Hi from a husband of an arthritis sufferer

Hi Forum,

I suspect I might be a rather unusual member of the forum. I personally do not have any forum of arthritis but my wife does. She has posted on here in the past and found this community to be very supportive. I hope that I could feel the same warmth too.

My wife was diagnosed with seronegative inflammatory arthritis in 2011. This initially manifested itself as swelling and pain in just her left knee. Eventually this subsided but then flared up in her left hip. By 2018 shortly after the birth of our son she had to have the hip replaced. She was in her early thirties and on maternity leave when she got her new metal hip.

Most of the years between 2011 and 2018 were fine, with only minor flare ups now and then. However the degradation of her left hip really took hold after she came off contraception when we were trying to conceive. Late 2016 to mid 2018 we some of the hardest years of our lives. Obviously having our son has massively enriched our lives but battling the uphill slope of arthritis was extremely hard for her. This was compounded with having to deal with extreme morning sickness and then obstetric cholestasis which risked the life of our unborn son.

Whist she was suffering physically, I was suffering mentally. Between summer 2017 and summer 2018 I had moderate depression. I found it very hard to the see the positives in life.

The hip operation, although initially a scary prospect, was a new lease of life for my wife and by extension me and our son.

The social restrictions we have all faced with the coronavirus pandemic has reawakened some of my depressive thoughts. This has only be exacerbated by my wife recently experiencing her first flare up in her right hip.

I reach out to you all as a form of catharsis but also to say to other spouses of sufferers you are not alone. Arthritis can cast a pretty long shadow and it even reaches a sufferers significant others. Try to see the light that is your love.

I wonder if the moderators of these forums would be interested in starting a thread for sufferer's significant other? Maybe it could be called "Spouses of Sufferers"?

Thanks for reading.

Deoknight

Comments

  • Al
    Al Member Posts: 169

    Hi and welcome,

    It's great to meet you, you have come to the right place for information and conversation with others like you living one or more forms of arthritis

    There are many here more than happy to share their experience as you share yours.

    This link is for general information regarding any type of arthritis

    About arthritis

    https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis

    Find out more about the different conditions, treatments and how to manage your symptoms.


    if you have a specific question please post in the Living with Arthritis discussion or for general chat in the Chit Chat discussion. Just join in wherever you feel comfortable

    Al

  • Sharon_K
    Sharon_K Moderator Posts: 420

    Hi @deoknight

    thank you for your post, and I am sorry that life has been tought for you and your son too. As someone who lives with arthritis we are all to well aware that our families do suffer immensely too. I have always said that my husband is a hero because if I could run away from my arthritis I would but he chooses to stay.

    Arthritis does impact on the whole family and affects shared dreams in life. We do understand this and we do occasionally get partners/spouses/sons and daughter on here asking for ideas and also to gain support. You are our greatly cherished significant partners because you help us to lead as normal a life as possible

    I think your idea of a thread for "Spouses of Sufferers" is a great one. Can I suggest you start it as a new discussion in the living with arthritis section. We can pin it to the tops so people can see it there when they look at the new discussions.


    In many ways I would suggest to you the same things as I would to someone with arthritis. Take one day at a time, be gentle with yourself and remember that everything changes and things will improve. Take time for yourself and find something you enjoy doing and be sure to make time for that. Talk to your wife she will understand the need for time out to be yourself.

    Here is a link to our section on the website about caring for someone with arthritis

    keep in touch we need more partners here to support each other and ask as many questions or rant as much as you like we are here to listen and we understand

    Best Wishes

    Sharon

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088

    Hi Decknight and welcome.

    Unfortunate, you’re not all that unusual. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve explained to people on here that arthritis affects every member of a family albeit in different ways. I have RA and OA and, by the time our first son was born I was unable to work as I would have been far too unreliable so my husband had to shoulder all the financial burdens of the family and, of course, our sons missed out on all the things that their friends had. However, as adults themselves now, they don’t seem any the worse for it.

    It is horrible watching someone you love in pain: much easier, I believe, to undergo the pain oneself. I’ve had joints replaced too. One of my daughters-in-law also had cholestasis while pregnant and that, too, is extremely worrying. (Our grandson is now 11 and fine. As is she.)

    The thing I would most emphasise is that, yes, arthritis does affect everyone in the family so it’s very important that communication lines stay open. It’s all too easy for the person with arthritis not to want to ‘moan’ about it and for the non-arthritic partner to therefore feel (a)shut out and (b)their own problems must be trivial by comparison and therefore not able to be discussed. So, gradually everyone starts to live in their own little bubble.

    You write of flares but not of medication. Usually, when those of us with an inflammatory arthritis flare, it’s because the meds are no longer working as well as they were. Which DMARDS is she on and is her rheumatologist aware of her situation? You’re right that it’s difficult right now but my rheumatologist has rung up to check on me and reminded me to ring him if I’ve any problems.

    It’s natural to feel depressed when you see your wife’s health deteriorating and I’m pleased you could reach out to us. My husband got a hip replaced (OA) just before lockdown and is on the list for his other one doing. We don’t know when that will be so he keeps very fit while waiting and doesn’t have too much pain. Strong muscles are the key. 

  • deoknight
    deoknight Member Posts: 8

    Hi Sticky Wicket.

    Thanks for your reply. Thanks for sharing your and your family’s experiences.

    My wife has been on sulfasalazine pre and during pregnancy and methotrexate for a bit just before the hip op. She will soon be engaging with a new rheumatologist as we recently moved and we expect she will be going back on methotrexate.

    Deoknight

  • deoknight
    deoknight Member Posts: 8

    Hi Sharon K

    Thanks for your reply. I have started the discussion thread. I hope it provides relatives the support that is needed.

    Deoknight

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