Thursday, September 11, 2008

This isn't about me, but...

I know this is not about me. At least, not the worst of it.

My husband hurt his back, probably late last week. It's bad. He talked to a doctor about it, who described the injury as the equivalent of having a knife slice down the muscle fibers of the lower back. The muscle fibers are trying to heal, but every time he bends over, picks up something heavy, or just moves wrong, he tears it open again. She said these injuries are very painful and slow healing. He's doing what he can, but it isn't much - we just have to wait for it to heal.

This means he can't do much. He can go to work, because sitting is ok, although he's in a lot of pain by the time he gets home. And, of course, he winds up doing things he shouldn't when he's working; lifting something he shouldn't, being on his feet too long, whatever. He gets home and is in pain, exhausted and can't stand up for more than a few minutes at a time.

This leaves me without the small repreive I normally get when he gets home. He's trying so hard to still hang out with the boys, but he can't do much with them other than sit and read books and such. He can't help with much around the house either. Granted, he doesn't do a whole lot normally, but he can't even take out the garbage.

I know this isn't about me. I know he has it worse than I do, considering he's in pain all day. That's exhausting and I really feel for him. But here's where I need to complain about how it's affecting me. This is hard! I'm worn out by the end of the day too, and I still have to get dinner on, feed everyone, get G to bed, then get D to clean up his toys, then get him to bed. Usually I have some help with some of that, but my husband just can't do much. After that, I have to deal with the dishes and any other stuff around the house, plus fit in work. Maybe it's the fact that I can't ask him to help, but the last few days I've found myself really wishing I could ask him to take out the garbage, or to help me pick up or vacuum for me real quick.

Plus, I'm super worried about him and the toll this injury is going to take on him, both physically and emotionally. He's been so stable emotionally for a long time now, but he doesn't handle things like this well. Something messes up his routine and his motivation, and he has a tough time recovering. He can't workout (obviously) and that's not good. Working out is a lot of what keeps him on an even keel emotionally. And when he can't workout, he gets angry and eats. And then he puts on weight, feels worse, eats more, gets mad, eats more... etc. etc.

We've been down a dark road in the past with his depression, anxiety attacks, and unhealthy escapism into food and computer games. I do not want to go there again! We've been talking about that the last few days, and he knows he needs to keep his head above water even in the midst of an injury, but he said it's already hard. Every fiber of his being wants to say, "F-it" and go eat french fries.

I really hope this thing heals - mostly for his sake, but for mine too. I'm doing my best not to let the stress of the situation get to me, but at the end of the day I'm tired and frustrated. I've spent a lot of time being his lifeboat, and I don't know if I have the energy to do it again. I'm pretty well spent by the time the boys are in bed (and then I have to go sit at my desk and work). And it's stressful to see him in pain and know there isn't anything I can do about it, other than go get him a fresh ice pack.

1 comment:

Mandy said...

I thought this was what I was reading between the lines when we talked last night. ((hug))

Do you think he'd be open to a PREVENTATIVE visit with the counselor during this time? Since he can't be physically active it might be a good time to address how he handles his emotions with food, and it might give him some tools to use in order to avoid doing that. (and maybe help him have an easier road back to current fitness level when his back is healed)

I'm thinking of you guys and praying that you both get through this as quickly, easily and as healthy as possible.

As for help around the house, I wish I could help!!! Maybe talk to S about whether she might be able to give you a small bit of respite now and then? Even if it's just helping out a bit extra with chores for a while or spending extra time with the boys.