There is a revealing discussion on the KNEEguru bulletin board about how having a bad knee problem can put a strain on relationships in the family.

Click the following link to read the initial conversation -

 

The dialogue highlights the following relationship problems -

  • Not being there for the family
  • Having your day (and night) dictated by how your limb has behaved
  • Having bedroom difficulties
  • Having mood swings aggravated by both pain and by meds
  • Feeling that the only people who really understand are fellow knee sufferers

 

Let's look at these in a bit more detail -

Not being there for the family

After knee surgery or an acute injury it is generally impossible to drive the car, go shopping, take kids to school, go to work and do chores around the house. This is bad enough in its own right, but the fact that this extra load is often shifted to the other partner can strain relationships.

 

Having your day (and night) dictated by how your limb has behaved

Not every day is the same. Pain and swelling may be worse after trips to the doctor or physiotherapist. Not getting enough help may set the pain cycle off. A bad night may disturb both partners. Meds may cause side effects when doses are changed.

Family balance may revolve around the questions 'How has your day been?' or 'Did you manage to sleep ok?'.

 

Having bedroom difficulties

This topic is important enough for the knee surgeons themselves to have recently had a webinar about it. But they too keep the debate behind closed doors. Patients need to know how to manage their sex life when one partner is limited by pain and knee stiffness and both partners by guilt.

 

Having mood swings aggravated by both pain and by meds

Depression is very common with severe or chronic knee problems. This is a reason in its own right for the bulletin board community at KNEEguru - to always have someone awake at the other side of the keyboard, albeit perhaps at the other side of the world, who understands and can offer practical advice. Another problem can be addiction to opiates and other medications. Night sedation can lead to mild confusion.

 

Feeling that the only people who really understand are fellow knee sufferers

When your whole day is dictated by your knee - toilet problems, bathing problems, sleeping problems, pain, worry - then no wonder that so many people feel that their fellow knee sufferers, who they have never met, are able to understand so much more that the people with whom they live and work.

 

 

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