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DH is seriously ill and I don't feel as sympathetic as I should

(122 Posts)
FinnyStory Wed 12-Aug-20 06:15:33

He's mid 50s and potentially has a life threatening illness, although hopefully it will be treated, we have a long road ahead.

We've had a terrible night, he's been in a lot of pain but eventually the pain killers have kicked in and he's now fast asleep and snorring loudly . I have not been back to sleep. Today he will rest all day while I have to do a day's work.

It's not his fault and mostly I am kind and considerate but I don't know how to get through today and I'm feeling angry with him. Whilst basically a decent bloke, he's one of those middle aged men who could never be told about smoking/drinking/eating well, so whilst it would be OTT to say this is self inflicted and he never drank to huge excess etc, I do feel he could have protected himself and therefore me and DC better.

Is it usual to swing between feeling very sorry for him and being actually quite angry with him?

OP’s posts: |
PlanDeRaccordement Wed 12-Aug-20 06:21:38

I think it is normal to have all those feelings. Is his illness mostly lifestyle related? Is there a genetic component as well?

As bad as the condition is, it may be the kick that gets him to a healthier lifestyle. Many middle aged men quit drinking/smoking/overeating at this age when they see the possibility of life threatening illness as something more immediate.

crosser62 Wed 12-Aug-20 06:24:16

There’s bound to be resentment given everything that you describe.
I imagine that if the NHS were a living breathing being, it would feel exactly as you describe with a large proportion of its patients.

Acute on chronic frustration for you there.

Maybe he needs to look at his painkiller management and take them in anticipation rather than waiting for pain.
flowers for you.

pinkbalconyrailing Wed 12-Aug-20 06:25:47

op
it's not his fault he is ill.
but it also is not wrong for you to feel confused and irritated.
lack of sleep is a bummer and will not make it easier.
can you sleep apart so that both of you get decent sleep?
hopefully his treatment is successful and family life can resume.

MigGril Wed 12-Aug-20 06:26:28

Yes I think it's probably totally normal, your angry that maybe if he'd behaved better he may have prevented this. Remember though that even people who do look after themselves can end up with these illnesses and sometimes it is just pot luck.

Hopefully you'll have been or will be put in touch with some support agencies who can help you through this and get some RL support. Do take it, it'll help you work through these feelings.

snitzelvoncrumb Wed 12-Aug-20 06:27:50

Sending love, it must be difficult. I can understand how frustrated you must feel. Hopefully its enough of a shock to get him to change his lifestyle. I would try to be a bit understanding this time, however if it happens again I would be much less sympathetic.

PurpleDaisies Wed 12-Aug-20 06:30:27

Anger can be a coping mechanism to protect yourself from feeling scared at how serious it is. I’m sure he’d rather be going to work tired today than facing a life threatening illness.

It’s totally normal what you’re feeling. Do you have a kind friend you can blow off steam with?

lilgreen Wed 12-Aug-20 06:49:31

Sounds pretty normal to me. His lifestyle has impacted not just himself but those around him now. I do agree that sleep deprivation makes everything worse. Wishing you both luck and that he gets the right care.

SonEtLumiere Wed 12-Aug-20 06:53:13

Absolutely normal.

But I do think the men themselves feel like a bit of a TWAT when they realize what they have done to themselves.

TatianaBis Wed 12-Aug-20 06:56:29

You’re feelings are understandable.

Do you have a spare room you can sleep in?

TatianaBis Wed 12-Aug-20 06:56:39

Your ^^

Ragwort Wed 12-Aug-20 06:59:39

I think it is perfectly understandable to feel like that and I am sure many people feel the same way if a loved one is ill but of course it is taboo to admit it.

I hope you have a spare room, you absolutely should sleep separately so that you are not disturbed.

user1497207191 Wed 12-Aug-20 07:00:07

it's not his fault he is ill.

Well that depends on his illness and whether it's caused/worsened by lifestyle choices such as smoking, excessive drinking, eating wrong foods etc., doesn't it?

I'm far more sympathetic with people who suffer diseases that are genetic/hereditary or have no known causes.

InvincibleInvisibility Wed 12-Aug-20 07:00:26

Totally normal.

However, this sounds like this is going to take time. And you need to make sure you look after yourself so you can take care of your DC and DH.

Can you sleep elsewhere? How can you make sure you eat well and regularly? Is there anyone in RL that you can vent to?

daisychain01 Wed 12-Aug-20 07:01:16

It is very difficult for you, seeing someone you love deteriorating and inside you're screaming "why didn't you just listen!!!"

No specific advice other than don't feel bad, think of it like this, you tried your best to give him advice which he chose to ignore (probably because he felt it didn't apply to him) so at least you know you said the words, you have nothing to regret.

Meanwhile I hope your DH can receive the right treatment and that he takes his health more seriously. Let's face it, it's all we've got!

AuntieStella Wed 12-Aug-20 07:03:35

Yes. Serious illness will throw up all sorts of reactions - his emotions will be veering all over the place too.

The immediate problem is sleep deprivation, which is guaranteed to be making everything else worse. And the weather really won't be helping.

Can you blame the weather and sleep elsewhere for a night or two, just to help get yourself back on track?

Because it sounds like he's facing treatment for something with potential of death, so he is going to need support. And you need to be strong too

CrowdedHouseinQuarantine Wed 12-Aug-20 07:06:19

my friends dh had a stroke and she was annoyed with him, although he had given up smoking, he was still overweight with diabetes

you are entitled op, plus going through a whole range of emotions and tired to boot!

FinnyStory Wed 12-Aug-20 07:08:42

As with most of these things, lifestyle can be a factor but a "good" lifestyle is no guarantee either. His lifestyle was never awful, he's not obese, drank only at weekends but sometimes quite a lot and the smoking was social/occasional but he lied about the extent of it and could be a bit sneery or at least dismissive about my attempts to feed the family healthily which I am bitter about, especially as (teen) DC think it's funny to talk about "rabbit food" etc, which they definitely get from him.

OP’s posts: |
Mintjulia Wed 12-Aug-20 07:11:52

That sounds like a totally normal response, especially when short of sleep YANBU

Hopefully he will now wake-up to the need for a decent diet.

Pringlemonster Wed 12-Aug-20 07:21:01

I have a chronic pain condition, through no fault of my own ,I’ve been up for hours in the night in agony ,waiting for painkillers to take the edge off
Not once have I woken up another member of my family ,so yes he’s being very unfair to you ,and after a broken night of no sleep and a lot of pain ,I did not spend the next day in bed ,or resting
Maybe that’s the difference between men and women

Needmoresleep Wed 12-Aug-20 07:24:58

An old book, but still valuable

"The Selfish Pig's Guide To Caring: How to cope with the emotional and practical aspects of caring for someone" by Hugh Mariott.

He cared for a wife with Huntingdons, and describes the diversity of emotions he faced. Anger, grief, uncertainty etc are all fine. None of us are saints.

ContessaferJones Wed 12-Aug-20 07:27:19

It's natural to feel like this IMO. We all have a deep subconscious need to identify ways in which we can avoid harm, because that way we can reassure ourselves that the harm won't happen to us. You're upset that he's ill and it's coming out as anger at him not having taken any conscious steps to avoid harm. You might also just feel genuinely annoyed, who knows!

Sending support, it must be hard for you both.

Muppetry76 Wed 12-Aug-20 07:33:22

My mum had a lifestyle-related cancer and subsequent life-changing surgery and treatment, caring for her throughout fell to me.

The anger is completely reasonable op. Whilst most folk will sail through life with only the odd health concern, it is very very hard to be sympathetic to someone who may have <inadvertantly> caused their own poor health. And the massive frustration that this now impacts your and your kids lives is understandable.

And yeah, the lack of sleep is shit, and compounding how you feel. Do what you can to rest (your body if not your mind). And remember to look after yourself too - it sounds like you've got a bit of a slog coming up.

alreadytaken Wed 12-Aug-20 07:34:11

Perfectly natural but his lifestyle doesnt sound as bad as many. Taking painkillers in advance of the pain certainly help and if the snoring is really bad he may need to be investigated for sleep apnoea. If you are in the uk then a lot of us get more short tempered in heat and wiping your face and neck with a wet towel may help you feel a bit better.

SteelyPanther Wed 12-Aug-20 07:36:07

I understand your frustration. I had a DH who absolutely refused to see that he had a MH problem, insisted it was physical.
I got berated for not being on his side etc, all while working, running the house/garden and having the children.
Can you sleep in separate rooms so that you get a full nights sleep ?
I know how frustrating lack of sleep is.
And yes, get him to anticipate the pain and deal with it accordingly.

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