23 Tips For Men on Supporting a Partner with Fibromyalgia

First off all there are two tips, one is to take care of the loved ones who are consistently in pain for a long time, and the other ones are those who just had pain after some major surgery or after any serious accident.

  1. I think pain should be considered as an enemy of both husband and wife, not as some furniture or another thing which the wife brought with her while coming to your house; Pain should be considered as an enemy which affects both of you and can cause your breakup.
  2. Wives are lovely, they always try to hide their pain, like my wife; they do this because they don’t want that their husbands to think that they are weak and they are unable to do anything, secondly they don’t want their loved ones to worry about them.
  3. Women in continuous pain, they have the habit of ignoring it and when the pain becomes maximum they show their frustration on you or themselves; when the pain reaches its limit then she will break suddenly by shouting or by hitting her kids really hard or maybe she can hit you; I think it’s good because the other way is that she will start crying and that will hurt you even worse. Before I learned the signs of pain in my wife, her breaking point come out of nowhere and at any time. I always encourage her that she should know the limit until she can bear the pain, but after many therapies, she came to know how to notice her limits.
  4. In order to avoid the extremity of pain, one should notice the sign of pain before it is said; my wife who loos normally a cheerful and happy person then no one else, when she is in pain, she becomes quiet so that no one can notice the pain in her words while speaking, she holds her pain so tightly that it becomes difficult for her breath properly, so she breathes out loudly, there is an obvious sign of pain on her face. The pain is also seen in her eyes even if she was smiling.
  5. Immediately rush to her after noticing the sign of pain which she was hiding from you; ask her to rate her pain on a scale from 1 to 10.You should know about your wives’ rating. As my wife rate her pain as 10 when she had a C section without anesthesia. She rate her pain 5 when she broke her ankle bone. When you get to know about her pain immediately take her to the most comfortable place where she can rest and take proper medications.
  6. Chronic pain does not mean that the person is always in a condition of severe pain, it varies, sometimes the pain is moderate and sometimes it is extreme. When you notice that she is in pain, take her out if she can move easily, ask her to leave all work and take her to some fun place not related to work like grocery
  7. Don’t let others sympathize herself; tell her she can do anything; Assure her that to be in pain doesn’t make her weak or it is not the thing she should be embarrassed about. My wife often said that she can’t stand in rain for my sons and she feels sorry about it, so I remind her of the times when she was always there for us. Encourage her that she should not hide her pain, she should tell her co-workers and her boss about her pain, and make her believe that it is not the thing to be embarrassed about.
  8. Firstly I thought I should forbid my wife to do the things that cause her pain, That was how I was dealing with her; then I came to know that it was not the solution of the problem, to run away from the problem, then I asked her to do all the things she want even if they cause pain to her, I encouraged her that she should know how to deal with her pain. Even if she wants to have sex she should go for it, sometimes it can cause wonders for her.
  9. Women that are in continuous and long-lasting pain do things that can divert their mind from their pain. They try to pay less attention to their pain and play mind games as if there is no pain, that makes them less considerate towards their bodies and in wife’s case she looks clumsy and weak and it was harder to had sex. I have given a lot of things that I liked like my wife cooking and lifting food, she has allowed me to do these things because she can’t carry food properly due to pain.
  10. the most important point to remember is that pain exists no matter how hard you try to ignore it. If your wife ignores her pain and tries to suppress it, let’s say she suppress it from level 5 to level 2, It will rebound and come as level 8, this is called whiplash phenomenon. Avoid it.

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Post-surgical or other high pain events

  1. You should be ready to deal with the pain before handed; when there is someone in pain you should not sit with them and doing nothing, there is a lot to do. If you composed it will help you a lot. Here are some tips that you can do at that time.
  2. There should be some kind of shake, that should be made beforehand because these narcotic medicines should not be taken in empty stomach, they should be taken after food otherwise they can cause severe stomach distress. So these shakes like slim fast are easily available and they also contain fiber which can prevent constipation that can be caused after taking these narcotics medication.
  3. There should be a thermometer and a notebook to record pain, fever and medication time. Don’t be ashamed of it to record things with a pencil.
  4. There should be a minimum of 2 icepacks, but I will suggest hot water bottles, they work perfectly, they are old fashioned but strong, you can also use Ziploc freezer bags if you want. Two parts water and one part alcohol do wonder, I like it.
  5. You should have her prescription of pain medication before surgery so that you can buy them, otherwise, she has to go through enormous pain due to delay in medication.
  6. You should have some sort of reminder on the clock or your smartphone to remind you of her time of medication if you forget but that’s not trustworthy.
  7. Make her pain free before she comes home; Do whatever you can do to make her free of pain when she is hospitalized. Do not take her home if she is in pain, it will make her feel worse. Give her phone number other than your cell number, so that she can contact you if your number is out of reach.
  8. The first thing you have to do is to help your wife to ignore the pain; when there is pain storm your wife becomes unmanageable and all you can do is nothing. You should keep in the notice the side effects of narcotics. Their prime side effect is constipation, which is not noticed by the patient at first, even a week passes, so should be alert about it. Do whatever makes her feel better.
  9. The two things which are to be managed about pain are controlling pain and swelling.
  10. Swelling can be reduced by using ice packs or any anti-inflammatory that the doctor advised. The doctor may prescribe some high doses of ibuprofen along with these narcotics. Some patients think that anti-inflammatory is side medications on which they can rely after narcotics. It is a very important medication to give on time.
  11. You should awake in the middle of the night for your loved ones, by setting an alarm to give them medication. Firstly I thought that I should let her sleep until she wakes on her own, then I will her medication, but later I realized that it was pain that awakes her and it then takes 2 hours to low down, so we should give medicines according to the schedule.
  12. May be doctors not prescribe pain killers after its getting better so it makes you feel like you can skip your dose, I will not allow this, because a double dose of medicine is needed to get out of storm than the medicine that is used to prevent it.
  13. These things should be kept in mind about the pain that occurs after coming from the hospital, it worsens at night, and it aggravates the second evening after returning from the hospital. Unluckily patients want to feel better at night so she can sleep peacefully, but this worsens pain makes her feel like hell, in this condition we should comfort her at our best.
  14. If you ever get to go to the place where pain cannot be managed here are some tricks which can help you to get out of that misery, change her sensations after every 20 secs so that it becomes difficult for the pain to record all pain sensations.
  15. My wife had low leg surgery, I managed her pain as follows; I had to find the higher spot on the leg that had the same nerve which was hurting below if she feels less pain for 5 seconds than surely you have found the right spot. At that spot, I had a firm grip by using a fork or slapping. Ice can also be used, it is exhausting but it may narrow the gap between pain storm and pain medication.
  16. Make her feel easy by supporting her that in pain she can express her pain by using sounds or screaming, as she does in childbirth, forbid her to hold her breath that will worsen her pain by stiffening her body.
  17. Tell her not to be shy about her pain and call her doctor whenever she feels like.
  18. Do whatever your wife wishes for, wins her confidence by doing things she wants to do, whether going out or spending time alone. Different people behave differently when they are in pain, as my friend’s wife when mastectomy had wanted everyone to b near her, but my wife even doesn’t want her mother near her when she is in pain. She wants me, and a closed dark room. If you are not close with your wife or you are in a new relationship, respect her wish if she wants to be near someone else.
  19. IT makes me feel desperate to see my wife in pain, I just feel helpless and want to take her pain. A good husband doesn’t leave his wife in suffering alone. There is no need to stay strong all the time in front of your wife. Sometimes when I cry in front of her it gives her courage to express her feelings. I can’t be selfish by leaving her alone, it will only add to her sufferings. All I need to do is to stay close and lover her.

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