Is your loved one suffering from chronic pain? Is his chronic illness affecting your relationship? Do you want to make things lighter between the two of you? If you answered yes to all these questions, then be sure to read this article from start to finish. Our team has created a roundup post containing several tips on how you can deal with someone who has a chronic illness.
- Learn About The Pain. This is the most important thing that you have to do. Take note that the pain that your loved one is going through is severe. You will never understand his reactions or conducts without learning more about his chronic pain. Because of this, you also need to have a relationship with the pain doctor. It is necessary to ask for updates on his medical condition so that you will know what to do.
“When pain is chronic, options become limited. However, there is still a lot one can do. This does not mean that the pain is non-existent or that everything is in our head. To clarify, we are talking about a neurological process that determine our reactions, but whose mechanism we can learn from and influence to our benefit,” says Ana Nogales, Ph.D.
- Know The Pain Intensity. As already mentioned above, each patient may have different levels of pain depending on the attending circumstance of each case. Most of the time, the pain will increase especially if the patient is not cooperating with the treatment or other medical procedures. The best way to do here is to develop a code wherein you could determine the level of pain that your partner is experiencing. Try to ask him about it on a regular basis.
- Help Him Exercise. Being physically active is a proven effective way of eliminating or decreasing pain. Therefore, your goal is to ensure that your spouse exercises regularly. Help him come up with a fitness schedule that he could follow for a given month. At the same time, accompany him in performing the exercise activities so that the experience would be more fun and enjoyable.
- Avoid Sensationalizing Everything. As a wife, it is only reasonable that you want to take the condition of your husband in a serious note. However, it is also essential that you keep in mind that your partner is already suffering too much. Do not make things more difficult by overreacting about everything. Instead, try to keep your calm and show him that you are handling the situation smartly. You can worry about his case but do not rattle him with your negative comments or emotions.
- Respect Boundaries. Do not easily get offended if the other person wants to be alone for a while. Avoid taking things personally and making a big deal out of it. As an alternative, try to increase your patience and understanding. Chronic pain offers a high level of discomfort on the part of the person involved. Because of this, he may opt to find some solitude. When this happens, let him be. The proper thing to do is to give him space and respect the boundaries.
“Encourage each other to find someone outside of your relationship to sound off to who will listen more than they talk, ask just enough questions to allow you to process your thoughts, be confidential and trustworthy with your deepest thoughts, and not judge you for your frustrations,” according to Sharrie Thompson, nurse and Reiki expert.
Always put in mind that your partner is going through a difficult phase in his life. Be there for him no matter what happens. Do not give up because all your efforts will be worth it in the end.
And then, there’s therapy. Therapy “brings the benefit of a broader awareness to life, to not get wrapped up in a single way of living life, to explore healthy self-expression in ways that perhaps a person had been hiding from themselves,” said David Teachout, LMHCA, a psychotherapist.