The Family Who Disapproves of Intractable Pain Treatment
Forest Tennant MD, Intractable Pain News
Unfortunately, a spouse or other family member can be the IP patient's worst enemy. Why? Some are ignorant and believe that the IP patient doesn't really have pain or that the IP patient should "tough it out" without medicine.
Some family members resent the high cost of care and medicines or the IP patient's inability to participate in some family, social, or marital activities.
The attitudes and resentments of many spouses has led to a high divorce rate among IP patients. Fortunately, many spouses are extremely supportive and healing in spirit. IP even brings some marriages and families closer together.
If you have a family member or spouse who disapproves of your IP treatment, you must resolve the conflict or your health will further suffer due to the stress. IPA will offer some recommendations. Call any of our Advocates. All have had good and bad family experiences. Particularly, if you have a bad family or marital situation, call an IPA Advocate immediately so you will know you are not alone.
Actual Case Reports
Case #1: The husband of an IP headache patient told his wife he would divorce her if she didn't stop all medication including opioids. After stopping, her medicine, she became bedbound. The husband consented to medication only after he found her incoherent and writhing on the floor. After an expensive trip to an emergency room and an MD who admonished him, he allowed his wife to take some medication.
Case #2: A post-trauma IP patient was divorced. Without forewarning, her former husband began calling the State Medical Board and filed a malpractice suit on the belief that the patient's doctor and medication had caused his divorce and that the patient should stop all medication. The IP patient had to threaten legal action to educate her former husband.
Be open about suicide thoughts, fatigue, depression, or clandestine efforts to obtain medication,
Bring your spouse, another close family member, or a friend into your treatment. Share your agonies, hopes, and fears.
Bring this key person to your clinic.
For further information, contact the Intractable Pain Association.
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