rehab hospital is an awesome idea. I'm going to tell him he needs one. Of course, he'll bark that he doesn't. Well, maybe I'll tell him a few minutes after he takes a dose of his pain meds... he'll be more reasonable then, at least more apt to hear me. I also think it's time for me to take a mini-vacation, for the time being. I am planning on a permanent solution but the timing isn't right yet. At the moment, a little vacation from him will be very good for me and it was your suggestion that made me think of it so THANK YOU!!!! I have friends who live near the ocean and I've been wanting to visit, even if it is winter. The beach in the winter is really nice... cold, but nice. They'll put me up for a week or ten.
2 people like this
@ElicBxn (60052)
• United States
9 Feb 11
Vacation is a great idea! and talking about a rehab hospital is too... Yeah, my aunt and uncle used to walk on the Jersey shore in the winter, that's when my aunt used to find the most awesome beach glass!
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
18 Feb 11
Hey Marty, you typed up this discussion 10 days ago so that means your hubby has been home for 9 days now..... how is it going? I don't envy you at all. I know what a bear he is because of my own hubby being on pain meds. If we're away from home and time for his pain meds, he's like a SOB to be around. But once he gets them in his system, he's alright. I don't think he'll ever come off of his pain meds though because his doctor says he needs them. You can always come to my place to get away if you'd like!
@paula27661 (15900)
• Australia
12 Feb 11
Hi mentalward! I am responding rather late so I wonder how you went. I would not have taken him home, I would have spoken to someone at the hospital in regards to his addiction and found out if there is some kind of rehab centre he could go to. Clearly he needs professional help and it is too much for you to handle at home. If he doesn’t agree with the arrangement I would I would refuse to stay with him until he gets help. Hope you sorted it out...
@commanderxo (1496)
• Canada
11 Feb 11
So sorry to hear what you are going through Marti. You say you need a little vacation? You're quite welcome to stay with crazydaisy & I for as long as you need. It's extremely doubtful that your hubby would ever think to look you here in Canada. Our door is always open. Cheers; cdrxo
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
10 Feb 11
Run...that's the only good advice I can gice. The thing is that he is kind of immune to the effects of the pain medicine now and requires a lot more for comfort. Some people can't even be put to sleep properly for surgey when they have a pain pill addiction. There is really no good advice because no one can change anything but him and he has to want to. I think the volunteer thing may not be a bad idea...I'm so sorry that you are having to go through this. I kinda went through the same thing but I left. That may not be for you though. If he can get some help...and want the help...
@lacieice (2065)
• United States
9 Feb 11
Tell his doctor about the problem before you bring him home. He may have a solution.
@dawnald (84132)
• Shingle Springs, California
9 Feb 11
No, I sure haven't. Yikes... Don't suppose you can move a few states away. Just for a month or so? Guess not...