My wife suffers from Fibromyalgia, how can I help her?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia and ME & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome' started by Ernie5552, Jan 22, 2007.

  1. Ernie5552

    Ernie5552 New Member

    My wife suffers from Fibromyalgia. She is receiving treatment and her doctor has ordered pain medication for her. He is a very good doctor. But, as her husband I have read about and researched Fibromyalgia through online sites like WebMD and others. I also pretty much know where most of her pain is and I give her a massage every night before she goes to sleep. It seems to help her fall asleep easier, but I know she is not getting a very restful sleep. Can anyone tell me what else I can do? Obviously the number one thing is to be patient and understanding. I lived with severe panic attacks for about 25 years until treatment helped me, so I think I know what it must be like for her to be dealing with her pain 24 hrs a day, every single day. But I love my wife so much, She Is My Life, and she suffers all of the time. If anyone can give me suggestions on what else I can do to ease her pain both physically and emotionally, Please, I would be so very grateful. She has been through way too many hardships throughout her life already. More than anything else, I want to do anything and everything I can to help her feel better. Thank you so much
  2. juliejo

    juliejo New Member

    Hello Ernie,

    What a wonderful and loving husband you are. You brought tear's to my eye's when i read your story above.

    You are doing everything possible in my book for your loving wife and seem to have alot of knowledge and understanding about Fms.

    Part of not getting restful sleep is part an parcel i'm afraid of the condition. Other than make your wife a warm drink if she wake's up during the night may help her get back to sleep. Other than that i think she has a real gem of a husband there and that's something to be proud of in my book.

    I say this as my husband is so distant at time's and we have had alot of argument's these past months as he just cannot cope with my illness at all so i commend you Ernie as not many men would help there wife/partner like you do.

    Is your wife able to come on here for a chat at all as i for one and many other's would love to meet her.

    You take care of yourself as well and my best wishes to you and your wife.

    Julie jo.
  3. u34rb

    u34rb New Member

    ernie5552,

    You and your wife should read 'What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Fibromyalgia: The Revolutionary Treatment That Can Reverse The Disease ', by Dr St. Amand, and Claudia Marek. I see that you can get this secondhand today on amazon for $1.38, plus postage!

    Your profile doesn't say whereabouts you live. Your wife could consider hyperbaric oxygen treatment, (HBO). And if you are based in the UK then I could put you both in touch with your nearest centre.

    Regular HBO and reflexology help my chronic fatigue and pain, and undiagnosed fibro.

    Also, you could check out low dose naltrexone (LDN).

    There are many posts on this board about HBO and LDN, you can use the search function above. And you can get great info from lowdosenaltrexone.org
    [This Message was Edited on 01/23/2007]
  4. Just being kind and knowing you care will mean so much to her and it sounds like you do. My husband also massages my upper back/shoulders and it helps. Just know its a tough thing to handle, somedays I don't know how I can get through the day. She is lucky for a concerned , kind husband. Have her come here and join us.
  5. Lendy5

    Lendy5 New Member

    Hi Ernie - Welcome to the boards.

    I would like to suggest reading the "Spoon Theory" You can search any past post by using the upper left search feature. This really gives a detailed description of what's it's like living with this chronic illness.

    Also there is several books that can help give ideas for coping like;

    "Fibromyalgia & Chronic Myofascial Pain": A Survival Manual, 2nd Edition" Author: D.Starlanyl and

    "The Fibromyalgia Advocate," Devin Starlanyl

    "The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook" Clair Davies

    "Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 7 Steps to Less Pain and More Energy", by Fred Friedbert.

    Also "Fibromyalgia for Dummies" is a great easy to read and understand book and this is my favorite one.

    Remember to be patient and understanding and most importantly don't lose hope. Your wife is very lucky to have such a caring husband and I am sure she knows it ;)


    Hugs,
    Carolin
  6. bunnyfluff

    bunnyfluff Member

    And please let her talk about the disease, and how it affects her.

    My husband does not like to talk about it, he thinks I "dwell" on it, but let me tell you, I also have CFS, and I know that I am going to live with this the REST OF MY LIFE!! I get excited when there is new research, I am depressed on bad days when I cannot function.

    I can explain it to you as being trapped in a body that no longer works like the mind is wanting it to, and it is frustrating for us. It is easy to become angry, because that is an emotion that covers many bases- despair, frustration, confusion, etc. It is really directed at the disease, not at the ones we love. We know y'all are trying to help. We feel helpless, too.

    So, then let me also say that it is the "little things" that mean the most to me. If someone cleans up the kitchen after themselves, sorts the socks- because I have a hard time sitting for a long time to do that chore, vaccuums, cooks a meal because I am tired, often too tired to go out to eat. But good nutrition is very important, as well as good sleep. I also love my foam matress topper, it's just on my side of the bed, as is my electric heated throw.

    You are really sweet to ask us, and have your wife join us here for a chat!

    Also, I have found that hot cocoa with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles helps me sleep like a baby!! FYI!

    Yours in Health,
    Bunny
  7. Ernie5552

    Ernie5552 New Member

    Thank you spamula for your input and kind words. I do help as much as I can, though she does do a lot anyway. It's not in her make up to allow me to do it all, and I think that's ok so long as she doesn't over do it. But she has a job at a local pharmacy also, and while she is gone is when I do as many of the house hold chores as I possibly can with the hope that she can come home and not feel overwhelmed with more work to look forward to. Again thank you spamula , and thanks to everyone who has written to me. It helps more than mere words can express.
  8. Mini4Me

    Mini4Me New Member

    Sounds like you're on the right track. My hubby is much like you, and this in itself is very helpful and reasuring and calming for me. We bought a dual headed massager from Costco and he massages me every night from shoulders to toes. It really helps relax my trigger points!

    He has attended many of my doc appointments with me, as I get foggy-brained and can't remember what the docs have said. Having him there really helps. It also helps to have him there to tell the docs how much I am suffering, so they are more likely to treat my pain when he is there.

    Your wife is lucky to have you in her life just now!
    Mini
  9. leubie

    leubie New Member

    ernie------gosh you sound like a great hubby--------if my husband had bothered to even read/look over the books ,pamplets and such that i asked ----then begged him to read--------? we might still be together???-----it seems to me that you are doing everything right----------just remember------------you did not make her sick-------------you can not make her well----------its not your fault-------------its not her fault--------the other members here gave some great info---------just read up--------------let her know you care-------and will discuss w/ her -------if she wants to--------yall both can come here to vent.laugh and get tons of info--------good luck--------pat yourself on the back--------you deserve it----------------take care-----love to all ----laura
    oh yes -----as somone else said-------fibromyalgia for dummies is a GREAT,informative book--------take care------we look foward to meeting your wife and learning more about you!!!!!![This Message was Edited on 01/23/2007]
  10. mrpain

    mrpain New Member

    From a husband who has the illness to a husband who's wife has it.............."GREAT JOB"!!!.....................

    She's very blessed to have a husband who cares and loves her the way you do. Your support means more than you know.
    Your a great example of what unconditional love is all about...Keep on keeping on as I'm sure you will. Take care!
  11. Ernie5552

    Ernie5552 New Member

    I wish to thank everyone for all the helpful tips, suggestions, encouragement, and kind words. I think my wife either has joined this site or will be real soon. I like the idea of my going to her doctor's appointments and I'm determined to do so from now on. I've read on other sites that vitamin C and the B vitamins can be helpful. Any thoughts about this? I've also been told that water therapy is good also like swimming. Stretch excersise I heard is helpful too. Another person said (from another forum) that xanax just before bed has been helpful for them, so last night I suggested to her maybe she might try taking like 0.25 mg of xanax to help her sleep better. I have been (and still am) on xanax for 20 years, along with an MAO Inhibitor for treatment of severe panic attacks. But as I thought about it more during the day today, I remembered I had a very negative experience with xanax. Actually it was my Former doctor who was the cause of that problem. He gave them out to me like candy so I developed a terrible addiction to xanax. I was up to 8mg a day. I ended up in the hospital to be detoxed down to a small and much safer ammount. It was living hell weaning down from 8mg to 1½ mg, but I've been doing much better ever since. I'm sure that wouldn't happen to her. She is much to smart, and is very well informed about most meds and knows the dangers of xanax addiction,,,,she suffered through my addiction with me. Truth be known, because of my addiction she suffered More than I did. I was a completely different person while on high dosages of xanax. Sorry,,, I've gotten a bit off track here. I just want her to be able to have a restful sleep but am I wrong to have suggested a quarter mg of xanax on nights she is having a particularly difficult time sleeping? Are there safer sleep meds around that don't have the addiction issues like xanax does but work as well or better? Thanks in advance,,,
    Ernie
  12. Mini4Me

    Mini4Me New Member

    For sleep I take Lorazepam (3 o.5mg tabs). It seems to do the trick.
    Best of luck...
    Mini
  13. Zzzsharn

    Zzzsharn New Member

    Your post made my eyes well up.. You remind me of my devoted love.

    One thing that can help her with the pain is the peroxide and epsom salt bath... it REALLY helps with the widespread pain.. I can't recall the exact ratio- I think it's one bottle of peroxide and 1/2 cup of epsom salt.. in a very hot bath.. be sure to help her out of the tub and wrap her up and let her lie down.. I know it sounds weird, but it truly, truly helps.

    Sometimes the emotional side of the chronic pain is the worst.. and you understanding that yourself is a great help.

    Acknowledging her pain is very important. Even when my sweetie can't "do" anything to relieve my pain.. Knowing that he KNOWS I hurt comforts me and validates me..

    Your wife may have been given a cross to bear, but she's been given a great gift in you..

    My best to you both.

    Zzz
  14. ayhatch

    ayhatch New Member

    Ernie,
    You are already doing it. The fact that you have come to this site and read info on fibro has been the greatest gift of understanding! My husband won't even do that! He's clueless! He just withdraws into drinking or work or some busy nonsense in the garage to avoid me and his reality.
    Everyone already gave you very good advice. The only one thing I would add... coming from someone who has no support from their spouse at all... you don't always have to do things for her or ask how she is feeling today. Somedays she may just need to fall apart, so all you need to do is let her melt in your loving arms and cry. Don't try to come up with fix-it solutions. Just let her cry and be held.
    I so desperately need that!!!
    Thanks for sharing your interest.
    Bless you, Ernie.
  15. Daisys

    Daisys Member

    As a sufferer with a caring, loving husband, I can tell you how much it means to know someone is on my side. He's my knight in shining armor. Looks like it's not a monopoly tho, good for you!

    For many years I went to appointments on my own. My husband didn't know that I was being treated with prejudice until recently. What happened is we both went with a new doctor at the same time, who we'd heard is very good. First, my hubby went in for his yearly physical, and it went great. Then, I went in, and wasn't allowed to ask questions, the exam was 20 minutes only, and I was told that for each complaint I had, I had to make a separate appointment.

    Now I go to a doctor who specializes in CFS/FM. He studied the Teitelbaum protocol. It's outlined in a book I recommend: From Fatigued to Fantastic. I've really been getting better since starting with this doctor.

    Now my husband goes on all my appts with me, if at all possible. It's been helpful both ways. Once, I thought I was getting the third degree because of disbelief, but my husband felt he was just being very thorough because of being a good doctor. That turned out to be the case, but I'm very sensitive now because of all the past experiences.

    I think a very important thing also, is my husband reads up to his capacity about this illness. It's enough that he knows what I'm talking about, and why I take certain meds.

    I don't think you even need this input, but I wanted to reinforce the other posts, and what you're doing already.

  16. sfagent

    sfagent New Member

    I suffered from FIBRO for several years, I am 46 and I felt like I was 80, I could barley get out of bed every morning, I would tell my husband that I felt like I had turn to stone. The pain was unreal, I was so tried I could barley put one foot in front of the other and then someone told me about a Doctor that was having sucess in treating FIBROMYALIGA ( DR. DANIEL DANTINI)29 N OLD KINGS RD. PALM COAST FL 32137 386-446-2202 HE TEST FOR VIRAL INFECTIONS AND I HAD SEVERAL AND viral infections. He began treating me with a viral medication and after two years I am almost completely healed. you will feel so much better in 6 mos but I continue to take medication so I do not get sick again. I will be praying for your wife and you.
    DM
  17. mujuer

    mujuer New Member

    Ernie, your a good man. Just loving your wife is sometimes enough. I am a female with a loving supporting myself and sometimes that is enough. I take alot of pride in the things that I can do even if it is just keeping the house clean or cooking dinner. I like to be complimented on those things because that is where my small little world is right now. If I could build a cathedral and get kudo's for that it would feel the same as if I were getting kudo's for just keeping up my home right now. It is just relative. Sometimes all we need is for our spouses to just sit with us and the physical contact is enough. I also love for my husband to get out and do things that he wants to do and to trust that I will be okay sitting in my chair reading my latest crime novel. I am very lucky in that I have accepted my disease and am not depressed about it. My faith keeps me going and the love of my husband does also. You just keep loving your wife and that is all that she will need. Hope this helps.
  18. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    Dear Ernie,

    What a great person you are! Besides the great advice you got from everyone, I noticed that you said your wife is not getting restful sleep. One hallmark of fibromyalgia is lack of restorative sleep. Many also have sleep apnea, even though though we do not display the most obvious symptoms of it (like being male, having a thick neck and snoring). Therefore, if it is possible for her to get a sleep study, that may be quite helpful. Best of luck to both of you.

    Warm wishes, Erika
  19. ABCDfamily

    ABCDfamily New Member

    Ernie,

    You are a good man and your wife is very blessed. My husband is wonderful too but does not deal well with my fibro/CFS and always makes me feel like a burden (not intentionally) You are doing all the right things and I want to say "Bravo" it's refreshing to see a man who is so selfless and I bet in return your wife is so grateful. Dealing with this dreaded ilness/syndrome is a terrible thing and having the security knowing that someone loves you as much as you sound like you love your wife touches me. Maybe I can get my husband on this board and you two can chat? I think for my hubby it's his lack of education on this. He knows it's here but does not want to deal with it and cannot understand it and has made several comments about seeing a shrink to me. I've seen plenty thinking it was all in my head but 3 DR's have told me the same thing so I'd have to say that all three DR's can't be wrong diagnosing me with Fibro/CFS.

    I'd love nothing more than for my husband to come on here and read these posts however, I don't want to force him. I believe if someone wants to do something they will. I suffer tremendous guilt because I can't be the mother I'd like to be or the wife he deserves. Thank you for restoring my faith in men like you. Please know my husband is a wonderful man but he is just not understanding or empathetic to what is going on with me and it's caused a major strain.
  20. fungirl2100

    fungirl2100 New Member

    Ernie,

    You sound like a wonderful person period. Many people get very frustrated dealing with this syndrome due to the variance it has & not experiencing it yourself. I too have FMS and I too am consideribly lucky since my husband who is a doctor also understands & does what he can to help me out on a daily basis when he has the time. I would say continue to be supportive. See if there is a support group that she might be able to join such as this or even one's that meet in person. I am thinking of joining one that a local pharmacy runs where there is a therapist that oversees it. It may help her to be able to connect others who have an understanding of what she is going through on a regular basis.

    I hope this helps. Support & communication is the key.

    love your friend,
    Dawn aka fungirl or doc's wife