View Full Version : all in my head?!?

02-22-2005, 06:05 PM
My husband and I keep getting into fights over my back. He says it's not as bad as I make it out to be and that my pain (and the fatigue resulting from it) is all in my head. Sometimes I feel like he thinks I'm inventing this to get out of housework.

Everyone on here seems to have absolutely wonderful husbands - is there anyone that has had a similar experience, and at what point did they snap out of it and start being supportive?

02-22-2005, 06:28 PM
It was actually the other way around at our house! I'm the one who kept saying it wasn't the scoliosis causing the problem! (Part of it wasn't, I also had very large fibroid tumors. After my hysterectomy, some of the pain went away). My husband could SEE my back better than I could. I would buy my clothes so they wouldn't fit to my back. Also doctor's had said I only had a small curve when they noticed it as a teenager. I didn't think that it would change as I got older. Boy was I ever wrong! Is there maybe something that you can relate your pain to your husband with. Like has he ever pulled a muscle in his back and stress how it's worse than that?

02-22-2005, 07:02 PM
I tried comparing it to how he feels after he skis (he only goes once or twice a year and usually falls on something important) - that seemed to have an effect for a few hours...

Maybe it's because he's ex-Navy?

02-22-2005, 09:32 PM
Oh dear. It's really difficult when the people close to you think you're exaggerating. Some people also have never experienced long-term pain... Has he seen your X-rays? Is it conclusive that for example you have trouble with your disks? Anything concrete might be helpful. If he hasn't seen you X-rays he definitely should. Or if you bend over and he can see your spine. (I know he's your husband, but people just don't notice unless you point it out, and some people are not too observant even then.)

The thing I always find hard to convey is that back pain is often so distressing and tiring. I was once in a physical therapy office and they were doing a survey of people's pain and feelings. One man got really irate because the question was "does you pain depress you?" He said, that's a stupid question, it just hurts, what is there to be emotional about?. Well, I was on the bed next to him and almost burst into tears, thinking, now people will think I'm stupid for being depressed about my pain! The PT noticed and came over and said she has a theory that back pain for some reason is more distressing, she wouldn't be surprised if they found a physiological reason for it.

Anyway, sorry to ramble on with my story, I suppose the point I wanted to get to is that it's really hard to find comparisons even with pain. One thing that might be useful is to rate the pain on a scale. I found this useful with my doctor. Saying that you are in pain 50% of the day with pain of 6 on a 1-10 chart might drum the message home that you are in pain a LOT!!

I hope some other people write in with ideas. Look after yourself. Laura

02-22-2005, 09:33 PM
p.s. Also, tell him specifically what hurts. My partner was amazed when I told him it hurt to pull up a knob to turn a shower on one time when we were at a hotel. This was after 6 months of my back pain, but he still hadn't really taken it in in real terms.

02-23-2005, 01:23 PM
I'm not married, but have definitely gotten the same reaction at times.
It's not in your head, you are not crazy, and if someone who loves you does not believe that you are in pain just because they can't see it , that is a really selfish gesture on their part.
But, you have to consider that maybe the situation is scary for him, he doesn't want anything to be wrong with you, so he wants it to be all in your head. Denial could be how he deals with your situation.
You should take him with you when you go for a second opinion. If the surgeon has the same reaction as your first opinion, you can have him explain to your husband what exactly is wrong with you and why it is not only uncomfortable for you to do some tasks but also unsafe!
Recently, for me, laundry=a bad day! You're not alone!

02-23-2005, 07:25 PM
People react so differently. He may be uncomfortable that he can't fix you and therefore your situation brings up a since of powerlessness in him. An ex marine would have great difficulty with that. I agree get him involved as much as possible and maybe your physician has a counselor to suggest. Until then do you have a friend or relative to get your support from?


02-23-2005, 10:22 PM
Thankfully, I have friends and family offering to help right and left. I don't know if any of them totally understand, but that's what you guys ar for, right? :-) And he says he'll beleive it when the doctor says so, so hopefully I'll find out something on the 8th.

I was raised with a "girls can do anything!" mentality, so most of the time I'm OK, it's just distressing for him to be like this... He's wonderful otherwise!

02-24-2005, 06:03 AM
Well, at the time I was getting ready for surrgery, my boyfriend at the time was supportive...
But... it turns out he wasn't all that "into" me, so I think it was just an act...

02-24-2005, 08:24 PM
I'm so sorry you aren't getting the support you so desperately need at this time. Hope you're right - on the 8th the doctor visit may have the impact you as couple need. At one point you said maybe its because he's ex-Navy. Just from my own experience ~ I really don't think his reactions can be connected to his military experience. My husband was in the Army for 31 years, through 3 world conflicts and I couldn't ask for more support than he's given me. Just before my surgery he told me I had him 100% for the next 6 months and he wasn't kidding, I have experienced the true meaning of unconditional love.

I wish I had an answer for you, the only prospective I can speculate sounds pretty crazy but ~ this is such a huge thing that not dealing with it is his way of dealing with it! However; luckily, it seems you have a pretty good support group in the rest of your life. Good luck on the 8th, hope thats a magic day for both of you.

Regards, Gayle
P.S. You mentioned the University of Washington! I am from Washington state, puget sound area. (just a sidebar....:>) I always seem to get excited when I hear about someone from home.

02-25-2005, 01:33 PM
I have experienced the same reaction with past boyfriends. And none of them are my current boyfriend. I was made to feel like I was lazy or faking it, which you know, really hurts. I even tried taking them to dr appts or to read information online and they just didn't care enough. Thankfully my current boyfriend does try to be supportive. He even has called me up asking me questions about my problems because he was doing his OWN research. I am very concerned what will happen to us when I have surgery for the first time, with him. (not first surgery but first that we are together) He is a workaholic and I worry that he will not be able to give me the time and care that I need. Bottom line is it's hard for any of us to put our boyfriend's and husbands though what we have to go though. I don't want to be an obligation, and although he shows no sign of feeling that way, I still think that way. I would say give your husband the chance to go to the doctor's with you and let him absorb it all. In fact have him write down all the awsers to your questions so that he has to see it in writting. If he is unsupportive then, it's not you who is the problem but him. Best of luck!

02-25-2005, 01:54 PM

My first husband was cut from the same mold. I once had 1st, 2nd, & 3rd degree burns on one hand and one foot. My husband told me to tough it out, and refused to take me to the hospital. Luckily, one of my brothers happened to stop by and quickly realized that I needed to get to the hospital.

I don't have any wise words with the exception that you may find that you'll have to learn to accept your husband's attitude, or get out of the marriage. In the meantime, I hope you have someone else you can count on to help you when you're recovering from surgery.

Also, I don't know you, so don't have a clue whether you do this, but I'd recommend that you be sure you're not using back pain as an excuse every chance you get. A little martyrdom goes a long way. :-)


03-09-2005, 06:17 PM
Well, doctor wants to operate in August, so we'll see what hubby says tonight. (He's been out of town since before appt.)

03-14-2005, 03:33 PM
Hubby has started to come around since appointment - still not all there; but much better. We went camping this weekend and he had a long talk with one of his Navy buds that I'm pretty sure had to do with me (first time I've ever not been included on a run into town) and he came back thinking differently about it. He's even volunteered to stay home from work for two weeks with me, and after that just go in for meetings for a while!

Sharon C
03-22-2005, 08:38 PM
How awful to be going through this without the support of your mate! I'm going to go under in August too, and would be devastated if my husband indicated anything but support and concern. I have acknowledged that he is fearful too, and maybe that's what your guy needs. His reaction might be in response to his own concerns about the future, and his inability to help you might make him feel insecure. If he hasn't been going with you to your doctor appointments, now would be a good time. He might also be "jealous" of the time this "condition" is taking away from your usual attention to him. No matter what the deal is, you need support, and counselling for both of you might be essential to get through this ordeal intact. I wish you the very best! :rolleyes:

04-07-2005, 03:47 AM
My husband and I keep getting into fights over my back. He says it's not as bad as I make it out to be and that my pain (and the fatigue resulting from it) is all in my head. Sometimes I feel like he thinks I'm inventing this to get out of housework.

Everyone on here seems to have absolutely wonderful husbands - is there anyone that has had a similar experience, and at what point did they snap out of it and start being supportive?

OOHH OOOHHH :::::::::::raises hand as high as I can::::::: Your husband and my husband should move in together, they would be 2 peas in a pod. While I have not had scoliosis surgery yet and I don't know if it is on the horizon yet as I am in the midst of trying other methods, I have had 6 surgeries for totally unrelated things in a 15 month period, and now that I am trying to do something with my scoliosis pain he thinks EXACTLY this, and did after all my surgeries before after what he felt was "enough time" in his opinion. If you find something to get yours to "snap out of it" please let me know, because I think the only thing that would get mine to "snap out of it" is to let him walk a mile in my shoes, and even then its a double standard, he is the type to get a cold and is bed ridden for as long as he sees fit (encouraged by his mother and played to the max even though he is a fully grown man who hasn't lived at home in nearly 20 years). Good luck on your quest, because I know mine is like running into a brick wall, no matter what you do there is just no point to it.

04-12-2005, 04:29 AM
Hi All:

I have had that type of problem with my sister who is a nurse she has been on my case forever about my taking pain meds for my back. Well now her youngest son hs 2 herniated discs and all of a sudden pain meds are ok for him as his dr says he won't get addicted as he is taking them for pain - ROFLROFLROFL wow what an about face. I really wanted to say something nasty but decided it really wasn't worth it. Also when I think back to when I was still married I don't think my ex ever had any idea what I was going thru he just expected me to buck up and carry on. I hope you can get your hubby on board as it will certainly make the whole process easier for you.