How Spouses Cope with Chronic Pain
No one asks for the position of caregiver but all too often, we find the job being placed upon us due to uncontrollable circumstances. If you are now in a position to care for a loved one, there are certain things to know before getting started. Let’s review the top three ways to cope when your spouse develops chronic pain.
Finding the Right Doctors for Your Spouse
Research is your first step. Make sure you are searching for practices that have experience dealing specifically with chronic pain patients. Once you make a list of doctors, sit down with your spouse and review the list. Choose the top 3 doctors together and make an appointment at each. This way you can get an opinion from more than one expert.
Once appointment day arrives, be sure to:
- Dress nicely
- Establish yourself as caretaker and decision maker
- Take notes
- Bring questions for the doctor
Not sure what to ask the doctor? When it comes to questions that you should be prepared to ask your doctor, try using one or all of the following:
- Doctor’s experience with pain management
- Doctor’s philosophy on pain management
- Methods of pain management that he/she offers
- Number of doctors on site
- Best way to make appointments
- Point of contact: Doctor or physician’s assistant
Day-to-Day with Chronic Pain
Things are quickly going to change so here are a few things to keep in mind to help the transition:
- Create a list of all medications
- Note the time of day for taking medications
- Create a rapport with your local pharmacist
- Be sure to listen to your spouse and acknowledge their struggle
Don’t Forget About Yourself
The road ahead is going to be long but that doesn’t mean you should let yourself be drug down the road. Yes, it’ll be important to show compassion and love to your spouse but don’t be so hard on yourself when feelings of hopelessness come up. You can’t stop the pain and that’s okay. Be there for them in every way you can but don’t forget to treat yourself well in the process.