I’m taking care of spouse, post-op,video-assisted thoracoscopic (VATS) surgery, lobectomy for lung cancer, GI hemorrhages post op, now allergic reaction to Tramadol last evening. He was discharged after the first surgery with Oxycodone for pain control. Developed ileus, had to go to ER to enable the constipation to be medically resolved. Next day, collapsed at home, shock, black stool, vomiting massive amounts of blood. Emergency repair one week to the day after the VATS. He was discharged with hydrocodone with Tylenol for pain control, or Tramadol, if not needing quite as much pain relief. He refuses to take the hydrocodone/Tylenol for fear of another ileus. So he started the Tramadol, which gave good pain relief when the Home Health nurse insisted he take the pain medicine. She came Monday to assess. Last evening, he’s itching furiously, swollen arms, hands, legs, feet. I removed the Tramadol, gave him Benadryl to treat the allergic reaction. No airway swelling complaints. He got up about 4:00 AM, took Tylenol for the pain. It’s not cutting the pain at all. Which brings me to the next problem. The man is verbally abusive. He abused me horribly on three occasions when I was so sick, I required hospitalization for diverticulitis. I am refusing to be abused by this man. We are both senior citizens, both early diabetic, both having ambulatory and pain issues, both use cane to walk. I am on oxygen for lung disease. He smoked himself into emphysema. We don’t have funds for an aide to come in. Trying the home health route, to get him stronger.

So just how much abuse must I take? I have started telling him he’s getting a one hour time out, and I remove myself from his tirades. When he settles down, I will assist again. How on earth am I supposed to be a caregiver, sick myself, and be abused on top of it? If he could just get some pain control, it would be manageable. This is not manageable.

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The next time he's hospitalized, and he will be, refuse to take him home. No matter what they tell you or threaten you with (or he does), tell them you are unable because of your own health problems, to care for him, especially as he's non compliant and verbally abusive to you. Hold FIRM; they will have to find a place for him, and if you don't have much money, the facility can help you apply for Medicaid for their cost retroactively. Until then, can you make yourself scarce when he's demanding your constant attention? Go visit a friend, go shopping, take a nap, a walk - something? My mom is demanding; even though she does it sweetly, it's SO draining and aggravating! I've just learned to leave, or sometimes tell her to stop micromanaging me and demanding service. She gets real quiet and sulks a bit, but stops for awhile.... if he won't physically hurt you, you can try that. God bless you, sweetie; it's not easy, is it?
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to mally1

Are you in the US? If so, you could have told the discharge nurse that you no longer can care for your husband. They could have found a LTC facility and started Medicaid approval. As the community spouse, you will not be left with no money to live.

You now need to talk to the Home Health Nurse and tell her you no longer can do it. Husband needs more care than you can physically give. If she doesn't help, call ur Doctor. If he is hospitalized again, don't allow him to be discharged home.
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Reply to JoAnn29

Call the people who are sending the HH nurse. If they're no help, go back to his surgical team. This is not manageable. Somebody needs to sort out the pain relief and read your husband the riot act about complying with the prescription in full, including any constipation prevention, and that person can't be you for all sorts of good reasons.

His behaviour is appalling, there is no reason why you more than anyone else should be prepared to tolerate it, but given the pain and how ill he must be feeling at least you know where his anger is coming from. Once the pain is under control he owes you a very large apology.

Two questions: was rehab never a possibility? And, what's his prognosis?
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Reply to Countrymouse

I echo the comments here.
Once he is hospitalized you must make it VERY clear from the start that you can not SAFELY care for him. If you do not take him home I can tell you now they will not call him a cab and send him home.
And this also goes for you if you are hospitalized tell them that you can not be SAFELY cared for at home. I also bet they will not call a cab and send you home. (does anyone call a cab anymore?)
You could also back this up...the next time he becomes abusive...and I do hope that you are talking just verbal abuse call 911 or whatever emergency service you have. If this is physical abuse PLEASE file reports the next time he even lifts a finger or raises his voice in a threatening manner. Leave the room and call 911. Lock yourself into a bedroom, bathroom, go to a neighbors anything to get out of the house.
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Reply to Grandma1954
mally1 Dec 27, 2018
Yeah, Rapid City Regional Hospital did a procedure in the middle of the night on my husband, who had been brought 60 miles by ambulance, and then way before he came around, they called a cab and left him out on a curb in a wheelchair with another guy.... to be driven 60 miles back home. He was barely coherent when he got back (I can't drive at night). So, yes, they do.
Thank you folks for answering. I advised the doctors and nurses, while he was in the hospital, that I cannot provide the care he demands of me. The doctor refused to put him in rehab for a few days to gain strength. If doctor won’t write the order, you cannot get the help. We don’t have funds to pay for assistance, if Medicare/Medicaid doesn’t pay.
His prognosis was good, after hospital discharge. Lung cancer was removed, one lobe of the lung. No cancer in lymph nodes.
Hubs apparently can not tolerate the pain meds prescribed, due to allergic reactions. Not even Tylenol. He is taking a brief course of steroids for the swelling/itching caused by the Tylenol, after allergic reactions to both Oxycodone and Hydrocodone. I am giving him Benadryl as well as the steroid for itching, which thankfully, makes him sleepy. So he can sleep at night. Unfortunately, I can’t make him take Benadryl around the clock, due to him refusing it. I have put a spray bottle of Biofreeze on the table next to where he likes to lay and watch TV, to help with itching. He even demands I stop what I’m doing, to spray it on him. There is nothing wrong with his arms and hands, nor with his legs and feet.
I’ve started talking up the very real risk of pneumonia, if he continues on the no-activity path. He still demands my service whenever he sees me sit down, or walk into the room. Our home is small, no family room, nowhere to go to get away from his incessant demands. Home health nurse stressed to him he has to get out of bed and move, or he will not only not get better, he will actually become weaker. But he doesn’t listen to anybody, as in his view, he is the only person who is right.
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Reply to Girlsaylor
JoAnn29 Dec 23, 2018
Sounds like my late father.
OMG I feel so sorry for you! Your husband is mad at the world and taking it out on the nearest person, which is, unfortunately, you. Pain makes us do off-the-wall things and people we love get tangled up in the efforts. My hubby is bedridden and dozens of doctors can find no reason why. So, he blames me. He vacillates between being nasty and acting like a preschooler. I actually just texted my kids to “get me the f out of here,”. I’ll get-no response.

I’m convinced we have to find the strength within ourselves to tolerate all this. I can’t tell you how many times I have just wanted to pound my head against the wall. My husband has many medical issues as well. I know what you’re going through. Right now, he’s “napping”. It’s 7PM and I haven’t made dinner yet. He will wake up at 9 or 10 and expect me to make dinner because he’s now ready to eat and the king must be served. Sometimes I just want to lay in bed and have someone serve me. 😡
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Reply to Ahmijoy
CaregiverL Jan 13, 2019
Simply don’t respond to him! Sometimes my mother wakes me up for a sucking candy or drink & I just gave her 5 minutes before...& I just got back into bed...& I hear her yelling over & over & the more demanding & mean she gets, I just plain ignore. & I’m younger...but I just turned 60! She’s 91 w dementia.
Ask the doctor if he can be prescribed a fentanyl patch. This is a very small slow release medication that is replaced every third day. I don’t know if they will prescribe it for him, it is very strong but it worked well for my father when he had a leg fracture.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Glendaj2

"Dozens of doctors can find no reason why"? WTH (heck)? Can he walk? Does he just want to be waited on? Is he in pain? I know one thing; it's boundary time! You will be able to tolerate this a great deal more if you "set up a win" by telling him when YOU will do things; i.e. serve meals, do baths, go to sleep... and if he isn't ready then, leave him a sandwich, let the bath go, close your door and sleep when you need to..... There are ways to get back the control of your life and situation that you really need here.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to mally1

One thing I had noticed with career caregivers, if they have a client who is insulting, the caregiver just agrees with the person..... "you're right, I am not the smartest pencil in the pencil box".

And like Mally had said, set boundary time. Tell hubby you will check on him at 3pm to see if he needs anything, then you will check back at 5pm. Don't call for me unless your bedroom is on fire.

Some people just aren't user friendly when they are dealing with their own health issues. It is something they cannot fix on their own, and they are frustrated, so they take it out on the closest person. Is is fair to you? Of course, not.

I also got verbally abused back when I had a very serious illness. Like, who treats a person that way? Having me crying all the time is suppose to help??? Turns out sig other was afraid that he was going to loose me like he lost his late wife. That was suppose to make ME feel better? NOT. Next time I plan to hire a caregiver to help me, or a caregiver to help him if he is the patient. Let them deal with him.
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Reply to freqflyer

When I had both knees replaced at the same time I refused to take those drugs home with me as I didn't want to get hooked on them - the medicine that helped me the most & was better than oxycodone, codeine etc was something called 'gavapenton'[sp?] which calms the nerve pain & it is sometimes used for epilepsy - ask the drs about it - I found when the nerve was calm the pain was nearly gone so regular Tylenol was enough - I hope this helps you with your 'bear in pain'
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Reply to moecam

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