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Not coping

ell_ukeell_uk Posts: 10
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Depression and Coping
Hi. I've had a really bad day today with the pain and also with thoughts of my future and basically if I have one?

My partner (who admits to having never suffered pain in her life) just does not understand.

She is pushing me to go back on my placement next week (I am a student nurse). She is a physiotherapist, so I thought she might have a little understanding.

I do not think I can ever do that type of work again (Thats my honest opinion).

But I cannot get it through to my partner or my family that its just not a case of 'giving up'. I really do not think I am physically fit for the job.

I also suffer from Bipolar and boy do I feel depressed right now.

I just wondered if anyone could give me some advice?

I guess I just need someone to talk to :0(


  • I'm sorry you are in a tough place right now. It can be so hard to have others around you who just "don't get it" when you need support. You, and you alone, know what you can handle and cannot.

    Also, being bipolar, you may want to talk to your Dr. about your feelings and temporarily have an adjustment to your meds, or more therapy, or both(?).

    I also think of my future and worry, right now I am 44 and stay at home Momn for girls 5 & 8. I have been out or "regular" work too long to even be considered for Disability benefits, and know a major neck surgery is next (after 2 major lumbars). I worry, what can I do in the future?

    But you know what? All this worrying doesn't help with the pain and depression. Just logging onto this site and knowing there are others going through similar situations, and others I can help, makes me feel a bit of comfort.

    We are here to support one another, hope you feel better soon, Lisa
  • Thank you for your reply Lisa.
    You are right about the worrying, all I have done is cry this morning and that made my back ten times worse!
    I'm 35, I have no children (but hope one day I will have)

    Today I have given up. Tomorrow might be better?

    I need to decide for myself what I am going to do about my nursing course and stick to that decision.

    Thanks again

    Ellen x
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    I apologize if I did not read other posts you made that identified this.
    I can tell you personally as someone who has been dealing with chronic pain for over 30 years, it is not an easy battle, but it is one that you can combat, as long as you are willing to.

    You need a positive and energetic attitude and approach to life now. Sure, you may not be able to do the things you did before, maybe not in the same way, but you can find other ways.

    I had to give up a lot, sometimes I thought too much, but in the overall scope, I didnt. I kept my job, which I just retired from after 35 years. I had to make a number of modifications in doing that as well as having a company that understand my limitations.

    I talk to people at the rehab aquatic pool I go to weekly. We all talk about our problems, pain and such, but we all also say "Dealing with this and keep going is so much better than the other option, which just stops everything!"

    Its hard, no doubt about it. And it makes it harder of the person you are living with is not understanding about it. Many people have heard about the various stages of a cancer patient. Well
    some of that also applies to both the person who is suffering and to their partner

    This is a snipet take from , Elisabeth Kubler-Ross identified the stages of death and dying in her book ‘On Death and Dying’. The basic five stages are.
    I've changed it from the stages of death and dying as how it can relate to spinal conditions

    Denial - I can’t have a disc herniation.
    Anger - Why me? I don't deserve to have this problem.
    Bargaining - If I am good or if I give up x, then maybe this problem will go away.
    Depression - What is the point of carrying on?.
    Acceptance - OK, I know I have this spinal condition, I know I will need surgery, but I am ready and I will be prepared.
    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
  • dilauro,

    I had a prolapsed disc L5/S1 and two others (cant remember where) I had a disectomy on the L5 disc, this was 5 years ago.

    I've never been pain free since, but this flare up is the worst its ever been.

    I must admit to being very angry, I see people doing things I can no longer do and it makes me angry (at myself).

    Mostly though I feel sad and depressed.

    I have no idea what I am going to do? It does feel like my life is over.

    Thank you for your reply.

    Ellen x

  • My heart really goes out to you at this time and hope your Dr. is able to help you through this flare up. Are you seeing a Pain Management Doctor? Take care and wishing you get through this. 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
  • Hi Charry,

    Im not seeing a pain management doctor, I was and was due to have some injections (blocks) not really sure what that involved. Anyway I moved to London so missed out on it.

    I have not been referred to any Pain Management team whilst living here, but I think that may be the next step.

  • Ell uk
    Although it is understandable that we all feel aggrieved at these imposed changes you have not to blame yourself for anything, for the most part everyone here is doing the best that they can in difficulty and challenging circumstance.

    Some people will never understand even health professionals and it is not your responsibility to teach everyone the facts of how difficult pain is, and living this life that is wasted energy trying to get others unable or unwilling to be supportive to listen.

    Chronic pain soon determines what we can physically do even if we believe in our heads that we could do more the reality is far more effective in stopping us in our tracks. Walking lifting and carrying will part of you job responsibility and your employer would need to make reasonable adjustment to conform to the DDA Disability Discrimination Act , have you talked to the HR department, expressing any disclosure of you physical difficulty is always an important decision and never easy.

    You need to protect your safety and not do anything that may increase the possibility of any working practice adding to your condition.

    You cannot decide to do anything in the longer term that is not within your physical capability and this will only hasten your symptoms. Did your employer know of your pre-existing condition?

    Have you seen your GP and what medication regime are you using, the pace and introduction of PM is now used more urgently and in tandem with ongoing treatments.

    How is the pain today, any academic pain research will give an insight into how difficult living with chronic pain can be.

    Take care and good luck.

    John (uk)
  • Chronic pain feeds depression and depression can actually make the pain worse. I had a pre-exsisting back problem when I had my accident. The pain would be so severe I just wanted to stay in bed and be left alone in my misery. I had a million reasons why I didn't need the help of a therapist or even talk with family. I was wrong. When people are encouraged to talk, or even type, it does help lift the cloud of gloom that feels like your life. Better yet, having conversations with people whom you don't know! It allows you the freedom to be more open and honest. If I had told my family or friends about some feelings I was experiencing, they would have had me committed. What helped me the most with depression, and the feeling that no one could possibly know what I am going through, was having a therapist I failed to shock. It opened a door for me that truly allowed me to express my HONEST thoughts and feelings.
  • Of what comes next can be the worst part of this.

    You know you can't do your job properly and safely, others don't believe. You also don't know what is coming next for you medically. So, it's not a wonder why you feel more depressed. There are very few chronic pain patients that don't get depressed at one point or another.

    My shrink has told me several times that all the medicines we are trying for my back spasms and Bi-polar type II will never make me whole again. We are simply trying to get things to the point where I feel "ok". Feeling ok does not mean I should go out and do all the things I used to do! Doing that nullifies the work we have done to make me feel "ok".

    It's a vicious circle, one that a stubborn guy like me tends to keep wandering outside of. I guess I'm kind of like an old dog, hard to teach new tricks to, but I am slowly "getting it".

    Hang in there, post as much as you feel like. Talk to your doctor about your bi-polar meds, they may need adjusted.

    My wife does not get the chronic pain thing either. She just thinks I should shrug it all off and go back to doing everything I used to. I tend to end up hurting myself when I do that, so...
  • I was exactly where you are not two days ago, if you look at my posts in the Chronic pain forum, you will see a plethora of fantastic people giving wonderful advice and genuinely caring. I was ready to give up and check out, but the people here made me see how senseless that was.
    I have written down a step by step plan on how i'm going to come back to the land of the living and it's given me a new sense of direction.
    As for nursing, only you can know whether you are capable of doing it anymore. But as an ex-nurse I can give you my honest opinion that there is no way you could do nursing if your back is that bad. Of course, that is my opinion only, but it is one of the most physically demanding jobs you could do.
    As for your partner, perhaps you can direct her to this site and show her some of the threads from other people suffering like you, then discuss with her how she is making you feel.
    Just a thought.
    My thoughts are with you, hang in there, you will find a lot of support here. Feel free to PM me if you wish to chat.
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