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hesitate to post... but...

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Depression and Coping
I've got to "talk" about this. and anonymity can be a beautiful thing in the cyber world. I had 3 surgeries starting July 9 and ending Aug. 21. the first, a fusion, then I got MRSA- a staph infection so another 5-day hospital stay, then 2 weeks later, they went back in to take out more unhealthy tissue. 3 months later, I am so tired of needing help. If I'm good and "take it easy" I hurt anyway. so lately I'm like, screw it, I'm gonna hurt anyway, might as well not be such a worthless wife and mom. I am 37. two wonderful and healhty kids ages 5 and 11. my husband is a saint for putting up with all this.

he called my neuro yesterday and told him he's worried about me. they talked about depression meds. I've dealt with back issues for over a decade and have never wanted to take anti-depressants. my ex-husband abused all kinds of anti-anxiety and anti-depressants and maybe that's a huge reason I hesitate to ever get on any of those drugs.

I feel guilty for feeling so down. I have a wonderful life if you're on the outside looking in. if you are me, you feel pain all the time, and you're sick of it. and yes, you even think what others I've seen post here have thought... others would be better off without you burdening them forever.

I see my neuro on Monday. I've never done a depression search until a few minutes ago. I'm no doc, but I can pretty much admit I'm depressed. my thoughts, who cares if I'm depressed? well, besides my husband and kids. I hide it pretty well from my kids. my husband, I can't hide it from him. I can hardly talk to him about it, so I write to him and poor guy. he wants so badly to help. I don't know how he can. he can't make me feel better physically. and emotionally, I don't even wanna deal. I just want to go to bed. I don't want to talk, cuz I'll cry. and he would do anything to help me. anything. I just have to ask. but I'm so tired of asking. asking for him to massage my thigh and leg that cramp up so badly in response to pain. or to get me an ice pack for the millionth time. or leave the dishes for him to do. or bathe the kids or pack their lunches... all the things I feel I should do myself.

I'm so rambling here. uugh. I sound like such a whiner. honest to God I feel so badly for feeling down. I'm sure millions of people out there would trade their problems for mine. it's just pain. it's me, thankfully, and not my kids or my husband. I don't lack anything. I work part-time from the comfort of my tempurpedic bed. I'm just tired of pain and pain meds and serious fatigue and feeling worthless.

surely there are better days ahead.

my pain has ruled my life so long. I had a job I loved. I was a reporter/fill-in anchor and loved my job. had to QUIT cuz I couldn't handle the pain and the meds and going "live". and the driving every day was killing me. it hurt so bad to walk away from that. I was thinking so naively, this fall I'd go back to news after my summer fusion. NOPE. so not close to that. so I am blessed with a job I can do from home and I feel good contributing financially to the home but do I love it? no way. (I'm an editor) but oh well, it's not like I can do what I love right now.

I try so hard to be thankful. I believe in God though for the first time in my life a few weeks ago I was starting to wonder if He'd forgotten about me? I didn't stay there long as He has proven himself faithful to me all my life. I wonder if I'm destined to live a life of pain? or is this some kind of test? am I flunking it big-time? my friends think I'm so strong. I hardly ever whine to them. I am positive in my notes. I'm just being very transparent cuz none of you know me. my friends and family think I've handled all this so well. I wonder what they'd think if they knew how down I am? am I supposed to be an example of strength? who am I kidding?

the fusion helped the instability problems I had, but I have a muscle issue that wasn't helped with the fusion (all stems from a major water skiing accident 15 or so years ago), so the search for relief continues. so I have the same pre-fusion pain oh and some more now... from the 3 surgeries' recovery process. lovely. driving hurts. sitting. it all hurts. we quit going to church months ago cuz of me. my husband and I rarely go out cuz of me. I used to be a runner. loved distance running. it was my therapy in life. I haven't run in 2 years and 4 months.

but... honestly, when I'm doped up enough and iced and frozen, I can be so happy in his arms... watching a funny movie after the kids are down. I love my husband and my kids so much. and my home and am so thankful for my job. if I didn't have pain, maybe my life would be too good. maybe that wouldn't be fair? who knows... maybe I need to seriously consider anti-depressants. I wanna cry thinking I got to that point. ok... I'm lying. I am crying already.

I feel like there's nothing to look forward to... cuz it all includes pain. but I know I need to focus on the good, the many blessings in my life. but that doesn't make me "feel" any better. I'm still hurting, still taking meds I want so badly to throw away and never need again. I want to wake up energized.

ok... enough. thanks for listening. if anyone out there like me, didn't want to try anti-depressants, but finally gave in, please let me know if they worked or didn't. I'm sorry for the long post. if you're still reading... wow... thanks.


  • What a heartfelt post! I can totally understand what you are going through in your mind right now. The same things run through mine everyday.

    I don't think it would hurt to try an antidepressant... if your doctors agree. They're not a "happy pill" meaning, your not going to take them and magically feel less depressed. Your not going to be jumping for joy right out the gate. I have been on them a few times, you will find some don't agree with you well, and will have to try another, till you find one that is right for you. Please don't feel down on yourself for needing help. Everyone needs help sometimes, whether we know it or not.

    I think that you will find after taking them for a while, you tend to worry less... your mind will be able to focus on both good and bad, rather than just bad. Probably not the best description, but all I can think of at the moment.

    Also, I have heard that some antidepressants actually help increase effectiveness of pain medication as well (bonus:) )

    You are very lucky to have such a wonderful husband who is looking out for you. I hope that with this new step, should you take it, you will be able to get some normalcy back in your life.

    Thank you for sharing this with us... you are right, the cyber world can be a great place. It makes it so much easier to get things off our chest, that we wouldn't dare share with anyone else, and I am glad that you did!

    Good Luck G. XXOO
  • G., I totally get where you are. I had taken anti-depressants a couple years ago after my husband left me. I felt so good when I didn't need them anymore. Now since my fusion I have become very depressed. I am single and my kids are teenagers, so find myself alone in an empty house a lot. I got really depressed around 3 weeks post-op, but once I started driving and getting out a little it got a little better for a while. Now I am looking at going back to work and wondering how on earth am I going to be able to do my job. I still have pain everyday, it is not excruciating, but it is there and 12 hour nursing shifts sound ominous to me. So all these worries have brought on more anxiety and depression. I kept holding off, trying to get through it on my own, but finally relented about 3 weeks ago and went to my psych MD and got on Lexapro. After 2 weeks wasn't better, so we doubled my dose. I am feeling a little better now, more motivated to get out of bed in the morning and be productive. I do feel very volatile though, a call from my boss 2 days ago, had me a basket case again. I just think everything about this surgery is extremely stressful on the body and the psyche. You have endured way more than I can imagine, and if you need help to get through it, don't think of that as defeat. Anti-depressants really can stabilize those chemicals that are unbalanced and help us through these rough spots. Unless you have tried it, you can't understand how it can work. It seems impossible a drug could change how you feel about conquering each day, but it does. I definitely feel the Lexapro working. I was near panic each day 3 weeks ago and could barely get myself out of bed, now I feel calm and much more motivated to accomplish something. If you are having nerve pain there is cymbalta which can help both depression and nerve pain. My doc wanted to try it on me, but I was hesitant because I have read about weight gain and I just lost 45 pounds and have 40 more to loose. Not everyone gains weight with it I know, but I didn't want to risk it, so trying Lexapro.

    So G. please get in to your PMD who can put you on something. I go to the psych guy because back with the divorce I was having a hard time finding the right med for me. The main thing I found with the psych is he gradually ups the dose. My PMD would just prescribe a full dose, then I would have symptoms that I felt were not tolerable. But if you get on it slowly, it is much more tolerable. You should also consider seeing a counselor. I used to for 2 years go to therapy. It was helpful and I can call her anytime if I decide to go in again.

    You don't have to do it alone. There are things to help you and we are always here on SH as well. All you are feeling is very common for what you have been through, but you do need to get some help. I have found it doesn't just go away on its own. I know it was so hard to take that first step to get help. I was so worried about the "mental illness" stigma. But ya know, when you get to talking to people, it is so common, and many that we know are on meds and just don't let on about it. Also, know that you can get on something and get back off when you are better. It doesn't mean it is forever. I plan to get off in a few months when life is hopefully less stressful.

    So hang in there G., know you are not alone. I am pulling for you and you can PM me anytime. >:D< Sue
  • G.

    Welcome, You are in the right place to express those feelings you're hiding. Sometimes I feel like I have multiple personalities. Dealing with family, work and then my true self. Yes we are struggling everyday with our pain and have to learn to ask for help. Especially ones like us that have always been the active, self reliant and caregiver personalities.
    I hope that you will continue to read and post on this sight, it has helped many of us. You have a great support at home but I think it will help you to be able to express your thoughts and feelings here because you don't have to hide behind the smile of pain. I have also found a good deal of information and types of questions that I can ask my doctor about. Then there are the times when you just need a laugh and go to the Lighten and Brighten section for a chuckle.
    Please don't discount the idea of taking anti-depressants under a doctors supervision. I refused to take pain medications for a long time because my ex was a crack addict. I learned I am not my ex and I do not make excuses for taking medications to make me healthy. I need them not for addiction but for dependence and normal function. You may have to try a couple different ones before you find the right medication for you but I think you will find it helpful to handle the stress of pain.
    Sorry for the long post, the last thing I would suggest is read the "Letter to normals". I'll try to find it and post the link.

    Take care of you,
  • Sorry couldn't find the actual link, sent you a PM (private message) that has the "Letter to Normals".

    Take care of you and feel free to PM me if you like.
  • G..I been there done that.For too long I suffered with the pain, and frustration of trying to have my injury and pain validated.
    As the months, turn into years, passed... more and more believed that I would not be staying on this planet...no way I wanted out. When it was almost the only thing on my mind, I got help. Anti D meds, and counseling.

    Maybe I'll need them for a bit longer, maybe forever...but either way it's okay and I'm not ashamed to be in need.

    I stop going to church, stopped singing in the choir (and everywhere else, which is dramatic for me, I live to sing) thought God had forgotten me....well he doesnt, read Psalm 139:17.

    So, now I am back at church, singing...and still holding on. And guess what!!! the Lord has sent me an angel Dr. Nabil, and he is going to help me >:D<

    Do what you need to ...just don't lose your way.
  • It's late and I'm tired..but I can't just not say anything after reading your post that sounded so much like it could have been ME writing it.

    I hope that you know though,that no matter how we compare our pain or our lives..in the end your pain is yours.It really doesn't matter if someone else has it 10 times worse or 10 times better because you are not living in their mind or body..you have your own to deal with and it's ok to say that it just sucks sometimes.

    You aren't alone in your guilt or feelings of the loss of who you once were,but we are all alone in a sense.I can understand and empathise with everything that you said-even the part about being a runner.I used to run myself,but that was before the 7 operations on my feet and now with rods in my heels I don't see that happening again.I never saw the cervicle problems coming.

    I don't know what to say as far as the antidepressants go.Right now I'm not taking them,but I tried them for awhile a few years back.I do take ativan as needed..because I didn't want to take something that I had to take continually for the medication to be effective..on the other hand I do get the same feelings as you are expressing from time to time and the ativan seems to help.

    The change in seasons seems to worsen my anxiety,perhaps that is the case with you as well?
    Surely there are better days ahead like you said.I know this is true for me.

    I will wish the best for you & have already said a prayer for you.Good luck at your neuro on Monday :)))
  • All I can say is that you have a wonderful family that obviously loves you very much. There is no shame in getting meds or counseling to help with depression. You have been through a lot. Hang in there. >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • Wated to let you know I have similar challenges... I have been in a very similar place on and off over the past two years... questioning my lost ability to bounce back and cope with back pain, meds, barely participating in my work, needing so much help (all the time), feeling like I am a burden sheesh I could go on and on about how similar your post is to my experiences. I posted here yesterday hesitantly too! Anyway G. I went to psychiatrist and started on a depression med last month, and began weekly therapy sessions. The med has started to help and therapy has helped too. The big thing I noticed right away was that I felt empowered for the first time in ages by doing these two things. I showed up for myself in a way I never had to before in my life. For me personally, I had to put my pride of thinking "I can get through this" aside. I could not get through it without help, apparently lot's of help...
    I am sending good thoughts your way G. and hope to keep reading you posts...have a good weekend Jackie :H
  • G,
    I am so glad that you posted. While reading your post I think that you touched what so many of us feel. Our new normal as I call it, and how acceptance of it can be a difficult challenge. While being a efficient mother, wife, worker, friend, etc... all have been changed and been effected by your new normal. I too have been the last to know that i was depressed and in trouble. Other times I have been aware that I am very much depressed and need to address it quickly. I have taken antidepressants and I have also gone to therapy. For me i think theraphy is a bonus as it gave me a safe place to come up with a game plane and also mourn my situation. I still go in to this day for what I call tune ups. I am worth it. My family is worth it.
    It sounds as if you already know your answer you just have not yet spoken your words to your doctor. even if you are afraid, speak them anyway. for you, and your family, you are all worth it.I hope you continue to post here and let your feelings out. Also maybe also let your feelings out to one of your friends, i am sure you would be there for them. Treat yourself like you are your best friend. Fake it to ya make it so they say. Perhaps not letting them see your real feeling is not working for you? Just a thought?
    Regardless you have touched a lot of people here so please continue to post. Treat yourself good, be kind to you.
    the mean times are just that, mean. hang on......
  • thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I was very touched by your notes of encouragement and understanding.
    today was a much better day. for those of you who prayed for a complete stranger, thank you. I believe your prayers were heard.
    today was a day of chilling. carving pumpkins. college football. it was good!
    now I'm icing and the meds have kicked in and I am thinking straight and truly believe life is good.
    why do I let myself get so down sometimes? uugh. I really don't want to get on anti-depressants. I'm really wanting to give myself more time.
    about accepting this new me... I don't think I'm there. I really thought this fusion would fix me all up.
    my thoughts on therapy... I went to a counselor when my ex was abusing prescription meds and our marriage was a mess. it helped me. but now... I think I know what he'd say. I don't think it'd be very different from your words of encouragement and your advice. I think I just need to make sure I continue to communicate with my husband. I can't shut him out. I can shut out the rest of the world (it's easy to I have found out) but not my husband. and my kids... they are happy kids. they don't know their mom cries almost every day.
    I am looking into having one of those implants that interrupts the signal of pain to the brain to deal with my muscle problem/pain in my lower spine. so I guess I'm not ready to accept "defeat" as in a life of pain even though I've been IN pain for so many years.
    I read my post and I sound so schizo. I'm not, I know that much! I am sad. I am blessed. I believe in God... I wonder why I haven't been healed. my friends and family think I'm strong, I feel like a loser and a failure at times. uugh. really, thank you for listening and responding. I don't shut out my friends completely. I email. sometimes talk on the phone. but I never answer when I'm down. I never write when I'm down. why... maybe a later post. thanks, again.
  • Good to hear you're having a good day! Nope - never thought you were schizo. =)) =))

    We all go through this and when someone shares their heart like you did. It reminds us of the path we are on, not that it is exactly the same. We are all different but yet we belong to this community because we speak and hear the same language.

    As far as the anti medications you may or may not want to try them. If you feel you are not progressing from a roller coaster ride or having enough good spirit days then I would look into it further.

    Sorry I'm rambling because I have to make some major decisions about the path I'm on and you have given me a lot to think about.

    Monday I have an appointment with my NS too and am trying to get prepared. Please let us know how your appointment goes. Maybe he will refer you to a Pain Management doctor if you don't have one already.

    Take care of you,
  • I just love 'em :) ,and no you do not sound schizo~well,not unless I do too.I mean,most of us have felt the way you are describing,or similar.

    I believe my prayers are always heard,just not always answered the way I want them to be.I had a day like yours the other day..and I don't often let myself go there,but try as I might I just couldn't help it.I got so tired of FEELING it..you know?Of course the alternative sucked,but I didn't want one or the other..I just wanted relief.Sometimes I wonder if my pain would go away for even a minute what that would feel like..peaceful I imagine,but I would always want that minute back and I couldn't have it.

    I don't remember you mentioning trying the TENs unit.Of course it's not a SCS,but it is supposed to interrupt the signal of pain to the brain.I've been wearing mine all day long~well for 10 hrs(which is longer than usual for me).You might want to give it a try while waiting for the SCS.Maybe it will give you some relief.I honestly can't say that I get much from it,but any little bit is better than nothing on days like this,and some people have said that they get a lot of pain relief from theirs?

    You ARE strong G.Anyone that is suffering enough to write it down for other eyes to read,well that takes a certain type of wisdom and strength of character.
  • hi Robin,
    funny you should mention the TENS. been wearing it all day. :) I got a new one two weeks ago. I've gone through 2 in a few years. it does help for sure. like you said, any little bit helps. it just sucks to be back to that... and icing throughout the day... things I didn't think I would need after the fusion.

    today I saw my neuro. I'm going back this week to see this doc that had verified before my fusion I had either a torn ligament or muscle in my lower back--ilio sacral something or other. but I was told the instability had to be addressed first- the fusion. my neuro said no one would put that inside TENS so soon. I was like, so soon? it's been 12 or so years-- as in the pain. but he means anyone would want to give me more time to heal from the fusion. I know my body, of course, and know this pain is not from the fusion, but I understand. he offered depression meds. I said I would go see the other doc. I told him if the search for relief would go on for more months, I would need help... but that I would wait to talk to this other doc this week and if he gave me any kind of hope, I thought I could do without them.

    I am so determined to not let this come between me and my amazing husband. he's too wonderful to me. in the past, even when we dated, I would get really quiet when I really hurt. I'd shut him out. I hate drawing attention to my pain, but, my goodness, I didn't realize that drew even more attention to it and it is selfish of me to shut him out, the person in this world who most cares about my well-being and how I am feeling. so... I feel I will not lose my sanity as long as he and I continue to communicate. as long as I allow him to love me through the toughest days or nights. as long I humble myself and allow him to help me. I've always been so self-sufficient and independent. self-motivated... all that wonderful Type A stuff I liked about myself. it's hard to need help. I feel "grounded" during this fusion recovery. I told my husband today again I feel worthless sometimes. and he reminded me of all the things I DO that are so helpful to him and to the kids. he told me to take that out of my vocabulary. I think I will. :) it's no fun thinking that about myself anyway.

    I realized Saturday that it's during the week that I am most down. my husband works in the news business, and he is not home in the evenings. if he can come home for dinner, he helps me with baths, but the rest of the night, it's just me and the kids and my pain and my work. so, I will try harder Monday through Friday to stay more positive. and when he comes home late at night, I'm not going to fake a smile (as if he couldn't see past that anyway). I'm going to cry in his arms if I need to... and together, he and I will get through this. I don't have to do this alone. he's told me that so many times. I think it's finally clicked. I really don't want more meds, as you can tell... so... I will do whatever I can to avoid them longer. if in a few weeks I still find myself crying several times throughout the day... feeling like the loser I really am not... I will reconsider.

    thank you for "listening" again.
  • G,
    We all feel guilty and why I do not know, as if it is something we have done and for most our pain is imposed upon us. You do have a balance as to the positives in your life and we are all entitled to feel aggrieved at the loss of who we are now and what that pain has made us into, the trick is not to let it win, even delude it into it thinking that it is winning, while we use guile and increased experience to ambush the tenure of its restriction.

    I can feel you laughing between the tears and doing both at he same time we can all acknowledge we have done that, this is just a phase for a new direction it may well not be the one of your able hopes and dreams, but to some extent you are the maker of your own destiny in what you can change, not in those elements where you have no control. Change what you can and adapt the others, not easy as well all know. We are entitled to become reflective and mourn what we have lost, the danger is in we continue in that mode and the big D word appears, which everyone should try to manage of steer well clear if possible.

    You as, many live this chronic life and you are too hard on yourself, give yourself a break, you run the family, do all the chores, see to everyone’s needs, leave your own until last. You are a provider, a listener, a giver and sharer, your many gifts help others, what have you to actually be guilty for, it is not your fault, it never was. You are doing the best you can with what you have got, in difficult and trying personal circumstance and just need a hug and those words, it will be OK.

    We all know if you could help more than you are doing now you would, but that is not possible at the moment, I too lost my job and had three children under 7, it was hard and we are getting through with love and support of each other, through the trials and we will survive as best we can.

    I know you have kept these feeling to yourself and am sure your family if asked would have good words to say about you, they need you pain or not. Your role is to be strong for them and not let your condition impose any more restriction on them than it has to, so you are first in the queue at the moment, so what, accept the help they offer.

    All my married life has been tainted by the words you write and it gives knowledge and understanding to all others who have and will go through similar times as you. We all thank you for your help.

    Take care, be kind to yourself and master the big D word.

    John >:D<

  • thank you, John... & all others who have taken the time to write. I truly appreciate the encouraging words. I know I can be hard on myself. I set really high standards for myself and it's hard to get out of that way of thinking, or at least adjust when pain comes in the way. I have to learn. it's so hard to say "NO" to others. I look healthy. after all these years, you'd think I'd have mastered that- saying "no, I can't. I'm so sorry. I wish I could". but I battle that every day or week.
    anyway... I'm sure it's not the last you'll hear from me. It helps me vent... even though I don't know you... I feel a connection. you understand me. how bizarre. the only person in my life that truly understands outside the cyber world is my husband. so thankful for him. and so thankful for you out there.
  • I was on antidepressent meds after my husband died and I'm thankful I got on them. The way it was explained to me: when you are under a lot of stress (from whatever) especially for a long period of time, you might experience a chemical imbalance and need the meds. It doesn't mean you're not strong emotionally...it just means that you need help. Why are we so resistant to taking them? If we were diabetic would we not take insulin when our bodies require it? It's the same thing.

    I would suggest you go to a shrink if you decide to try them...they are more up-to-date on the meds out there and would better be able to tell you what you need. After trying one for about a month, if you're not getting any results, they would either change the dosage or try a different med.

    Please be good to yourself and take whatever help you can get! I was on them for about 2 years and then was able to come off of them. It's not like you'll be on them forever...just long enough for the chemicals to get adjusted correctly.
  • I hope today is a good day.

    You mentioned that you were a reporter/fill-in anchor,and I was wondering if you ever considered writing?If not for a living perhaps for fun..you seem to be good at it in my opinion and of course it can be good therapy for the soul.as you can tell by my run on sentences and starting a sentence w/a prepositional phrase I could never be a writer(lol),but I certainly have plenty of good stuff to write about.

    Just checking in and wishing you (and anyone who sees this) a good day with little pain and many smiles :)
  • Joy-- love your name! how could you not smile when you say it? my little girl's name is Gracie- named after God's grace. I had two miscarriages before I had her... I thougth I might never have another child after my son. after those miscarriages, I ran for therapy (2 marathons in 8 months). anyway... I was so nervous through her pregnancy as you can imagine. with God's grace, I made it, and she was born healthy and I am beyond grateful for her. :) I tell her all the time how God answered my prayers for her. she is a gift from Him for sure!

    anyway... was gonna talk about anti-depressants. will have to wait. gotta go get my Gracie from school.

  • Hey Robin.
    I love to write! I definitely want to do more of it. I have some things stashed... not sure what I'll do with them. thanks for the kind words. my husband really wants me to pursue writing. I loved telling stories when I was a reporter! my favorite was feature writing, of course.
    will write more later with more time. having a much better day today. went to PT. wow that hurt, but for a good reason I am told! made chocolate covered pretzels for my daughter's teachers at school. that made me feel "normal"... like I'm contributing (it's a dinner for the teachers)... and so I am happy and thankful today for so much. If I can find a way to stay here more often. I definitely wanna talk about anti-depressants with you all some more.
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