August 22, 2009
When everything changes
First, a little eye candy:
I was talking to someone the other day and mentioning how different things have been now that C has psoriatic arthritis. That's what he has, by the way, if I haven't mentioned it. It turns out that (thankfully) he does not have celiac disease, and whatever GI problems he has are related to the psoriatic arthritis. The medication he's taking seems to be helping that too.
Anyway, this person seemed surprised that things would seem different to me, so I explained. C is finally taking a drug for his psoriatic arthritis that is supposed to help, but it takes time to take effect. In the meantime, he has been taking either hydrocodone or oxycodone for the pain. They help quite a bit for the pain, but they have a host of undesirable side effects: irritability, agitation, and occasional bouts of irrationality.
In some ways, I feel like I have lost C to psoriatic arthritis. He spends a lot of time on the couch, he is often quite cranky, and he has developed a need to control lots of things that really don't need control. All of these things might have been there in C before but the psoriatic arthritis has brought them out ten-fold.
My old C might come back when the medication takes effect, but for now, I'm living with someone different, and I'm not sure how much I like it.
I think the person I was talking to was expecting that psoriatic arthritis is a little like having a mole or something. It's there, but it doesn't change you fundamentally. Maybe for some people disease doesn't change them fundamentally, but for others it does. Chronic pain is a nasty nasty thing, and I think that if you know someone in chronic pain you should expect that some how they are different than they were before they experienced pain.
I started going to meetings of the Well Spouse Association. This group meets to provide support to people who are married to people with a chronic illness. The types of illness may vary quite a bit, but it's surprising how much we have in common. I'm not going to say any more about this group due to confidentiality, but if you know someone who is living with a chronically ill spouse, this is a great organization.
It's going to hear the stories of others who have similar situations that made me realize this is not some surface level annoyance that will not impact my life. I suppose I can choose how much I let it impact me, but it doesn't feel like there's much choice when C is on the couch and refuses to budge when the baby cries.
This entry feels a little more intense than I intended it to. I'll try to write an update some time when it feels less intense. Thanks for reading!
Posted by chri1010 at August 22, 2009 9:57 PM | Family Matters
My fingers are crossed that the medication starts working really soon. You deserve a break, and the husband you married back.
Posted by: Laura at August 23, 2009 8:44 AM
What a challenging situation. I've always thought I'd rather deal with broken bones or recovering from surgery than anything that changes my or my loved ones' personality. I just started reading your blog, so maybe you've already looked into this, but is there anything dietary that can be done to help curb the effects of this illness? Common agitators are dairy and wheat, but maybe there are other things that help soothe the nervous system or counteract the side effects of the medicine. If I can think of any resources for you, I'll let you know.
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