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Author Topic: Husband with knee problems - He's depressed - How can I help?  (Read 1138 times)

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Offline jsandra2000

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My husband who is 44, had a motorcycle accident in 2003, when our son was a year old.  He suffered a tibial plateau fracture and has pretty much been in constant pain since then.  He was out of work for about 5 months following the accident, went back to work for a few months and had to go back for hardware removal and was out of work for another month after that.  It took us a long time to recover financially as he had no disability to cover being out of work.  He's a truck driver.  He used to be in management at a yarn manufacturing company, but was laid off and could not find any other management jobs as all of his experience was in textiles and he had no college education. So he ended up driving a truck and now he drives long hours for not the greatest pay in the world and pretty much feels he's not doing well in his life since he went from a high-end job to driving.  He's had numerous problems with work, but hangs on for the benefits.  He's been on pain med's since the last surgery and he's tired of having to take them to function.  He limps, has problems walking and distances and basically feels like an "old man".  His words.  We went last Friday to see a new doctor and he's been told that his pain is coming from a lack of cartilage in his damaged knee.  Doctor wants to postpone a knee replacement as long as he can, but my husband's pain is becoming so intense it's affecting his daily life.  Walking, working, mood, etc.  The bad thing is we are right in the middle of trying to get a newer, larger house (we live in a small mobile home that needs a lot of improvement).  He's worried about work, life, surgery, how he's going to keep functioning, what happens if he's permanently unable to work.  We also found out his dad has cancer (brain tumor) and most likely will not be with us for much longer.  He's becoming very difficult to be around and I just don't know what to do to help ease his fears.  Not to mention, our 3 1/2 year old is the biggest concern is his life and he's not able to do much playing with him.  I just feel useless and don't know what to do to help.  I've always been the problem-solver in the household, but I can't fnd any way to fix this.  He's not the type to see someone for emotional problems.  Any ideas?

Offline Quill

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Re: Husband with knee problems - He's depressed - How can I help?
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2006, 04:17:39 PM »
Hi Sandra,

I totally understand your need to play "mommy" and try to be the one to fix everything. I've always done that but found out that it only makes things worse. It only adds to his sense of worthlessness over his physical problems and job woes. Try showing that you depend on him not the other way around and that you admire him for his efforts. Especially a man who doesn't deal directly with his emotions is going to get angrier and angrier and feel on some level that you are stripping his self esteem, even if that is far from true.

Good luck!

OA both knees, confined to patella. Arthroscopy 1998, cortisone both knees,  Halygan shots both knees. Had PFR 3/28/05. Recovery on schedule according to OS but lots of pain radiating up thigh and to lower back.

Offline jm121205

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Re: Husband with knee problems - He's depressed - How can I help?
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2006, 04:39:34 PM »
As the other side of your problem, I have the knee problem and my other half has to deal with me, it is hard, because I hate this side too.  I have tried everything, including psychotherapy.  And dealing with healthcare professionals is no help.  If you bring up how this is effecting your life you either get the panic -- horse in the burning barn -- look or nothing.  It is so hard to have no one who can "help" you willing to listen and take you and your pain seriously.  And I know that you know all this.  So what has helped me??? 

Not letting the small victories get diminished by the set backs.  For example, the OS clinic will not allow you to see anyone but your surgeon, which is right up there with getting a papal visit.  I did an end around and went back to my PCP, someone who knows me and my life.  I came home that day to the paperwork saying they were closing my workers comp claim.  But I refused to let that stop me from feeling empowered because I had finally taken control of my situation.

Try to find out what will help him from staying mad, anger at a situation is fine, letting it fester is not going to help.  I ended up here because my other half does not want to hear it anymore.  Everyone here is in the same situation.  Maybe not dealing with it is his thing -- watching a game with his best friend with the understanding his knee is will not be a topic of conversation???

I am sorry that you are going through this.  I hate putting my spouse through it too.  If I could turn back time and not fall I would just to save her all this grief.  And the other thing is don't forget to take care of you.  You have loss and stress issues too.  And thank you for making me think about this. 

11/1/05 clean patella fracture
12/12/15 shattered patella, emergency surgical repair
2/06 to 4/06 attempting to convince them something was not right
4/26/06 recheck with surgeon: original break not healing and wires from surgery broken
5/26/06 Second Surgery
8/16/06 no more brace