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Depression seeping in

JoyJJoy Posts: 560
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Depression and Coping
I have tried so hard to stay positive, but I'm losing the battle right now. I find myself crying frequently, which is new for me. I'm 7 months post-op and not seeing any improvement in the pain going away. Perhaps my expectations were too high, as I never thought it would take this long to recover. I feel like my surgeon was not totally honest with me. To be fair to him, he did say that the surgery would probably not take care of all my problems, but my back didn't hurt constantly before. I was on heavy doses of anti-inflamatory meds for years, and, of course, have not been able to take them since the surgery. Maybe when I get the okay from the surgeon, they will take care of some of the pain.

My family has not been supportive at all during all of this, which makes me angry. It also depresses me to think of how they will treat me as I get older.

I kept my 5-yr. old grandson yesterday. He's really no problem as far as having to do much for him. When I tried to tell my daughter how bad I was hurting, you know what she said? "Well, at least you can walk and you're not in the bed." I was devastated. She's an RN for goodness sake! Where is her compassion? She's been like this the whole 7 months. Am I expecting too much??? Not once has she said, "What can I do to help you?" Not once! My other daughter lives with me and is basically the same way. I have my own living quarters, and not once has she offered to vaccuum or dust or clean my bathroom. NEVER!!! What's wrong with my kids? Did I really screw up raising them???

I feel so guilty in complaining when I know there are so many others who are so much worse off than I am! I've had only one surgery...so many have had one operation after the other.

I'm sorry to vent so much...I'm not sure what's going on with me. I asked my family doc to put me on an anti-depressant when I went to see her the other day for this ear infection that will not go away. My ear has been stopped up for about 2 months. She made an appointment for me to see an ENT dr. next week. But she didn't give me anything for depression. I asked for Wellbutrin since I know it helps with helping to quit smoking.

I didn't realize how much I could whine at one sitting. Sorry, guys. I'm usually not like this, and I don't like it at all!!


  • This forum is for many things, including getting out some very deep feelings. My heart goes out to you. It is such a common complaint among chronic pain sufferers that they don't have the support that they need or deserve. I'm very lucky because I receive support from my hubby, my company and my friends, but there are so many people in your shoes.

    I couldn't begin to figure out about why your daughters are not as compassionate as they should be. I don't understand it. But I do understand how you feel about pain, as do 99% of us here. Oftentimes these forums are the only support people receive. That's a sad state of affairs when complete strangers give you more support than you own family.

    I'm sure other will chime in here about their own situation and thoughts about why this happens. But, in the meantime, I want to give you a big (but gentle) hug. >:D<

    Hang in there, my friend. Better things await.

  • I'm sorry to hear that too. Life can be so ugly at times. People just will not understand unless this happens to them. Back surgery recovery is not like the others, my hysterectomy was hell of a lot easier compared to this. Undoubtedly back problems can affect the whole family, and I know that it is not easy to be a caretaker. I think your daughter who's an RN is maybe practicing tough love to get you going, but it just doesn't work that way. They just don't realize the amount of care we need, and this is for the long run. No way can we clean bathrooms, vacuum, mop, etc. for a long time. Someone had written a post entitled A Letter to Normal People in the chronic pain forum last year and it would be good if your daughters could read it. It is very moving and gets to the heart of the matter.

    Perhaps you can get the doctor to prescribe Cymbalta for you. It's good for nerve pain and depression. It's considered the best antidepressant out on the market, and by my doctor too. I was feeling really down and it has helped me on both fronts too. I hope you get to feeling better soon and we're always here for you whenever you need us.
  • for your kind words. I have done absolutely nothing all day and my back is not hurting quite so bad as it was. Maybe I'm just doing too much too soon. Who knows? I will ask my doc about Cymbalta. Well, going back to bed and ride this thing out. Thanks again!!
  • I can't imagine why your daughter said that. ALthough I'm an RN I can't understand why I get upset with my own MOM. I think it's alot of pressure from her job. I think it would be better to be fully open to her and ask her to vacuum your room. I assume she thinks your self sufficient and she doesn't want to overstep that boundry. Just ask her to vaccum and I'm sure she will see your frailty then. I hope you're feeling better. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • You aren't whining, you are venting to your wonderful support group, so let it out, girl!! Are you like me when others are around - do you put on that smile and try to be the best actress you can be? If so, this might explain why your girls don't "get it". Sometimes I think some people expect us to be laid out, half breathing or something. I know I need to lose my "actress" skills sometimes, but thankfully my husband can see through it. lol I just hate to be a bother!! My PM recommends to every one of her patients that they see a pain psychologist due to issues with pain - how as a patient, we tend to not tell our close ones how bad it is (don't want them to feel more helpless, right?) and such. Haven't done that, but will consider it if needed.

    Did your doc forget about the meds for depression or did she think you don't need them?? I also wonder if this weather isn't helping everyone either. Seems like a wave of depression going around here.

    Vent away, Joy, and let us take some of your burdens.

    Many gentle ( (HUGS) )

  • It is so hard to stay positive - especially when in pain. And this is such a long and slow recovery that sometimes the feeling that you are never going to feel better is just overwhelming.

    Are you taking anything for pain? Do ice or heat help? (I would like to figure out how to attach my microwave heat pack to my body!) Are you doing any PT? (I find that the warm-water pool really helps.) Might any alternative pain management options help? (I have been considering acupuncture at the suggestion of a friend who tried it post-fusion surgery and got quite a bit of relief).

    I wish I had some good advice for you. Sometimes for me it is the little things that make me feel better - a day when the sun shines and it feels good to get outside, a favorite movie (I've probably watched "Dirty Dancing" a jillion times because it always perks me up), trying something new (though that can be frustrating, too - like my experiment with watercolor painting - I am no artist!) or even a chatty email from a friend. Pretty much anything that takes my mind off of pain - and worrying about it, which I am sure only makes it worse - seems to help for a little while.

    You have been so supportive of so many people on this site - and so positive. Is it possible that you wear your cheerful face at home and your daughter simply does not realize how much help you need?

    Those of us who are been through this - or are going through it - understand that sometimes whining is simply necessary!

  • so much for the encouragement. I am happy to say I am much better today! WooHoo! I absolutely hate it when that dark cloud descends and I fall under it!!!! I really think I overdid things a tad...bought one of those steam cleaners for my floors and, of course, had to try it out! And then I was bending over way too much to get the puppies back in the crate. I almost wish that I would feel the pain right away when I do something I shouldn't do...instead, the pain waits until a few hours later to appear. What's up with that anyway?

    I am going to ask the dr. next week to send me to warm water therapy. Sounds like heaven, huh?

    I do to the ENT dr. tomorrow and maybe he can tell me why my ear has been stopped up for over 2 months now.

    Thanks again to all my friends here that let me know I'm (unfortunately) not alone in this journey and allow me to be me...the good, the bad, and the UGLY! Hugs to all of you and may tomorrow be better for us all.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    Joy, as you can tell by the member posts, that you are not whining or feeling sorry for yourself.
    Medicine can only do so much to help control and manage your chronic pain. But there is a major ingredient that we all need and that is support
    We all need a level of support to help us get by. I know that we dont like talking about our pain all the time, because of fear of being a burden. Many times, the lack of support from others is because they do not really understand what we are going through. You wouldnt wish your chroinc pain on anyone in your family, but it would be nice if they had some understanding and compassion.
    The fact that your own family members are not supporting you makes it much more difficult.
    Have you ever had a sit down with your family and discuss the entire situation? Perhaps if your daughters knew what you are going through, they may be more helpful.
    Good luck, and you know that your have the support from the members of Spine-Health
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Joy,
    You are honest in realising that having expectation is normal and if you set then too high too soon you can be disappointed, and we all have that lesson to learn and it is not easy even with reasonable outcomes, with my fusion they told me 15 mths and my reality was it never got better.

    That unexpected crying things is normal given what you have been through and we internalise some of this angst and life passes on and it is upsetting and riding that storm is only good if it has a time constraint on it. We all cope with a myriad of strategies and it is key for that sleeping in not to become a habit and give you more time to peruse your plight, you have to be in control.

    That steam thing has shown you where that imaginary threshold is and having done that activity which we have all done, we then feel the increased pain as a consequence and looked back at the decision we made when we thought we could do this and we all learned something.

    In coping with your daughter’s jobs perhaps she has to shut things out to cope herself and we do not always get the support and encouragement they we expected, certain people are not supportive to me so I do not place that expectation on them and anything I get is a positive as I expect nothing. As you say some are just ignorant of our plight and that is not always in the way we communicate that angst of limit of our capability. Some people wrongly assume that because we can do one thing enables us to do many others as a consequence and that is making a wrong assumption and by its very nature chronic pain itself, we can do great things and then not the simplest.

    That inconsistency is not easy for us to deal with and we should be encouraged and supported in what we can do rather than the measure of us in what we cannot, and we should all, be learning.

    Glad to hear you are a bit better and working on getting the right support, good luck and keep going.

  • hi joy,
    your post caught my eye!!!....well i suppose because i am so there myself many many days.
    life is tough yes and kids are even tougher!!!
    i broke down and cried yesterday for no reason no reason at all!!!
    so i totally get where you are coming from.
    my love is going out to you and i sure hope you have a better day today.
    I'm thinking off you.

    LOVE P
  • Can be MEAN! It does not mean they don't love you! I have two sons. I'm not your typical dad either, I stayed home with them for 11 years. My oldest son, 18, will respond instantly if I mention my hurt! He will quickly say, "Oh, I'm sorry" he will rub my back,, he sucks at it, but he tries!
    My youngest son,16, well, Fahgetabouthim... He has said things like, " I think you have used up all your sympathy" Or his latest, " It does not hurt that much, it's just not as good as you want it to be!" I try to remember he loves me too. He never fails to ask for stuff! So he must! Right? Yes, his words hurt and I tell him so. He is getting better at not saying them. My wife leans towards my youngest sons demeanor, which does not help.

    I hope you realize that we all care, and whining is OK here!
  • I just wanted to add that you mustn't be made to feel guilty about being incapacitated. It is not your fault and your family needs to step it up and unselfishly provide assistant without questioning. You are their mom and you have provided (and still do) love unconditionally and have given them the world when possible. I believe when children grow up that it is their duty to help their parents in their time of need. It's not like your telling them to financially support you. You need help around the house and occasionally a nice cup of coffee when you can't get it yourself. They are able-bodied and can do things for you; you're not asking them to perform back breaking labor, just to care for you with compassion and understanding. I know your daughters love you, they just need some reminding of how you took care of them all your life and never once complained.
  • Glad to hear that dark cloud has passed. But honey - a floor cleaner? I think that would send my poor body into a mass of pain. Even doing the Swiffer can make me hurt if I do too much of it at one time. But I know you have to try stuff to see what does and does not make you hurt. (For example, cleaning the bathtub - no matter how I do it - send my back and hip into pain).

    What kind of puppies and how big are they? Repeated bending, especially if you are lifting, too, could certainly do it. But puppies are so cute!

    Your post has made me re-think washing the windows this afternoon - don't want to hurt all weekend. On the other hand, they are really yucky. I think this is one of those "should I go ahead and do it even though I know it is probably a bad idea?" things.

    Have a good weekend - don't clean floors!

  • I'm feeling so much better emotionally! I haven't cried in a couple of days now. John, you were so right! My expectations are way too high and then I get disappointed when they are not met. Much better to have no expectations at all and then be pleased when anyone does anything!!!

    Had a bad scare today...a friend and I were in downtown Richmond today to volunteer for a political candidate. First off, we couldn't find a parking space, then we couldn't find the booth where we were supposed to be. Oh, well...we tried. The scary thing is that while we were walking to the convention center, I turned my ankle and fell down on the sidewalk. I landed totally on my hip and hand. My first thought was, "OMG! Did I mess anything up?" A good samaritan came and helped me get up...fortunately, no damage was done that I can tell. My friend told me that it was a good thing I have the extra weight on to help cushion the fall. I didn't know whether to hit her or laugh. Since she is such a great friend, I knew she didn't mean the comment in a nasty way...so I just laughed. Will probably be very sore tomorrow!

    Again, I want to thank all of you who give me such comfort!!! What would we do without each other???
  • So glad you are OK from your fall! I hope you are not too sore tomorrow.

  • That makes two of us!!!
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