Request for Help: A Cranky Caree


Request for Help: A Cranky Caree

question-mark2Jill (@jillybean), one of our members who cares for her husband, needs your help. Here's her situation:

"For the past few weeks my husband has been having really bad mood swings. I realize that this is common for people with end-stage renal failure. Plus considering all he has been through in the last year and half I can’t blame him for being cranky. But he is not only taking things out on me he accuses me of doing all sorts of things. I don’t know what to do when he gets like that. He also says I am more of a nurse than a wife any more. He is probably right but I can’t make him understand that I am one person and only human. I try not to make him feel bad but I caring for a person with a spinal cord injury and renal failure working two jobs and exhausted. Any advice?"

Please feel free to share your suggestions in our comments section, below.

Thanks so much for your help!!

Like this article? Share on social


Sign in to comment


Samantha! Good for you, everything I have read is great advise, but doesn't acknowledge the anger that (too often) pops up. And you are absolutely right about the home care workers - We have a social worker coming by tomorrow, and for what? I guess the acting is like the \"fake it til you make it\" saying they have in mental health groups. I tend to just leave the room when my husband reverts to a controlling jerk, and then stew inwardly. But he is in such bad shape with Congestive Heart Failure, I think everyone deserves to die in comfort, so am faking it like crazy. Don't know how to friend someone on this, but I am here for you. Giant Hugs. You are doing a great job that gets to everyone.


Thank you Cathy for the advice I haven't spoken to the doctor yet but I am going to make a point to attend the next patient care meeting at the dialysis center and bring it up to his doctor then and hopefully they will give him something

Roaring Mouse

Dear Jill,\r\n\r\nI started out on the side and am now on the side. (My spouse was SCI @T5 w/3 rare disorders.) But I like to poke my head in here from time to time. Your story caught my attention and I had to address that first hand. My ideas may be quirky...but they worked for me:\r\n\r\n1. Consider that there's an underlying health issue occurring. Sometimes my hubby would get moody before sugar changes or before wounds that hadn't revealed themselves yet.\r\n\r\n2. Look at the events of his life day to day. Is he depressed/moody because he sees himself doing less and less and you...more and more? If he regards himself as \"man of the house\" it can be tough when your wife is fulfilling that role. See if you can find a role in the house that he can be in charge of. In my case, I had my hubby take care of the bills. While he wasn't perfect at it...I left him in charge and then supported him when there were issues to help him retain his role.\r\n\r\n3. Is he scared? Don't downplay his fears. It may be that he really needs to get them out in the open. If you can or aren't comfortable...set up a \"guys day\" where his friends can come and chat/keep him company. Occasionally with mine...I'd pull one aside and say...\"ask him about...\" without being specific. Then I'd leave them alone for several hours ..with food of course!\r\n\r\n4. Is he building up a tolerance or weakness from a medication? How a body absorbs the medication over time...can and has changed a medication's effectiveness. One time in particular my husband was on a med for 3 months before he had wild mood swings. I went in and told the doctor \"its the medication or me!\" The doctor changed his medication on the spot.\r\n\r\n5. His statement that you are \"more of a nurse then a wife\" says that he misses the romantic/friend/play times with you and he wants that part of you as well. Do you have access to a respite program where you could get a nurse to come in occasionally? That might give you and him a break from his health concerns.\r\n\r\nI am standing applauding you loudly for working two jobs and taking care of him. He must be very special to offer that intense love to. I am also sending you BIG HUGS because you simple deserve them!


Hi, Jill-\r\nHave you considered talking with your husband's doctor about an antidepressant? The lowest dose of Celexa seemed to make a real difference for my husband's mood after his brain injury. I wanted to let you know that we are also walking the difficult road of kidney failure. My husband started peritoneal dialysis in our home this last April. The process of getting on the transplant list has been frustrating so far, but we are still trying. Please know I would like to be a support for you in this. I also know the struggles of trying to maintain the same relationship with my husband while in the role of caregiver.


Hi <a href='' rel=\"nofollow\">@jillybean</a> -- First, it's always so good to hear from you. I'm so glad you reached out with your question.\r\n\r\nI recorded a podcast yesterday; we discussed managing a caree's anger. You may pick up some insights. You can listen to the podcast here:\r\n\r\nThe biggest take-away for me during the conversation was this insight from my guest (a therapist): Anger is a reaction to vulnerability. Anger is the reaction; another emotion lies underneath, such as fear of vulnerability, fear of loss of control, fear of losing love. So, perhaps, your husband fears he's lost your love because so much of your relationship is about caregiving. \r\n\r\nWould it be possible to schedule a little bit of time for you to enjoy time together watching a movie or a favorite TV show? I know it's hard because you've got so much to do. Maybe being together, though, would be an important thing to do.\r\n\r\nI also wonder if you could ask him this question, \"If we could change something about our day that would make the day easier for both of us, what would it be?\"\r\n\r\nI've working on getting more suggestions and help for you. :) Hang in there. We'll help you figure this out.