Published Apr 18, 2003
I just finished my 1st quarter of the most intense school work I've ever enountered for my LPN program.
I'm the oldest student in my class, so needless to say I really had to struggle through all my classes.
Anyway I call my husband who is disabled & confined to a wheelchair and tell him that the class is going out for the eveing for celebration. What I'm hoping is that he'll say that sounds like fun, are you going?
But instead he says something along the line of the "sinners" going out to a bar.
I live an hour away the school out in the country on a ranch and have alot of responsibility taking care of the livestock, since my husband is unable to. He has been in the chair for 3 years now, & lately I find that he unintentally (sp) brings me down to the point where I feel I have no life.
I would like to make our lives easier by selling some property off or the whole ranch & moving closer to town with less property to take care off & keep the horses and get out of the cattle business. He is still in denial about his health, refuses to sell his truck which just sits in the driveway since unable to drive and get a van.
Family is 30 minutes away to help, so its up to me to lift him from chair to potty, and then to tub. My back is starting to feel the strain. I've tried medicaid for help from a home aid, but seems there is a snag in there about him not requiring a nurse for home health so thats a dead end. I've suggested that a family member move in to help or even giving an acre or two to a good friend of ours so that he could at least be near in case of an emergency.
Anyway sorry to ramble, but wanted to know if anyone else is in the same boat out there and could make me feel better about my situation.
He doesn't want counseling, (I have no time nor support groups for me in area) and won't take antidepressants.
The other day he called me at school and had managed to get himself out of the chair onto the stool and was stuck there for 2 hours till I got there to help him up. This stressed his muscles what he has left of them so much his blood pressure shot up and started shaking violently. This lasted for an hour at least.
He does appreciate all that I do for him, and there is no question that I don't mind at all what I do to help BUT I also feel that he could alot more to help me to help him. That is what I'm probably upset about, the fact that this land means more to him than I do.
I'm not a psychologist but I do understand what he is going through, because it effects me also.
I just wanted so much to have at least one normal night out last night and to be social to celebrate, but instead of getting support I got my bubble busted, came home and fed livestock then drove into town for some take out food for supper.
You know if this wasn't me typing this out and was reading it from someone else, I'd probably say "oh be thankful that you have your husband still, and count your blessings".
Well I do and have but still I must have PMS
:chuckle so I just feel alittle better about writing this out. Maybe I'll just start a journal!
I'm not one to put out a personal story like this, but might be a hint that I'm grasping for some support.
Thanks for listening all, have a blessed day!
You sound like one strong lady!
And while your husband is going through a lot, he has had three years to "deal with" his condition, and he needs to start realizing that being difficult to you isn't going to make him better. But you can't make anyone realize anything. So...I would quit asking his permission. You are in charge--you are the able-bodied one who will be bringing in an income. You are taking care of business. I'd move in Aunt Hattie or whatever I had to do, even if he objects.
I have a lady in my class whose husband is in a wheelchair, but he manages much better it sounds like than your DH does. I don't know what the difference is....one thing I can say is that her husband is very proud of her and shows up in his wheelchair for school functions (like dedication, etc.). Your husband sounds like he may be a bit jealous that you are able to go out and achieve things while he is sitting at home.
Is he able to do anything at all? Would it be possible for him to do any sort of work? Maybe that would improve his self-esteem. I know a disabled man who works from home doing internet research for a few attorneys--I don't know specifics of what he does though.
Anyway, stay strong, and vent here when you need to! I don't know if I could do what you are doing!
I really feel for you. Sounds like a little bit of jealousy. I went through something similiar with my ex-husband. Sometimes men can't take it when women become independent and instead of supporting and encouraging us they seem to sabatoge our efforts. Did they warn you about the high rate of divorce for nursing students? They warned us the first day and I didn't think it would happen to me but it did. I'm very happy now and married to a wonderful and supportive man but it was a long road during school. I hope things get better and that you are able to get some help. School is hard enough without all the additional worry that you have.
My heart goes out to you. Regardless to your husbands needs you also have needs and you must insist that you have time for yourself. Have a family member or friend come and visit with hubby at least one night a week or for a special occaison.
Remember that if you don't take care of yourself and your personal needs that it won't take long for you to burn out. I would insist that he get some kind of counselling even if you have to give him an ultimatum. If he has been disabled for 3 years and the truck is still in the drive way he has issues. There is a process of greiving denial etc. It seems to me he is stuck in the denial phase.
You have a lot on your shoulders. Large farm, school, disabled hubby.
My husband suffers from TOS ( Thoracic outlet syndrome) It is very painful and he has lost most of the function in his arms. We went through the denial, anger etc. Now he does what he can and he admits when he can't and accepts the help of others when offered.
You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Seek help for yourself and for hubby it may be inconvient to travel to your community but I believe it will be beneficial to both of you.
Have you tried to apply for home care? I don't know how this works in the states but here in Ontario. People who suffer from disabilities that restrict there activities of daily living can quailfy for home care. A personal support worker could help with things such as baths, light house work, shopping etc. Check with your local health agency.
Shamrock, BSN, RN
Wow, what stress you are under. School, ranch to
run, disabled hubby. Maybe you could get his dr.
to refer him to an OT or PT and possibly get an
aide for a while. Sounds like he needs something
to occupy his mind too, as Memphis suggested.
Thanks all, I really appreciate your speedy replies.
As I'm typing he's on the pot, but I'm going to go get my hair done, so that should make me feel better.
He has rhematoid arthritis, plus polymyositis and lupis, geez I swear I can't spell!!!! So his hands are pretty well twisted so learning anything new on the computer won't help. He still thinks he is going to be able to train horses again!
He is very proud of me but yes the "man" thing does show through, what with me being the breadwinner and all, so at least I understand where that is coming through.
I'm just going to have to do what was mentioned and put my foot down, because I definatly am going through a burn out stage and don't want that to affect our relationship.
Thanks all, I miss my ex-co workers, but now that I'm in school I don't have the network I once had to vent, so I really do appreciate you all!!!!
thatldo, you need help and you need it now. You are very close to burnout. Is there any one you can talk to that could be like a third party mediator for you and your husband? ( such as a counseler at your school, a clergyman, etc) that could help counsel you and your husband? My thought is this: maybe if you could write down and make a list of things you would like to see change ( for example, a night out once a week, selling part of the ranch or animals so there are less chores, or selling the truck for a trade-in for a van that your husband can drive) and your husband could make a list of things he wants to see happen. Then perhaps a the third party ( someone without strong emotional ties to you and your husband) could help both of you figure out a plan that gives BOTH of you more freedom. I don't know why your husband is disabled, or how much upper body strength he has, but many ppl confined to WC's learn to transfer themselves to bed,pottychair,ect. It does sound like to me he needs more rehab. Please PM me if you want to, you are in a tough place in your life, and you will be in my prayers.
ceecel.dee, MSN, RN
You both sound lonely and in grief of your past lifestyle....Justifably so! There needs to be more to life than work (I put school in the work category)! And for hubby, there needs to be more than waiting for you to get home. I think it is time to take action, not wait around for him to your (correct) way of thinking! YOU CANNOT DO IT ALL! Three years is a long time. He may need an ultimatum, but only as a last resort (perhaps you are already there, I don't know). The poor man must either learn how he can better assist in his own care (did he go through intensive PT/OT rehab?), or you may need to self pay for an aid to come out for a few hours a day while you are gone.
You are allowed to finally consider yourself, after 3 years! You matter! :kiss
OOps, sorry thatldo, I think I ws posting at the same time you were.RA is a tough dx. Let us know how you are doing.
jnette, ASN, EMT-I
Please DO consider yourself and your own needs as well. It is all too easy to just "give in" and all too easy for hubby to begin expecting that you will.
There must be balance. Do the things YOU enjoy as well as giving him the time and emotional support he needs. You must start now, before the weights on the balance scale get stuck in the uneven.
To encourage and assisit him, YOU must be content yourself.'
It's one thing to do for others, and another to totally sacrifice one's self .. and by so doing losing all the physical and emotional strength to continue to be available to him.
Take care of yourself. Addresse ALL your needs. Then you will BOTH be far happier. My prayers go out to you.
Big Hugs. :kiss
Wow! You are amazing! All I can say is I agree with the advice you have been given....Good luck, and never give up!!!!
Tweety, BSN, RN
Hugs to you. No advice, except you've got to take care of yourself as well.
Next time, no negotiation. Set limits so you don't feel manipulated. He obviously has some fear and control issues in dealing with his diability, which is of course tragic. When the guys are going out and you want to join them tell him you're going. Don't allow him to bring you down, say "I'll be there in an hour, I'm going and you will be alright for one hour. End of discussion."
Also, what are you going to do when you are working as an LPN. Work an 8 hour shift, take care of him, take care of the ranch?
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