Frustrated and Discouraged, (but still hoping)
Hi. I'm new here and this is my first post. About 6 years ago I had Meningitis from West Nile Virus (thanks alot mosquito!). The first year was really bad, but I got to be so-so normal. However, never did get back to the old me. I've had leg pain 24/7 and fatigue since the WNV as well as intolerance to sounds, light and trouble concentrating and focusing. My husband in most ways has been wonderful. He hasn't complained outwardly. He doesn't complain if I have a down day and don't get anything done. He doesn't complain that I don't cook as much or any of that. The thing that upsets me is that he seems to confuse having chronic pain with being a hypocondriac. He'll encourage me to see any doctor I think might help me, but then somewhere down the road he'll say "you're always going to the doctor" and he says "everyone gets aches and pains, but they don't go to the doctor every time." He once insisted I go to a doctor before we took a vacation because I was getting an infection in my hand from a cat bite and when the antiobiotics gave me problems he said, "you had to to go to the doctor because you wanted antibiotics and you knew they'd give them to you" (I HATE taking antibiotics by the way and avoid it when I can, and never insist on getting some). So now I've gotten to the point where I feel like I'm being judged. I asked him " do you think I'm a hypochondriac" and he said, "possibly". I felt insulted and hurt. I've never worried that I was going to die, that I had some serious deadly disease, that I caught everything that was on the news, etc. In the past year I've gone to the doctor for 2 orthopedic injuries, one breast lump and an emergency appendectomy. With my chronic pain I tend to keep it to myself. I don't like to complain and generally when people ask I say I'm fine. If its a really bad day and my husband asks and I can't hide it I just say "its a pain day" and leave it at that. So, I don't use it for sympathy either. I don't understand how he can be so sweet and helpful on one hand, but then judgemental on the other. I'm not disabled, so I'm able to do all the things we used to enjoy. He doesn't seem interested though. We get along fine, but basically we are roomates. We've been married for 20 years. There's no cheating or substance abuse. I suggested he come with me to the doctor to address the hypochondria thing, to ask am I or aren't I. He agreed VERY reluctantly. He's afraid that he'll end up looking like a jerk. Its like all he cares about is how he's perceived and as long as he helps with the laundry he thinks he's everything I need. I need his understanding. Any advice? Thanks for listening, sorry this was so long.