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Tyring to keep positive.....

fourgirlzmomffourgirlzmom Posts: 14
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Depression and Coping
Hi all-

I am trying so hard to keep positive in all this. I have a wonderful husband....four healthy, beautiful daughters, and I know things could be worse. So......how come the negatives take over sometimes...

I had big plans....I was in nursing school...was going to be an RN...make $$$...help my family....and have it all.

INstead...Injury...constant pain....only finished 1/2 schooling....lost house due to financial problems I feel responsible for...can't work....can't do the things I want to do with my kids :o( I can't go snowboarding... skiing...bowling...riding the rollercoasters....everyday activities make my pain worse....

I am tired of seeing the pity in my husbands eyes...I try to hide the pain...but he can see it....I just want a life back....

Major pity party here....sorry....i guess i just needed to vent.

ANyone have any constructive ideas for hobbies...anything to feel a little less useless?

Thanks for listening....Jeanne



  • It's okay to vent here all you need to, I'm sorry you're not well but I hope you're able to find some pain relief soon. Sometimes just being there is support enough for the children and husband. Try to find time for yourself even taking a short walk or have you tried aqua therapy if you're able? I watch movies online or play computer games sometimes or listen to some music gets me feeling in a better state of mind. Take care and keep us posted how you're doing. 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
  • Jeanne,
    I was pleased you started with the positives and those feeling of unfairness never go away, we just manage them more effectively over time, they encourage us to be the person we once were, even when that is impossible we should not let go of the notion that in some way we may be able to grasp some remnant of our historic healthy persona.

    Posting here enables us to write our displeasure and help with coming to terms with imposed changes that for the most part we have receding control. Our family look to us to show them the way and staying positive all the time is perhaps an aspiration rather than reality, we are measure in how se deal with failure and show our true resilience in what can be achieved.

    We all hide our pain even from ourselves and it protects those we love from enduring the true reality our hidden lives, it is to be applauded that we attempt to shield others in the knowledge of how impacted chronic pain can be. We all have a life that has gone without us and we feel left behind and vulnerable, I know with a big family the thing that you do that go unseen from other and yourself, it is hard to transpose minimal achievement into the hope and dreams that we all had and is not easy. You have to develop equal value in the new things of your currents existence and will have many skills and gifts to share.

    Find things you can do, pain will present alternative opportunities that have yet to come into focus and although we all live with imposed restriction. Aspirations are a good thing and for chronic patients the immediacy of decline sometimes means that we have no time to come to terms with the loss of who we were going to be we awake in the morning and everything has gone, that is not how life is for most people and we are special individuals in accepting any of those changes.

    A positive attitude is mandatory in getting you through and adapting to all these changes that not of us like in reality, it takes time experience and patience. That list of things we can no longer do never shortens and acknowledging that is the first step to managing it more effectively.

    We do not think you are useless and bringing up a large family is the most precious job of all, the first step may be to review your PM strategy from medication to options and try as we all do to find any opportunity when the pain is less and use those as windows to develop realistic attainable goals. We know once the pain is all consuming finding any time is difficult, how is your pacing and who helps you control the pain you do have, what roles and responsibilities do others have.

    I cannot walk well at all now and ride my bike; it has been a revelation and has taken a year to get to this stage.

    Take care many here have developed over time.


  • Yes being there for your family is a wonderful thing. Listening to how their day went, reading with them, etc. will mean so much to your children.

    I volunteer a couple of hours doing clerical work for a shelter. This makes me feel worthwhile. I was a nurse for 30 years and there is no way I could do that physical work anymore. I come on this forum and into the chat room to provide support to others in my condition, again I feel worthwhile. I knit, read, and web surf to keep myself entertained.

    I hope you will find some way to get through the depression.

    Best wishes,

  • I just hate that "useless" feeling rearing its ugly head. But none of us are. Just being there for your girls (I don't know their ages) but giving them emotional support, sharing how their day went, being there when they have a bad day; these are so valuable.

    Its hard to not go over the list of "I Can'ts", but then we must look at the "I Can's". That can truly be difficult at times, I know, I've had my share of pity parties and meltdowns. Just a few days ago I had a short-lived (but a doozy) of a meltdown.

    As John pointed out, it has taken many of us time to adapt to our new situations. It doesn't happen overnight (wish it did). For me, It has been 7 years now of chronic pain, 2 major lumbar surgeries and knowing a 3-4 level cervical fusion is down the road, and I'm only 44. Its taken time to accept this, not even sure I have completely yet.

    You are going to have bad days, we all do, but it is a learning process in how to proceed with our unwanted future and to try not to let it overcome us. We learn new ways of doing things, of coping.

    As for your girls, try to focus on what you CAN do together for fun. How about board games,puzzles, crafts, reading together, pick something new to learn about and get books or videos ("this month lets learn about the coral reef!").

    Okay, that sounded corny, I know, but just being there with them and doing something is what matters.
    If you can't bowl, at least maybe go with them and cheer them on.

    As far as something for you to do: do you know how to crochet or knit? Hospital NICU's welcome hats for preemies and blankets for sick kids. Also, with the web you could teach yourself how to do almost anything if you wanted to. If you are crafty there is a website that you can set up an account and sell your wares (I think its "Esty.com")

    Jeanne, I worry what kind of work can I do in the future that will not require heavy lifting, too much standing, too much sitting, blah, blah, blah. I'm just trying to have faith that something works out.

    Hope I didn't ramble too much. Your post just hit a nerve that I connected with. Just know that you are so very, very not alone in your feelings and there's lots of support here for you.

    Feel free to PM me anytime if you want to. Better days are ahead, take care, Lisa
  • I admit I don't know much about "girls" as in children. Never had any, two boys, now 17 & 19.
    If your girls are young, just try and engage them, take them places, ski lodges are great places to sit and read a book and most have wifi now! My wife takes our youngest to the same mountain I broke my neck on. She sits in the lodge and does her prep work for her next class.
    Watch movies, puzzles, even engaging them to do Chores, horror of horrors. As long as you engage them in any way you will still be looked at as mom. There's no changing that.

    I will warn you if your girl are like my boys between about 14 and 16-17 they will be moody and want nothing to do with you! They will even be downright nasty. Both my boys were, but somewhere around the end of 16 they turned a corner and are becoming the people they will be. They both now treat me fairly well again, do things I ask with minimal grumbling and generally seem to care.

    I guess I'm trying to say even if it get's rocky for a while, "this too shall pass". another great quote " In one hundred years none of this will matter" :D
  • I'm not going to bore you with my problems or worries, b/c I know you are dealing with your own. I'm going through a time where I'm dealing with not being able to have children due to not enough research on the fact with a spinal cord stim and someone had told me the below quote on one of my posts about it. I hope it helps you and maybe just brings a little light into your eyes. best wishes. D

    "I heard a phrase many years ago, that really helps keep me grounded in reality. That is:

    Yesterday is a canceled check
    Tomorrow is a promissory note
    Today is cash in hand

    Live for today, for it is here right now and can be touched, tasted and felt. No one really knows what tomorrow will bring, so don't miss the treasures of today worrying about tomorrow."
  • Thanks so much for everyone's word's of encouragement. I guess some days are just harder than others. I try very hard to stay positive...but some days I guess one just needs to vent. I appreciate the listening ears.

    So...my new plan is this....

    I am going to try and focus on the things that I can do, or would like to do, but never had the time for.(photography...scrapbooking...crocheting...???)
    I am going to start a list and work my way down. After all, without a job...I do have time on my hands.

    I am trying to get my meds figured out as well. Last week I switched from Flexeril to Orphenadrine (?) I think it is Norlex...just different name, and today I went to the doctor (not my primary,cuz he is on vacation) to get something besides Vicodin. Vicodin has no more use to me than M&Ms...actually...I'd rather have the M&Ms..lol

    SO...after about a half an hour of trying to explain to a new doctor why I want to switch pain meds...he gave me a prescription for Percocet.
    He made me feel like a drug-seeker...and told me he would only give me a 5 day supply....That's when I unloaded on DR.A-hola (not real name). I told him about how long I have dealt with chronic pain...explained to him the multiple, numerous things I have tried (OT,PT,massage,ESIs trigger pt..and so on) He then gave me a 30 day supply and told me to follow up with my primary.

    Somehow....that was both humiliating and empowering....can't explain it...

    I am trying to come to a greater understanding of what I think is going to be my new "normal".

    THanks all....wish me luck! Jeanne
  • Jeanne,
    It is not easy for anyone here to let go of the person they once were and developing that new you does take time and part of the accepting process, you do not have to like who you are becoming you have no alternative, it will be imposed upon you with or without your consent or acceptance.

    You will become more focused on helping yourself with differing goals and attainments, what may once have been important will become less important, unimaginable and seemingly irrelevant issue will come into focus and letting go is never easy simple or without some emotion. Positive is perhaps within and more dormant at the moment, if we can survive pain every day and most do here we already then have the excess of capability to become more positive, my own existence perhaps in two distinct sections before and after, the inner me may well be the same and my achievements changed by default, I equate value in the new things I can do and transpose them as of equal value, we all work twice as hard to achieve the same if not less.

    Lisa idea of adapting what we used to do into the new us is important, some things we will never do again it is emotional and upsetting. Finding or developing new things that give us a similar buzz is challenging and a measure of our creativity, some physical activities were my lifestyle and all seemed swept aside.

    We have to learn to like the new us, we may now have limited options, time is a precious resource and with my own “downtime” as an imposed sabbatical I used it effectively to develop myself, I changed jobs I could see that immobility in the future and with that knowledge looked for work that would enable me to continue with my associated issues. My new employment is a direct consequence of spinal issues and the need to adapt I would never have dreamed in my healthy persona of doing what I do now and to that extent I will forever be thankful, I have used my own positive attitude to its fullest potential.

    Take care John.

  • i had so many goals and was so driven. I knew I could succed at anything I put my mind to and life was becoming everything I had worked for. Then bam its gone. All those years going above and beyond, poof. I was able to go to school, taking forever with ability to only take few classes due to pain while sitting, but I will grad. with mech engineer degree pretty soon. But what is money,life, career, without happiness and living a pain free life. So far for me not much. I cannot let go, I have always been goal orientated and can see my life in my head unfolding ( pre injury) and it is great. I just wish I could work my way through it, but dedication, drive, type A personality all fall at the feet of back pain. Out of my hands I guess and its a feeling I have not felt since I was 11 and my family was falling apart. I never thought i would feel that helpless again, but here it is twice in the last 5 years, can't stop my back pain and could not keep my dad from commiting suicide.
    I was supposed to save him and I put so much time into that job so I could get to that point and I was hurt so I did not get to go out and see him.

    Crazy how it takes years to mold yourself, work at a goal or dream and seconds can bring it all down. A thousand good things done and one mistake can take it all away. I was just saying the other day that its rare that something happens that will ensure happiness for life ( kids do but I mean more events in life), but its damn sure possible for something to happen that causes pain for life.

    But I guess life is a work in progress and I guess i am mad because that progress has slowed to a crawl. But progress is not bad no matter how slow. LOL.

    Every day is a battle, fight with your body. Feels like an 18 hour day worked at my old job and it may only be lunch time. Everyday,its the one constant.
    I miss that chill through my body when inspired by a beautiful site, movie, song , book or when I dreamed of the future and things I would do. If I could get that back I would be alright. Don't know what it was but have not had it since i got hurt. And I miss it.

    But I have not given up, I just keep doing my part ( school, working out, yoga etc) and hope doctors will be able to do their part one day.

    Herniated T6-7, multiple herniations in cervical, tears in T5-T8. Stenois at levels and smorls nodes from thoracic thru lumbar
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